Phone symbol on mac taskbar - not sure what it is used for?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by PW168, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. PW168 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    #1
    Hi,
    I bought a 2nd hand macbook A1181 with 4G ram for home use, and has since upgraded the OS to ML with no problems....I just have a curiousity. The last owner must have used it as a modem as there is a phone symbol on taskbar...(see 1st attached)..and if I open network preferences, it asks me configuration and telephone number (see 2nd attached).

    Can someone tell me how to use this? What is it for? I tried googling it but didn't come up with anything... Thanks in advance.
    P.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    Yes, it's for a dial-up modem. The devices shown have the ability to connect serially. You can just remove the devices from the network device list and the icon should go away.

    Regardless, you can disable its use as a status indicator by cmd-dragging it off the menu bar.
     
  3. PW168 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    #3
    You mean rather than using wifi, I can use my phone as a dial up modem?? Would dial up modem be slower than wifi connection....Why would one do that? Just for curiousity sake..
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #4
    Dial-up is 56kbps vs 54mbps for 802.11g wifi - almost a factor of 1000 slower. Your Internet connection is most likely either through DSL or cable, which is slower than wifi, with speeds in the range of 1.5-3mbps for DSL (maybe a bit more) to maybe 30mbps or more for cable, but still much faster than dial-up.

    The reason you would use it is if that's all you have, or as a backup to DSL/cable. Another reason is to use the modem as a FAX, which is mostly how I've been using mine for many years now.

    Macs haven't had built-in modems since around 2006. No Intel MacBooks have had any. Macs without a modem could optionally use an Apple USB modem (until Lion, or later, at which point 3rd party USB modems such as the one from US Robotics can be used).
     
  5. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #5
    By your question, I can tell that you are young. In the olden times there was no wifi and we use modems to connect to the internet. Read more and be educated.
     
  6. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    #6
    :)
    Not necessarily true.
    I got that question once from my father... I think he was 78 at the time.

    RGDS,
     

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