So I am looking for alternatives. A Mac technician has told me over the
phone that the chances that the damage to the ethernet port is fixable
are about 1-2%. Has anybody here ever successfully had a fried ethernet
The other possible solution is USB. The local cable internet company
has cable modems that connect via USB, but they have no clue if it will
work with Mac. I have searched these discussion groups, but am still
not clear if it is possible or not, how I would "tell" the computer
that the internet connection is USB and where to search for drivers. I
need to do more searching, but in the meantime, is there anybody here
that connects and iBook to cable internet via USB and has some useful
> The other possible solution is USB.
There is another solution. Get an Airport card for your iBook, and
attach an 802.11b NAT/router to your cable modem. Given the price
of cable modems, the combined price of these two items will still
make this a financially viable option.
The pros are that you get mobility with your iBook, and the possibility
that a lightning strike will disable a component of your iBook is lower.
> The local cable internet company
> has cable modems that connect via USB, but they have no clue if it will
> work with Mac.
There are several USB cable modems that explicitly have Mac support
-- such as the Motorola Surfboard USB cable modem.
Many a smale maketh a grate -- Geoffrey Chaucer
Not true. See <http://www.welovemacs.com/sb4200.html> for example.
> What about a USB-to-ethernet adapter?
I don't believe there are any currently being manufactured that have Mac
drivers available. Jaton used to make the USB XpressNet, which had Mac
OS 8/9 drivers, but it's been discontinued. It may be possible to find
one somewhere, as long is it's not for use with a Mac running OS X.
> So I am looking for alternatives. A Mac technician has told me over the
> phone that the chances that the damage to the ethernet port is fixable
> are about 1-2%. Has anybody here ever successfully had a fried ethernet
> port fixed?
Fixing the existing port? He's probably being overly optimistic with
his estimate! More like, it would require replacing the motherboard,
which would probably cost more than the iBook is worth, and more than a
newer used iBook would cost.
Look again. It says "Compatible with Mac, Unix, and Windows..." for the
SURFboard cable modem.
I did. The modem has both ethernet and USB ports. Macs can only use
the ethernet port. PCs running Windows 98/Me/2000/Xp can use both, which
was the point that "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" made in response to
my post. So, it is Mac-compatible, but Macs cannot use a USB connection
to the modem.
> I did. The modem has both ethernet and USB ports. Macs can only use
> the ethernet port. PCs running Windows 98/Me/2000/Xp can use both, which
> was the point that "Keeper of the Purple Twilight" made in response to
> my post. So, it is Mac-compatible, but Macs cannot use a USB connection
> to the modem.
I stand corrected. Didn't look far enough and posted too soon. Sorry
I have worked with this Mac iBook for the last 4 years. I has been very
reliable, but I have noted that has soon as you want to do something
which is not a standard application, you do run into compatibility
I kind of understand that not everyone makes their software Mac
compatible, but I don't understand why Apple does not step in sometimes
- like in this case - and just writes a driver. I mean, I am probably
not the first person that for some reason would like to connect to the
internet via USB ...
So unfortunately instead of spending 200US$ plus on an Airport card and
router for my old iBook, I'll spend 500US$ on a new Windoze machine.
Bye Mac for now, until I have enough money to spend to buy all the
fancy new Mac stuff.
You overestimate the cost of an Airport card plus a router. You
should be able to get an airport card for $80, and if you buy a
wireless router from DLink, Netgear or Linksys (as examples) the cost
should be in the $20-$40 range.
However, I would be uncomfortable setting this stuff up if I had no
computer in my house which could access the router via ethernet.
As others have said, AirPort and a router should cost less than $200.
And before you consider spending $500 on a Windows box, look and see how
much of a Mac you can get for that money. You can fix or replace your
iBook for less than that.
I don't know what specific model iBook you have, but a quick Froogle
search (using "iBook" and "motherboard" as keywords) revealed at least
one place selling iBook motherboards. Their catalog lists iBook
motherboards in the range of $170-300, depending on which model/speed
If replacing the computer is more to your liking (motherboard
replacements in an iBook are not easy and are best left to a
professional), web searches have found many used iBooks for sale in and
around your price range. For example, I found a 300 MHz clamshell iBook
(without battery) for $200. I also found a 500 MHz iBook (with battery)
I'm sure there are other (possibly better) deals out there if you want
to do some web searching on your own.
If you've been happy with your old iBook, then there's no need for you
to buy the latest and greatest brand-new model.
> I kind of understand that not everyone makes their software Mac
> compatible, but I don't understand why Apple does not step in sometimes
> - like in this case - and just writes a driver. I mean, I am probably
> not the first person that for some reason would like to connect to the
> internet via USB ...
Not that many fry their ethernet port :-)
The reason Apple doesn't make a driver probably is that it's usually the
responsability of the hardware manufacturer to provide device drivers.
Apple provides the specs for the computer and OS.
> So unfortunately instead of spending 200US$ plus on an Airport card and
> router for my old iBook, I'll spend 500US$ on a new Windoze machine.
> Bye Mac for now, until I have enough money to spend to buy all the
> fancy new Mac stuff.
I did a quick search on Google with the search string:
"usb to ethernet" Mac
and found amongst others this one
Once I have solved the problem, I´ll post again.