Tuesday, July 25, 2006

revenge on the airport base station

my airport base station and i go back a long way. my relationship with this piece of evil shit, going back 5 years, is a sordid story of bitter rivalry, duelling at dawn, complex strategy, out-and-out slugfests, sneaky rear-guard actions, and suicide missions. i want back all the years of my life i spent trying to outwit this alien butt-plug into doing what its manual suggests it might be able to do if it was ever in a good mood. which it isn't.

the basic problem is that it's very picky about who it talks to. examples -

- pretty trashed sony vaio laptop, complete with cheap and cheesy usb wireless adapter. given that most of its hardware has shit out, it's amazing that it works at all. but my airport base station is its bitch. the sony pulls about 1 megabyte per second through my traitorous scumbag of a wireless router. pretty respectable for an original series base station.

- scruffy powerbook g4/667/dvi, with original series airport card. this usually runs the latest and greatest (in terms of the number of unfixed bugs) version of MacOS X. when X gets to be releasable in terms of quality, they will give it a real version number. anyway the last version of MacOS that my fuckwit of an airport router liked was 10.3.8, and it's been pulling very cruel tricks with every version since. on this machine, its fave trick is to drop the connection towards the end of a long transfer, or in the middle of a remote compile, or just when you're enjoying your browser session. at most, this machine and the base station, despite being apple products from end to end, barely manage 200k/sec.

- trashed powerbook g4/667, again with original series airport card. this is the machine that played every Lovemakers show but one. the exception was the last cafe du nord show, where it ate its disk and i had to use Adam's laptop instead. anyway, this machine and the piss artist base station got on reasonably well under 10.3.2, but after the disk crash apple forced me to go to 10.3.9. (i'm not going to tiger on this machine until the audio fuckups stop, and as of 10.4.7 they have not.) now as we all know, and as my wankbrain base station thoroughly enjoys, 10.3.9 is a cruel joke played on the macintosh user base in order to force them to go to tiger. i literally could not get any of my machines to talk to the network reliably on 10.3.9. i could hear my base station chuckling through the night when it thought nobody was listening. anyway the music machine had to stay on 10.3.9, so it barely managed one bar (when the tiger machine thought there was full bars) and throughput was a thoroughly crap 100k. maybe.

- of course, when i rebooted the music machine under 9.2, which put it back in the shitface base station's good books, throughput tripled to 300k and connection stability was fine. proof that apple's X airport drivers were the product of the colons of fetid dingos before, during, and after release.

of course, that's not all. the shitstation has regularly refused to talk to the setup utility and the admin utility, and also switches its passwords around at random. it also won't work at all unless placed in the middle of the kitchen floor. no dice otherwise.

naturally, this little bastard was ripe for a bit of sweet revenge after all this. dave arrived home with a netgear router a few weeks ago and after some screaming at it it works fine. so.... up till now, i've only wreaked terrible vengeance on the PSU, but the crapstation itself knows its day is coming. stay tuned for the Final Day of the Base Station. if you have any juicy ideas about how it might meet its maker, comment on....

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