Identifying mysterious wireless issues.

“The first drop was at 11, when lunch began.”

In my current position, I have been struggling to identify a particular wireless issue that was sporadically taking our wireless network down. At the moment, we have put APs our throughout the building, but only three people in one office are using them. As such, it’s a very small sample size, but still peculiar when all three simultaneously drop.

These issues tend to be what I call quantum mechanic problems (as in car problems that exist until observed by a mechanic). Nobody who witnesses them is technical enough to give you adequate data to diagnose the problem (“The internet is down”). Watching for an issue that crops up once every two weeks is impossible, and automated reporting tools were not providing useful data.

Today, after having worked until 3 AM the previous night and existing on 3 hours of sleep, I revisited a previous notion that the microwave might be to blame. This was discounted in the past as during the one drop I was able to witness, I ran to the kitchen to find nobody using the microwave. Today, however, I recalled that on the shop floor, we have microwaves scattered everywhere for lunch. The nearest microwave in the shop was 30 feet from the AP, and delicious burrito testing revealed that the AP was completely drowned out by this crappy plastic $30 microwave.

Replacing one microwave may prove to be enough, but I am also delving into “other avenues” to solve this if it continues as we roll wireless devices out to the entire shop.

Things I don’t like about OSX

I recently started a new job, and my desktop at my workstation is a Mac, running OSX 10.6. This is the first time I’ve spent more than an hour on a mac since 2nd grade, when I played with an Apple II. The process has been a constant sting of Google searches (I had to look up how to take a screenshot too, because it’s 100% different from every other OS as well).

[![One page of about 50.](×241.png)](
One page of about 50.

In my searches, I’ve found that, generally, anybody who A) can code for OSX and B) has used ANY other operating system has created apps for OSX to mimic features that Apple saw fit to ignore/break the convention of/spit on. Also, these developers charge, because what are you going to do, install Linux? On your Mac? Anyway, I came across the following article, which echoed my sentiments exactly: [A Small Matter of Programming: The trouble with OS X window management](

I’ve decided I should also compile a list of conventions that I have come to expect from years of working with Windows 95/98/XP/7, GNOME, KDE, Unity, and Black/FluxBox shells which OSX breaks.

1. The green plus sign is inconsistent. Sometimes it maximizes, other times it moves a window to the left side of the screen, and the app then can’t be resized.
2. The inconsistency between apps and the OS. Where in Windows and Linux I would use Ctrl, OSX inexplicably uses Cmd. Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-A all become Cmd-Whatever. 1. This breaks focus when working in screen, as it’s Ctrl-A Ctrl-[0-9] to pic a window, and then Cmd-C to copy text, then back to Ctrl to switch windows, then back to Cmd to paste, and then back to Ctrl for Ctrl-C. It’s needless movement, and the Ctrl combos aren’t even USED by anything.
2. Also, in Firefox, it’s Ctrl-Tab to change windows, but Cmd-W to close and Cmd-T for a new tab. I also can’t fathom why they make Cmd-d, which were it Ctrl-d anywhere else, add a bookmark instead of going to the Titlebar.
3. Home and End keys do not behave like in other operating systems (I had to download [KeyRemap4Macbook](
4. Programs continue to run until you quit them. This can cause confusion, as closing the last window doesn’t quit. I’ve found if I open a large PDF in Finder, then close the PDF, Finder can hold on to the memory and cause a noticeable slowdown.
5. Cmd-Tab and the Dock only show one icon per window, and offer no way of knowing what is on which desktop, or even if a program has more than one window open.
6. Yes, I know Cmd-~ can switch between windows of the same application, but this is 2 steps (switch to app, and cover whatever you WERE working on, then cycle through open windows) to fix a problem that should require one (alt-tab to the correct window).
7. Finally, I hate the menu bar at the top. Menus belong ON apps, in my opinion. Unity does this too, and it’s annoying to have a small app open, then you have to scroll up to the top of the screen to use the menu.

I know a lot of this is provably grandfathered in, or somebody has some sort of design reason for it, but computers aren’t in a vacuum anymore. Everyone copies everyone else. In my last job, I worked on a Linux laptop to remote into Windows server, then went home to a Linux media center and a Windows gaming computer, and had no problems. After 2 days with OSX, I was having trouble getting around my Ubuntu 12.10 laptop because my brain is starting to overwrite the key combinations of programs I’ve used for years. I wish OSX would allow you to [change]( how these things [behave]( As is, I’d have to buy a $14 piece of software for a work machine. Good luck getting that charge approved.

I had decided a few years ago that when I purchased a new laptop, I’d buy a mac. I appreciate their quality control (although in recent years this may be faltering due to their single-piece designs), and I wanted a laptop that would last another 5 years. I’m glad I didn’t buy one this Christmas, because it would have been a nightmare, and my Acer ultrabook running Ubuntu is just as slick, for 1/3 the price.