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54 comments

It works! (4, Informative)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978252)

I installed the update and can confirm that my signal strength is back to what it normally is..

The drop in signal strength was worrisome (5, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978283)

The lack of signal strength was causing some severe crashes here and there. It's good to have both NLS and GlideSlope back up to working levels, because without them it's virtually impossible to let the system auto-handle itself (requires extensive manual control to get it to work correctly when those two utilities are down).

Good work to Apple, and don't let it happen again!

Re:The drop in signal strength was worrisome (2, Informative)

topologist (644470) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978353)

I think you meant "ILS", and nice troll :-) I wonder if an unwary moderator will fall for it... (I do have points, but I thought I'd rather reply 'cos I don't know if your comment is funny or a troll..grin).

Re:The drop in signal strength was worrisome (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8978374)

The lack of signal strength was causing some severe crashes here and there

HAHAHAH! That's the funniest thing I've heard all day. Suffer, suffer - all ye who use Apple products. :)

Re:The drop in signal strength was worrisome (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8978497)

What the fuck are you talking about? The whole post was a pun on AirPort.

AirPort -> severe crashes

Get it?

Re:The drop in signal strength was worrisome (2, Funny)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978731)

You trust the localizer and glideslope enough to land automatically? I'd be worried there'd be wind or the thing wouldn't be aligned or something...at most I'd use it while manually controlling, at the least I'd ignore it once I see the runway.

Of course, I've only used MS Flight Simulator, what do I know? (Other than crashing it is a lot cheaper....)

Re:The drop in signal strength was worrisome (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8982256)

The whooshing you hear is that post going over my head.

Update Redundancy (4, Funny)

users.pl (689022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978344)

"Apple Offers Update for the Updated Update to Recent AirPort Update Which was Updated Before by another Update previously..."

Will it help here? (0, Funny)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978347)

snrk. but will it help fix these problems? [powerbook-fr.com]

Re:Will it help here? (0)

questamor (653018) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978495)

Look closer, those photos are well-known photoshop fakes.

Re:Will it help here? (1)

maddys_daddy (626262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8993025)

Huh? Did I miss something? Where are the pics. Did they get modded out?

PARENT IS TROLL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8978579)

TROLL TROLL TROLL!

Exploding batteries are not common, nor are they specific to Apple.

Bad Apple Updates (2, Insightful)

sukhjeet (697236) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978350)

Apple hasn't had the best of luck recently with their updates. Unfortunately, I update my 12" G4 PB pretty soon after they are announced here on /. Nothing too terrible has happened to me, but it would be nice if Apple was more careful or patient in releasing updates. I guess some things are hard to predict, but it definitely doesn't make people like me happy.

Re:Bad Apple Updates (3, Insightful)

logicat2001 (706979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978467)

Rather than complaining about your or Apple's "bad luck" why not post some details as I've personally not had any troublesome updates recently. Maybe you've got a terrible case of "user error"? I know I've had that before and it feels much worse than catching the flu.

One thing I am sure to do, especially with OS updates, is Repair Permissions on my system volume before installing the update. I have no hard proof, but I've written shell scripts before and I'd speculate that incorrect file/folder permissions could derail a less-than-elegant installer.

Also, major updates typically include a reminder that one should have a current backup at hand before installing and although I usually scoff at such advice myself, a current backup will minimize any post-install troubles.

Actually, having a current backup will minimize most technological troubles whether from a faulty software install or from having that laptop run over unexpectedly by a large vehicle.

Food for thought?
Logicat

Re:Bad Apple Updates (2, Informative)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978727)

Okay, keep your pants on man. Go to google and type "Airport 3.4" and see what the news stories are. Notice they all are titled things like "fixing [...] 3.4" or "improving [...] after installing 3.4" or "[...] uninstal[...]"

Re:Bad Apple Updates (1)

klez23 (524506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981673)

Okay, keep your pants on man.

actually he might relax more if he took his pants off

Re:Bad Apple Updates (1)

fozzmeister (160968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981594)

Most slashdot readers will know that Apple bungle far too many updates, Working with designers who use Mac's I know of a few more!

Yeh I know anti-apple will get me modded down, but you know I actually do have a very valid point. There's someone a few comments up who basically said I'll wait a while for other people to see if its ok, surely that's apples job!

