theducks: (Default)
"I hate computers" was the first line of the first slide for the CS175a I did at UWO in 1998.

Oh how true I find it now.

We're in Singapore now, but our parting shot at Perth was hanging out at my uncle's place for an afternoon/evening. As well as having a swim (yay swim!), I fixed a bunch of niggling computer problems he had.

Primarily due to his wireless network.

Originally they had a wireless network I setup. It was all good. Until the capacitors popped, and the wired bits of the router stopped working. Just like they did on the same model I recommended my mum and my dad purchase. So they had bought a new one, and set up WPA2 on it, and all their Macs worked great.

But not their PC or their wireless Canon MP620 printer.

Let's start with the PC. For whatever reason, they hadn't been keeping it up to date, so it was running Windows XP SP2. They couldn't connect it to their new wireless network. They had spent ages trying to get it to work, so I checked if it had the hotfix which enables WPA2, and no, it did not. It's worth noting that this hotfix was optional, so unless you specifically went to install it, or installed XPSP3, it wouldn't have shown up. Cause who the hell needs WPA2 anyway.

Windows was also charactaristically unhelpful with error messages, but once I did wireless to wired sharing with my Mac, we were able to download the hotfix manually manually and it was all good. Yay.

Next came the printer.

To prevent brow furrowing users from having to use the front panel to try to input network config, you can't set it manually. You can either use a "Ready Connect" button on the access point (which this new one didn't have, but the old one did) or a PIN number, which again, pretty sure the new one didn't have, or you could use Windows Rally technologies to setup a WCN USB key. Which sounded like a pretty good option, so we gave it a go.

And it didn't work.

Why didn't it work? Well I loaded the key on my Mac and used TextWrangler to find out. It didn't work because XP sucks, and the WCN file it made had the wrong information in there regards to network Auth type, crypto and passphrase. I consulted the tech note on microsoft.com on the file format, manually edited it on the Mac, saved it, and tried again, and hey presto, it worked.

So I don't want to blow my own horn here, but there's no fucking way a regular user would have EVER got this to work. Gah!

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