Monday, August 08, 2005


Apple update

As I briefly mentioned in a comment below, I've been having sporadic problems with the wireless network that I set up with my new Powerbook. The problem seemed, at first, to be a defective Airport Express base station, because for no apparent reason, my computer would occasionally lose contact with the base station. Sometimes it was even unable to find the base station again after it had been reset. And even when it could, I ended up having to reconfigure all of my Internet connection settings, reinstall the USB printer that was plugged into the base station, etc. Not ideal.

So at first I thought it was the base station, which I took back to the Apple store on Friday night and exchanged for a new one. But then this afternoon, after humming along fine for almost three days (which would have been the new record), the base station disappeared again. I called Apple support again, now convinced that the base station itself was not defective, and was connected to a "product specialist." (Despite my problems, by the way, I've been very impressed by Apple's support line.) He hypothesized (and it looks like he was right) that there are too many wireless networks nearby competing for the attention of my base station. To make a long story short, he had me plug the base station directly into the computer with an Ethernet cable and configure it so that it remained permanently on one channel, instead of scanning automatically for an open channel. I think that might have done the trick ... or at least I hope so.

Sorry for the techno-babble, but this really has been consuming far too many of my waking moments over the past several days. I've also been working longer hours on the dissertation as the semester approaches, so ... between getting set up with the new computer and tinkering with chapters, it's been difficult to find time to blog.

Fortunately, my fellow bloggers at Cliopatria are not stuck in any such lull. Go check out the latest Cliopatria symposium and marvel at the site's fancy new design! (The design is the work of Jeremy at ClioWeb.) Jason Kuznicki has also been busy turning Positive Liberty into a fine-looking group blog with an all-star cast.

P.S. I also followed Streak's advice and bought a Radtech screen protector for the Powerbook, which arrived today. Very nice! (FYI, I ordered it from AllAboutThe Accessories, found via Froogle, which had a slightly lower price. The shipping and service were both speedy.)

Collective Improvisation:
Hi Caleb, I just found your blog and am quite impressed. I'm a history/tech person who is thinking about making the switch to Apple, so will be following your transition closely.


Posted by Amy

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 8/09/2005 09:43:00 AM : Permalink  

Thanks Amy! So far I'm very happy with the switch. The actual transition from Windows to Mac hasn't been a problem at all, in terms of compatibility of files or learning how to use the different operating systems. If anything, Mac OS X has been easier to use than Windows (although admittedly I was previously working with Windows 98). 

Posted by Caleb

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 8/11/2005 12:08:00 AM : Permalink  

Hello Caleb, I arrived here via Body & Soul & your comment re: Airport Express. I too have just purchased a PowerBook after having used a Win98 PC for the past 7 years. I'd be interested to know how you've transferred your files etc. from your old PC? I'm using AirPort Extreme & have connected my old PC to it & discovered, to my delight, that despite Apple insisting I'd have to upgrade my PC's OS to Win2000 in order for it to be able to use Airport Extreme, it's connecting to the internet just fine! Now to figure out how to get the new mac & old PC to play nice together & exchange info?!? Any ideas & or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks. Cheers, Cee 

Posted by cee

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 8/15/2005 02:55:00 PM : Permalink  

Hi Cee, glad to hear you've just made the switch too! I've managed to share files with my wife's computer, which is running Windows XP. I'm not sure whether earlier versions of Windows support file sharing. I do know that to share files with my wife's computer I had to enable file sharing on my Powerbook by going to System Preferences --> Sharing and configuring the network to allow it.

The way I transfered most of my files was by using a thumb drive. My entire documents folder on the old computer fit on a 256 MB thumb drive, which says something about the (woeful) size of my old computer's hard drive. I didn't keep lots of pictures or music on it. I also have an Archos Jukebox MP3 player and I moved some bigger files over on that. 

Posted by Caleb

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 8/15/2005 11:52:00 PM : Permalink  

Thanks for that Caleb - have to admit to never having heard of a thumb drive, but thanks to Google now see it could more than likely be just the ticket. Truly boggles the mind, sometimes, how technology has advanced.

Cheers & thanks, again. 

Posted by Cee

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous on 8/16/2005 12:34:00 AM : Permalink  

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