Another Wireless Update

Apple released AirPort Extreme Update 2008-001 for Tiger the other day. In our ongoing troubleshooting with Aruba and Apple, we’d been seeded a couple of pre-releases of this patch. (We were under an NDA, which is why I couldn’t mention them here.) So seeing this new patch cheered me up thinking that they’d finally gotten to the root of the problem.

Unfortunately, it didn’t. On Friday, we brought four Summer 2007 MacBooks w/ 10.4.11 and this new patch into one of our worst rooms for testing. Within 10 minutes, two of the four machines had lost their FirstClass connections. Whatever the cause of the disconnects, we can be sure that utilization wasn’t one of them; our school’s on Spring Break, and there were only a handful of people in the building, no more than a dozen of whom were on wireless (in many different locations).

So, to recap the latest events: Aruba’s made some configuration changes on our controller that have helped somewhat—most significantly, blocking UDP 5353 (mDNS/Bonjour) on the wireless—and Apple’s found the problems with the old drivers and declared them fixed with the new driver. But we’re still experiencing problems. When Aruba’s engineers were on-site, they found lots of interference around 2.4 GHz, so we’ll be looking into testing 802.11a more thoroughly and probably switching as much or our equipment off of 802.11g as is feasible.

Of course, this would be less of an issue if FirstClass weren’t such a shit stain. And it would have been less of an issue if we’d bought AP-65 access points instead of AP-61s. (When we made the purchase, the cards in all of Apple’s machines were b/g only, and because of Apple’s secrecy, we had no idea that they’d be coming out with 802.11a-capable machines only a few months later.) But these are our legacy, and they’re what we have to support.

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    Heya Paul,

    No luck on your end? We’re still seeing problems here at Yokohama International School too.

    The folks who support Aruba in Japan have been great, coming in and doing a lot of testing, but we haven’t gotten any good response from Apple Japan.


    Genki U.

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