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The Rodney O. Lain Archive

I Just Want My AirPort to Work, Dammit!

Rodney O. Lain - 2000.01.17

This article was originally published on The, a site which no longer exists. It is copyright 2000 by RAC Enterprises, which also seems to no longer exist. It is thus reprinted here without permission (which we would gladly obtain if possible). Links have been retained when possible, but many go to the Internet Wayback Machine.

Is anyone at Apple reading this?

While at Macworld, my boss, Rob Aldridge, was kind enough to loan me a Lucent WaveLAN PC Card to enable my PowerBook to access the AirPort wireless network.

I fell in love.

It's another home run, Apple.

After being home for a few days, I couldn't resist, so I went to CompUSA and bought an AirPort base station for my home. A manager said that the base stations were RTV'd (Returned To Vendor), because of some problem with the FCC certification.

I don't know if that's true, but it'd be nice for someone else to follow up on that - oh, not me; there's an obvious conflict of interest there for me. Since there aren't any more base stations around, I ask if I can buy the demo unit. I buy it for a below-retail price.

Anyway, I get the base station home, excited about surfing the 'net without having to strand a 25' phone line from the kitchen down to the living room level of the house, where there isn't any phone jack.

I notice that there is no AC adapter. I call Apple's tech support, and the support guy says AC adapters are on back order for a couple of weeks. He orders me one anyway. It arrives the next day.

Good going, Apple. I've heard gripes about your customer service, but it worked much better than I thought it would.

So, I plug the base station in, get my PowerBook ready and start having visions of wireless 'net surfing dancing in my head.' but nothing happens. I can't connect to the web. Ditto for my e-mail servers.

No problem, I think. Maybe I'm just not doing it right. I then do something I've never tried before: I RTFM.

I go through the monkey-see-monkey-do instructions, and I start the base station up again. Nothing happens.

I then remember that John H. Farr, over at Applelinks had written two columns about having the same problem, so I cruise on over to see how he fared. Can't find the articles, so I e-mail him. He writes back that he has an AirPort-equipped iBook, so his solutions don't jive with my Mac.

I then go over to Apple's Tech Info Library to find help. I find a link to the Mac Resource Page, where there is an helpful article on Using the AirPort Without an AirPort-ready Mac.

I follow instructions, which consist of resetting the firmware in the base station. I fire it up again. Nothing happens.

I reset the base station again. And again. And again.

Frustrated. I give up.

At CompUSA, I talk with a coworker who says he had to reset the base station five times before he gets it to work.

Good God.

So, I'm at the end of my rope - which brings me to this last act of desperation:

Hey, readers! Is there anyone out there who can help me get this frickin' thing to work? Any Apple employees out there? I want this thing to work. I'm not trying to bash Apple. I just want my wireless networking to work!

Somebody help me! Please? Plee-hee-hee-ease!

>uncontrollable sobbing commences<

- Rodney O'Neal Lain

Rodney O. Lain is The iMac's Associate Editor. A former professor, he lives in St. Paul, MN, where he is a freelance writer and a supervisor at a major US corporation. He enjoys comic books and pencil drawing. He adores Mike Royko, Zora Hurston, Lewis Grizzard, Maya Angelou, John Byrne, bell hooks, Frank Miller and Henry Louis Gates. He also writes for Low End Mac, Applelinks and My Mac Magazine. When no one's looking, he rants and raves on his home page Free Your Mind & Your Behind Will Follow.

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