Charles Moore's Mailbag

DHCP Problems, LC 500 Series, FireWire Card Troubles, Wireless USB Networking, and More

Charles Moore - 2002.12.23 - Tip Jar

Guide to PCMCIA/ethernet/DSL configuration on a PowerBook 5300?

From Thomas M. Barclay

Hi, Charles -

As usual, I'm trying to get used gear to work in an orderly fashion. Ever the optimist, I.

Do you know of a guide to configuring PC cards and the OS features involving TCP/IP for Internet connection? The Apple OS installation assistant wasn't really all that helpful, and may have hindered the effort.

I've got a pair of Dayna Communicards for use with a PB 5300 and a PB 190cs. I have their drivers. I have done clean installs of OS 8.6 on both machines.

Now comes the hard part.

I use Verizon for our DSL service. They require that Macs going through a router (as these will when they reach their eventual home) use DHCP to reach the ISP server and the Internet. When I go to TCP/IP, DHCP is not an available choice.

Any referrals would be most helpful.

Cheers of the season -
Tom Barclay

Hi Tom,/p>

If you have the proper drivers and your Mac is seeing your ethernet card, and ethernet is selected in the AppleTalk control panel, the DHCP should show up in one of the TCP/IP control panel submenus./p>

I had a similar problem with my daughter's PowerBook 1400 for her college dorm broadband connection. We have a used (Motorola) ethernet PC Card, and thought we had the correct driver installed, but it turned out that the one we had was not the correct one. I finally, with some help from a reader, found and downloaded the correct card driver and all was well./p>

I can't say for sure if that is your problem. Is ethernet showing up as an option in AppleTalk? If not, that's another clue that you don't have the correct driver support./p>


LC 5xx

From Scott

I enjoyed your article on the LC 520. I have an LC 580 that I dearly love. I got it for a buck off eBay from a gentleman advertising it for parts. It works fine.

I have mine equipped with a 32 MB of RAM. I still use the stock 500 MB hard drive. I also have a 200 MB SyQuest drive, a 500 MB external hard drive, and a color scanner hooked up to this computer. With the right software it can be used as a business machine. I use AOL 4.0, Claris Emailer, and Netscape Navigator 4.0.8. I tried iCab, but I didn't like it much. If I turn off graphics, it does a halfway decent job. When it gets too slow, I remind myself of all the money I'm saving with vintage software.

Editor's note: Several members of our mailing lists suggest that iCab works much better on 680x0 Macs if you open Preferences, select Connections/Log under Network, and set the number of simultaneous connections to 1. The theory is that these old CPUs have a hard time juggling multiple connections. dk

It's a shame to let a good Mac go to waste. And for a church that doesn't have much money to waste, a vintage Mac setup will allow you to spend more funds on mission than maintenance. It makes it worthwhile.

Do you know where a fellow can get a right angle adapter for the PDS slot inside? I have a card I'd like to hook up in this computer.

Again thanks for the article.


Hi Scott,/p>

The price was right! Congratulations on getting a lot of useful service out of an old Mac./p>

Unfortunately, I have no idea where you might find one of those PDS right angle adapters. You might try running a Google search for PDS adapters or just obsolete Mac parts./p>


FireWire PC Cards etc.

From Ross Cottrell


I have just installed an IBM Travelstar 40 GB GNX in my 300 MHz PowerBook. It is much quieter and somewhat faster than the 20 GB Hitachi that it replaced. The quietness is what I really like about the IBM drives. There is no sleep wake up problem in Jaguar. And so far, there has been only one sleep failure while booted into OS 9.1 out of about 8 attempts. It sure is nice to have some extra quickness injected into the old 'Book. I've maxed out the RAM at 512 MB, too. Jaguar needs all the help it gets, but I find it usable and stable.

So it's a great drive and worth the $147 I paid to Second day FedEx was .50 cents.

Here's my problem though: OS X.2.1 won't recognize the FireWire drive I just assembled with the old Hitachi. It's a new OWC Mercury Express enclosure. The drive is recognized in OS 9.1 and works perfectly, but Jaguar can't see it at all. I have a Newer Firewire-to-Go CardBus, which has been suggested to me as the potential source of trouble. The card does work in Jaguar in that I can import DV into iMovie 2.

