Apple Releases AirPort Base Station Update

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Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2007, 17:59
Category: wireless

airportupdate.jpg
On Thursday, Apple released AirPort Base Station Update – 2007-001, the first software update to its AirPort wireless router stations of 2007. The update, a 12.7 megabyte download, provides general fixes and compatibility updates for the AirPort Utility, AirPort Admin Utility (for graphite and snow base stations), AirPort Disk Utility and AirPort Disk Agent programs.
The update requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later and AirPort Utility 5.0 to run.
If you’ve tried the update and had a positive or negative experience with it, let us know.

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iFixit Benchmarks, Disassembles 802.11n Airport Extreme

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Date: Monday, February 5th, 2007, 20:45
Category: wireless

Computer thumbnailiFixIt.com got a new Airport Extreme 802.11n and has posted takeapart pictures and benchmarks of the new Apple access point.

We decided to deviate from our standard modus operandi and run some benchmarks before we took it apart. (I know, I know– our screwdrivers were lonely for a while.)

The new base station is amazing. We achieved a 10x performance boost, and a 3x usable range increase! We achieved over 9 MB/s in short range lab testing with a MacBook Pro. Long range testing was equally impressive. At 300 feet (with a building in the way), we reached transfer rates of 500 KB/s.

Airport Extreme 802.11n Disassembly >> iFixIt.com

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Apple to call 802.11n WiFi Airport Extreme X2 and X4

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Date: Monday, January 8th, 2007, 16:00
Category: wireless

It’s surprising that no one has found this yet. This is taken directly from the course description for Apple’s WiFi session at Macworld this year: “Wireless networking is about to undergo major changes, with 802.11n, or Airport Extreme X2 and X4. Starting with the basics of wireless networks, we will show how to design, deploy and test wireless…”

digg – Apple to call 802.11n WiFi Airport Extreme X2 and X4

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Fixing Your Airport Woes

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Date: Wednesday, October 18th, 2006, 08:00
Category: wireless

airport-extreme.jpgBen at MacFixIt sent along these WiFi tips after I complained about poor WiFi performance after installing Mac OS 10.4.8 and AirPort Update 2006-001 (version 1.0). So far, removing Coconut WiFi seems to have fixed the problem.
- Try changing the wireless specification mode used by your router (or base station). Try switching from 802.11g to 802.11b, for instance.
- Disabling coconutWiFi — an application displays you a small aqua-bubble at the top of your screen which indicates whether you’re in range of a wireless network or not — may resolve an issue where AirPort connections toggle between normal speed and dismal speed.
- Delete all stored wireless networks from the Preferred networks list, then add back any used networks via the following process:
Open System Preferences
Go to the “Network’ pane
Select “AirPort” from the “Show:” menu
Click on the “AirPort” tab
Select “Preferred networks” from the “By default, join:” menu
Delete any networks from the list (using the “-” button) that you do not regularly use
Click the “Apply Now” button
- Reset the PMU.
- Turn off the Mac OS X Firewall (in the Sharing pane of System Preferences) resolved the issues in his case.
- In some cases, deleting the AirPort preferences can resolve the issue:
/Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.airport.preferences.plist
If any of these solutions work for you, post your results in the comments below.

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AirPort Deafness After 10.4.8 and AirPort Update

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Date: Wednesday, October 11th, 2006, 09:32
Category: wireless

airport-extreme.jpgThe weirdest thing happened to my MacBook Pro (2.0GHz, week 7) recently. Some time after installing Mac OS 10.4.8 and AirPort Update 2006-001 (version 1.0) my AirPort performance got completely hosed. I can download Web pages for a few minutes but then my WiFi connection goes almost dead. The bits trickle in so slowly that I can’t even load a full Web page. Sometimes turning AirPort on and off will get it working again but only briefly.
My AirPort throughput is abysmal when it actually works – sub 1k/sec downloads according to MenuMeters. I’ve tried rebooting my Verizon DSL modem and my AirPort Extreme to no avail and last night isolated the problem to my MacBook Pro’s WiFi drivers because my iMac 20-inch works fine on the same WiFi network and my MacBook Pro flies when connected via Ethernet.
So I’m appealing to you, fair reader. Have you experienced any WiFi voodoo on a MacBook or MBP since installing 10.4.8 or the Airport Update? I could really use a tip here as I’m not really eager to tinker with the AirPort libraries or to ‘nuke and pave.’ Not to mention that the 50-foot Ethernet cable looks really lame running through my house.
Please post your suggestions in the comments below.
UPDATE: I’ve tried repairing disk permissions in Disk Utility (no errors reported), cleaning my system and user prefernces Preferential Treatment and Tiger Cache Cleaner to no avail. I also haven’t found anything related at MacFixIt or Apple’s Discussion boards. Should I just re-run the 10.4.8 installer?

