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Computer problem? Mac to the rescue!

Earlier, I mentioned that I was having networking problems at my house. It took a little futzing around and a couple calls for help, but I got it working again.

And I have to give Jeff Harrell credit. He suggested that I "get a Mac" to solve my problems, and that actually did work.

Here's what happened: over the weekend, the cable modem at Casa Tea was replaced, but all was fine. Monday, though, it quit working. Turns out it needed to be "activated" to work. That took a bit of doing, because Comcast hadn't bothered to tell their system that I had this new modem. Finally, it was fine and I went to bed.

Tuesday morning, it was still fine. But Tuesday evening, it was down again. I could talk to the router, I could get online through the modem directly, but I could not get the modem and the router to play nice together. I swapped out every single ethernet cable and even the router, but nothing worked.

Finally, I called Linksys' tech support line. I got a very nice Indian gentleman (ID number 52952, if you're interested) who walked me through the setup process. And that's where the problem was.

I'd entered the modem's MAC address, as announced by a sticker, into the router's configuration. But Mr. 52952 ("5" to his friends) had me doublecheck the modem's actual MAC address through my computer -- and it didn't match. I punched in the new address, and all was well with the world.

So, Jeff, Paul, and other Mac-heads: I'm keeping my PC. Say what you want about your Macs. I built my machine by myself, with exactly the parts I wanted, I can easily service or upgrade it whenever I feel like it, and I have a virtually unlimited choice of software to put on it.


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Comments (34)

Yay for an unlimited choice... (Below threshold)

Yay for an unlimited choice of crap! And an endless selection of problems to have! Hooray!

>>and I have a virtually un... (Below threshold)

>>and I have a virtually unlimited choice of software to put on it.

Cool you mean you can run iPhoto and imovie! I'm in!

Two words: "Crash Different... (Below threshold)

Two words: "Crash Different"!

>>Cool you mean you can run... (Below threshold)

>>Cool you mean you can run iPhoto and imovie! I'm in!

I actually prefer more useful programs, like Premiere Pro and Combustion and 3D Studio Max, but if you only want a toy in the form of a giant cheese grater...

BTW Paul, in the last story, you got your timeline way off. Opteron systems were SHIPPING in May, G5 systems didn't ship until either August or September, I'm not sure which off the top of my head (of course, Apple would gladly take your money well before then). Oh, and OS-X still isn't 64-bit either. The only thing you get from the 64-bit goodness is your increased memory, which, yeah, Windows supported when Opteron came out.

Could've just spoofed the m... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

Could've just spoofed the mac address

Rodney, YOU could've spoofe... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Rodney, YOU could've spoofed the MAC address. I'm a hardware guy. I don't do software stuff very well. Just ask Paul or Kevin how many times I've busted this site.

On second thought, don't bother asking. Just my mentioning it will probably goad Paul into posting a tale or two without being asked.


(Happily online again, and enjoying the 30-buck ATA RAID card I installed this morning to boot)

Well for the computer illit... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Well for the computer illiterate like me, I admit I much preferred my now mostly dead Mac, and I miss it very much.

I build my computers from s... (Below threshold)

I build my computers from scavenged hardware, swapping bits and pieces and upgrading a bit at a time. The computer I'm using now is the one I acquired seven years ago except nothing original is left but an IDE cable. You just can't do that with a Mac.

As for trusting parameter data on a sticker - DUH!!!!

I used to be MAC guy. All ... (Below threshold)

I used to be MAC guy. All the while, I had to LIVE on a PC at work. The tools I needed for hardware and software development were PC-only, and we migrated our own products to embed a PC once it became cost-effective. So, I suffered through Windoze 3.0 and 3.1, Winduds for Workgripes, Windows high-5, Windblows 98, and Winders No-Trump. All the while, at home I migrated from a Mac IIci up to a very nice notebook, which still runs quite well and even respectably runs Virtual PC with Windows XP.

Then I bought a PC notebook. I had to -- I needed it for a consulting job that was PC-based. I'm hooked. It runs Windows XP Pro, and the sumbitch WORKS.

