My two and a half year-old router decided to give up the ghost last night. I can’t complain too bitterly about that. One of the big “Office” stores has this particular router on sale (some sort of instant rebate - not sure why they don’t call it a sale) this week for $40.
No problem, I think, and pop down to grab a replacement. I get home, snap it into the wall-mount bracket annd plug in the cables after peeling off a big sticker that says “Run CD before connecting cables.”
This isn’t the first one of these devices I’ve had. What’s the software for? Eh. Without reading anything, I know how to access the admin page for the thing via a web browser.
So, I go back upstairs and launch the admin page. Plug in the this and thats like DNS servers and IP ranges, and no joy. The network is working. My MP3 server’s playing tunes, I can print to the network-connected printer. Just can’t see the outside world. I fiddle and futz until I’m annoyed, then remember the CD. I pop the CD in. Clever Linksys has created something that only works on Windows. My home is an all-Mac shop. :mad:
So, I drag out an old Windows PC, plug it into the net and fire it up. Run the CD, which doesn’t really seem to do anything obvious. But it does do something, and as if by black magic, I can access the internet again.
My gripe is this: A router should be OS-agnostic. It should not make one bit of difference to the router if it’s plugged into the middle of a bunch of Windows PCs, Macs, Unix servers or Playstations. Yet, Linksys requires you have at least one Windows PC to run their stupid activation software.
Whatever the software actually does, would it be so hard for them to make it work with other kinds of computers? Or, just have the device work like the one it replaced (the same model#, by the way) - it was configured via a web page in any web browser, with no activation nonsense needed.