The AirPort Express Saga Continues

16 Feb 2005

Paul R. Potts

So, the AirPort Express is still not entirely right in the head — it didn’t die the way it did before, but Grace was always informing me that either she couldn’t print, or her computer would not connect; it either would not automatically reconnect after sleep, despite supplying the network control panel with the network name and password, or sometimes also could not connect even when explicitly supplying the private network name and password. Sometimes the configuration utility, running from my wired PowerBook, could not even find the device. It had apparently crashed. After power-cycling the device, Grace’s computer was always able to connect to it.

The last time, I finally decided to give up having a private network, and just make it an open share. There are several others in the neighborhood.

This seems to have made it work reliably again (so far). But I didn’t really want an open share. I’m not trying to be a bad citizen; it is just not in our mission statement to supply a public network access point.

I’m not sure what the problem is, but I am disappointed in the reliability of this setup. I don’t think the problem is in Grace’s computer, since it will connect flawlessly to other wireless networks. For a device without a power switch, cycling the power should not be required.

Then, there are printing problems: sometimes when printing large photographs, the print queue seems to bog down so much that the printer gives up waiting for data and resets the job, spitting out the unfinished picture. I would give up on printer sharing, but given that it is a USB printer, it cannot be shared on the network directly. The alternative is to share it through my PowerBook, which seems to work more reliably but which requires my PowerBook to be on all the time, or requires Grace to remember to wake it up before she tries to print.

I guess this would not be an issue if we had a server machine, but it seemed very convenient to just use the AirPort Express. And it would be, if it worked well. But it seems like the box is just slightly unreliable in several ways. And it isn’t like our setup, one wireless PowerBook, used mostly to read e-mail, and one inkjet printer, used only occasionally, should be a serious stress-test. I suppose I need to check to see if there is a firmware upgrade. Sigh…

Creative Commons Licence
This work by Paul R. Potts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The CSS framework is stylize.css, Copyright © 2014 by Jack Crawford.

Blog IndexWriting Archive