Showing posts from November, 2011

Tell Me Why's, Tell Me Sweet Little Why's

The darned computer (or phone, or tablet) won't connect. We've all been there, and we've all wondered what the heck the problem is. Here's a quick way (using an OS X 10.7 [Lion] Macbook Air with Wireshark) to start yourself on the road to figuring out why. I'm on a connection kick as of late, so let's follow up the last post on this blog by going into a little more detail about WiFi connections. If you understand 802.11 protocols , then things can be taken a little deeper. When your (or the people you support's) WiFi connection seems to be unavailable for no reason, you can look at the frames being sent to see if things are going the way they're supposed to. Now, I was in a little bit of a lazy mood today, so I decided to use the OS X Lion application called Wi-Fi Diagnostics and Wireshark rather than a professional tool like WildPackets OmniPeek or Fluke AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer. This same stuff can be done (and, in fact, can be done even easier)

What the #@*! is wrong with this WiFi? (and what can I do about it?)

We've all encountered bad WiFi networks in the past. Is there anything (besides cursing the admins) that can be done about it? There is a fantastic phrase going around nowadays that is used to describe all manner of first-world problems: white whine . Complaints about the quality of guest WiFi certainly would fit into that unfortunate category, but I'm going to join the white whiners anyway (while throwing in a few helpful sniffing tips so that I feel better about myself). UFC 137 happened on October 29, 2011 at the Mandalay Events center in fabulous  Las Vegas, NV, and I was there covering the show for the Wrestling Observer . As is the case at almost all sporting events nowadays, WiFi-based Internet access was provided to the media in order to enable live blogging, tweeting and general reporting on the event. As is also the case at many sporting events nowadays, the WiFi stunk. In fact, it sucked. (And I don't use that term loosely. My mother would be angered at my p