Connecting a G5 to Ethernet

A friend in another state recently bought a used Mac G5. He’s having trouble connecting it to Ethernet. Now, I’m no expert in such things; but I did ask him:
[ul][li]How are you trying to configure it?[/li]
[li]Who is your ISP?[/li]
[li]What error are you getting?[/ul][/li]
Earlier I sent him this link.

To my queries he replied, ‘It’s not seeing the Ethernet.’

Any ideas?

Ethernet is a networking protocol, not a destination. His computer “not seeing the Ethernet” could be almost anything. Start with the simplest: is the ethernet cable plugged into his computer and what is it plugged into at the other end?

The first thing to ask him is “what color is the dot next to Ethernet” in the Network control pane of System Preferences.
Red = no electrical connection
Yellow = connection OK, no IP address assigned
Green = both of above OK

I, obviously, am a PC.

Seriously? You troubleshoot based on what color the dot is rather than just looking behind the machine?

Red light, cable plugged in.

That’s correct. Since 1984, the concept of checking a cable connection has been obsolete for Mac users, because all Apple products have a special button that, when pressed, summons Steve Jobs to your home to plug everything in for you, fetch you some Starbucks, and then we all drop acid together.

Has he plugged in an ethernet cable or a modem cable? One of my users tried the latter this morning.

I stand by my earlier troubleshooting question: plugged in to what (at the other end)?

Hey, even I can admit that’s a pretty sweet deal.

Then whatever it’s plugged into on the other end is not functioning properly (or if it’s an inactive hub, it’s not connected to anything.)


  1. Identify what it’s plugged into on the other end,

  2. If the other end is a device of some sort, check its power connection,

  3. If the other end is a router or hub, try a different port,

  4. If the other end is a cable or DSL modem, call check all cables then call the ISP’s tech support.

  5. If the other end is a wall jack, call whoever is in charge of the Ethernet network in your location

This is a perfect example of why OS X is so much better than Windows.
Sure, you look behind the Machine - then what? OS X gives you immediate feedback as to the status of you connection. If your cable is plugged in, and the dot is red, you know that your router isn’t working, or your cable has been cut.

Looking at blinkenlights one place is much the same as looking at them anywhere else assuming the software basically works, which is a reasonable assumption given that Apple makes both hardware and software and so controls both sides of that equation.

I have XP. I am looking at the network connections window. I get either a message saying connected or network cable unplugged. Maybe not quite as easy as coded dots but still pretty informative.