When I introduced my computer last week, I mentioned it was a little old. It’s one of the first line of white G3 iBooks, Airport-compatible and with a pretty meagre 20GB disk.
It’s taken me many years to do it, but I’ve decided to get a broadband wireless network in my house. And these days, Airport cards are hard to find. (Yes, I know I could try and get one on eBay, but I dislike uncertainty, and I’m in a rush.)
So I’ve been hunting high and low for other options. One is to buy a wireless bridge that plugs into the ethernet port on the iBook, fooling it into thinking it’s plugged into a coil of cat5 ethernet cable. A nice-sounding solution, but after hours of hunting, I can’t find such a bridge that doesn’t need its own power supply. Plugging into walls for power means wires, and the whole point of this project is to get rid of the wires.
Another option I considered was a simple USB WiFi bridge. I’ll be honest here: I had no idea these gadgets even existed. It turns out that D-link have just such a device, the DWL-122. Better yet, it’s incredibly cheap and should, in theory, provide all the wireless connection I need for most tasks.
At this point, Google comes to my aid. A few minutes browsing pulls up a very interesting blog post about the DWL-122, and how it has a tendency to crash Mac computers. Badly.
Turns out so many people have been so annoyed by this problem, that hundreds of them have signed a petition asking D-Link to sort it out.
Scrolling down that blog page was an exercise in depression. Dozens of people were reporting identical crashes and freeze-ups, network cutouts and general glitches while trying to use this USB device. What a shame! It sounded like the perfect solution!
But wait - right at the bottom of the page, just a few days old, the recent posts hold out a slender twig of hope. An updated driver for the device has been found, and users report it working well.
It would seem, from glancing at this tale of woe and redemption, that there’s hope yet for the D-Link dongle. I really hope so.
Anyone got any better ideas?