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Networking (Apple)

abb3w's Journal: Apple USB Modem (Motorola SM56 based) driver

Journal by abb3w

So, a number of people on the World Wide Web seem to be in a quiet quest for a Windows driver for Apple's USB Modem. Possibly because it's a cute little modem, possibly just because it's there. As someone who keeps a toolbox of gizmos handy for techrepair, it would be nice to have one POTS modem that worked with either any PC or Mac.

Now, Motorola seems to make a "universal" driver available for their PCI/Serial/AMR modems of this flavor: Windows_SM56_6.12.07_DFV. I don't know if it works or not with the Apple variant; I don't have the requisite hardware for testing handy. (I may update this when I do... or not.)

Alternatively, one can beat the Windows XP driver out of Apple the hard way. To wit, download Bootcamp 1.1.2, which in theory binds you to this license and says you can "use the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer for evaluation purposes only". I am NOT a lawyer, but I feel that selling the modem and providing the driver to use it under Windows only if you use a Macintosh would constitute an unlawful instance of "tying" under Anti-trust law; since I only want my damn modem driver, I plan to ignore that, and I hope Apple's lawyers go fsck their hard disks.

Any OS X computer can open the BootCamp1.1.2.dmg disk image; inside, you will find the "Install Boot Camp Assistant.mpkg"; inside that package's Contents/Resources folder, you will find the BootCampAssistant.pkg; and in the Contents folder of that, a gzipped pax archive named (in the traditional imaginative computer geek fashion) "Archive.pax.gz". Using the command line "gunzip" and "pax" tools, one may beat out from the contained "Applications/Utilities" folder the "Boot Camp Assistant.app". Inside of that Application's "Contents/Resources" folder one finds the "DiskImage.dmg", which the assistant (if run) burns to CD. That CD (or the disk image itself) has a couple programs, one of which is "Install Macintosh Drivers for Windows XP.exe".

With that, you can head over to a Windows box. Running that program will (at least briefly) create "Macintosh Drivers for Windows XP.msi", probably in somewhere like %HOMEPATH%\"Local Settings\Temp\_is6E\" or something. I'd recommend renaming the file to something shorter, just to make life easier. Next, you can extract from this .msi file (using something like Qwerty-MSI, if the evidently more popular Less MSIérables remains unavailable) the actual "Modem Driver" folder (somewhere like "SourceDir\program files\Macintosh Drivers for Windows XP 1.1.2" holds it). Voila — a drivers install... for XP only. Cosmetic examination suggests it's at least passing similar to the generic Motorola driver, but there's at least some minor differences, possibly because it's USB.

So, you can download the driver... buried within an MSI file, in an executable installer, in a disk image, in a subfolder of an .APP package, in a Gzipped Pax Archive, in a subfolder of a package, in a subfolder of a makepackage, in another disk image. Insert obvious "the bottom of a locked filing cabinet, in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the leopard'" jokes here.

I wonder if the driver works worth a damn....

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Apple USB Modem (Motorola SM56 based) driver

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