Homeward Bound

I've had enough fun with wireless for one day.  I compounded the problem by missing a setting in the access point for my cube on Friday.  I've been testing the use of VLANs and multiple SSIDs, and had set the APs in my area to work that way.  Unfortunately, I forgot to adapt the 802.11a radio to use the right VLAN tags when I did the 802.11b/g networks, so I sat here pulling my hair out trying to get a faculty member's laptop to get an IP address, after I fixed the authentication SNAFU that had brought her to me in the first place.  I could see the access point authenticate the machine against the RADIUS server, then the client would just sit there, forever searching for a DHCP server to talk to.

I manually configured the IP address for that machine, just in case there was some momentary DHCP glitch I wasn't aware of, and I still couldn't get a route out.  I mentally stepped through what made this laptop different from any of the others around me, and realized that it had a tri mode 802.1a/b/g card, rather than the vanilla 802.11b/g cards most consumer laptops have.  Sure enough, the 802.11a network wasn't having the right tags put on its packets.  One quick configuration change, a reboot, and we're in business.

That wouldn't have been bad, in and of itself, but this was the 6th or 7th problem laptop of the day that got escalated to me from the help desk, and I didn't get anything else done.  Maybe tomorrow I can try to get caught up on my e-mail...

Oh, and the Macs just work, it's pretty sad that we're authenticating against Microsoft's Active Directory, using Microsoft's RADIUS server, and the Apple 802.1X client works better than the Microsoft one.

But enough wireless for today, I'm going home.