Thursday, September 09, 2004

We have wireless . . . and wired . . . connection!

It works! After almost two days of getting caught up doing other things and of trying to wait until there was someone around to help big pregnant ol' me to move desks and reach buried outlets/surge strips, I finally did it. Broke down and decided to just take care of creating the wireless network all by myself. And it turns out, it was stupidly easy, though I will need help rearranging power cords this evening.

Here's what I did:

Opened up the AirPort Express box. Glanced at installation materials. Noted that it said the AirPort Express could connect to an existing ethernet network. To be safe, and avoid any confusion, turned off the wireless signal being broadcast from the old Netgear router. Ran an ethernet connection between the Netgear router and the AirPort Express, then plugged the AirPort into a wall outlet. Powered up the 14" iBook, the one that didn't play nice with the Netgear wireless connection, and clicked on the AirPort icon, which dropped down and displayed . . . an apple network! To which the machine connected with not a single problem! So - the (newer) PC is connected to the internet via ethernet using the Netgear router. The 14" iBook, using the AirPort Extreme (802.11g) card, is connected wirelessly via the Express. The 12" iBook, running OS 9.1 and using an old AirPort 802.11b card, also connects with not a single problem. And the really happy bit? The signal is strong throughout the house, including in the far corner of the housemate's room, where her iMac will be stationed, with its very own AirPort card.

Now all I have to do is figure out what the heck I want to do about wireless printing. Wonder if I connected the printer to the AirPort Express, would there be an easy way to print from the desktop (no wireless connection, no direct connection to the AirPort Express)? That's my only concern. But I might leave that for further adventures in networking.

And for anyone doing a bit of math - yes, this is a house with three adults and an infant on the way. And we have five computers (2 Mac laptops, one iMac, the WinXP desktop, and the crappy old Gateway WinME machine, which isn't even plugged in at the moment, but at some point will be undergoing some upgrading, tinkering, etc.). And two wireless access points. And I think three printers. Kinda silly. Kinda sad.

All we need is fax and scanning capabilities, though right now the latter is more desireable than the former. A half-decent scanner is definitely on my wish list.

- posted by laurie @ 9/09/2004 10:48:00 AM
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