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iBook WILL NOT CONNECT


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My roommate and I share a wireless internet connection. It works for her laptop. It works for my PC. It even works for my sister's nifty little visiting Toshiba laptop. But will my iBook connect? No. It claims I have the wrong password. Trust me, I have typed it in enough times to KNOW that it has NOT been the wrong password for ALL of those, no matter how complicated it looks on a Post-It note. It's the exact same password I put into my sister's computer. So WHY THE FREAKING HELL CAN MY IBOOK NOT CONNECT? The Mac troubleshooting advice on their website is both convoluted and useless. (I am not using AirPort Extreme, fuckers.) If we can't fix this, I am seriously going to need to consider swapping laptops with somebody. WHAT is going ON?

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Is it WEP or WPA? If it's WEP, WEP is frickin' retarded and has issues and can be screwed up in multiple ways. You can set it up in different ways that are incompatible with the default settings of various different things. It's fun. You can set it up so that it will work fine with a Mac without having to change anything but not Windows, or you can set it up so it'll work fine with Windows without them having to change anything but not Macs, or I think you might even be able to set it up so it won't work with either without everyone having to dick around with their settings. I don't remember it being easy (possible?) to set it up so no one has to do anything at all, at least the first time they connect. At least you can have it remember the settings after you figure them out.

Anyway, I had the same sort of problem with my router and having multiple different kinds of wireless cards in multiple kinds of laptops running multiple kinds of OSes using WEP. Basically if it works for everything else but the iBook, the easiest thing to change is how you're trying to connect to it. There should be some sort of popup menu next to/near where you enter the password that lets you choose what type it is. It should have various things in it, like ASCII and hex and different bit numbers associated with things, and you can fool around and try different ones and see if any of them make it happy. If they do, rock on. Have it remember that for future reference.

From what I remember reading, this kind of stuff should only happen with older, stupider types of encryption like WEP. Newer stuff that's actually secure like WPA is supposed to not have that sort of problem, as far as I know.

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Well, it seems we're running the bad kind (WEP), but now it finally works. The apparent workaround for entering a WEP password: put it in quotes if it's ascii, front it with $ if it's hex. I just didn't know the magic keywords to punch into the Mac help pages to find that one little relevant tidbit. ;) Your post, through some convoluted process I don't think I can explain, nudged me towards the steps I eventually needed to take to learn that, so thank you very much. I would still be here heartily wishing to smash my iBook to the floor without you.

If someone else comes through here with the same problem, the solution that worked for me is:

ASCII "pasSwoRd123"

hex $AB3de45hI7klm8Op (or however long a hex password is)

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Huh. I never knew you could do that. I just use the popup menu thing that lets you choose what kind of password it is and whatever other options in different combinations (WEP, WPA, 64 bit, 128 bit, ASCII, hex, etc.). Either that's new (I'm still using 10.3.9) or no one ever told me about it.

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