Ghost in the machine

I should have known there would be problems when Angela called me yesterday afternoon to ask about how to reset the router beccause our internet connection was being flaky. Resetting the router worked for the moment, but by the time I got home the connection was pretty much kaput again. Figuring it was RoadRunner and not us, she went off to setup her new Emac, (affectionately named TubbeMac because it’s an eMac and it’s kind of tubby.) while I tried to grab an hour’s nap or so before our dinner guest arrived. (We had been up late at the concert the night before, I hadn’t had enough sleep)

My nap turned into about 15 minutes when the Mac wouldn’t connect to the existing wireless network. I had setup the SMC wireless router to use 128-bit automatic encryption, meaning you only needed the passphrase to connect. The Mac wouldn’t accept the passphrase. The only instructions for joining a 128-bit encrypted network were to use the 128-bit manual setup, requiring a 26 character hexidecimal passcode. So I switched the router to that, and got the Mac connected. (Anyone know how/if you can use the automatic setting with an Airport card? I’m not sure of my ability to remember the 26 digit code I entered. *L*) The next issue was internet connectivity. I power cycled the cable modem and seemed to temporarily get our connection back, then went to make sure the Mac had picked up an IP address, it had! All that was left was to put the DNS entries in and it was connected, just in time for dinner!

After a nice dinner with Angela’s brother, she went to play with her new toy. Only thing was, it kept losing it’s connection, then getting it back, losing it, getting it back. Somewhat stumped by this, I turned off the encryption, to eliminate that as a source of the problem. No change. Eventually I ran into the office and used my PC, which is wired to the Hawking Router, and not the SMC wireless router, and discovered the connection doing the same thing on that. Obviously not a problem with the wireless connection. After resetting the cable modem once again, it came back, for 2 minutes, and then was gone again. This was obviously either a bad modem or an issue with Road Runner’s network, and since it was already after 11:00, we went to bed.

This morning, while I showered for work, Angela fired up her PC and the internet connection seemed to be back to normal. Hopefully it stays that way, and the wireless works so she can play with her new toy and give us all a full review of it! I can only tell you that it takes some getting used to, the system prefs were a little tricky for me to find and set. I needed a “Control Panel”, but once I figured out where they were, it wasn’t too bad.

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