Sunday, July 25, 2004

Airport Express Experience

Got an Airport Express on Friday. I am using AirTunes right now to listen to music off of my iBook. Once I figured out how to get my Dolby Digital receiver to change its input mode from Digital to Analog on the CD line-in, this stuff just worked. My iBook immediately recognized that the Airport Express was operational, but I lost internet access through my Microsoft MN-700 Wireless Base Station (802.11g) because it looks like the signal from AE just overwhelmed the MS device. They were within 3 feet of each other near my TV/Entertainment Center. The Airport Express Setup Assistant did pick up 2 other WiFi networks, one a floor above my apartment using an MS router (I installed the wireless base station for the people above me) and another network I haven't seen yet using a Netgear, so it wasn't a problem with AE not detecting the wireless network. Instead of moving the MS router, I disconnected the MS router from my DSL modem, connected AE, and after I remember my PPoE password, AE just worked to establish my Internet connection. This was a great relief since the MS wireless routers (the 802.11b MN-500 and the 802.11g MN-700) had always been sketchy on this issue. I have had PPoE problems on both devices, apparently related to something special SBC does, with various versions of the firmware for each. Anyway, the MN-700 PPoE had worked flawlessly after the first firmware update to the device the end of 2003, but there were still a few tense minutes where I struggled with my PPoE password until I got connected. What a relief. Since I disconnected the MS router, my 2 wired ethernet devices, the Xbox and PC, no longer have 'net access. I have 2 choice to fix this problem. I can move the MS router to another room so AE doesn't overwhelm it, or I can get a wireless adapter for the Xbox. I am in the process of selling off the PC parts to get more Apple gear (I see Powerbook in my future), so that doesn't concern me much. Overall though, the Airport Express has been fantastic. I had music streaming to it from my iBook for about 12 hours straight before I turned it off yesterday, beautiful.