OS X's Wiley Wireless Ways

by Rael Dornfest

I was disappointed in OS X Beta 2's lack of support for Lucent (Orinoco) 802.11b cards. I was miffed to find OS X release sans support for the popular Lucent/Powerbook G3 duo. And the suggestion that I boot into OS 9.1 when I want to go wireless had me just plain steamed. Now this...

Rick Robinson received this reply from Orinoco regarding their wireless PC cards and support of Mac OS X:

"Our current position is that we do not intend to support Apple Mac OS X at this time. The reasons for this decision are as follows:

  1. Apple computers, both mobile and desktops, are equipped with non-standard built-in Airport slots and antennas since late 1999. Apple's intention with this approach is to have customers with an AirPort-equipped Mac to choose AirPort Cards as their preferred WLAN client products.

  2. We have full confidence that Apple will continue to support AirPort under Mac OS X on AirPort G4s, iMacs, iBooks and PowerBooks. This allows Macs to be fully respected clients on Orinoco WLANs.

In addition to that we will continue our support for the older MacOSes on the Apple platform. (Mac OS 7.5.5, 8.x, 9.x)."

MacFixit's April 2001-a: Late-Breakers for Mac OS X:

Those of us with pre-Airport PowerBooks are suddenly feeling a bit disconnected ...

Here's where OS X and I go our separate wireless ways :-(

OS X have you feeling tied down?


2001-05-23 12:41:43
Non-Standard Slots and Antennas?
Um, the slot inside the machine looks just like a PCMCIA slot to me. As far as the Antenna, why wouldn't I want the built in antenna? After all, the latest rage in PC laptop land is built in antennas. Is Lucent going to drop support for those platforms too?

As to running solutions, I have heard that there are efforts underway in the Darwin project to enable these cards. The right thing for Apple to do is to pick up these efforts and roll the support into the OS so that the Lucent cards look like any other Airport card.