I cannot even describe how many blue boxes I have around this place. I mean, over the years I've had at least a dozen Linksys devices around this place. Cable modems, cable routers, wireless routers, hubs, switches, even an ill-advised wireless webcam (fumb ducks didn't mention on the box at the time that it was completely useless unless you were running Windows and MSIE).
However, the network has a new king, and it is rounded and white, not blue and X-wing-fighterlike.
We have had an Airport Express for a while now, something that allows us to stream music across to the stereo in the living room. If I was suitably inspired, it could also let us share a printer on the network, but since the stereo and the printers aren't even in the same room, we never did that. I did use that AEX to share out my in-room Ethernet at Lotusphere this last year, though if you didn't already live on the eleventeenth floor, you probably couldn't see the signal.
Until an hour ago, though, Linksys has owned our wireless network, back to the 802.11b-only days. But I think that's over. I've had two bad boxes in a row, and I'm just sick of fucking around with it. The all-on-one cable modem/router/WAP was a failure... no possibility of upgrading the firmware and really flaky performance. And now the venerable WRT54G has been dethroned, now that it's spent the last few weeks and months randomly dropping the WAN connection if too much data was flowing on the wireless side... of course, this happens every damn day, since I sync the AppleTV to the MacBook Pro regularly. Thus, every day, the access to the internet would vanish and there would be no way to reset the thing remotely, even though you could talk to it. Hike downstairs, get cat dust on my feet, swear a lot, pull the power plug and replug it. About every tenth time, the router would completely forget its configuration and have to be reconfigured, which resulted in me having a copy of a known-good config.bin on every damn machine in the house.
Lately, it also decided to randomly start dropping the wireless regardless of load. I think it had a "he's gone to bed" sensor, so it would fail as soon as I got upstairs to check email from the bedroom laptop. See also, "cat dust on my feet." See also, "swearing."
It's gone. Want it? A recent firmware update made all this worse, and no, it's not one of the good Linux-based one. It's a Version 5 or 6, which means you can only use very limited versions of the wildly-cool open-source firmwares that are floating around out there.
The Airport Extreme went in, lit up, and with a little fiddling with inbound port mapping so that that world can reach my server reliably again, it settled in for a long reign.
See, Ed, I told you you should have gotten one of these.