Since this crazy job of mine doesn’t quite feed my mad electronics fetish as much as I might like to, I do a lot of computer troubleshooting on the side… it helps pay the bills, and is a nice way to stay on my toes as far as keeping on top of possible threats out there (since our company’s firewall keeps them out for the most part). I’ll usually head to a person’s house, get some stuff done, and if it’s still in rough shape (requires a full backup and format) I’ll bring the machine home.
Yesterday, I headed over to my former AVP (Assistant Vice-Preisdent, for those of you not in the know)’s house to get her wireless network running and troubleshoot problems with her one desktop, as well as get file and printer sharing working between two machines. Her wireless router is a little bit old – a D-Link DI-524 – but it’s something I’ve dealt with before.
After a firmware upgrade, the option to use WPA-PSK encryption was made available (as opposed to standard WEP before). Great, I thought! I go to put in a key, hit Apply, and…
Nothing. Hitting the Apply button does absolutely nothing. Two computer and router restarts (including a full reset) later, and the same thing was happening. Some quick research indicated that, hooray hooray, there was an incompatibility with that router’s administration page, Java, and Firefox. Solution? Use Internet Explorer.
Here’s where I really ran into a pickle. This is the first time I’ve ever felt the disadvantage of using a non-Windows operating system. If I had Windows, I would have been able to fire up IE and just get everything going for them. Instead, I had to try and install IE6 for Linux, which failed (Wine threw some kind of error). I ended up using one of my client’s laptops, which they thankfully had sitting around. Frustrating, but it was easy enough to work around.
Has anyone else had experiences like this? Things that are *just* out of reach for you because of your choice to use Linux over Windows?