Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades Discuss Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades.

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quasarTim quasarTim is offline
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Default external USB WiFi? - 06-24-2009, 09:39 PM

I'm having no luck getting the internal WiFi card to work reliably on my dell mini 9 OS X (details here: Wifi drops dead after a few minutes).

This has left me wondering whether I should skip the hassle and go for an external usb dongle for WiFi such as this one which at least claims to come with mac drivers: PLANEX 2.4GHz IEEE802.11g 54Mbps Wireless LAN USB Adapter GW-US54GXS designed in Japan: Electronics

Here's a list of possible pros/cons I want to think through. Any comments are welcome (stop me before I do something stupid):

* If it works 'out of the box', then I finally have working WiFi.
* I could remove my existing WiFi card, which may help significantly with heat generation?

* Slower? (Anybody tried this and have performance numbers?)
* Uglier: extra dongle, and presumably have an extra application running at all times in the dock / not actually integrated with Apple's Airport options.
* Unnecessary waste of money (granted it's less that $20).
* Higher power consumption likely?

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zinite zinite is offline
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Default 06-25-2009, 02:06 PM

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somms somms is offline
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Default 06-25-2009, 03:27 PM

Ralink Technology: Macintosh

FWIW: OSX drivers for this tiny USB adapter can be found at Ralink site!

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quasarTim quasarTim is offline
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Default 06-26-2009, 11:52 PM

Update: I went ahead and bought the Planex dongle I mentioned in my initial post (around $15 on Amazon) since I didn't want to spend to much, and don't plan on using N for a while.

Mostly it's worked like a charm. I now have working WiFi which is nice (still trying to figure out why the built-in card won't work for me).

The only unexpected drawback (besides those mentioned in my initial post):
When entering 'media mode' (for instance when I run FrontRow) the OS shuts down usb devices, so I lose by network connection, which means no more watching movie previews in FrontRow, for instance -- (I wonder if iPhone tethering has this problem?)

Other than that, everything has 'worked as advertised' -- even upgraded to OS 10.5.7 over the network using this dongle last night. Keep in mind that you have to control the wireless settings through a third party app that comes with the usb device, and provides a pretty clunky interface, but that's probably par for the course with these devices.
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