Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Apple Businesses Hardware

Seeking Drivers for Unknown Apple Ethernet Card? 102

rbanffy asks: "Does anybody know what this card is? I am resurrecting an old Macintosh LC II and would like to attach it to a network. The card was inside it, but the hard disk had no drivers. It is an LC-PDS Ethernet card with RJ-45 and BNC connectors. The important parts seem to be a SMC 91c92 chip and an EPROM (haven't seen one in years) labeled 'LC ROM 44F0'. Could one of you can identify this critter and point me to the correct drivers?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Seeking Drivers for Unknown Apple Ethernet Card?

Comments Filter:
  • Slow news day? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hool5400 ( 257022 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @02:31AM (#7900676)
    News for nerd. Obscure stuff that matters to one person.
    • Re:Slow news day? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tres ( 151637 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @07:16AM (#7901670) Homepage
      Sorry, but this isn't the 6:00 news, it isn't even a "news" site. Methinks maybe you put too much weight upon the funny slogan. There's no news published here; it's a discussion space. Topics are regularly provided by the "editors" for people read and dicuss, but that should not be mistaken for something which it is not.

      Slashdot is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. If you don't like "Ask Slashdot" my suggestion is that you turn it off.

      • Re:Slow news day? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hool5400 ( 257022 )
        There's not really a lot in this article to "read or discuss" now is there?

        And that's the point. Discussing drivers for a 10 y.o. ethernet card, for a 10y.o computer, is not interesting. Nobody cares. Nobody gains anything from the answer to the submitters's question.

        Ask slashdot should not become a friggin help desk for every monkey that comes along.
        • Okay, that does it. Hand over your Geek Card. We're revoking it. Here's your tie. Have a nice day.
        • You know, there's a really popular Mac website called Low End Mac. The old saw about Macs lasting forever really is true, those old SCSI hard drives keep chugging, and the build quality on those old machines gets them deployed in some surprising places. Add the typical Mac-nuttery you see in hobbyist fanboys and you've got a good reason to talk about poking around with old gear.

          "Nobody cares. Nobody gains anything from the answer to the submitters's question."

          The methods suggested for obtaining an answer
    • The answers may be useful if they're not simply "Oh, it's an ACME Etherquik 2000, you can get a driver here []."

      I've been in the situation of having to hunt for drivers for not-even-particularly-obscure hardware items on Google, etc, and any replies that explain how the driver was found are going to be useful to me. Getting drivers for obscure hardware is an art, not a science.

  • Mac Driver Museum (Score:5, Informative)

    by a.koepke ( 688359 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @02:47AM (#7900763)
    You should check out the Mac Driver Museum []. If they don't have the right one on their site already there is the MacDrivers Yahoo Group where you can ask.
  • by LordOfYourPants ( 145342 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @02:47AM (#7900765)
    "I have this song stuck in my head where the girl sings about things she can't get out of her head. Here's the .wav file of me humming it. What is it?"

    "Ever see that movie where the guy gets the axe at the end and it takes place in the forest or something? I saw it when I was 7. What is it?"

    "Anyone ever been on this roller coaster (I think it was in Ohio) where you do 3 loops and go into a mountain shaped like a dragon? What is it?"

    "I saw this music video on TV.. everything was made out of cardboard and the girl was singing something about a "point of view." It was really good. What is it?"

    "Ever play this game where you're this taxi and you have to pick up people and drop them off? They say "Pad 1 please!" and you have to drop them off at pad 1 while being careful not to land too hard. What is it?"

    "I saw this picture of a bunch of red sand and rocks and it was like 10 megapixels big. What is that?"

    "I saw this guy driving down the highway with a bunch of blue lights coming out of the bottom of his car. What are those?"
    • A particularly cool thing about the internet is the fact that you really CAN get answers to such vaguely once questions. I once found the title and publisher of an out-of-publication 1980's russian cartoon simply asking around on newsgroups using only a vague secondhand description of one scene in the movie given to me by a friend who had only seen it once when she was like six years old. Withing 24 hours of asking, three different strangers had identified the movie and provided the information I needed to
    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @03:23AM (#7900930) Journal
      Actually, I'd say that those are mostly more sensible than this one.

