The Place Where Electronics Go to Die™

I would have posted this at 0530, when it actually happened, but I couldn’t (see below).

It’s official. My house has become the Place Where Electronics Come to Die™.

I was awakened at the unholy hour of 0527 this morning by a sound that resembled the dying gasps of my rather loud, and of late very ineffective, alarm clock choking on a lifetime pack-a-day habit and a couple old gym socks.

Fortunately, it wasn’t my alarm clock, which I shortly remembered was still set for 0900. (Yes, I need a job. If you know anyone hiring pilots/flight instructors, please get in touch with me.)

Unfortunately, it was my hard drive. In my PowerBook. The fifth such device to grace^H^H^H^H^Hdefile the innards of Ti Cobb since he was new, and the fourth such device to fail just since last June.

Ti Cobb’s trackpad died very suddenly Monday night, and I was putting off getting anything done about it until I had time to be without my computer for another week, but the fifth — I want to emphasise this for the benefit of anyone from Apple who might be reading — hard disk failure, and fourth in three months, is going to force the date up a bit. To, say, today. Well, tomorrow, really, because Apple doesn’t let AppleCare policyholders request a repair box on-line. Instead, we’re required to wait until everyone on the California coast can drag themselves out of bed, which by my figuring is another…3 hours and 18 minutes. So perhaps Airborne can get the box today after all.

Now, I alluded to why I couldn’t post this when it actually happened.

Ah yes, the router. I reviewed what was, at the time, a fairly wonderful little router from Asanté for the February issue of ATPM, and I stand by everything I said in that review. Except for this:

A word of advice: make sure to check for a firmware update on Asanté’s support page right away. There are a lot of routers in the retail channel with the older G1.0 firmware, and AppleTalk support (according to Asanté) requires G1.1 or later. Use the cross-platform Web-based installer to upgrade to G1.2; the Mac-based installer only goes up to G1.1 at this time.

I would like to officially revise that paragraph to read as follows:

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, EVEN SO MUCH AS LOOK AT THE FIRMWARE UPGRADE PAGE IN THE UPDATER ONCE YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY UPGRADED TO VERSION 1.1 OF THE FIRMWARE. There are multiple and numerous reports on Asanté’s support forums of the version 1.2 firmware update causing a horrible, horrible freezing problem, whereby the router requires its power supply be unceremoniously yanked and left to think about what it’s done for 30 seconds or so. This wouldn’t be so bad, except this godawful firmware requires this be done every 30 minutes or less in normal usage! There have been no — zero, zip, zilch, nada, none, or, in the immortal words of Jack Miller, “Captain Goose Egg and his trusty sidekick Nothing Boy” — reports of anyone solving the problem by reverting to an earlier firmware revision (yep, tried, that, didn’t work for me either), so FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, WHATEVER YOU DO, ONCE YOU HAVE A SATISFACTORY INSTALL OF G1.1, LEAVE IT THE HECK ALONE!

The good news is that Asanté is perfectly willing to give me a new router, as this one is under warranty and their Official Forum Guy™ has already declared it dead. The bad news, of course, is this will likely require I do without a working wireless connection for a few days. Not a big deal, but it also means I’m going to have to drag the busted Netgear out of storage so that there will be an Internet connection here in the interim.

Where Electronics Go to Die™.

Thank God for backups. And OWC’s rock-solid-reliable FireWire hard drives. (Furiously knocking on wood lest this long-out-of-warranty backup drive go next…)

posted by Chris on 09 February 2005 at 0654 in computing


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