Ask Max: Old Power PC Networking
I've got an older Power PC 8100/80, which is pre USB. It's connected to my cable modem via Ethernet. I'm thinking of getting a laptop and Airport base station. I would like to network the 2 computers so they can share files and have them both access the cable modem. Since I'm not familiar with Airport I need to understand what all I need to accomplish this and how to put it together.
You have a few options and really any wireless router with a built in switch would work for you. However, for ease of use and set up, Apple equipment is the best. I would recommend the AirPort Base Station with a modem, as opposed to the Express. The benefit of the AirPort Base Station over the AirPort Express is its ability to have wired and wireless connections. It will have one broadband port and one standard Ethernet port which allows the Base Station to sit in between the cable modem and your PowerMac 8100. With just a few configuration changes to the Base Station, you will be connected wirelessly to the network as well. The one item of caution is that the new laptop will need to run Mac OS X in order to configure the Base Station. This Apple option is going to be more expensive than others but the Apple AirPort Admin Utility is the best I have ever seen.