March 4, 2006

every day is fricking

every day is frickin.jpg

All I wanted was to get the wifi on my Tablet PC to work properly. But of course, it doesn't. It can't go 24 hours without something going wrong. And the reason is Microsoft software. Of course it is. It always is.

Robert Scoble likes to say that Job One at Microsoft is to thrill customers. OK, fair enough. Get my wifi to work properly and I might start taking that idea seriously.

Any wifi mavens out there fancy trying to help me out? If so then please skype me at username "gapingvoid".

[Update:] The problem seems to be with Intel. Anybody?

[UPDATE: This story has a happy ending. Hurrah!]

Posted by hugh macleod at March 4, 2006 1:02 PM | TrackBack

I know little about WiFi.
I'm Mac user and I'm a happy guy. You should switch...

Posted by: Fabian at March 4, 2006 3:23 PM

I am considering it. Hmmmph!

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at March 4, 2006 4:02 PM

I had this same problem due to an outdated wireless driver. I had to contact the OEM to figure out which driver to download from Intel, though. Hope that helps, good luck!

Posted by: Brian at March 4, 2006 6:39 PM

I have a Dell with the same issue. It appears to be a conflict between the Intel wireless manager and the Microsoft wireless manager. They don't like each other very much. I have had measured succes by disabling the Microsoft wireless manager and using the intel one. But I still have to Disable-Enable the radio and Repair the connection quite frequently when moving from hotspot to hotspot.

I for one am fed up and when my MacBook Pro arrives I will have a going away party with free WiFi and not a copy of Windows in site.

Buena Suerte!


Posted by: thinkjose at March 4, 2006 7:41 PM

I heard alot about the superiority of Apple MacBook, Infact i'm really considering buying it, although i,m happy with my Toshiba.

Hey Hugh, I heared alot about Toshiba Tablet PC' can check the website...Toshiba is Strong And relatively affordable..

Posted by: Agarda at March 4, 2006 7:44 PM


Depends on the WiFi hardware you have. There's an Intel chipset out there (PRO 2200BG or something like that) that's VERY common that just has problems maintaining an 802.11g connection (that's the 20+ Mbps type). I have this chipset in my Toshiba Tablet, and suffered from dropped connections all the time until I forced the driver to always use 802.11b (the slower 11 Mbps type). After that no problem.

Note that in general 801.11b is fine for surfing and emailing activities: it's generally faster than most people's internet connections anyway. Never really noticed the difference unless I wanted to download something big, but then at that point I use wired.

Cheers, Julian

Posted by: Julian M Bucknall at March 4, 2006 8:52 PM

My toshiba portege is always dropping out as well. How did you do it Julian?

Posted by: Geoff at March 4, 2006 10:53 PM

Sorry I can't help with your problem. But it's interesting that before you figure out what the problem is, Microsoft gets the blame. The fact that technically it may be Intel's problem (or someone else's) is irrelevant - from a marketing perspective it's their problem. The fact that they don't get this makes it worse.

Of course the solution is closed source - one reason Mac's don't have this problem. In the olden days IBM didn't either when they were BIG Brother - I mean Big blue.

Posted by: John Seiffer at March 4, 2006 11:59 PM

Have you tried ???

I am on a slightly earlier version of the driver with my HP nc8000 and I have never seen my connection drop unless I'm on some flaky hotel connection.

Are you letting Windows manage the connection or using the Intel software? The Intel management software lets you create and manage the connections at a very detailed level. You can determine what access point you are connecting to, signal strength and other useful troubleshooting information.

And of course you could also do some network captures to see if the problem is actually a network issue. For that matter it could be spectrum interference from another device.

Wireless troubleshooting isn't easy... Need help?

Posted by: Keith Combs at March 5, 2006 7:04 AM

Intel and MS are two sides of the same coin.

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at March 5, 2006 10:34 AM

I think what is missing from so many companies mindsets is the understanding of what they are selling.

They're not selling a product. They're selling either a service (perhaps in product form) and ultimately a result (i.e. no one buys a drill, they buy a hole).

Ultimately, with a service two things matter.

