News Archive for: Thursday February 1st, 2007         Goto Current News Page

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Mac Drivers for Ralink 802.11n adapters by end of February?
Follow-up to earlier post on 802.11n wireless cards:

" Hi Mike, I emailed Ralink to see if they'd be making an OSX driver for the 802.11n chipset they make (the one used in Belkin's N1). I received a reply from a "YL Tang" at Ralink in Taiwan saying they'd have a driver by the end of February.
-Vasu"

Hopefully Mac 802.11n adapter drivers will show up by the end of the month on their Mac drivers page. (FYI: ralinktech.com link removed as it was no longer working in 2015.)

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Reader comments on Atheros chipset 802.11n Adapters
(Updated again with conflicting notes on chip used with Belkin N1)
In reply to yesterday's post on the 802.11n wireless in new Macs a reader sent a note about 3rd party 802.11n adapters with Atheros chipset:

" Although I haven't tried either card out, perhaps someone can give the Belkin N1 series or D-Link Xtreme-N series of products a try. Both use Atheros 802.11n chipsets, which is what apple uses in the C2D Macbooks. (MacBook Core2Duo uses Atheros AR5008 per Adam's comments yesterday. And today a MacBook Pro C2D owner said that it has the AR5008 also.-Mike)
What's really odd is that Belkin was actually showing off their N1 802.11n gear at Macworld, but when I called them about Mac compatibility, they said their cards didn't work on Macs.
(he later wrote)
Hey Mike. I just called Belkin again to badger them about N1 support, and now the guy at tech support says the chipset in the N1 Expresscard is made by Ralink (http://www.ralinktech.com/). I'm not sure when that changed, or if I was given wrong info before, but if the ExpressCards at least use Ralink chips, then the Apple enabler won't apply to them.
(NOTE: A reader sent a link to an Extremetech article on Real-World Interoperability Tests of Five 802.11n Routers that mentions the Belkin N1 hardware uses the Atheros XSPAN (AR5008) chip. Unless it's different for the Expresscard. They used a PCcard adapter based on the model number listed in the article.-Mike)
Sorry for any confusion!
-Vasu "

Ralink had created some Mac drivers in the past for their previous wireless chipsets (RT61, RT2500, RT2571W, RT2671). Hopefully they will eventually post Mac drivers for 802.11n adapters. (I wrote them to ask about this but their USA sales/marketing email address bounced back... calling the Cupertino CA office got voicemail - but see later news item above, they may have mac drivers for their 802.11n adapters in Feb.)
I also wonder if card vendors will frequently change chipsets over time as has happened all too often with wireless cards in the past - sometimes even the same model number has a "revision" with a different chipset.
If anyone tries using an Atheros based 802.11n adapter (and can extract/install the Apple 802.11n enabler), let me know. (I'd suggest trying to get one from a local brick and mortar store if possible, with a generous return policy.)
It may not be of any use, but as a FYI several years ago I had problems getting a Broadcom chip based Microsoft brand 802.11g card to work with Airport 3.x but unlike some other cards, I had to edit the Airport2 (airport extreme) driver plist for that card's ID. I returned the card however and bought one that worked PNP, as every Airport driver update would have broken the edit. The 802.11n driver/frameworks may be totally different but just a FYI on card IDs.

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Apple Airport Extreme 802.11n Base Shipments moved up 2 weeks
(Update - In Friday's news a reader from Australia wrote he received his order already, 3 weeks earlier than the estimated date.)

"Mike, Just a heads up, I received email that my pre-order (on MSWF announcement day) for the new Airport Extreme (802.11n) router is going to ship sooner than expected.
-Ed S.

To Our Valued Apple Customer:
Apple today began shipping our new AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n). We are delighted to tell you that we plan to ship your AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11n) two weeks earlier than we had anticipated. We now plan to ship your product on or before Wednesday, February 14. No action on your part is required..."

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Techtool 4.x Feedback page updated
The old page with TechTool Pro 4.x user reports has been updated with comments from a frustrated user that said a 'routine TechTool session' (v4.5) caused problems with a PowerBook G4's drive. (BTW - another TTPro 4 user wrote today that he had a similar problem. He ran it from a G5 dual/10.4.8 on his ext. Lacie drive. Volume had to be repaired by another utility.)
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Recent Articles and Reviews
Listing/links to recent articles and reviews you may have missed.
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