So I set up my mother's home wireless network and it was ... interesting. The first D-Link DI-524 had a loose ethernet port and was the source of 45 minutes of frustration and confusion (.... "it was just working a minute ago.") The replacement D-Link (ended up upgrading to the DI-624) was a dream. So everything was set up and accessing the internet: the eMac (cord,) PC tower #1 (connected by a cord) and my TiPB (Airport card.)
I then started working on the other student's brand new PC (#2) and her wireless connection to the home network. Her father bought the computer two days ago (2.2 celeron) and all he did was run windows update and install the wireless PCI card. Once the installs were finished, the computer was shut off and put back in the box.
After starting it up, SP2 flagged that there was no virus protection, so I installed Norton (which they had just bought.) Norton scanned for viruses, installed itself and restarted. During the restart, the computer froze.
After restarting again, a Norton dialogue popped up and I selected to "activate later" and "update later" and "allow other applications to know Norton's status." I hadn't set up the wireless connection yet, so updating/activating wasn't going to happen yet. Norton couldn't have cared less. It asked me 5 more times if I wanted to activate, update, etc. Each time, it ignored my responses and immediately asked the same question or would throw up another dialogue window - so much so that I couldn't setup the wireless connection. I thought anther restart would be in order.
After restarting, SP2 flagged that there wasn't anti-virus protection (wtf?!?) and suggested I click on the bubble message to correct this. I discovered that if I waited for about 3 minutes, SP2 would 'realize' that Norton was actually installed, but regardless, this urgent alarming message now appears and then disappears every time the computer starts.
Configuring the PC's wireless connection was surprisingly difficult. The D-Link wizard/setup utility failed (odd considering it's a Dlink card and a Dlink router.) I ran it three times and nothing was successfully setup. I'm guessing that it may work better in an open network environment without WEP. I decided to manually configure a connection. To me, the most obvious way of configuring an internet connection would be to right click on the detected wireless networks and enter the SSID, wep encryption, etc. Nope. Had to dig around, but eventually found the right network config and set it up. Success at last! A happy bubble message announcing the wireless connection! .... 4 minutes later ... Same happy bubble message..... every time the computer starts ... same thing, two happy bubble messages a few minutes apart ....
I consider myself a person who knows a fair amount about the basics of computers (more than the "average consumer.") By no means am I even close to an expert, but I'm not intimidated by technology, I love learning and I read/follow instructions well. I can say that without a doubt, there is not a single person in my family or my group of (university educated) friends (who use computers daily) that could have successfully setup that PC with a protected wireless network. By no means is wireless on an Apple as easy as pressing a button, but at least I would have been able walk my mother through the process on the phone without having to drive 90 minutes to set this up, trouble shoot the PC for way over an hour, and then drive another 90 minutes back home.
[ August 31, 2004, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: interact ]