1. The quality of the service.
2. And what you do when you screw up that quality (customer service).

So many companies (e.g. cell phone providers) just don't understand that.


Posted by: Eric Mattson at March 5, 2006 10:56 AM

I had been wondering why you'd gone wintel though I can understand the Tablet thing given what you do.

I made the break to Mac a month or so back - no regrets. And that after 24 years. It was like a divorce - slightly painful but a relief nonetheless.

Apple store in Regent Street is worth a visit - they've got people who really do know what they're talking about. A unique experience for me. And they don't 'sell' at you but solve your problem. PowerBook G4 for me...

When I blogged it I was gobsmacked at the number of people who smiled back in comments.

Oh yes - wifi - bluetooth - airport...all built in and working.

Posted by: Dennis Howlett at March 5, 2006 12:44 PM

Are you saying that it no longer rocks?

Posted by: john at March 5, 2006 12:44 PM

Everything rocks except the wifi . . .

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at March 5, 2006 1:59 PM

"I got my wifi, the other women, and the win-key killing me. The first two make it so as that I'se see red, the third one makes it so as that i can't see. If i had half a drive left after this debauchery, I'd give up the other women and the technology."

In advance: my sincere apologigies to the OLD 97s for mishearing those liericks.

Posted by: a tribute to a familiar band at March 5, 2006 2:55 PM


Log in as an admin. View Network Connections. Right-click on Wireless Network, select Properties. Select the General tab, click on Configure. Select the Advanced tab. There's a list of properties you can change. Select Wireless Mode and the dropdown list to the right should have three values: b only, b&g, and g only. I've got mine set to b only.

Hope that helps.

Cheers, Julian

Posted by: Julian M Bucknall at March 5, 2006 8:54 PM

Funny, I read on an internal Microsoft mailing list that you're having troubles, so a group of people are trying to figure out how to help you.

One thing? This is why I put my cell phone number on my blog. 425-205-1921. You could have just called and I would have gotten you help you know. :-)

But, now that we're here, are you still having troubles?

Posted by: Robert Scoble at March 5, 2006 10:16 PM

If Intel's the other side of the Microsoft coin, and Apple only runs on Intel now, then does that mean that Intel is the root of all evil?

Posted by: Chris at March 6, 2006 1:54 AM

Hugh and I chatted via Skype for a bit. It was Sunday afternoon for me and Sunday night for him. I asked a few questions and we poked around looking at his setup. After I got a handle on the gear he has, I sent him some instructions on some stuff to try. We could not do that on the phone because our Skype connection would get dropped so they went via email. That was at dinner time for me and way past his bed time.

Now it's time for me to crash, and I'll catch up with him in the the morning. By the time that happens, it'll already be afternoon for him. We'll either get another black cloud cartoon or something fun and wirelessly connected. Hopefully the latter.

It may turn out to be an ip address conflict on his network. He already has a wired network that works fine. It's using the 192.168.0 network of course. The D-Link WAP defaults to an ip address of so if the instructions I sent him don't work, would someone figure out if that ip address is already used on his homelan? Passing off to Europe since the sun is coming up there.

Isn't the globe fun?

Posted by: Keith Combs at March 6, 2006 6:28 AM

Rock on, Scoble!

Posted by: hugh macleod at March 6, 2006 10:05 AM

Thanks, Keith! Yeah, working now!

[Warm glow of Micosoft Love etc...]

Posted by: hugh macleod at March 6, 2006 10:07 AM

Robert, I had a feelng if I did it the way I did, it would prove something about Microsoft.
You guys would either react in the way you did (which I had hoped/assumed you would)... or you would have reacted like how Dell did when Jeff Jarvis had a problem:

Posted by: Hugh MacLeod at March 6, 2006 10:13 AM

I was having problems resolving dns and getting the gateway until I forced my wireless the intel pro 2200bg to go only 802.11b - in the advanced tab on the card in the device manager - property - wireless mode. after I changed it to 802.11b only all my problems were solved. thanks jullian.

Posted by: Josh at March 15, 2006 2:02 AM