If it ain’t broke …

My router — a Netgear WGR614 v6 I found at a yard sale for $5 — is occasionally flaky, and as a result it has won the ire of the entire household. It has a tendency to drop wireless connections at a whim, leaving a lot of browser pages spinning indefinitely.

The fix is to unplug the thing for 10 seconds, then plug it back in. It happens maybe once a day, on a bad streak. The modem is unaffected, so it’s little more than an inconvenience.

I wrote a very simple script for my parents’ Ubuntu system that will restart the networking process, and usually they’re back up within a minute or two without a reboot. So on the whole, it works fine, but it’s cranky.

All the same, it does suggest that the router is on its last leg, and so yesterday I went to my local box store of choice and found a mid-grade D-Link WBR-1310 router that I thought could take its place.

No luck there. For some reason it would allow every computer but my parents’ machine to connect. It’s a dual boot, and of course the Windows portion did fine, but their Ubuntu 6.06.1 system wasn’t allowed to get an IP address for some reason.

I could see the network and scan it, I had the right key, the right AP, the right channel, none of the settings had changed, and every other Linux machine in the house was online … but losing that particular machine — especially the Ubuntu system (Mom is a fierce Dapper fan) — was a dealbreaker.

I even went so far as to turn off all the encryption settings as a troubleshooting measure — and then no one could get online. That’s when I decided enough was enough.

So I’ve reset it and I’m taking it back to the box store. I don’t consider this a bad review of the D-Link router, since I only used it for a few hours and hardly got to know it.

But there is a moral to the story, and this is it: If it ain’t really, really broke, don’t fix it.

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Some recent desktops


May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF
 


May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games


Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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