      The submitter committed a number of grievious violations of netiquette.

      * The submitter already knows part numbers. This is a Google problem. He should have already looked these up and need no help with these.

      * If the submitter is unable to find part numbers, software procedures should have been tried. I'm not sure (never owned an LC-era machine) but if I wanted to know what a strange PCI card was, I'd pop it in my x86 Linux box and check /proc/pci for any information. There's probably some kind of equivalent for the LC.

      * A picture is unlikely to help. Asking people to tear up their LCs for similar-looking cards is ridiculous.

      * This question should, if the submitter could obtain *no* information at all themselves, then have gone to a classic Mac specific tech forum. Apple-based, one of the Usenet groups, IRC. All three should have been tried.

      * In general, old hardware identification is a pretty drudge task. It's not something you ask other people to do. It's time-consuming, not particularly interesting, and a waste of time, since it's not going to be useful to other people. The kind of tech questions you want to ask (and gurus want to answer) are those that will help others as well. If you can't fix this yourself, instead of asking a quarter-million people to spend hours of skilled time solving your problem, buy a bloody used Ethernet card. I don't care who you are, you can afford it. People throw these things out.

      The degeneration of Ask Slashdot is wildly frusterating to me. Ask Slashdot really is a useful feature, but it's incredibly abused. On the up side, it allows people to ask questions that require more feedback than just a poll. For example, "What is your favorite set of Google tricks?" or "What security procedures do you use for SSH key distribution?" Here we have something that will be useful and interesting to many techies, but will not be available on the Web. Furthermore, any of these are likely to produce futher conversation. This differs wildly from stories like the current one, which are of no use to anyoen but the submitter.

      The other way Ask Slashdot is frequently abused is to post stories that are too uninteresting or biased to be accepted in the regular categories. Frequently, these take the form of "blah blah blah How do you feel about this? What suggestions do you have for SCO/Microsoft/etc?" This is simply not an appropriate forum for stories like this. If they aren't interesting enough for the proper categories, they aren't interesting enough to be on Slashdot.

      The editors are also at fault for allowing so many poor Ask Slashdots to slip by.
      • Unfortunately, it's not a PCI card, it's a custom Apple job.
        • Right, which is why I said that there's probably some equivalent for the PDS slot. There isn't always for legacy ISA, but those ISA cards required manual configuration. Mac hardware is pretty much always autodetected, and hence probably has to have some way to spit back an identifier to the machine.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            /proc/nubus, but the info given isn't that great.

            Additionally, since this is an m68k box, it's highly unlikely he has a spare one running Linux kicking around. Installing Linux onto an m68k box isn't fun, I speak from experience, and given that the LC II is a '030 and he obviously doesn't have the 68882 FPU, it's highly unlikely that trying is even worth the effort.
      • If the submitter is unable to find part numbers, software procedures should have been tried. I'm not sure (never owned an LC-era machine) but if I wanted to know what a strange PCI card was, I'd pop it in my x86 Linux box and check /proc/pci for any information. There's probably some kind of equivalent for the LC.

        No, it's a PDS card. PDS stands for Processor Direct Slot. Never seen one of them in an x86 box!

        I bought one of these same cards for my LC III back in the day, but that was a few machines ago. I
      • I click on the "Ask Slashdot"s that I think might interest me and ignore the other ones. No one forces me to open the ones about which I don't care. I'm sorry to hear that the little green or gray men are holding a gun to your head and forcing you to waste your precious time on topics in which you have no interest.
        • by fm6 ( 162816 )
          I suppose you also just ignore spam too. Congratulations on achieving online nirvana. Unfortunately, most of us are less englightened, and have to waste actual time when we are forced to deal with this sort of thing.

          Oops, I'm fresh out of irony. Going to flame mode.

