I just thought that this would be helpful for anyone with a similar problem:
My unit is a 1.5 GHz Powerbook G4 15".
Earlier this morning, I noticed my Airport screwing up. Initially, it just wasn't picking up any signal from our router, so after trying to log on to the router, and finding no means to connect, I knew it had to be my Airport card
with the problem. So after a restart
I was shocked to see NO AIRPORT ICON ON MY MENU BAR!
(Bigger problem! Danger! Egad!)
So my first instinct was to check the airport card itself was securely in place. So;
1.) I popped the battery out using a coin on the slit...
2.) flipped open the Airport card lid...
3.) slid out the thin plastic protective film...
4.) removed the rope-clamp-thingy
5.) and removed the Airport, and "reseated" it.
6.) put everything back the way it was, and booted my mac
Still no detection after this. So I brought it to an Apple technician, who, after half a day, isolated the problem as "an intermittent Airport card." I asked if it was fixable, and he said probably not. A brand new Airport card would run me around P8,500. So I had to bring my baby home, with no WiFi, and start thinking about getting the funds for that.
But, using my ethernet port, I searched online and found this little thread
(since philmug didn't quite have a thread relevant to my problem).
So after reading it, and thinking back on my ATARI/Family Computer days, I knew I had to give it one last try to see if perhaps the contacts needed some regular cleaning, and if the card simply wasn't "seated" securely.
So I did everything again, up until step 5, where I got a Q-tip and VERY
little alcohol, and swiped the contacts with the wet side, and dried it with the dry side of the cotton swab. Then, when I "reseated" the card, I made sure to push it in hard (using every bit of my retro gaming experience with faulty cartridges). After clamping it down again, and closing the lid, I took a deep breath, and booted up my mac...
And, as this post proves, it worked.
Of course, I still have to observe the unit to see if it doesn't falter again. The technician did say intermittent, so the card could still "disappear" again.
But I thought to post this, so others could potentially save themselves some replacement costs, by simply "reseating" a card.
Thank you Nintendo.