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REVIEW: Verizon Wireless ExpressCard/34

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Date: Friday, September 29th, 2006, 12:21
Category: wireless

Bare Feats gave the Verizon Wireless ExpressCard/34 (Novatal V640) wireless PC card a two week try (spoiler: they returned it.)

As many of you know, we’ve been using CardBus versions of the wirelessbroadband in our PowerBooks since early 2005. But when we bought theMacBook Pro for the lab back in March 2006, it had an ExpressCard/34slot but no cellular company had an ExpressCard broadband wireless PCcard available. That’s changed. As of August 2006, the Novatel V640ExpressCard/34 became available through Verizon Wireless. (Neither Sprint nor Cingular have an ExpressCard wireless broadband solution as of this posting.)

I first activated the V640, the download speed was peaking at 144K.That was unacceptably slow — but sounded awfully familiar. Sureenough, when I called to complain, they admitted the tech designated”National Access” (max download 144K) instead of “Broadband Access” (upto 2Mbit/s bursts) when the account was set up.

After that was addressed, I did more speed testing. Now the downloadspeed (according to DSLreports.com) was running between 850K and 1000K.That’s as good as it gets for an “air card” from Verizon Wireless.

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Bare Feats >> Wireless Broadband ExpressCard/34 from Verizon Wireless

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The Apple Core: More drama with Apple’s AirPort security

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Date: Monday, September 25th, 2006, 09:39
Category: wireless

airportextreme.jpgApple released updates to their wireless networking drivers last week and they appear to have created more questions than they answered with it.
AirPort Update 2006-001 (version 1.0) was released to “improves AirPort reliability on Macintosh computers” and is only for Apple’s AirPort Extreme cards. An AirPort security update was also included in Security Update 2006-005.
Some have questioned whether Apple’s wireless update was released specifically as a result of the MacBook WiFi hack that was shown by David Maynor and Jon “Johnny Cache” Ellch at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas last month.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.

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Introducing Wireless Philadelphia

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Date: Thursday, September 21st, 2006, 08:00
Category: wireless

wireless-philly.jpgWireless Philadelphia is the non-profit organization that – along with its Internet partner Earthlink – is helping Philadelphia to become the nation’s first completely wireless major city.
Wireless Philadelphia was created to make high-speed Internet access more available and affordable through Digital Inclusion. WP will help all citizens, businesses, schools, and community organizations embrace this broadband technology to achieve their goals. WP will also work to strengthen the City’s economy, enhance the visitor experience and streamline City services.
What is Digital Inclusion?
Digital Inclusion is the name given to programs that seek to help people who are not online gain access with affordable hardware, software, tech support, and wireless high-speed internet service, so they can begin to use this technology to improve their lives.
Installation Has Begun
With the installation of devices called routers, Philadelphia has officially begun the process for making affordable wireless high-speed internet service available to every neighborhood in the City. Over the next two months, these routers – which use about the same amount of electricity as a 60 watt light bulb – will be installed on light poles and other high structures about 1,000 feet apart throughout a test area known as the Proof of Concept area.
The Proof of Concept area includes more than a dozen neighborhoods stretching 15 square miles (see map above). In this area from October through December, Earthlink and Wireless Philadelphia will test the technology and the processes by which citizens subscribe for this service. By fall of next year, wireless high-speed Internet access is scheduled to be available throughout all 135 square miles of Philadelphia.
This service will be priced beginning at $21.95/month for retail customers, and a Digital Inclusion rate of $9.95/month will be available to those who qualify. In order to be eligible for the Digital Inclusion rate, customers can have income up to 130% of the federal poverty level, or already be participants in certain supportive programs, such as Medicaid, Section 8, SSI, Food Stamps, LIHEAP, TANF, and/or the Free Lunch program.
Free access will be available in certain public spaces such as parks and public areas. These include Love Park, the Historic Square Mile, Penn’s Landing, Cobbs Creek Environmental Center, Hunting Park, Wissahickon Environmental Center, Pennypack Environmental Center, FDR Park and Penn Treaty Park. In addition, each district councilperson will name a public space within his/her district where citizens can go for free access.

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