          Everyone who uses Slashdot is into online discussion. And why not? You learn stuff, you meet people, you exercise the brain cells defending your point of view. So resources that facilitate online discussion -- web communities like Slashdot, W

          • Re:Noise (Score:4, Insightful)

            by unitron ( 5733 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @09:28PM (#7909101) Homepage Journal
            "I suppose you also just ignore spam too."

            I can usually tell by the subject line that it is spam and I just delete it.

            I could tell from "Seeking Drivers for Unknown Apple Ethernet Card?" that this particular "Ask Slashdot" was probably about somebody with an old Apple ethernet card. The only Apple hardware I've got is an old IIe with no software but I still thought I might learn something from the replies, and I did.

            Unfortunately part of what I learned (or re-learned, 'cause it seems every "Ask Slashdot" includes people complaining about the topic) is that a lot of people seem to have enough spare time that they can spare some to go into a thread in which they have no interest and complain about the topic.

            I don't have time to read each and every last word posted to Slashdot in all the different categories so I generally only read the stuff in which I'm interested and leave the rest for those who care about that. If an "Ask Slashdot" about where to find great rap and hip-hop MP3s showed up in the list I probably wouldn't bother to click on the link, but if someone else gets some benefit out of it then good for them. I certainly wouldn't go into the thread just to post a bitch about the fact of its existence. I don't understand why that's such a difficult concept for others to grasp, and I really don't understand why there are so many people going through their lives desperately worried that someone, somewhere, is thinking about submitting an "Ask Slashdot" to which they might have found the answer elsewhere. Are there other, much more fascinating "Ask Slashdot" submissions going ignored by the editors in favor of the ones which are accepted?

            • is that a lot of people seem to have enough spare time that they can spare some to go into a thread in which they have no interest and complain about the topic.

              This is not an issue where the topic is simply not of interest to me. It's where answers are unlikely to help other people. A topic of "What would you do to identify unknown cards?" might have produced similar information, but been much more useful.

              Now, you can play the "just ignore what you don't want" card, but you're oversimplifying things.
      • The degeneration of Ask Slashdot is wildly frusterating to me

        Well, at least the long tradition of bad speling lives on to this day.
      • sarcasm0{ How is he suppose to search google for part numbers. He doesn't have any drivers for the network card to connect to the net! }
      • This guy was on an e-mail list that I was on (one of the ones at and he got basically the same answer. I can't believe that he'd actually post it to Slashdot, though.
    • by kyz ( 225372 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @04:53AM (#7901258) Homepage
      1. Can't Get You Outta My Head
      2. Evil Dead
      3. Iron Dragon
      4. Point of View
      5. Space Taxi
      6. Mars
      7. Under-car neon lights

      • Next.

        Okay, how about this one. When I was in fourth grade or so, I read a book about this guy (a king maybe?) who had a magic sword that attracted strands of magic, that he could then pull on to make stuff happen. That's as much as I remember from the story, except that I have the impression that the guy was rather annoyed at having to drag this magic sword around all the time and the strands would sometimes get in his way. What's the title?
    • No, even better:

      "I saw a picture of this guy [] who claims to be preseident of Apple. I'm pretty sure that it's the author Salman Rushdie. Can anyone help me prove it?"

      Hmm, it's even on-topic! :o)
    • "I have this song stuck in my head where the girl sings about things she can't get out of her head. Here's the .wav file of me humming it. What is it?"

      Shockingly enough, CBC Radio, on the now defunct show "Basic Black", had an hour long segment, every week, that did exactly that. It was HUGE. People would call in with the more horribly rendered tunes and they'd identify them. People loved it.

      The /. editors would never start it becuase they'd be unable to stop.

      Though they never did a Kylie song...

      • A local soul/dance radio station (Power Hit Radio, 106.3 MHz FM in Stockholm, Sweden) has a segment in its weekday morning show where one of the hosts "gurgles" a tune. You know, as if he's brushing his teeth and decides to "sing" with his mouth full of foaming toothpaste. It's... not very hilarious. Luckily, my morning routine places me in the bathroom when that happens, so all I get to hear is the callers who try to guess the song, which is far more tolerable. :)
  • FCC ID (Score:5, Informative)

    by NukeIear ( 307760 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @02:48AM (#7900773) Homepage
    Use the FCC ID, on the conveniently not pictured side of the card and look it up on net. The FCC keeps a handy lookup database online, just for you.
  • Is this it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gleng ( 537516 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @03:10AM (#7900882)

    I found this on []

    The readme file for this driver is here [].