Re:Bad Apple Updates (1)

grolaw (670747) | more than 10 years ago | (#8982711)

Backup dump truck...

unload: sarcasm:

Yes: run the Cron scripts, empty the trash, make certain you have enough free hard disk space for the upgrade, be certain you are running an account with administrator status, have TechTool 4 check everything, be certain that the swap files are in good shape and that they have enough space, consider optimizing the main drive, disconnect all firewire and USB devices, shut down the BLUETOOTH keyboard and mouse, run DiskWarrior 3.02 from the new boot CD you created three days ago (but, first do all of this before downloading the update to create the new CD), plug in your pBook or iBook, make certain that the G5 is on a UPS with enough juice to complete the install, download the package and use Pacifist to extract and install the contents because "combo updaters" never work, make certain that you download directly from the cable-modem - no 802.xx for Updates - they might be corrupted by a passing telephone user, turn off all print jobs and exit all APPS, hold your tongue in the gap between the R upper canine and first premolar, whistle a happy tune and cross all digits. . .

CLEAR SARCASM

The UPDATES SO INSTALLED have a 0.00001 variance to the SD (dead on the MEAN) for all updates installed WITHOUT THESE PRECAUTIONS.

Come on! My machines live 24/7 - the 'books just go to sleep when transporting them - AND THE ONLY TIME THEY GO DOWN IS WHEN THE !@$#@ updates screw them up!

THIS IS APPLE - running DARWIN, BSD AND THEIR GUI ON TOP - we PAY FOR and EXPECT solid updates. TRUTH BE TOLD, most of them are clean and quick to install with no problems. BUT, the best method of having a clean update is to wait a week and check VersionTracker, /. and Apple's own forums for bug reports AND THEN INSTALL THEM.

Works fine here (5, Informative)

jabex (320163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978360)

All is well over here with the 3.4.1 update. Now I can finally dig into those Airport Management Tools.

linkity link [apple.com]

Apple also put out a doc on the tools (link to PDF article)
clickity click [apple.com]

All working fine here.. (5, Informative)

ItMustBeEsoteric (732632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8978677)

...on my 900MHz iBook G3 12". Better reception that 3.4 it seems, but I didn't suffer a major hit to signal when upping to 3.4.

A great way to check your strength is MacStumbler [macstumbler.com] which also has some tasty war driving applications if you're so inclined.

With 3.4, I was getting a signal of as low as 81 in my room in some places (as far as 30 feet from my router), and now with 3.4.1 I'm above 100 everywhere in the room. Rock!

Re:All working fine here.. (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8982146)

3.4 mainly aversely affected Airport Extreme users. The figures you quote coule merely be down to atmospheric conditions.

You know, sunspots.

Re:All working fine here.. (1)

ItMustBeEsoteric (732632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8985721)

Well, I checked Stumbler just before restarting, then just after, so I really doubt it.

Re:All working fine here.. (1)

Greedo (304385) | more than 10 years ago | (#8985099)

if you don't need all the features of MacStumbler, you can try the very nice AP Grapher [chimoosoft.com] to track signal strength.

Bus Error on the softwareupdate download (2, Interesting)

babbage (61057) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979133)

I'm getting bus error crashes when trying to download the patch on two different Macs, one a G5, the other a G3 iBook. The session goes something like this:

% sudo softwareupdate -d AirPortSW-3.4.1
Password:
Software Update Tool
Copyright 2002-2003 Apple Computer, Inc.


AirPort Software: 0...10...20...30...40...50Bus error

%

This is very repeatable for me -- it happened three times on one machine & twice on the other. I don't remember the softwareupdate command having a problem like this before.

On the other hand, I was able to use Safari to download the .dmg directly from Apple [apple.com] , and Safari hasn't crashed on me. And the fact that people are reporting success with this suggests that the GUI tool is working, &/or the problem is local to the download option for the command line tool.

Still, it's annoying -- I was hoping to skip downloading it over & over, and this was much more of a kludge than I had in mind...

Re:Bus Error on the softwareupdate download (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8979807)

Oh, I had that problem last week. You just need to downloBus error

or

"Bus error" is just Apple-speak fBUFFERING

NO CARRIER

Re:Bus Error on the softwareupdate download (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984132)

I had the installer crap out on me (just exited, not even an alert window) when trying to upgrade the developer tools a couple of weeks ago. Turns out there was something wrong in its package subdirectory /Library/Receipts/DeveloperTools.pkg. Apparently there was a file in there that had gotten crosslinked, even though I run journaling. So I rebooted into single-user mode and ran fsck on my boot disk. Then I deleted the package subdirectory and it installed just fine.