It's fast, it's easy, it does EVERYTHING I need it to do, and it just doesn't give me ANY problems EVER. Finally, I moved and got DSL. Connecting to my DSL ISP took a couple of minutes and no hassles, while connecting the Mac notebook to the same provider took two days. The question of, "Yeah, but can I get it for a Mac?" just doesn't happen anymore.

I'm not running down the Mac -- I'm just pointing out that the PC is now a grownup. The PC is, finally, reasonably close to what it should have been all along. The, "Yeah, but it ain't a Mac" line just doesn't work any more.

Just Me, Try using... (Below threshold)

Just Me,

Try using a scope & taking the time to aim...

Cybrludite, you are a bad b... (Below threshold)

Cybrludite, you are a bad boy. ;-)

I'm in the IT business. I ... (Below threshold)

I'm in the IT business. I use a Mac at home, a PC at work. I know enough about both to know their strengths and weaknesses across the board. The PC hardware is more flexible, which means it is more prone to breaking. Like the days of muscle cars, the guy who can "get in the guts" of their machine to make it work gets a nice testosterone rush when he's done. The Mac is more like a Volvo - it's safe and reliable.

I'll take my Mac any day.

Paul try this program calle... (Below threshold)

Paul try this program called "Irfanview" it was made by some dude in Germany I think. It's awesome


by the way, it is an image ... (Below threshold)

by the way, it is an image editor, but it also opens up just about any type of file, media, txt, what have you.

Apple makes good hardware, ... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

Apple makes good hardware, and has decent software.
MS has decent software. Hardware? Just about anyone...
If you are a gaming enthusiast, web browser, or other standard-use person, either can do the job but the Apple usually looks prettier.

But back when I was getting my first PC, I looked at what was available (remember the TRS-80? And DOS - not Windows - 3?) and only IBM-compatible Intel boxes with MS-DOS had this stuff called "third-party" hardware add-ons, OS software that let the hardware adders integrate, and so on. Within a year, I was chuckling at J. Pournelle's Chaos Manor crowing about his 20" monitor - I was using a video card and reading stuff (VGA compatible, yet!) on my 45" screen. I was tele-commuting to work via a package that emulated some 400 types of terminal. Using a 1200-Baud (that is 1.2Kb, folks) modem when I think Apple had a 300-baud. And using a text-editor that outdid the one I used on the mainframe at work. Running a two-10Meg-removable-cartridge-hard-drive when 5Meg drives were "top of the line" (OK, that one was wierd: I heard about it, and drove to the factory to ask where I could get one. I was told they were produced for the military, but since it was already a discontinued line and they still had some in the back room they sold me one.) And looking at ads that had other add-ons, like using the PC as a recording cash register (yes, complete with drawer[s]).

As far as I know, Apple still doesn't do some of the stuff I was doing back then - closed architecture (hey, we make hardware, why give others a free ride?) doncha know...

BUT note they are largely special-case stuff, out of the mainstream. Thing is, you can develop and sell to a niche market (PC cash registers for Mom&Pop stores) with Wintel...

"I actually prefer more use... (Below threshold)

"I actually prefer more useful programs..."

You actually don't know what you're talking about.
iMovie is very powerful and very useful. Premiere
doesn't let you pull up your whole music and
picture collection for dropping in tunes, sound
effects and photos. Premiere doesn't launch
your DVD creation tool with the menus already
created for your scene selections.

And what does Premiere plus whatever DVD
creation software that you use cost compared
to iMovie plus iDVD? $800-$1000 versus free.

Besides, if you are talking cheese graters,
Premiere is a cheese grater next to Final Cut Pro --
what ALL the professionals use. By the way,
you can only get Final Cut Pro on a Mac.

I agree with those above wh... (Below threshold)

I agree with those above who state that the PC has come far. The PC is now much closer to Mac in the things that Mac was better at: user interface, integrated workability, etc.

However, the PC is still significantly ahead in the things PC was better at: greater parts and software availability. It is easy to find great PC components at serious discounts, if one looks a little.

As to resistance to hacking, viruses, spyware... Mac is still a less likely target, although many credit this not to a better Opsys, but to the much lower market share. I agree.

As to the rabid nature of the Mac-heads, one cannot explain this alone with the performance difference between PC and Mac - there is almost no difference any more. Like Cubans and Chevy's, Mac users remain violently loyal to the brand, almost one thinks, as a matter of religion.

