So I get myself a nice MacBook Pro (2.16Ghz) for Christmas. It’s really nice. I like it a lot. During the same time I buy the MacBook I buy a wireless router. It’s only natural. Right? I even ask the sales person at the store which model is best for the MacBook I just purchased. He recommends the D-Link DI-524UP. “Thank you very much. I’ll take one,” I say in Swedish. I get home and install it. Everything is fine and dandy. I’m surfing the net, enjoying my new toy, life is fine.
Then, “That’s strange,” I think. My signal strength deteriorates. I don’t pay it so much mind.
The next day, it happens again.
Then again the next day.
It continues for a very frustrating week. Then I discover this.
Nevertheless, I’m not going to simply give in and get another router. No! I’m a tech, doggonit! I’ve got to find out whether or not there’s SOME way it will work.
I try changing to the the various types of WPA encryption (NOTE: Surely you didn’t think I was NOT using encryption for my wireless connection. While I appreciate my neighbors doing it, I know a little better than that. I’m a technician for goodness sake!). No good. The connection still drops after awhile. I even break down and try WEP 128Kbps encryption. No good.
That’s it. Time for another router.
Off to the store I go.
Sidebar: Shopping in Sweden. Normally, I’m not one to get angry. Not at all. I try to take it easy. But I sort of forgot I was in Sweden for juuust a moment, and noticed that one of the sales personnel was just done helping a customer. I had the nerve to actually ask about a particular router. He looked at me with a bit of an attitude and said (in Swedish), “Well, I can’t memorize every router on the rack, but if you read the sides of the boxes you should be able to read which model they are. Otherwise you can take a number and wait.” You see, this is the land of the “nummerlapp”, or number ticket. It’s as Swedish as ABBA, and I am NOT joking. You can ask any Swede whose been here in the last 40 or so years and they’ll tell you that I’m spot on. Any store you go in that has constant business has a machine that gives out tickets with numbers on them. Anyway, this young man got me as angry as I’ve been in the last couple of years. I mean, here I am coming in this computer store, more than ready to quickly drop my 700 Swedish crowns ($100), head home, and get on with it. But NOOOOO! I’m in the land of, “Customer service? Huh? What’s that? Take a number pal!” There are many things done well in Sweden. Many. Mobile telephones (though the Finns still have the edge, in my humble opinion!), mobile telephone switches, IT, PR, coffee, chocolate, music (and I’m not just talking ABBA here), and vacation packages (bet you didn’t know this!), but customer service still has a LOOONG way to go. I think a lot of it has to do with most large stores like these being owned by people who rarely if ever pay a visit. If they did, they’d probably notice young… people like the one I ran into. I’ve been to smaller shops with the owners on the premises, and the staff are usually quite courteous. I’ve lived in Sweden for over 10 years now, and I can tell you that the rest of Europe has nothing to worry about as far as Swedish customer service.
Okay. Let me get back on track now. What brand router am I looking for? A Linksys. Now, had I really been paying attention to my colleague, The Viking, at work, who’s opinion I respect a great deal, I would’ve noticed immediately his disappointment at my saying I bought a D-Link in the first place. Well, I didn’t. But I had enough sense to know that I was buying a Linksys this time around. I eventually picked up the WRT54G model and headed home. I connected, configured, and started it up, and have been connected ever since. I’ve even found some pretty interesting info about the WRT models since thanks to another friend I’ll simply refer to as Erik the Red (with genuine Russian blood in his veins, no less).
So here I sit, signal strength just fine, writing what I thought was a quick entry for my blog, watching “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, and waiting for more snow (FINALLY!).
I’ve been a Cisco fan for some time, but I like them more than ever now. Go figure. 😉
BTW, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is STILL an awesome film to watch. An absolute martial arts classic.