I recommend booting into single-user mode (command-s during restart) and forcing a fsck of your boot disk. (Something like 'fsck -fy /' but single user mode prints a reminder right before giving you a shell.)

OH NO! (3, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979452)

I installed this update and now my cats are clawing their eyes out, my freezer defrosted, and my chair is on fire.

On a positive note, I can more easily connect to my neighbor's very weak network - it's increased in strength x2, and my signal seems to be somewhat stronger (10-15 pts. on kisMAC)

Re:OH NO! (2, Funny)

"Zow" (6449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984267)

I installed this update and now my cats are clawing their eyes out, my freezer defrosted, and my chair is on fire.

So, what you're saying is that things are better now?

Another day.... (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8979882)

...another AirPort update. Seems Apple would take a hint and give the project to someone that can settle things down. This thing gets updated more than RealPlayer!

Re:Another day.... (1)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980131)

Wireless ease is Apple's bread-and-butter these days, the XServe/iBook/Airport combos being shipped to schools are a BIG part of Apple's bottom-line, and offer major possibility of growth.

I definitely understand having a LOT of R&D going to this technology, it's really changing the way kids are learning and people are working.

If it weren't for the iBook's wireless abilities I'd be adminning a lab of bland Dell OptiPoopers instead of mobile airport carts full of durable kid-friendly iBooks.

Re:Another day.... (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980240)

I definitely understand having a LOT of R&D going to this technology

You do know who manufacturers the wireless cards, right?

Re:Another day.... (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8982160)

Apple put a lot of effort into adding new features with every release. Last time it was WPA security, this time it's signal work and syslog stuff. Along with the management tools which may or may not be officially available depending on where you look it's all good. I'm much happier with Mac stuff than dead in the water PC kit (looks at netgear crap on shelf).

Re:Another day.... (1)

onebuttonmouse (733011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983819)

I'll admit that wireless stuff is not great on the PC, and Windows' support for wireless is frankly abysmal, but why knock netgear stuff?

I've set up several Netgear APs, Wireless routers and what have you. I found them to be dead simple to set up and secure and they perform nicely. What's so great about the AEBS? Why is it so expensive? Am I missing out?

Re:Another day.... (1)

fr0dicus (641320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8985096)

I'm knocking netgear because mine, an ME102, went slowly tits up with every key change (it would take longer to restart and sometimes didn't acknowledge the change), and was never going to receive anything useful like an update for WPA security from Netgear. Now it just comes up with a boggled IP address and refuses to work. It was only configurable from a bespoke Windows app which is very hard to find on netgear's website (which is fairly typical from some of the middle tier hardware manufacturers).

My next purchase was a Buffalo 11g unit which didn't seem to work properly at all but luckily I managed to take it back. I bought my AEBS originally simply because I knew it would work correctly with my Macs, and had backup dialup, MAC security and USB printer access, and had been burned twice trying to get a cheaper option. Now I'm glad I did anyway, as it's been flawlessly reliable and has received constant useful updates. I don't think there's any reason to get one if you don't need a print server or any of the associated stuff, but when I was buying mine 11g was quite new and the prices weren't radically different. Maybe if I was buying without experience now I'd probably settle for a cheaper one but I've never been anything except impressed with Apple kit and service and I'm quite happy to do it again even at a premium simply because I feel I get real value for money.

Re:Another day.... (1)

onebuttonmouse (733011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8989318)

Sounds like a pretty bad experience.

I've got the ME102 also, which I've had good luck with. If you still have it, try giving this [wi2600.org] utility a go. It lets you adjust way more stuff than netgear's utility - which i agree is poor. Another useful feature is that you can adjust the strength of the signal output, which netgear don't set to the highest setting.

I've not really checked out the AEBS, but maybe I will if I ever need 11g.

Re:Another day.... (1)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984808)

There's still a lot of R&D into making the software clean, featureful, and easy-to-use. Wireless technology is a heck of a lot more than chips and antennae.

Apple puts a lot of R&D into their hardware, even though it's all built from components engineered elsewhere, you can't make a computer by tossing a CPU, video card, and hard drive into a plastic bin and shaking it, can you?

