Monday, September 24, 2007

Wireless Networking: Rubbish

I've just wasted half a morning trying to work out why I couldn't my laptop to connect to our wireless network. The helpful dialog box that Windows shows you froze up, saying "aquiring network address". It took this to mean that it had connected and authenticated correctly but that there was some kind of DHCP problem. Oh no. In fact, the reason for this failure was that one of the 26 digits in the WEP key was wrong. Perhaps a more helpful message to display would have been "The WEP key is wrong". Cuss.

Wireless sucks. When it works, it's great, but when it goes wrong, I generally have no idea why and I have no idea how to find out. The Windows tools don't help; by hiding all the complexity behind a shallow facade of user friendliness, they give you almost no helpful information when things go wrong. The Linux command line tools are marginally better, providing you with all the information, even if I don't understand most of it.

Anyway: it works now. Having got that out of my system, I'd better do some work.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I'm back in work, having been off for three weeks. I can't believe how much tea and coffee people round here drink. I am already on my third cup of coffee of the day. Oh man!f1