Network Nonentity: mum’s iBook

When Mood Music
2006-02-03 20:01:00 thoughtful I saw mummy blowing Santa Claus

I wanted all the ‘puters in the house on a network so that I could remotely maintain them using Timbuktu, without the delay horrors of dial-up. I didn’t want an extra wire going into the iBook – that would just worry mum and I hoped that slotting in an Airport card (and hence making no visible change to the iBook’s external appearance) would do the trick. I didn’t like the implementation of WEP in OS9: it only allows for a ‘WEP password’ rather than the various flavours of WEP my router offers and in the end I only got network connectivity by switching off WEP! Also AIrport cards are now getting past affordability. Time to try OS X!

I have installers for OSX 10·2 and 10·4. 10·4 won’t work on this iBook. 10·2 failed to install and properly update: I had installers for 10·2·0 which worked fine. Software update to 10·2·8 also appeared to work. However the second round of software updating to give the bells and whistle fell over, leaving the machine unbootable. This happened 3 times (each time after deep-erasing the hard disk) so I suspect that the wee hard disk (6GB) is just getting too full of temprary files and falling over. I do have a spare 30GB HD but I don’t want to take on this surgery: I’d only get the blame if anything went wrong. Also, the implementation of WEP in 10·2·8 (sans bells and whistles) is no better than that of OS9.

So back to OS9 and wired connectivity: the router is next to my dad’s PC, on the right of mum’s desk. I strung an ethernet cable from the router, under the desk and into the port on the left-back corner of the iBook. So the cable was mostly hidden and the bit that was visible wasn’t obtrusive.

For a while (i.e long enough to install OS 9.1 and other applications [including downloading updates] and then restore mum’s data), the ethernet port on Mum’s iBook worked. It’s now ceased working. Airport cards are getting far too expensive. I am able to take control of it via Timbuktu if I get mum to establish a dial-up internet connection but that’s painfully slow. (However it has the advantage of me not needing to leave a hole in the router’s NAT firewall).

I’m about to set up Timbuktu on my dad’s XP box… wish me luck, please

I don’t know whether it’s worth doing similar for my sister’s windows 98 PC, not least because it isn’t on the home network yet. I’d need to buy another piece of wireless kit and get that to link into the network I’ve set up or persuade my folks to run an ethernet cable from the router to the PC. The former is more expensive (and I don’t really have money to splash around on kit) but would be a fun wee task.

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