I'm waiting . . . (4, Insightful)

grolaw (670747) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980083)

Because I have learned my lesson: don't live on the bleeding edge if you have real work to get done.

I'm fat, dumb and happy and staying with 3.3.1 for the next few weeks. I'll let others play around with this update till the bugs are worked out.

Thanks to ^Fish Sun^ for the reversion page. That saved my entire day.

Re:I'm waiting . . . (4, Funny)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983033)

Because I have learned my lesson: don't live on the bleeding edge if you have real work to get done.

I know what you mean, man. When my signal strength is down, posting to Slashdot is a real bitch.

no problems here... (3, Interesting)

NateTech (50881) | more than 10 years ago | (#8980466)

Had the supposedly "buggy" patch installed, and then got the new one. Never saw a difference in wireless signal strength. All bars lit.

Of course, the AP is located in a strategic location in the house using sound RF engineering principals to determine the location and not stuffed in a dresser underneath the clean socks, and a pie tin, as it would appear the whiners have done to themselves... ;-)

Locating it as close as possible to the client machines and strategically centered in the middle of the desired zone of coverage while moving it appropriately closer to clients that are behind walls and other objects that soak up energy at 2.4 GHz -- works very well.

Knowing the limitations of the signal and being willing to install a second AP if necessary to get the desired coverage is probably also something that helps.

If your signal strength is marginal, fix the root cause -- get better antennas (while remaining with the legal Effective Radiated Power limits) and put them in the correct locations.

The physics of RF at 2.4 GHz haven't changed any recently, last I checked.

If you're running with a single bar for signal strength you haven't designed your RF patterns/system layout correctly. Fix that. Then a silly software bug that lowers signal strength by one bar will be as *yawn* unexciting as it was here...

Re:no problems here... (4, Insightful)

Textbook Error (590676) | more than 10 years ago | (#8981636)

Had the supposedly "buggy" patch installed, and then got the new one. Never saw a difference in wireless signal strength. All bars lit. Of course, the AP is located in a strategic location in the house using sound RF engineering principals to determine the location and not stuffed in a dresser underneath the clean socks, and a pie tin, as it would appear the whiners have done to themselves... ;-)

Conversely I had the AP located 40cm away from the PowerBook, passing through 3cm of wood, and got repeated loss of signal (I'd still be joined to the network, but would be unable to pass IP traffic anywhere: even to ping the base station).

This was a 1.25Ghz AlBook connecting to an original Graphite base station. A G3 iBook connecting to the exact same base station from 2 rooms away was absolutely fine with the update installed, but the AlBook was lucky to last 5 minutes before losing the connection.

The physics of RF at 2.4 GHz haven't changed any recently, last I checked.

Although a lot of people complained about the signal strength dropping, there were definitely other problems with the previous release. I was still getting 5 bars, yet was unable to make a stable connection - absolutely nothing else changed on the Mac or the AP apart from this update, and since rolling it back I haven't lost the connection once.

Re:no problems here... (1)

NateTech (50881) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983681)

Fair 'nuff. Sounds like there were other major problems with that patch with some hardware. Guess I got lucky.

hey dum-dum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8984580)

Notice how the guy who you responded to said "sound RF engineering principals [sic]"?

If you knew anything about these, you'd know that there is a such thing as being TOO close to the transmitter.

Re:hey dum-dum (1)

maddys_daddy (626262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8992977)

Easy, there, Anonymous _COWARD_. No need to call names here. (And no, I'm not calling you a name, I'm merely repeating the "name" on your post). I find it interesting that NateTech seems to make an assumption as ludicrous and naive as thinking that everyone who operates an Apple Airport does/should have a working knowledge of "sound RF engineering prinicipals." Seeing as how the occupations of Apple product users run the gamut from garbage collector to business executive to elementary school teachers--a vast majority of whom probably don't have a clue what the abbreviation RF even means. So before you start attempting to minimize an issue that obviously transcends your own false assumptions of the extent of the problem, try to realize that your God-given talents and/or knowledge are far from ubiquitous. Please don't be so condescending when you address a problem that mere luck allowed you to escape (as it is obvious that the problems far exceeded the RF signal strength issues which you so arrogantly dismiss). 'Nuff said.

