The whole widget…


With all the fuss around Psystar’s attempts to rip-off Apple IP, certain publications have been attempting to take the logical inference to all Psytar’s efforts, that it doesn’t really matter that Apple makes both the hardware and the software.PC World (via MacDailyNews) – Is Psystar’s judicial deathblow a win for consumers?This is as we all know – rubbish – but it’s not always easy to quantify to a PC user. I have little experience in maintaining a PC from day to day. I am predominantly a Mac user – I expect my Mac to work, and it does.Apple’s crown jewel is the tight integration between hardware and software. To a Mac user, things just work, with minimal, or totally no, effort.Yes there’s a few niggles but the one thing that has always worked is my wireless connection.I keep Airport on all the time. I close the lid, it disconnects, I open the lid it connects in milliseconds. It works.Now leaving aside the configuration of the router, I assumed that all computer’s act like this. I’d heard one or two stories about Windows wireless connection being flaky, but never paid it much attention.Until last week. My little iBook is now over 5 years old. It’s a workhorse – I push it to the max, running all Adobe applications, ripping DVD’s & CD’s, watching movies, streaming TV, just about everything.But then things started to go wrong. Kernel panic, after kernel panic was narrowed down to the Airport card.I had the hard drive upgraded last month, and maybe, just maybe the damage that caused this ‘upgrade’ (I dropped a plate onto it) also may have damaged the Airport card.Unfortunately the Airport card is on the motherboard, so it was a case of buying an external card on a USB stick.A chose a good one, not too cheap, a well known brand and installed the driver, restarted and plugged it in. A USB utility program started up and sat there and did nothing. I configured it with my router’s settings.It didn’t work.Looked up ‘troubleshooting’ in the pdf manual. There wasn’t a ‘troubleshooting’ section.Unplugged it. Plugged it back in again and looked at the network preference pane. It said it was there and had an IP address.Went back to the USB utility program and saw that it had found 5 wireless routers. None of which were mine.Pressed the ‘rescan’ button.All of them disappeared and the network preference pane said that the USB stick wasn’t plugged in.There then followed 15 minutes of going round in circles, unplugging, plugging back in, checking settings, changing settings until, all of a sudden, it worked.Don’t know why it worked. It just decided to work.Since then, every time the iBook goes to sleep, or restarts, you have the 5-15 minute merry-go-round of coaxing the USB wireless stick into life.Not exactly a good example of hardware and software working in complete harmony is it?It is though, a good example of Apple’s crown jewel, it’s tight integration between the hardware and software inside every Apple product – is worth paying for, everytime.


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