With even printers and musicians now using PC's, the Mac market share continues to decline, and that can only lead to one thing. If that day ever comes, I hope to be retired 'cause all of us PC users are going to hear about it then.

Jay Tea say: I'm a hardw... (Below threshold)
Carrick Talmadge:

Jay Tea say: I'm a hardware guy.

I think in any future post, you should start with this as a disclaimer, as it certainly explains your attachment to the PC.

The main attraction of Macintoshes for me is principally in the software & software development environment. I get a choice what to develop in and run in, and I prefer boxes that "just work". I don't like tinkering with the hardware or with the system anymore than I have to (at least not at this level).

BTW, I believe the Airport would have been easier for you to configure than the Linksys. We use both of them, and that has been consistently my experience. You get what you pay for is what I always say. What Apple gives you is a relatively seamless environment, but they do charge for their value added...

Argh...Jay, so happy to rea... (Below threshold)

Argh...Jay, so happy to read you resolved your problem. Sounds like a harmless issue to me, easily resolved, certainly not motivation for anyone to change their very computing approach, contrary to what some others possibly allude.

Seems as if it all comes down to where you begin and what you can devote financially to computing. Because, once you are acclimated to either a PC or MAC environ, it's not a simple (nor inexpensive) issue to convert from/to one or the other based upon perspective. Most of us just work through whatever the issues are when they arise, until there is a solution, and it's not like you just throw an investment away, so to speak, because it's inconvenient.

I'd have probably remained with MAC a while ago had not DELL intervened and offered me great hardware at a good price, something Apple never did -- I now find the entire atmosphere by Apple just far too offputting for my comfort and although, yes, there are some industry standards available by Apple, the rest of us are learning or already have how to accomplish the same tasks by other means. Meaning, sadly, I believe Apple is going the way of the Beamer.

Apple going the way of the ... (Below threshold)

Apple going the way of the Beamer??
Check out the trend of stock prices over the last 2 years:


Apple: 400% increase.
Microsoft: 0%
Apple is the future.

Apple vs Dell? Similar stor... (Below threshold)
Chris: something about all... (Below threshold)

Chris: something about all that noise sets me to thinking...Apple, the way of the Beamer. Over priced, snooty, perhaps an investment for some, an aversion for many.

I didn't write that Apple was going the way of the dinosaur, just the Beamer. Which is still in production, by the way, still overpriced, still depreciates and doesn't age well. Some people still find that whole thing appealing, i realize, just as they do the MAC. Which I'd buy perhaps but not certainly. A PC I'd buy certainly.

It's a case, again I write (this isn't intellectually challenging here) that it's a case of what you invest in and can. Most of us have a major investment in software and upgrade gradually and that means remaining with the platform that you're already invested in. And, most of us don't find the MAC "social environment" appealing but offputting. Meaning, I don't have much interest in parading my list o' Apple products around, just never seemed like a thing I had time or interest to do. But, you can go ahead, there's certainly a group of personalities available to commisserate with ya'.

No where did I write that the company was going kaput. You must have read that as it magically appeared in your MAC monitor, I am guessing.

Jay,How many Softw... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:


How many Software Engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?

None, its a hardware problem.

Crowscape said:... (Below threshold)

Crowscape said:

BTW Paul, in the last story, you got your timeline way off. Opteron systems were SHIPPING in May, G5 systems didn't ship until either August or September,

Bullshit, follow my links!

You can CLAIM all you want. I provided links.

Get over it.

"Apple: 400% increase.<br /... (Below threshold)

"Apple: 400% increase.
Microsoft: 0%
Apple is the future."

Take the iPod out of the equation and what happens to Apple's stock price?

Jay, I have felt ... (Below threshold)


I have felt your pain. I had a Netgear router connected to a Zoom cable modem, and I would lose connectivity on a monthly basis. I swapped out everything, including the router. Then, I bought a linksys router, and I still had compatibility issues.

Whenever I called one company's tech support, they always determined that it was some other component's fault.

Then, I bought one of these... and I'm glad I did.

It's basically a cable modem plus a router in one box, and no one can play the, "IT's the other guy's fault" game with me now.

