Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TrendNet USB Wireless works on Apple Powerbook G3

The TrendNet USB TEW-424UB 802.11g Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter works with Apple Lombard Powerbook G3 laptop computer. (Apple Powerbook Lombard 333mhz, 320ram, OS X Tiger 10.4.11.)

(I presently have it installed using a 2 port Dynex USB 2.0 PCMCIA cardbus card purchased from Future Shop, which also works fine on the Apple Powerbook by the way and of course give you super fast USB 2.0 speeds for your hard drives as well at the same time via the second USB port on the card! Sweet!! However, the Trendnet TEW-424UB wireless works just fine in the powerbook's own regular usb 1.0 ports as well.)


One great feature of using the USB Wireless over a regular pcmcia cardbus wireless card, is that with a pcmcia wireless card the cardbus is of course filled with that card so you are then unable to utilize any other pcmcia cards (USB 2.0, Firewire, etc) if you are currently surfing the net via the pcmcia wireless cardbus card.

Using the USB Wireless dongle, the pcmcia slot is free for either the pcmcia USB 2.0 card as in my case, or a pcmcia firewire card or whatever else you might desire. If you are surfing via the USB dongle, any downloads can also take advantage of the USB 2.0 ports for super fast disc copy etc. And should you need to do any fast disc transfer work, you won't have to disconnect your wireless as you would with a pcmcia wireless card to allow you to insert your USB 2.0 or Firewire card.

I've yet to test the unit at any great distances from the base station, but unless you're hoping to surf from somewhere "down the block" from the wireless source, I seriously doubt it shall be a problem.

One issue with the TrendNet TEW-USB wireless dongle, is that the Mac only appears to want to recognize it from a full startup or restart. If you simply wake the Mac from sleep, the dongle won't work, even if it was already going when you put your Mac to sleep, or if you try unplugging and reinserting it. Bit of a pain but not a major deal breaker by any means. (I got the Trendnet for a mere $18 at Future Shop, so a little restart issue is no major cost.)

You will have to download the Realtek USB WLAN Client Utility (sorry, don't have the link available at present - you'll have to Google for it) and follow the usual install and setup instructions so the Trendnet USB wireless dongle will work with your Mac. (I am using Realtek driver version 1.5.1A, but you may want to try other versions).

The Realtek Driver software appears to be glitch free (other than the inability to access the dongle after the powerbook has been to sleep). I do have two Realtek icons in my Apple Dock for some reason, but everything is working fine regardless. (Perhaps I unknowingly have two versions installed, hence two icons?)

If you go to "About This Mac" under the Apple on your menu bar then click on the "More Info" button, then click on USB in the list under "Hardware", it will show exactly what Realtek chip is installed in your Trendnet dongle - mine is RTL8187B.)

Anyway, this "review" is being done on the fly so is a bit spotty at best, but hope it might help someone looking for inexpensive wireless options for Apple Mac computers on the cheap. If you're willing to invest a bit of time, the Trendnet TEW-424UB will indeed work.

Should I too find more time to invest here, I'll try to post some links and more install info. - but don't hold your breath!


© Copyright 2008 Barry's Mixed Reviews

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