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Need some guidance on creating a wireless environment using a G3 ibook plugged in, and a G4 macbook. Read all the relevant material, I think, and am able to go online with the macbook, but cannot access Mail or Adium. I wondered if anyone out there knows whether this is a problem with my computer settings, or is it an issue to do with my ISP. I am able to get Mail in my wireless office environment, but not Adium? Thanks.

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Need some guidance on creating a wireless environment using a G3 ibook plugged in, and a G4 macbook. Read all the relevant material, I think, and am able to go online with the macbook, but cannot access Mail or Adium. I wondered if anyone out there knows whether this is a problem with my computer settings, or is it an issue to do with my ISP. I am able to get Mail in my wireless office environment, but not Adium? Thanks.

First off there is no such thing as a G4 macbook so I am wondering if you mean a G4 powerbook or a macbook. Next question is what are you using to share the network connection? Do you have a router or are you setting up an adhoc network with the G3?

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Thanks for the correction. Actually just a bit confused -- I should have said a G4 ibook and a intel Macbook. Don't have a router, just enabling the Internet Sharing function from the System Preferences on the G3 and turning on Airport on the Macbook. Appreciate any help or comments.

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If I understood correctly, you have your G4 iBook connected to your ISP's modem through an ethernet cable, and you want to hook up the MacBook to the iBook using wireless, and then use the Internet with your MacBook through the iBook.

 

I don't know if that is possible, because that would require your iBook to maintain two connections:

  • wired to the ISP's modem
  • wireless to the MacBook

I effect, your iBook would act as a router/extender, and I haven't seen that setup working anywhere. People usually prefer a router, because it is always on (and consumes less power than the iBook).

 

I curious if someone could come with an answer how to use the iBook this way.

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Hi, what you describe is, I think, exactly what I am doing. The G4 serves as a "base station" sending out a wireless signal that my Macbook picks up. This seems to work for general internet access (I just enable Internet Sharing in the system preferences and turn on Airport on both G4 and Macbook -- it is probably not the ideal set up, as the G4 must be on, if I want to use wireless on the Macbook, but I didn't want to spend more money if I could help it) but, while it works to surf (I have been using it successfully for some weeks now), I can't check mail or chat wirelessly. Is it simply that this is not possible?

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Found this article, describing:

iBook as a Software Router

 

For security reasons you should only share an Internet connection using two network connections. To do this with an iBook, you need to install an AirPort card and use the Software Base Station program (free from Apple), which allows you to share the wireless network connection with another AirPort-capable computer.

 

Note that because wireless bandwidth is limited, this is probably only practical for sharing with one other Mac. You can also use a software router such as Sustainable Softworks’ IPNetRouter or Vicom Tech SurfDoubler, although they are not free like Software Base Station.

 

To set up this shared connection, connect to the Internet connection using iBook’s Ethernet port (for cable or DSL) or modem port (for dial-up) and use the Software Base Station to share the Internet connection with another wireless Mac. If you plan to share a wireless connection with more than one wireless-capable Mac, the hardware AirPort Base Station is a better option since it can share a wireless Internet connection with any number of AirPort-enabled Macs without the limitations of a software router.

Although it's an old article (April 2002), it clearly states that using the iBook as a software router is certainly possible.

 

Have you tried connecting the MacBook directly to the ISP's modem with an ethernet cable, and checked if mail and chat works in that configuration? If it works, you can rule out the possibility that your MacBook isn't properly set up for mail and chat, and that the problem is in how your iBook routes the data between your MacBook and the ISP's modem.

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This doesn't really solve the problem you are having per say but if you would rather just get a router you can get one for pretty cheap. I bought a Belkin unit for $39 and you might even find something cheaper if you really looked.

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I've used my old PowerMac as a wireless router for years (I have an airport base station now, but hasn't always been that way) so here's what I did. (Back in the time of OS 9 there used to be an app called Software Base Station for this functionality, now it's simply built into the system sharing preferences.)

 

This is really quite simple if you know how.

 

• Get your Mac that will have a physical cable connection to the internet (your iBook I believe without re-reading) and open up the sharing system preference pane.

• Go to the "Internet" tab and select "Built-in ethernet" from the "Share your connection from:" drop-down menu, and then check the box next to "Airport" in the "To computers using:" list.

• If it doesn't start automatically for you, click the start button, and you're all set. Just above the Start/Stop button there is a label saying internet sharing is on or off, make sure it says that it is on.

• The airport icon in your menu bar should have a new icon indicating that it is sharing your internet.

• Now if you want to customize this click on the "Airport Options…" button and you'll have the ability to set up the network name and wireless encryption.

 

I hope this helps. Feel free to post any issues that you may be having, and I'll do my best to lend a hand.

Edited by almighty_spork

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A couple other notes that I just thought of.

 

You can also turn on file sharing on the iBook and you'll in effect have a network attached storage drive, very handy if you have more machines on the network and want to share files. I find that old laptops make ideal NAS devices since they have their own built-in battery backup, not really practical to buy a new one for this purpose, but an old one is great. Also you can attach enternal HDs and expand the storage.

 

I would either turn the brightness on the display off or look into a program that will hack the iBook to run closed. Probably better to just turn the screen brightness down since it doesn't require a hack and since the antennas in these laptops run along either side of the display you'll get better reception of the display is vertical. This will reduce the amount of power consumed, a router will still use less, but power is pretty cheep.

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Thanks everyone for your input. My current set up is exactly as spork describes -- using share your connection.

 

Found this article, describing:

Have you tried connecting the MacBook directly to the ISP's modem with an ethernet cable, and checked if mail and chat works in that configuration? If it works, you can rule out the possibility that your MacBook isn't properly set up for mail and chat, and that the problem is in how your iBook routes the data between your MacBook and the ISP's modem.

 

When connected to the ISP modem with an ethernet cable, chat and mail work fine. So I am a bit bemused why it won't work wirelessly. In regard to joshr's comment, if I am already using the G4 as my "router" -- if that is what I'm doing (it successfully broadcasts the signal to airport) -- would using a third party router make any difference.

 

In my office environment, I am able to receive email wirelessly, so I wonder if it is something I am neglecting to do with the G4 (working as router), so that it is blocking access to the email server. Could it be something to do with the firewall or the strength of the signal.

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Did you try switching off both Firewall's?

 

I wouldn't recommend leaving them switched off, but if mail and IM suddenly start working, there's your culprit.

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joshr's comment, if I am already using the G4 as my "router" -- if that is what I'm doing (it successfully broadcasts the signal to airport) -- would using a third party router make any difference.

Yes you are using the G4 as a router which should be workable, it sounds to me like firewall issues but regardless I am sure you will figure it out. I only suggest the standalone router because it's cheap, small, will likely just need to be plugged in, uses less power, and will free up the G4 for other uses [or sale if you don't need it].

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