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Monday, July 14, 2008

Tech: I Am An Idiot

And in one of those moments you kick yourself for not actually figuring out earlier:
  1. Back in February, with my WiFi requiring reboots every half hour or more frequently, I bought a Cisco 1234AP wireless point of presence. (Meantime, I was using Verizon's wireless broadband access as a weak substitute. It's only 512kbps or worse for the most part, but it beats having to drag a cable around.)
  2. Upon receipt, I realized I had no idea how to configure it and no antennae to make it go anyway, and in any event, the place I bought it from failed to disclose that it was a factory refurb with no returns (through no fault of their own, unfortunately, as they were a drop shipper).
  3. I gave up on said POP and bought a more expensive Cisco router + WiFi access point through a friend with a reseller account. I got a discount better than half price but 3-4 times more expensive than the consumer-grade WiFi hardware out there with similar functionality. This is okay, because the Netgear/Linksys/what-have-you units were dying at the rate of about one every 3-4 months on me, so it got to the point of either spending the money on quality hardware or just keep hoping until I found a unit that wouldn't die on me.
  4. Having waited about three months for the hardware to arrive, I finally got it ... and having not faced Cisco IOS in almost a decade, realized I had no idea how to make it work.
  5. Thus I took it to work for our networking gurus to kick start for me.
  6. Meantime, I figured, hey, now that I've got the console cable plugged into my desktop, maybe I can give this POP a whirl. Sure enough, works like a top with a little tweaking and some significant digging at the Cisco website.
So now I have two WiFi units and about twice as much money sunk into these boxes as I would really like. The funny part is that the 1234AP is temperature-hardened, so it can stand being in places like the un-climate-controlled space where the cable enters the house. The combination router/WiFi, not so much, so if I hope to use that, I have to run Ethernet to some climate-controlled location in the house.

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I'm surprised you've had such high mortality rates with standard Linksys/Netgear routers...I've been using the same WRT54G for years, now. Luck?
The WRT54G is their Linux-based router, yeah? I think that's one of the few pieces that they make that's actually not too bad, but given the heat requirements and my bad experiences, I elected to stay away. Other friends have had similar issues with brick-creation.

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