Fun without wires

Archive for November, 2004

Flaky AirTunes

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I’m using iTunes 4.7, with a brand new AirPort Express, but I find that the connection between the 2 is a little dodgy. I’m running iTunes on an iBook with OS X 10.3.6, with a built in Airport Extreme card (fully updated), so I would have thought everything would run pretty smoothly.

I find that when I first connect to my AirportExpress (no password/WEP), everything is good for about 2 hours of music, then it suddenly disconnects/stops playing in iTunes. If I try to immediately hit play, nothing happens. I normally have to select ‘Computer’ as the music destination, then give it a second, select my AirPort Express, wait for it to connect, skip to the next track, then press play, wait for it to connect (again?) and then it starts playing again.

Is this a bug? Anyone else seen anything like this?

Oh – and I still haven’t tried out wireless printing 🙂

Written by Beau Lebens

November 28th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

Infinite Back Order

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Did I mention that I am still waiting on my Logitech Bluetooth Headset? Apparently it’s still on backorder, just like it has been for about the last 3 months. One I’ll get it… maybe… or something. I called them and they said it was still on backorder, but that they had the next shipment coming in any day. That was a week ago. No sign yet.

I wonder what the reasonable limit to wait on something like this is? I would guess that 3 months is well past it, but I wonder what it was (for next time).

Written by Beau Lebens

November 28th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

AirPort Express (and AirTunes) in da house

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Apple AirPort Express

Give me an inch and I’ll take a mile.

I got my iBook, so I figured I may as well get some other toys to go with it. Thus the .Mac subscription, and thus the AirPort Express that came in the mail today. I’ve had a chance to play with 2 of it’s 3 features already (3rd later tonight), and so far my official review is: this thing ROCKS!

In case you don’t know, the AirPort Express is an awesome little single-unit adaptor “thing” from Apple that will allow you to do the following;

  1. Create (or extend) a wireless (WiFi) network,
  2. Stream music from iTunes to an external set of speakers (wirelessly)
  3. Print wirelessly to a USB printer

The first thing I tried was setting up a wireless network, since at my office we only have a wired network. I plugged the AirTunes into a power outlet and whacked in a CAT-5 cable. A couple seconds later, it showed up on my iBook as an available network and I was off. The software (AirPort Express Setup Assistant) is easy to use and pretty hard to mess up. Put in a name for the network and the base station (I used the same thing), set your security preferences and you’re off. The only confusion I had was that the process requires 2 passwords – one for WEP (WiFi security) and one for securing the actual base station’s settings. Of course I messed around with a few things and proceeded to lock myself out of the unit, so I also got to try out the reset button which is tucked away at the bottom of it 🙂

With that working, I thought I’d give the audio streaming a shot. It doesn’t get much easier to use kids. You plug some speakers into the bottom of the AirTunes (standard, 3.5mm stereo jack) and then load up iTunes. You will notice a drop-down box at the bottom of the window, right next to the button for loading the graphic equalizer. There should be 2 options in there – ‘Computer’ (play via your speakers) and ‘networkname’ which will be the name of the network you’ve just created, and allows you to play to that network. If you select that option and press play, your wireless speakers should spring into action – simple as that. In case you’re wondering, you don’t need to have the AirPort Express plugged into a wired network for this to work either, as long as the speakers are plugged in and your computer can see the AirTunes, you’re good to go.

Like I said, this thing is pretty awesome. Later on tonight I’ll try out the printing function and see how that goes. I’m already happy, and I can see that this is going to be perfect for my trip which is coming up in a couple weeks where I’ll circumnavigate the globe within a couple weeks, hopefully making good use of wireless all the way!

Written by Beau Lebens

November 23rd, 2004 at 4:00 pm

Got iBook!

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Well, after all the crap that I went through with FedEx losing my previous iBook, I finally have my hands on one now 🙂 I’m typing this post in terminal on my brand spanking 12″ iBook, and so far it rocks.

I’ve noticed that the keys are really easy to hit twice, so that will take a little getting used to, but that’s fine. There are some weird things as well – like not being able to hit Return in Finder to open a folder or start an application… or am I missing something somewhere? Anyway. It’s going to be a serious learning experience!

Written by Beau Lebens

November 19th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

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iBook Blues

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The troubles continue with trying to get my hands on my iBook. I called FedEx again today to see if they’d made any progress (since after 5 attempts they still hadn’t called me back with any sort of status update whatsoever). I talked to one guy who couldn’t help me, so he put me on to Paul in International shipping (since the iBook technically gets shipped from Taiwan). Paul called around to check up on the status of things (again, that’s time number 5), and came back to me with… surprise, surprise – “don’t know”. He then realised that I should probably talk to someone in IPD, so he checked… but of course they had shut already. They are the people I need to talk to to force them to declare the package lost apparently.

At this point I decided to call IPD anyway (1-800-455-4588), and see what was happening. They were, indeed shut. I got an answering machine. No option to leave a message. Fine.

I called Apple to see if there was any way I could get them to just call it lost and go ahead and bill FedEx for the loss and send me a new laptop. Apparently they have to do their 3-day investigation thing, which means nothing will happen now until next Tuesday most likely. At that point, I’m going to request:

  • A replacement iBook
  • A free iPod
  • Overnight shipping

We’ll see what happens. Apparently someone from Apple’s investigation team might call me on Monday… I won’t hold my breath.

Written by Beau Lebens

November 12th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

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Apple iBook G4… Maybe

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So I folded – I bought a Spacintosh. I’ve ordered a 12″ iBook G4, 768 Mb RAM, 80Gb HDD, Airport, Bluetooth – should be pretty sweet. I got a little carried away and also bought an AirTunes Express, and a subscription to .Mac.

Since it’s new toys, and I like to get my new toys quickly, I paid the extra $20 to get it sent 2-3 days by FedEx.

That was on the 6th of December. Note the date of this post. I still don’t have my iBook.

I have the .Mac CD – which is useless without the iBook. I ordered the AirTunes separately, so I’m not expecting that yet, but the iBook should definitely be here. According to FedEx’s tracking, it should have been here 2 days ago. It’s been (allegedly) sitting in Honolulu since 8:30pm on the 7th! You know what this means. It’s been stolen.

FedEx haven’t talked to me much yet, but I’m hoping to get this sorted out. Somehow or other, paid for by someone other than me (this time), I’m getting that iBook, and it had better be soon. I want it before I go on a ’round the world trip (starting early December), so they’d better get themselves sorted out pretty quickly.

When I get it, I’m looking forward to playing with the WiFi access on it, and in particular trying out AirTunes.

Written by Beau Lebens

November 11th, 2004 at 4:00 pm