    To quote:

    "Apple Ethernet LC driver file version 1.0.1 This driver file contains drivers for all Apple LC PDS ethernet cards and is installed in the extensions folder."

    That was, like, two minutes work on Google. What gives?

    • Re:Is this it? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cookd ( 72933 )
      See, it is people like you who make "Ask Slashdot" suck. The guy asks a lame question, and (assuming your answer is correct), he immediately gets a great answer. This kind of positive reinforcement is only going to result in even more lame postings.

      As long as people can ask lame questions and get decent answers, they're just going to continue asking them.
      • by Gleng ( 537516 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @05:21AM (#7901366)
        See, it is people like you who make "Ask Slashdot" suck. The guy asks a lame question, and (assuming your answer is correct), he immediately gets a great answer. This kind of positive reinforcement is only going to result in even more lame postings.

        I whole heartedly apologise for ruining your coffee break, and quite possibly, your entire month.

      • Insightful? Heck no. This was supposed to come across as sarcasm. (It isn't quite "Funny" either, but that isn't a big deal since I'm not trolling for Mod points). Sheesh, moderators these days!
    • Apple's Network Card drivers are designed to work with Apple branded network cards and many other similar cards (many Sonic and Asante cards). I would install these drivers as a starting point, then if they don't work try some investigating ( reading down in the comments, the card in question appears to be a Focus Etherlan II, which look familar to me as one that you can use the Apple drivers on. )

      • Re:Is this it? (Score:1, Flamebait)

        Yup, In ye olden days, almost every 3rd party Mac Ethernet card was "register compatible" with the Apple-branded hardware.

        That means 99.9% of the time, the driver you need is bundled with MacOS.
    • yeah.... type in "LC-PDS Apple Driver" and it's the 8th result that appears.
    • Except, we don't know what for OS he wants a driver. Since he's asking, I'd like to assume that he means something not MacOS, as the drivers for this card for classic MacOS are easy to find. But this is an Ask Slashdot, so it's not likely. Since he didn't specify the OS, this Ask Slashdot is even more worthless than the usual one- MacOS, NetBSD, Linux, what?
  • by Myself ( 57572 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2004 @03:15AM (#7900893) Journal
    The SMC91C92 controller chip is fairly common, and googling for it found several references to cards based on it. Does "Focus EtherLAN II" mean anything to you? Take a look at this post from 1996 [] as a starting point.

    The datasheet for the SMC91cXXX family is here [] in case that helps at all.

    P.S. I've never opened up a Mac. :)

    P.P.S. Unless gravitationally-induced acceleration counts.
  • The driver of this mac [] is pretty old
  • short answer []

    longer answer

    get the fcc id , it's probably on the other side of the card
    enter "fcc" and the id in google.
    now you know who made the card, and maybe what it's called.
    go back to google and enter the name of the card , and something like "driver"

    I'll guess it's a Focus Etherlan II, and that there are drivers for it here []

    Now I'll go back to solving my own problems
  • by CliffH ( 64518 )
    I think that is an important part of the piece you have left out. I've found a TON of links for BSD and Linux drivers on Mac for the thing but if you want original Mac drivers you are probably better off asking on Usenet, a Mac forum, or IRC and see what you can find out. CliffH
    • Just to add that I have emailed the person with a possible set of drivers. Only time and testing will tell on the person's part. If I'm correct, the answer was here:

      If I'm wrong, it wasn't and I wasn't on the right track. From the 5 minutes of searching I've done I found it is probably an Asante MacCon CS or similar going by the chipset name. If the party wants to run Linux or BSD on it they probably won't have too many problems doing so (as drivers seem to have

