Airport Alternative for Mac Powerbook G4

So my wife’s Airport went out on her awsome Powerbook G4 and I went looking for a replacement for her. Turns out Apple wants to charge around $100 for a replacement internal Airport card, which isnt about to happen.

A little research revealed that certain Motorola PCMCIA cards with the same guts as the Airport serve the same purpose and are immediately identified by OSX as Airport cards – no drivers and no configuring. I bought a Motorola Wireless Notebook Adapter WN825G from Amazon for $10 and it still works a charm…

There are some other cards that have the same chipset (Broadcom BCM4306 chipset) that also work, in exactly the same way. I’ll make a list of them if I get around to it. Thinking of getting another if I can find one actually, just in case…

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Cant Boot from CD using USB Keyboard

This has happened to me several times, but it always catches me off-guard.

I was trying to repair a windows installation and needed to boot from the WinXP CD. I am using a USB keyboard, which was not a problem at all at first, as I was able to press F9 and enter the BIOS. From there I set the computer to boot from the CD. When the computer restarted and asked me to:

Press any key to boot from the CD-ROM…

I was unable to do so. I never found a fix and it was necessary for me to install a PS/2 keyboard to get the computer to boot from the CD. I later realized that running “sfc /scannow” from a command prompt (available by typing “cmd” in the “Run…” box on the Start Menu) combined with a registry backup would have cleared up my problem, but hey…

Some modern BIOS revisions have an option to enable USB keyboard support from the BIOS or OS. Setting this to BIOS will clear up this problem in most cases (mine didnt include this option, but a quick test on a computer at work.

It is good practice to have a PS/2 keyboard and mouse always at hand, just in case something goes wrong with your wireless devices.

WinXP Disk Management Utility

If you have a large hard drive and want to create smaller partitions, or want to consolidate your partitions, you can use the Disk Management utility found at:

Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management

There are several more advanced partitioning tools that let you create, delete, format, defragment, resize, move partitions around, modify their attributes or even copy entire hard disks from one to another. Cute Partition Manager is free and comes highly recommended.