For the past few months I’ve had sporadic drop-offs on our home network which is provided by a cable modem and an AirPort Extreme base station. I figured this was our cable provider although to be fair, we rarely have issue with cable unless there’s a severe storm.
Then I read Marco Arment’s piece Wi-Fi connections stalling on AirPort Extreme with 7.6.3 firmware and noted that I was running the latest (7.6.3) firmware. I didn’t do anything about it but saved the link to Marco’s piece.
Last week I was out in California visiting my mother and noticed that the AirPort Extreme router I have set up in her house was also running the latest firmware and in the past I’ve noticed that her network ground to a half at odd times.
So, I followed Marco’s directions and downgraded her AirPort Extreme to version 7.6.1 (extremely easy to do) and everything seemed to work fine. I don’t know if it did anything good but it certainly didn’t do anything bad. Next time I’m out there I’ll know better.
When I returned home I downgraded our AirPort Extreme and while I can’t say it solved the problems we were having they have not re-occurred since.
Marco seems to have been having problems with an iPhone dropping off and we may have had this too but I noticed it on my computer which I use much more at home.
I think this is worth trying if you’re running the latest firmware on an AirPort Extreme and have had any kind of noticeable drop-offs or slow downs.
Marco Arment on Planet Money
This is a great interview. The Planet Money guys are brilliant and Marco gets right in sync with their style.
Marco made and sells one of my all time favorite utilities: Instapaper. In a nutshell, if I start reading an article on my computer and want to finish it or read it on my iPad, I hit a button on my browser “read later” and the article is sent up to Instapaper, a cloud-based service that acts as my breadcrumbs in the clouds. Later, when I’m using my iPad (still connected to wifi) I click the Instapaper app and update its cache of saved stuff. The article appears and I can read it there.
What many don’t realize is that Instapaper caches the articles on the iPad and/or iPhone and so, I can read them there when I’m not connected, like when I’m on a plane. So, before my regular trips to LA I routinely load up my Instapaper account with things I want to read on the plane, then update the iPad’s Instapaper cache memory and I’m set.
Instapaper has many iBook-like reading tools including typographic control and more.
I’m hoping to use Instapaper to help my mother read The New Yorker as its app is totally worthless for anyone who can’t read small type.
Informal e-reader library comparison
Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper) has done a very nice comparison of the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks on the iPad. He’s comparing availability of content (books and periodicals) less usability of the various tools.
By the way, Instapaper on the iPad is an incredible way to read articles that you’ve stored there. It caches the articles so they can be read offline and has many of iBooks’ reading features like type size and face control and more.