Saturday, July 24, 2004

I'm dreaming of a wireless network . . .

We move on August 8. When we consolidate things with the new roomie, we will have a grand total of two laptops and three desktop systems in the house. Both laptops are flavors of Mac's iBook (ine running OS 9 and the other OS X Panther), and all three desktops run Windows (XP and ME, that I know about). We bring two USB printers into the mix, one B&W laser and one color inkjet, and I'm sure at least one more printer of some sort will be moving in with the housemate. A wireless network isn't an option here, folks: it's a necessity. So is getting the network up-and-running as quickly as possible, because at least two out of the three of us are in need of the always-on connection to the Internet.

I've been pondering solutions to this problem for a bit, now. I have a Netgear 802.11b wireless/ethernet router that works well enough in our current place, but for some reason our most recent acquisition, an iBook with an Extreme 802.11g card (the one we picked out for my Dad as his first computer and tried to teach him to use over Christmas - he ended up getting a Windows laptop a few months ago and donated the iBook to us - long story) will not join my wireless network - though it will hop on a neighbor's open, linksys-driven network just fine. So, I'm thinking that, after one more round of trying to retool the existing network, I might scrap the Netgear router and try something different.

What I'm thinking of trying is some version of an AirPort network. I am very intrigued by the AirPort Express option. Ars Technica has a good review of this new bit of Apple gadgetry, which is wonderul, because the Apple product page just did not answer all of my questions, nor did I get any answers to any questions when I went to the Apple store in the Mall of America the other day: I basically spent twenty minutes in there, trying desperately to get anyone's attention and failing miserably. I have to say, 90% of the times I've been in there, I have had terrible experiences. But I digress . . . unfortunately for the "get it set up and set up quickly" aspect, a NYTimes review says Apple is reporting 80,000 pre-orders and a three-week wait for the product in its stores. Perhaps we'll have to rely on the Netgear router just a little bit longer.

- posted by laurie @ 7/24/2004 11:35:00 AM
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