Do you or any of your readers know of problems with these cards and Jaguar external FW drives? Any recommendations on a 2-3 port FireWire card that will work in a non-bus powered situation? I am considering the SmartDisk and OrangeMicro cards. Thanks!

Ross Cottrell

Hi Ross,/p>

I had good luck with the Macally FireWire card in my WallStreet, but never had OS X installed. My son used a KeySpan FireWire PC Card with his Lombard under OS X for two years, and had no connection difficulties, but he only had Jaguar installed for about a month before he sold the 'Book./p>

Perhaps readers can help with more WS/FireWire info./p>


Re: CD-RW drive in Pismo

From Tim Harmon

FYI - Just received and installed the Sony drive in my Pismo today. OS 10.2.2 iTunes 3 does burn to the drive. It makes a very nice addition, but the fit is very rough with rather large gaps at the top and the bottom of the drive door.


Old Macs vs. old PCs

From Brad Loomis

I bet there are more old PCs in use than Macs, especially 486 computers. Don't forget about industrial applications running in factories and paper mills.

Hi Brad,/p>

In that context you're probably correct in raw numbers. I was thinking in terms of consumer and office computers./p>


Wireless Driver

From Chris Ryan


I noticed your write up on the AeroCard Universal Mac 802.11b LAN Driver in Friday's 'Book Review.

Out of curiosity did you know that from SourceForge there is an free and open source driver that will work with many if not all of the cards that are described? The driver can be found at and work with Jaguar. Thanks for the great site.

Thanks Chris,/p>

I wasn't aware of that driver./p>


Misc. Ramblings, 12.09

From Andrew Main

"I would suggest that a better choice for a word processor with grammar checker would be Nisus Writer, which is under active development with an OS X version coming in the new year."

May I also suggest Mariner Write (, which already offers an OS X version and is more user-friendly than Nisus' somewhat techie interface. No grammar checker, but a search for "grammar" at Mac Update ( shows some possibilities. (Mariner is also better for multilingual work than Nisus, despite the latter's much-touted reputation.) Like Stone Design's ( Create, Mariner is a small-scale labor-of-love Mac developer who needs - and deserves - our support.

"You can get ethernet PC Cards for the 1400. My daughter uses one in hers very successfully. However, they are a bit hard to find these days."

Better yet, a combo modem/ethernet card such as the Global Village (33.6K Platinum Pro or 56K modem/ethernet card), which seems to appear fairly often on eBay; that's what I have with my G3-upgraded PB 1400 second computer.

As for a DIY DVD/CD-RW upgrade for the Pismo & Lombard, here's an article on XLR8YourMac which seems to offer this possibility, though I haven't had time to investigate it: Matsushita UJDA 710 OEM Combo DVD/CDRW Drive Mods for PB G3.

Actually, I remember seeing this article before (it's more than a year old), was reminded of it via a link on LEM today describing a CD-RW mod for original iBook, which mentions the DVD/CD-RW option for G3 PBs: Le Hack: CDRW into Fruity iBook Does Go.

Apparently one of these modded G3 units was recently sold on eBay.

Where the XLR8 article describes soldering to make it bootable, the eBay description mentions some kind of software fix. More research needed, which I don't have time for at the moment; if anyone has checked this out and can provide definitive info, I'm sure it'd be welcome to many.

(BTW, I often see the abbreviation/acronym "IIRC" on the Net, e.g. in this article. I haven't been able to figure out what it means. Can you tell me?)

Thanks again,

Hi Andrew,/p>

Mariner is a nice word processor. I didn't mention it in that reply because the reader had specifically mentioned a grammar checker as a priority./p>

My daughter's Motorola Mariner PC Card is also a modem/ethernet combo./p>

IIRC = common abbreviation for "If I recall/remember correctly"./p>

May also refer to:

and possibly others./p>


Re: USB 802.11b

From: Edward Nilges

Hey, in regards to a USB wireless solution for an old iMac, I've used a Belkin F5D6050 with my PC to access a Broadband Internet connection with excellent results, though the USB bus is probably a bottleneck. I don't yet have a way of testing it with my newly acquired 2400c, but there are drivers available for OS 9 and X. It's pretty inexpensive, too.


802.11b USB cards

From Carlos Joaquin

The only place I have heard that carry these (802.11b USB cards) is Circuit City. Sorry I can not remember the name of the manufacturer.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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