There was a wireless access point on my shelf for about the last six years. I finally broke down today and tried to set it up. I really wanted to update my laptop to the latest Ubuntu. I decided to do this first for some ridiculous reason. Well, I cannot get my current wireless router to work at all unless I completely disable encryption. The WEP standard is apparently not as standard as one would hope.
I break open the box. It is funny working on new equipment that is several years out of date. Everything was wrapped in plastic and had that new electronics smell. I'm sure it is carcinogenic. Still it is fun to play with some new piece of equipment to try to get it to work.
I plug the thing in to the wall and my current router. Remember, it is an access point, not a router itself.
It took me a while to find the stupid thing on the network and connect to the IP. The book said the access point had a static IP by default, but they were, as usual, full of crap. It was using DHCP by default. It is no wonder no one sets up these old access points correctly. It is like the engineers were out to get you. You have to know the precise length of a WEP key and get no help even for limiting you hitting wrong keys in the web page interface. I should have known I was in trouble when the instructions said "You can user Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape to configure your access point." Yikes.
Then came configuring wireless. I made the normal settings, but no dice. The computer would not even believe that the access point existed. After fenagling for an hour, I read the box to discover the description '802-11a' on the side of the box. I don't think my laptop supports 'a' at all. I think it is an '802-11b/g' receiver in the laptop.
So, I connected my laptop to the router using the 20 foot cable that came with the access point and chucked the rest of the ancient equipment.