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<added>Note: You'll need a Airport card in your laptop if you don't already have one. Check System Profiler.</added>
will this get around compatibility problems between my adsl modem and the G4?
I find each computer occasionally can't find the other one though. The keychain in OS X is a mystery to me as it doesn't seem to help the situation - I get asked for network passwords a lot of the time.
(This is how I set up my cross-platform home LAN. It was pretty easy and very convenient, but not the cheapest way.)
I've got an XP Box with PCI ADSL modem happily sharing its connection with a Powerbook and Airport Extreme card using a Netgear MA101.
It's not got the best range (shop around for something a bit more quality if you need to) but its a *lot* cheaper than an Airport or ADSL Router etc etc.