It totally amazes me how in... (Below threshold)

It totally amazes me how infantile mac addicts can be with their ranting and raving on how good their machines are for making music and videos. How many buildings were built using a mac and itunes or imusic or any other iwhatever software the mac has dreamed up? How many CAD, CMM, CAM programs are run on a mac??????

Autocad and PC hardware is responsible for assisting in the creation of all you see around you. Macs are good for tunes and movies, which we all know, makes great places to live, commute, and work in!!!

I'm thoroughly confused.<... (Below threshold)

I'm thoroughly confused.

I don't understand what a PC vs Mac flamewar has to do with a misconfigured Ethernet address in your router.

And as a PC owner and Beame... (Below threshold)

And as a PC owner and Beamer owner, I can assure you that Beamers do hold their value quite well, thank you.

Giz, how can you "take the ... (Below threshold)

Giz, how can you "take the iPod out of the equation?"

Personally, I think the iPod is a perfect example of how Apple is unique in the industry. They didn't just build a portable music player. They started years before shipping the first iPod by acquiring and developing a Mac program for managing music collections: iTunes. The iPod didn't come until later, and when it did, it was designed from the ground up to be a companion product to iTunes. Apple shipped iPods for Windows eventually, but they were not successful until the company ported iTunes.

That's Apple's philosophy, right there: Hardware is fine, but software rules the world. Excellent hardware without software is an expensive paperweight.

Which is why, Jay, all due respect, your hand-made PC is nothing more than a boat anchor to me. Of the programs I depend on every day, your PC can run exactly one: InCopy. Well, it can also run iTunes, but that's not exactly something I depend on. On second thought, if you told me I had to live without it, I'd probably punch you right in the nose, so maybe I am dependent on it after all.

In any case, nobody gives a damn about hardware. Software is everything. Macs have good software; PCs don't. For me, that's the end of the conversation.

Paul, you jump to conclusio... (Below threshold)

Paul, you jump to conclusions as if it were a virtue.

I have both a Mac and PC. Every piece of software I depend on I have for both machines. All of it is good, which is why I use it.

So, both Macs and PCs have good software.

Of course you can find one or more pieces of good software that are available for one machine but not the other, but that does not mean that other pieces of good software are not available for the other. It just reveals your limited point of view.

I dunno. My Mac G5 had ever... (Below threshold)

I dunno. My Mac G5 had everything I would have picked if I was building a box from scratch anyways...and more.

I used to curse the guys like you who would send me halfway around the world with some piece of crap they built themselves, and then it wouldn't work.

Do the math: A Dell would have been $200 more, vs. sending me halfway around the world, billing $850/day, and having to wait 2 weeks for replacement parts to go through customs...

Vs. calling the local dell rep and saying "Fix it".

Crusader: no, Beamers don'... (Below threshold)

Crusader: no, Beamers don't hold their value, at all, based upon the many hundreds of ten, fifteen year old Beamers I 've seen all over Southern California that cost more than a Ford to rebuild and always need to be rebuilt, rattle, roll along, smoking, squeaking, rusting out.

If you care well for any vehicle, it ages well but in my experience, all the "used" Beamers I see are complete money pits. I've heard more tales o' woe about people who've bought them with hopes to have a nice used car afterward, finally ditching them a year, two later after spending many thousands of dollars on what ends up being complete rebuilds just to keep them rolling.

Garage them, drive them well, service them often, any vehicle ages well but as a general use vehicle and brand, the Beamer is notorious for wearing itself out after five years of heavy urban use. And most people who buy Beamers, or did, buy them for heavy urban use...not a lot of Beamers on farms and ranches for obvious reasons.

So, the comparison with App... (Below threshold)

So, the comparison with Apple, goes something like this: they are pretty and abundantly overpriced (thus, the status tag and reward, which is a large part of the buyer motivation for both), are obtusely noncommunicative to all except those who own similar items, are fabulous for a while and then...you find yourself staring at a tine 12" screen you can't read after driving home in a tiny, squeaky car you can't resell and you swear you're still "cutting edge."

I like the BMW 600's but I'd still never buy one. Nor, it appears, a G5 at this point.






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