Wireless over America

(This post goes in via the Blogger Dashboard after repeated attempts to post via e-mail fail)

After Friday’s successful Orinico Silver card wireless test (with a known router, set up by me, about a foot from the Powerbook 1400), I tried to replicate at home, but we don’t get a whole lot of good, non-password-protected 802.11b into the house itself, and in the absence of a signal, the software doesn’t handle it well (and in this version, there’s no way to tell the SSID name of the network to which you are connected, unless you type it in to the WaveLAN control panel box yourself and successfully connect — therefore I’m relying on networks that accept connections for “Any” name).

One thing — if you leave the TCP/IP configured for wireless and there’s no signal, launching Netscape will crash. You must either set Netscape to work offline before shutting down during the previous session, or switch the TCP/IP to a wired-Ethernet configuration (whether connected or not) before launching Netscape. Internet Explorer 5 is OK either way. But if you want to write offline e-mail in Netscape, you’d better not launch it until you a) have switched off wireless in the TCP/IP control panel, or b) have previously switched Netscape to work offline (the best feature added in version 4, in my opinion).

I can’t get the router configured for 64-bit encryption (I used to have it set up this way) — it won’t auto-generate a key. I’ll have to check the manual again and possibly configure it with a computer that isn’t This Old Mac before I try encryption with the Orinoco card.