Apple's latest Power Macintosh G3 systems are marvels of engineering, offering blazing speed, fast USB and FireWire interfaces, Rage 128-accelerated graphics, and an exquisitely friendly case design. Alas, Apple left out an internal modem, and because the blue-and-white G3s don't have serial ports, you can't use an existing RS-232 serial modem. Boca Research has jumped into the gap with the Global Village TelePort 56K Internal Modem, which plugs into the new G3s' internal communications slot rather than taking up a precious PCI slot. And it supports the latest V.90 56K standard, making it compatible with virtually all 56-Kbps Internet servicesincluding the older K56flex and x2 standards.
Installation is easy, especially given the G3's convenient fold-down door. You plug in the card and a ribbon cable, close up the G3, and reboot to install the software (which includes Global Village's excellent GlobalFax 2.6.6). An installation wizard then helps you configure the modem's options.
The TelePort 56K operates like all the other modems in Boca's Global Village line (except that, unlike the external modems, it doesn't have a second phone port for a telephone or fax machine and doesn't support automatic voice/fax switching). A control panel lets you set various configuration options, including port speed and data compression, while the GlobalFax application gives you access to send and receive settings as well as to in- and out-box queues. When the modem is operating, a menu bar displays throughput and gives you quick access to connect and disconnect controls.
GlobalFax lets you send faxes from within any application by holding down the option key when printing. An address-book utility pops up to let you address your fax, compose a cover page, and select fax quality options. GlobalFax can receive faxes, too; it includes a fax browser for viewing and printing received fax pages. This version of GlobalFax supports drag-and-drop fax transmission but lacks the OCR option some earlier versions of GlobalFax included.
Because the modem uses the G3's internal communications slot rather than an RS-232 serial port, it can use data compression to operate at throughputs of 230 Kbps, compared with 112 Kbps for serial-port-attached modems. The modem tested well with a variety of ISPs, connecting easily to V.90, K56flex, and x2 providers.
Macworld's Buying Advice
If you've got one of the new G3s and need a modem, you can either buy a new USB-compatible external modem or go with Boca's less expensive, less cumbersome internal one (the only internal modem available at press time). The only thing you'll miss with the TelePort is voice/fax switching.
RATING: PROS: Easy installation; excellent fax software; inexpensive. CONS: No voice/fax switching; fax software lacks OCR component. COMPANY: Boca Research (800/336-2009, http://www.globalvillage.com ). LIST PRICE: $159.
July 1999 page: 56