Is your desktop
covered with wires and peripherals? Are you running out of USB and firewire ports?
Are you simply looking for a better way to organize your input devices? Tired of
using up a USB port to read your CompactFlash cards? If you own a G3 or G4 tower,
the Gee Three Sweet Multiport will help you organize your
peripheral inputs, while providing some additional easy-to-access ports to your Mac
system. With the Sweet Multiport installed, you can additional USB and firewire ports
both in front and in the back of your tower, plus a memory card reader built in!
- 2 FireWire ports
- 1 USB port
- 5-in-1 memory card
- IBM Microdrive
- Memory Stick
- Secure Digital
- Additional ports
on PCI card
- 2 FireWire ports
- 2 USB ports
supports only CompactFlash and Microdrive card media
- OS X, 10.1 or later,
OS 9.1 or later
- Empty PCI slot
- G4 "Mirror Drive
- empty 5.25"
front drive bay
- G4 "QuickSilver"
- empty 3.5" front
- G4 "PCI"
or "AGP" system
- empty 3.5" front
- G3 "Blue &
- empty 3.5" front
- Sweet Multiport front
- Sweet Multiport PCI
- Sweet Multiport inter-connect
- Mounting bracket
- Front faceplate
- FireWire and USB
The Sweet Multiport comes with a 6-page installation guide. One page states the requirements
and displays pictures of the contents. The 2nd page provides a 4-step installation
guide for installing the front panel card into it's carrier. This is the card that
gives your Mac additional ports in the front: (2) firewire, (1) USB, and (1) card
reader. Depending upon your Mac model, you will install it in a 5.25" carrier
or a 3.5" carrier. The next 3 pages provide detailed instructions on how to
install the front panel carrier into your specific model Mac. There is one page for
the G4 Mirror Drive Door, one page for the G4 Quicksilver, and one page for the G4
AGP/Digital Audio. The final page is a list of 6 steps for installing the PCI card.
I followed the instructions for installing the Sweet Multiport into a G4 Quicksilver,
and it was a piece of cake. The instructions provided all the information I needed
to perform the installation, so I didn't have to go searching Apple's technical pages
for diagrams of my G4. After installing the front panel into its carrier, it was
just snapping out the front panel faceplate, a few screws to remove the lower drive
bracket, attaching the carrier to the bracket, and re-installing the bracket. Then
it was just one screw to install the PCI card, connect the internal cable, then connect
the USB and firewire patch cables from your built-in ports to the ports on the PCI
card. Note that your PCI card is not a native USB/Firewire card. The USB and Firewire
ports are only activated once they are connected to your built-in ports using the
supplied patch cables.
The one thing that concerned me at first after installation, is that the Sweet Multiport
PCI card does not register with the OS. Under the System Profiler, it still shows
the slot that it is installed in as having nothing in it. This concerned me at first,
but after weeks of stable and reliable access to the Sweet ports, I am no longer
Although the Sweet Multiport product page lists having 2 additional USB ports and
2 additional firewire ports on the PCI card, there are actually 3 of each. However,
one of each must be patched into your built-in ports. That also means that one each
of your built-in ports are used. The actual net gain in ports for the back of your
tower is one USB port and one firewire port. The back of your G4, however, is not
what the Sweet Multiport is all about. Most tower owners don't visit the back of
their tower very often, usually because it is inconvenient. I keep my tower on the
floor, so even without a cabinet, it's a pain to get to. If you keep your tower in
a cabinet, you probably don't even remember what the back looks like.
The real function and the beauty of the Sweet Multiport are the ports added to the
front of your tower. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then take a look at
the picture below of my Sweet-enhanced G4 Quicksilver.
Sweet Multiport installed in G4 Quicksilver
As shown above, the Sweet
Multiport adds a stylish replacement for the faceplate, and sports a USB port on
the left, then a card reader, and two firewire ports on the right. Having ports on
the front of a tower is a major enhancement to the system. My desktop is always messy
(I would have provided a picture, but I'm too embarassed), so trying to find my peripherals,
let alone a port to plug them into, is always a frustration for me. I have a USB
hub, and the items plugged into it are pretty much stationery, always on. There is
the occasional need to plug in a different USB peripheral, such as a card reader
(well, before the multiport gave me a built-in one), microphone, or USB thumb drive.
Now I don't have to unbury my hub and swap out a cable to use the device. For instance,
with a thumb drive, I just quickly and easily plug it into the front of the G4 and
receive instant and painless gratification.
I also have several firewire devices hooked up to my G4, utilizing both built-in
firewire ports. One port runs my external hard drive chain, and the other connects
my firewire scanner. My iSight then uses the firewire port on the last hard drive
of my firewire chain. On a regular basis, I like to hook up my iPod to sync it to
iTunes. Currently I must unplug the iSight to plug in the iPod (again requiring me
to clean up the mess on my desktop somewhat). With the multiport, I just plug it
directly into one of the two available firewire ports. It's so simple, you wonder
why Apple did not design the tower like this! I also need a free firewire port for
the occasional hookup of my Sony digital video camera to download video, and the
multiport again jumps to my rescue. I don't have to worry about the mess on my desktop,
or where to "balance" the camera while I transfer video to my Mac. It sits
on the floor next to the tower. This is a major convenience for me.
Last but not least, the multipart card reader alleviates my need to have an external
USB card reader. My USB card reader is easily buried under my desktop mess, making
it a chore everytime I want to download pictures from my camera. Plus, you have to
hold the card reader in your hand to steady it as you insert the card. With a built-in
card reader, the reader is stabilized, and free of entangled messes. You simply just
plug the card into the reader just like an old floppy drive. This is the icing on
the cake! It is what puts the "Sweet" in Sweet Multiport.
It should be noted that G4 Quicksilver owners, such as myself, only get the Microdrive
and CompactFlash support on the reader due to the space limitations on the drive
bay. Fortunately, for myself, I only use CompactFlash, so I'm set.
The Three Gee Sweet Multiport is an amazing example of technological simplicity;
that is, it uses technology to make my life much simpler. After following the relatively
simple installation instructions, I ended up with a nicely arranged and easy to access
set of ports in the front of my G4 tower that include USB, firewire and a card reader.
It is much easier to access these front ports than it is to get behind the tower,
or trying to fuss with the mess on my desktop finding available ports on my USB hub
or firewire hard drive chain. It makes hooking up occasional devices, such as USB
thumb drives, iPods and digital video cameras so much more convenient. The built-in
card reader allows me to insert CompactFlash cards without having to look for my
external USB card reader, plus the reader is stabilized so insertion is much easier.
The card reader supports CompactFlash,
IBM Microdrive, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, and MultiMediaCard on most G4 towers, but if you have a G4 Quicksilver,
the smaller drive bay restricts the reader to supporting only CompactFlash and Microdrive
(I only use CompactFlash). Put quite simply, the Sweet Multiport is an amazing and
affordable gem that has extended the functionality of my G4 to a noticeable degree,
and is one of the smartest additions I have ever added to my G4 Quicksilver. If you
own a G4 tower, this is a must have.
- Easy access USB, firewire
and card reader ports
- Built-in card reader
means stabilized card insertion
- Eliminates the need to
clean up messy desktops everytime I hook up devices
- Easy to follow installation
- Incredibly affordable
- Would be nice if PCI
card provided USB and firewire ports without the need for the patch cables
- PCI card does not register
under System Profiler
- Easier port locations
means that I may lose some incentive for cleaning my desktop *grin*
5 out of 5 Mice