Finally!

airport extreme - for the broadband addicted

I did it. After months thinking about it, I finally bought an Aiport Extreme base station for my home.
As a fan of the standard ethernet patch cable I always considered Airport as something suited for low traffic networks (and, it is), but after using it at my workplace for months, a big - stinking - monkey was sitting on my shoulder, beating me on the head everyday: “spend your money…” monkey said.

The best toy for the Broadband addict: in a couple of hours I found myself browsing from the bed (me, lazy bastard), living room, terrace (in the evening is wonderful), kitchen, just didn’t tested the bathroom…

In the past I used my desktop G4 (a 733mhz revision A) with an airport card as a “fake” Base Station, but it was a bit noisy (consider a couple of internal SCSI hard drives…) and it missed some options the base has (since with MacOs X Apple killed Software Base Station). You can work it out using command line configuration, but it’s complicated… and you still have the loud noise!
Then, since my ISP (Fastweb) it’s, practically, an hi-speed MAN in the city of Rome, that connects you to the internet, I wanted to use the Base as a sort of “filter” for wannabe hackers who, every once a while, tried log into my LAN.

Now the house LAN is split in two parts: Wi-Fi, serving three laptops (two Macs, one PC running XP, connected via an Orinoco Silver Wi-Fi card - some problems: see below); cabled 10/100 network (gets internet access from the Base Station with Network Address Translation) for the desktop G4, and my Powerbook when it sits on my desktop, connected to the external monitor, external hd and a bunch of other stuff.

Now, troubleshooting:
I have some password problems with the XP laptop: it wont authenticate (does not prompt you for a password) on a password protected network.
If you create a Wi-Fi network without password protection works fine, but I’m not willing to leave my network unprotected (I’m using MAC addresses as access control while trying to solve this problem).
The Base is wall mounted: any drawbacks? Just a smaller radius?

Update: after nearly 200 Mbytes of Service Packs, Critical Updates and other crap, the PC finally connects to Airport network (with password protection). You just have to provide the exact exadecimal key: instructions here.

PS.
If you are asking yourself: yes it’s me reflected in the Apple logo in the photograph.