Panther: More networking flakiness

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 10th, 2003 • 5:10 am

I’ve been using Panther for a few days now, and I am starting to see some patterns emerging… And it’s not good news for certain aspects of the Mac OS X experience.

My problems have to do with networking mostly. I’ve already described the flakiness of the AirPort menu and the AirPort status in the Internet Connect application.

Things seem to be even worse than that. It now appears that the flakiness is not purely a “cosmetic” issue (i.e. Mac OS X not displaying the actual network status properly). The network status itself appears to be, to a certain extent, unpredictable. I’ve just spent the best part of an hour struggling to keep a connection to the Internet. The problem appears to be not with the AirPort Base Station itself and its (dialup) connection to the Internet, but in the AirPort connection between my computer and the Base Station. The status in the Internet Connect application keeps disappearing — but I also keep losing my connection itself. The two issues are separate, although possibly not totally independent.

Occasionally, I’ll manage to see the “Connect” or “Disconnect” button in Internet Connect, but then I click on it, and nothing happens. Logging out and logging back in doesn’t help, since the network status applies to all users. I tried restarting the computer itself, and things were back to normal… for about 10 minutes. And then the “flickering” of the network status started again.

Now I’ve just turned my AirPort Base Station itself off and then back on, and I’ve been able to maintain my connection for the past 10 minutes. How long will it last? I don’t like this. I really don’t like this.

4 Responses to “Panther: More networking flakiness”

  1. Pierre Igot says:

    Well, try losing your AirPort connection for no reason several times a day and remaining “positive” about it :-)

  2. Erik J. Barzeski says:

    So, do you ever really have anything positive to say? :-P

  3. Jason says:


    I can’t tell you how excited I was to read this review. I have had nothing but issues with my otherwise solid airport network and I thought I was the only one. Up until recently, I have had 3 graphite BSs and 2 snow BSs setup as 1 roaming network. Pretty much never failed on me for 2-3 years of use. All my clients were iBooks/PowerBooks running Jaguar (OS9 back in the day too). Recently, I added an Extreme BS to the mix to replace one of the older ones. So far so good. Then I added 2 new AlBooks with AE running Panther. The problems start.

    I can connect to the airport network but sometimes the signal is great, and other times it doesn’t exist according to the AlBooks. When I go to the menu to select the airport network again, its gone! My laptop can be 10′ from the nearest BS and have 2 signal bars and a slow network conection.

    As I type this, I am on the airport network just fine but the 2nd AlBook no more than 50 feet from me has dropped off and can no longer access the Airport network.

    I’ve gone thru and reset each BS and made sure I setup the network correctly, watching out for channels, interference, etc.

    So, my thought was to remove the new AE BS from the Airport network and set it up on its own network for the new AlBooks, least for testing. I have a spare new Snow base station I could replace the AE with for the other non-Panther, non-AE clients. For some reason when I put the snow BS online, *some* of the jaguar clients have issues connecting. They have signal strength but can’t get an IP for whatever reason… or they have an IP but it won’t pass any traffic.

    I am in airport hell. A friend of mine works for Apple (has for years) and he said he uses Linksys/NetGear instead cus of the ‘headache’ of Airport.

    Ideas anyone?

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    A clean install (Erase and Install) of Panther seems to have solved some of the problems for me. Still, Panther seems to have “corrupted” one of my Base Stations. More on this later.

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