OK...this is the last time...I promise! I won't ever talk about wireless again! Well not much anyway.
Emboldened by my success with connecting my Windows laptop to my Powerbook at work I felt like wirelessing my house. Did I ever find out wireless wouldn't be tamed that easily!
I bought an access point (my ADSL modem is a router) and a PCI wireless card for my PC. Soon as I was home I turned on the AP and voila! An open network called "default" sprang up and my Powerbook connected to it.
The AP was quickly configured to talk to the ADSL modem. It basically configured itself using DCHP coming from the modem. Getting internet access to work on the Powerbook was as simple as assigning myself and IP address in the same range.
It was friday, around 15.00 when I screwed open my PC and put in the wireless card. Windows booted, recognised the card, installed the drivers from the CD and tried to connect. A whole load of trouble followed, in multiple stages and sequences. Basically take one or several of the following, mix them up in weird and definately not wonderful ways, scream in frustration, rinse, repeat:
1. The card sees your AP
2. The card doesn't see your AP
3. The card sees somebody else's AP
4. The card connects
5. The card doesn't connect eventhough you've type the right WEP key
6. You retype the WEP key
7. You try different encryption settings on AP
8. You install the utilities that came with the card.
9. When connected the IP address is wrong (autoassigned by Windows) and it refuses to let you set another IP address
10. All network cards refuse to do anything. Not even ping 127.0.0.1.
11. You deinstall the utilities that came with card.
12. You use Windows' restore feature to roll back to 2 weeks ago.
13. It just doesn't work
14. You try every permutation of settings that Windows allows for.
15. You reinstall the utilities that came with the card.
16. Etc. (Make up some more yourself)
So after experiencing the above countless times in various orders all of a sudden it worked. Today, at 13:30. Why? No idea. I did nothing I didn't do at least 10 times before. But now it really works, even after rebooting.
Of course my AP is now standing upstairs in my study, while its intended position is downstairs in the utilities cupboard. The thinking currently is that if I disconnect upstairs and reconnect downstair I'll have to do everything all over again. We'll see.