Stick THIS In Your Port (8/19/03)

So now that the Power Mac G5 is officially shipping (mostly), new information about the production models is starting to pop up here and there. Mostly there. "There," you may have guessed, is Apple's own happy little farm of web servers-- and more specifically, the support servers, which now hold all sorts of just-updated fun stuff about Apple's latest pro desktops. So if you were wondering just what the deal is with the G5's new optical digital audio ports, now you can read all about 'em. Wondering what happens if you yank out that nifty clear airflow baffle and try to run your G5 anyway? Turns out it'll automatically run at a "reduced speed" to prevent the unit from bursting into flames. And then, of course, there's the burning question that's kept Mac fans awake at night ever since the G5 was first unveiled in June: where's the serial number? (Wouldja believe you have to pop the cover to see it? Thank heavens for Apple System Profiler.)

But here's the info we found most interesting of all: apparently in order to use AirPort with one of these monsters, you actually need to connect an external antenna. Same goes for Bluetooth. Gone are the days of antennas for wireless networking being seamlessly integrated into the Mac's chassis; we can only surmise that the G5's aluminum enclosure acts as shielding and makes internal antennas impractical because they'd have a range of about three feet. (Many titanium and aluminum PowerBook owners know all too well what we're talking about, here.)

So, unfortunately, Apple had to run with external AirPort and Bluetooth antennas that plug into special ports on the rear of the machine, which is a decidedly unMaclike sort of thing for the customer to need to worry about. Okay, fine, plugging in an antenna or two isn't exactly rocket science, but once you do, you've got a thing or two hanging out of the back of your otherwise sleek and nifty G5: the Bluetooth antenna is just a little nubby-lookin' thing, which might be all right, but the AirPort one is a big T-shaped wedge, and it's going to look about as elegant as all those 802.11 PC cards with the built-in antennas you see jutting out of Wintel laptops all the time. Geez. We haven't seen one up close and personal yet, but we get the uneasy feeling that sticking an AirPort antenna onto the back of a G5 is the style equivalent of wearing a $10,000 exquisitely tailored Armani suit and then accessorizing with one of those giant foam cowboy hats and stuffing your pockets full of as many bricks as you can jam in there and doing the chicken dance in traffic.

Okay, we're not sure what that means, either. But it's a hell of a mental picture.

So, possibly ugly and obtrusive plug-in antennas. Still, that's the price we pay for progress, we suppose. And on the bright side, geeky Wintel IT people will probably eat this kind of thing right up (the more complex, unintegrated, and kludgy-looking the better), thus removing one more barrier from the Mac's invasion of enterprise computing. And look at it this way: an external antenna is probably still going to look nicer than another freakin' cable snaking out of the rear of your nice new G5...

SceneLink (4152)
And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors

From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 8/19/03 episode:

August 19, 2003: There's still more corroboration for the "New PowerBooks This Week" theory-- and hints of another new product of an unspecified nature. Meanwhile, IBM fires a few hundred people from its chipmaking business (is it a curse of some sort?), and the new Power Mac G5 requires external antennas to use AirPort or Bluetooth...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4150: PowerBooks And... What? (8/19/03)   You say you're just about convinced that this is finally going to be the week that we'll see new PowerBooks, and that even one teensy sliver more of evidence will land you squarely in the camp of the believers?...

  • 4151: Someone Book An Exorcist (8/19/03)   Spooooky! A month ago, back when the pundits were kicking around the fact that IBM's new (at the time soon-to-be-) G5-producing East Fishkill plant had already lost $110 million last quarter, we mulled the possibility of a PowerPC curse that brought misfortune and ruin to any company who dared design and produce chips for high-end Macs...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(1188 votes)

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2023 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).