Re:no problems here... (1)

Gorbag (176668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983478)

Of course, the AP is located in a strategic location in the house using sound RF engineering principals (sic) to determine the location and not stuffed in a dresser underneath the clean socks, and a pie tin, as it would appear the whiners have done to themselves... ;-)
Hey wait a minute; I used noisy RF engineering principles too, and I thought the pie tin was an excellent way to make my Airport more directional (keeps the signals out of the neighbor's apartment, not to mention lets my powerbook "rebound" the singal into the collector thingy - um, antenna).

Re:no problems here... (1)

NateTech (50881) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983773)

Nicely done! LOL!

Firmware update or driver? (1)

redog (574983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8982927)

Is this a firmware update or driver?
I use a powerbook but have linux installed on it. I have no idea what version the firmware is so I am reluctant to consider an update as it may effect the linux drivers. Can some one confirm that the drivers for linux will still work if this is a firmware "upgrade."

Re:Firmware update or driver? (2, Insightful)

onebuttonmouse (733011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983608)

In the case of all the firmware updates I've done, like the superdrive or bluetooth mouse, software update has just downloaded a program to /Applications/Utilities for you to run later rather than updating straight away. With the 3.4.1 update, no such program is downloaded. Perhaps it's reasonable to assume no firmware is altered?

Re:Firmware update or driver? (1)

gst (76126) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983803)

There were already airport firmware updates without asking or notifying the user about them.

On new (old-style) airport cards a very old firmware version is installed. If you use them under OS X, the first time you do, a new firmware version is automatically installed.

You notice this, because WEP doesn't work under Linux before the update, but after using the card under OS X it does.

Re:Firmware update or driver? (1)

plj (673710) | more than 10 years ago | (#8990817)

As far as I've understood, it is a driver update for OS X, and FW update for Apple's AirPort (Extreme) base station.

As I don't own an APBS, I think this whole FW problem was more related to the APBS than AirPort cards. This is because though I do not have any access point at home, I've been able to roam around at school quite normally without any signal problems with my APE-equipped PBook. And no, the access points there are definitely not Apple ones...

Big improvement (3, Funny)

onebuttonmouse (733011) | more than 10 years ago | (#8983648)

Big improvement on my 12" PB. Good thing too, it was getting really hard to pick up the neighbours' cable connection. I was about to ask them to move their AP a bit nearer.

ABS losing WAN connectivity? (2, Informative)

netdpb (652100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8984390)

Anyone else experience problems with the ABS losing WAN connectivity with 3.4?

I have incoming SSH open, and I noticed that once a day (or every other day maybe) with 3.4 I would lose access from outside, and then when I got home, I noticed that I could ping the ABS but not any outside IP. The ABS still had a valid WAN address from DHCP, but somehow had lost the ability to get out through the cable modem.

Anyone else have this happen? and has it abated for you with 3.4.1?

Don't install Apple Updates Immediately (2, Interesting)

poleman13 (766922) | more than 10 years ago | (#8985193)

This just goes to show that you always should wait at least a week before installing any updates from Apple. I myself lost a battery on an iBook 500 with 10.2.4, and my airport extreme siganl on my 12" powerbook with this airport update. This will be the last time I ever install an Apple update without scrutinizing the forums first for potential bugs.

Re:Don't install Apple Updates Immediately (2, Interesting)

ItMustBeEsoteric (732632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8991222)

And if everyone waits a week before installing updates, everyone will just find out about problems. Just because you don't want to be "on the edge" doesn't mean some people don't. Me, I'm willing to be a mine-shaft canary. :)

Well, weak signals weren't my primary concern.... (2, Informative)

macxonly (548543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8987366)


The signal weaknesses weren't my primary concern about the 3.4 version. My problems were with actually connecting to my networks, and being blatantly dropped. Sometimes this resulted in me having to reboot my system.

With this update I could not wake from sleep and automagically get onto my home network. Other times I would be dropped, have to turn off Airport, and then turn it back on to even see the network. This didn't fix my problems a majority of the time. There is no real excuse about signal strength, as my powerbook is a foot away from the wireless router. My room mate had experienced the same problems. We both have 12" 1Ghz powerbooks.

Please, please PLEASE post your hardware when you are reporting problems/talking about recent updates. It gives the rest of us "bleeding edgers" a little more room to breathe, and also allows us to submit proper bugs to Apple if need be.

Besides an informed decision is the right decision.....


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