    • Almost sounds like an Asante FriendlyNet PDS card... had several in the LC3's in high school. Never worked very well, but the origin of the cards was somewhat dubious to begin with.
  • If I can remember correctly if the card is manufactured by Apple you'll only need the Ethernet drivers that come with the MacOS install.
    • You mean System ABC install, right? ;-) FYI the LC II shipped with System 7.0 and was followed almost instantly by 7.0.1 which was a show-stopping bug fix (minor little thing like disappearing files!). The LC shipped with varying versions of System 6. The LC III shipped with 7.1. The 7.1 series lasted quite some time with no update. The 601 PPCs made their debute with 6100/60, 7100/66, and 8100/80 (delayed) on March 14, 1994 (a day for all to remember!). Contray to extremely popular belief they didn't
      • Yes, they did come with 7.1.2, but that's because they came out before 7.5. 7.5 runs just fine in 8MB, or 4MB of RAM for that matter. In fact, you can run it on a Mac Plus.
        • True, as long as you don't plan on following the minimum specified requirements. 8MB yes, 4MB no unless you stripped out all the useless fluff features that few ever used, even us diehards. Our PB520 that shipped with 4 wouldn't boot 7.5 until after a rather costly 12MB upgrade. Actually it was a 16MB upgrade because they didn't make a 12MB upgrade at that time, even though only 12MB could be addressed. Ah the good ole days. :-) PPC 601s made their debute in March and 7.5 in June, unless of course you
  • It appears to be an old ethernet card from a Macintosh LC II.
  • hi,

    i know one of the german SMC office's CEOs -- i mailed him the pic and asked him to refer to one of his techs if (s)he knows more. if i get an answer -- you will get mine ;)


  • I used to have a card that looked exactly like that, in an LC II I got from my high school. I have no idea what brand or model it is.

    It worked perfectly with a default System 7.5 install (using the network access disk to boot (Iomega driver bunged in), and then a SCSI Zip drive to install 7.5.3 and the 7.5.5 update), so I assume the drivers are bundled with the System 7.5 software.

    Oh, and it's really, really slow.

    Hope this helps.

  • If you're using MacOS the default Ethernet drivers that comes with it will work fine. If you're planning on using another OS, well, I'm pretty sure *BSD will handle that card. Don't know about Linux.
  • A RTL813X based chip 10/100 PCI eithernet card will run with ease in a LCII, and the drivers for it are readily available online. will have the driver archived for the mac, particulary the OS 7.X version.

    I do believe that will have the reference drivers for the mac as well..

  • The LC II only has one expansion slot, it's called the LC PDS (processor direct slot). Newertech (RIP) released some tools long ago that I still use occasionally to check out the manufacturer info on cards like these. It's called "Slot Info" and although I couldn't actually find a link that worked, at least here's a page listing it: If you need more in-depth 68k Mac info I would recommend the mailing-lists on There are several people on those
    • Also, for everyone else:

      The Mac II series contains exactly 5 different types of expansion slots:

      Nubus, '030 PDS, LC PDS, LCIII PDS, CommSlot.

      None of them are compatible; there is no easy way to denote manufacturer/model unless it is written on the card; and NO, Apple drivers only work with Apple-branded cards.

      So there.
    • Here's a link to slot info that actually works: html
  • Wanted to moderate, had to participate.

    Any EPROM card will work without special drivers, as long as you have an appropriate system installed. 6.0.8 and up, I believe.

    Your LC II can only run from System 7.0.1 to 7.5.5, and those have been made available for free download on Apple's site, at their Older Software Downloads page. [] Heh, there's even Windows software there! Most EPROM-labeled stuff carries somewhat of a rule of thumb with it.. either it works with the default OS install or it's dead. They were
  • Seeking Drivers for Unknown Apple Ethernet Card

    I've sent a similar request to various automotive forums. Has anyone ever driven a Ford Lately?
  • Do a google search, they know it all!
  • That looks like a third-party clone of the Asante PDS slot ethernet card. I think there were Apple drivers for it. We had a card that looked just like that, and it worked great once the drivers were installed.

    Oh, and about the FCC ID: I have _never_ found any information about a piece of hardware using the FCC ID. Honest.

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.