Since no one else has had a crack at your question I will give it a go.
First off, I'm fairly certain you can't connect an external drive to the Thompson Speed Touch, although I have to admit I have never even considered it and so have never tried. I do know you can't connect it to the Airport Extreme even though it can support a USB printer share. Is the external drive firewire or USB?
I suggest you connect the drive to one of your machines and make it available to the rest of the network by turning on file sharing for it.
This article from the Apple website goes through file sharing.
It's similar to the windows method except you go to system preferences instead of control panel.
I would probably use the Imac as the power management on the powerbooks may put you in a situation where you cannot access the external drive if the laptop it is connected to has shut down.
Best of luck,
Two g4 power books and an imac g5 with isight, all pre-intel, running mac osx 10.3.9 and 10.4 connected by a wireless network on airport extreme which is plugged into to a Thomson Speed Touch 510 - 4.
I am interested in connecting an external hard drive to this wireless network so that the drive is visible to all the network users. There was a post in the networking and wireless forum on a similar topic and advice was given regarding Windows about how to set it up in xp by connecting the drive to a desktop and sharing it over the network. Could someone please tell me how to do the same for Mac osx. Can you plug an external drive into the thomson router?