It’s actually kind of nice sometimes to find out something that hasn’t been working and has been annoying you isn’t your fault.
That’s the feeling I got recently when I found out that the issue I have with the wireless connection on our Mac mini cutting out sometimes isn’t my fault, and it’s not my router, it’s just that very early Intel-based minis have problems with their Airport cards.
I bought my Intel-based mini in the first week of their availability, so it’s one of the problem units.
This really started bugging me recently since I’ve had this time on my hands – you see, I didn’t want to drop the hundred bucks on the XBox 360 wireless adapter, so I configured the internet sharing on the Mac mini and was routing the XBox through the Mac mini over its wireless to my router and then out to XBox Live.
This works great! Until the Airport cuts out again. And all my Xbox downloads abort. And I scream in… ok, I kind of say “damnit!” fairly quietly to myself. No screaming in agony here.
So, how do we solve problems? We throw money at them.
At least this one wasn’t too expensive to solve. I moused around a bit, found some recommendations for the Buffalo WLI-TX4-G54HP “Wireless-G MIMO Performance Ethernet Converter”, looked it up on a couple of retailer web sites, found that Circuit City carries the thing and that the nearby store had one in stock, ran out and dropped 80 bucks on one, with a spiffy rebate coupon that may or may not ever result in 20 bucks back. I’m SO not holding my breath.
Plug it in, hook up the laptop, configure the laptop as 126.96.36.199, open a web browser to 188.8.131.52, and I’m in the configuration software for the thing. It’s so advanced it’s even gone out and automatically hooked in to one of my neighbors’ wireless networks. Handy! But… not very friendly.
So… I tell my wireless router about its MAC address, and give the Buffalo thing my SSID and WPA key, and it’s talking to me. Tell it to get its IP address over DHCP, disconnect the laptop, plug in the Xbox 360 and the Mac mini, and they both just work. Not much more I could ask for in a product.
I’m a little worried that I’m actually starting to be able to type in a fair amount of a 35-character WPA key from memory.
The problem I created, well, now the 360 is on the same network as everything else, so I tried to get its Media Center Extender mojo on with the copy of Windows Media Player 11 running on my main machine, and the two seem to connect but that’s as far as it goes – I can’t see any music in the PC’s library, and while I can see photo filenames I can’t actually display any of the images.
Will I try to solve this? Will I somehow manage to destroy my media library again? Who knows…
But at least I now have a new box with blinking lights on it that solves a problem.
Oh, and Circuit City was restocking since I got there at about 20 minutes to close, and I managed to score a nunchuck attachment for our second wiimote. Yay for late night shopping!