Hey, it's been awhile. I haven't had something steam me up enough to get off my butt and write a blog post in what seems like eons. (In internet years anyway - internet years are like dog years times 1024 or something.).
What's got me steamed this time? It's the lack of stability of the combination of a Dell Lattitude D820/Intel 3945ABG/Vista Ultimate. This plain "doesn't work". Not "it just works". No, it just doesn't work. Oh, it seems to. It sucks you in as you setup your network and connect with WPA2. But, soon enough you find that the wireless just up and locks up on you. It may be after the machine comes out of sleep for the 5th time. It may be the first boot. But, eventually you will get into that dreaded scenario where the "Network" becomes the "NetNOWork". This is typified by the "Network and sharing center won't open". Also, that little networky icon in the system tray stops showing the little tooltip with the signal strength and all. You end up having to reboot - and more times than not you have to hold down the power button because Windows hangs on the Shutting Down screen.
So, what do you do? If you're like me you blame Intel and download the 3945ABG driver of the month from the Dell site. Always hopeful, you load that new driver and cross your fingers. But, like you kind of expected, it doesn't work. You have the same problem. So finally today I went direct to the Intel site. What did I see there? A newer driver than even the Dell site had. So what the hell, right? I tried it. Hopeful as always I loaded it up. But, an hour later - same shit different day. WiFi light on the Lattitude went out. Network and Sharing Center won't open. Network is dead. Reboot - great...
Is this so hard? I've got the latest patches for Vista, the latest BIOS from Dell, the latest driver from Intel. Why do these friggin' things hate each other (and me) so damn much???
I wish these things would get back to "it just works".