Hey! I got my iBook to print to my desktop printer, attached to my Win XP machine! Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound impressive, but it’s something I’ve wanted to be able to do since I had the PowerBook 1400, and I’ve never been able to do it until now. Relevant links:

Gimp-Print — for PC printer drivers

Mac OS X Hints — search for “SMB”, “printing”, or something similar.

Essentially, you need to enable SMB printing, install relevant printer drivers, then add your printer, using the arcane syntax “smb://user:pass@workgroup/server/sharename”.

I’m an idiot.

I now have both my Dell laptop and my iBook hooked up to my Airport Base Station, using WEP. I had originally disabled it, because I thought the USR card on the Dell wasn’t compatible with the 40-bit WEP implementation on the Airport Base Station. The USR config software only had options for 64-bit and 128-bit WEP. Little did I know that 40-bit and 64-bit are the same thing. And little did I know that the Airport Admin utility has a menu option to convert the text password used by Airport into the hex key required by the USR software. This nice little article explained it all: Flying into Other AirPorts. Yay for TidBITS! They rule!

My efforts to get WEP running again were of course spurred by Sunday’s Doonesbury.


I’m trying to decide whether or not I want to pay for .mac. It would be a much easier decision if the homepages function supported FTP uploading. Then, I could move this site over there, and have Blogger automatically post its pages, the way I can do with GeoCities (for $5/month). Then, I could drop the GeoCities account. It would also be an easier decision, if I wasn’t still using Mac OS 9. Some of the .mac stuff seems to be specific to OS X. Oh well, you can’t always have everything.

Hooking up a Windows laptop to an Airport Base Station

I just bought a USR 11Mbps wireless card for my laptop. I wanted to set things up so I could access my Airport Base Station from that laptop. It took a little doin’, but all is now well. If you need to do this, the important thing is to disable WEP on the base station, and set the PC card to “infrastructure” mode. Here are some links that might be helpful:

Cross-platform AirPort Wireless Networks

USR Support for the USR2410 card