Ethernet Cards

Ethernet access is new with the release of the Newton Internet Enabler (NIE) v2.0 in Oct'97. Previously, NIE only allowed SLIP/PPP access via modem. Unfortunately, card choices at the moment are fairly non-existent since Farallon is the only manufacturer to officially release a product so far. No current combo LAN/Modem cards are known to work as yet.

The Farallon card is based on 3com Ethernet technology, and the driver provided by Farallon is specific to their card. However, a hacked version of their driver can be found that will recognize other 3com cards. <soapbox> I personally feel that this is a theft of Farallon work; I appreciate the company's leading-edge commitment to the Newton and have shown my support by purchasing the Farallon product rather than opting for a generic card that relies on their "hijacked" drivers. </soapbox>

For "standby" measurements, "init" is the brief load spike caused when the card is inserted and recognized by the OS, while "idle" is the draw when the card is inserted but inactive. When no sub-label is indicated, "idle" is always assumed. "On" is, of course, when the device is on-line and active.

Ethernet Card Connection Power Consumption
On Standby
Farallon Ethernet PC Card Thinnet, TwistedPair, or
"EtherWave" (TP Hub)
480 mA (Thin)
110 mA (TP)
425 mA (Wave)
40 mA (init)
5 mA (idle)

With all due respect to vendors, any credible user reports╣ on current draw -- BATLOG results▓ preferred -- will override manufacturer-provided specs. The "nominal" ratings usually disclosed tend to be on the atypical low end of the spectrum, so I favor "real world" experiences...

If you have a card to add to the comparison chart, the pertinent data. Only cards that are proven to work in a Newton, please. This data may be relevant to non-Newton users as well, but remember, I am biased: only Newton-ready solutions allowed.

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September 17, 2001