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Tiger Internet weirdness?

by jennywren1420 / July 24, 2008 1:02 PM PDT


I don't know whether this is a problem with OS 10.4, but whatever it is, I hope you'll have some thoughts about how to solve my problem. My G4 (Sawtooth) desktop and I are enjoying the new monitor, but during the last two days, something really strange has affected my attempts to use the network that gets me broadband. To wit:

1. I can't always get the Mac to recognize that there is a broadband adaptor (couldn't get the right Airport card for my Mac) available to connect to the Internet?primarily, because such important thing as the IP number and other numbers have just diappeared. It even can happen when I seem to be connected to the network (my home page is on the screen), although there sometimes is an indication that I'm connected (I'm not) and sometimes, I've clearly never gotten that far or have been summarily disconnected. This all is happening many times a day. Sometimes, I can achieve a reinstatement of everything by various maneuvers such as doing little quasi-magical ? or so it seems to me ? thises and thats in the Network preferences or restarting the Mac or something else, but more often than that I just have to wait. At times a connection just comes forth on its own.

And sometimes the name of the device (called, I believe, a "dongle," though that has a kind of nasty sound about it) is arbitrarily changed! Sometimes it's just the number of what is in a parenthesis after the name that changes (en2 or 3 or 4, instead of 1), and sometimes, it's ((null)). I can rename it back to what it was, but that doesn't always last, even when I "lock" the little lock at the bottom of the page, to prevent unwanted changes.

And the signal is so weak that it takes what seems like days just to connect and then to load a page, only, often, to see the connection collapse. This has been a very reliable connection for quite some time now, so the sudden bewitching of the computer-Internet friendship is totally bewildering. Granted, I haven't entered specific "coordinates" pertaining to the network. Other options for connection to other broadband in my area are offered, but I choose the one to which I am entitled: a network owned by a neighbor with a small business for whom I also do work. That hasn't been a problem to this point. I've always been able to get a good connection and to enjoy the pleasures of broadband's speed without any fancy dances.

It is looking as though I may have to get my own cable-modem connection, but I thought I'd just put the matter before all of you irst, in case this has another solution. I really can't go on like this: I look a lot better with all my hair and nails intact, but even leaving that aside, I have to work, among other things, and that means having the Internet available. Having already given up my second line because I didn't need it with broadband, I'm not really in a good position to work on the Internet at hours when I might get a phone call.

Oh, and to top things off, when I do try dialup on my desktop computer (dialup on the laptop's fine, though there are some limitations because of it still using OS 9), I get a repeated message, after all the excitement of the connection process, "Authentication failed." My ISP doesn't know what to make of it, and neither do I.

Well, enough! Put on your thinking caps, if you will be so kind. I'm leaving my mother's computer (I'll check back, somehow, on my own, tomorrow) and going home to sleep, perchance to dream. Good old Will Shakespeare! He had the right thing to say in every situation, didn't he? And then there's Lewis Carroll, A. A. Milne. . . .

Thanks, all,


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Okay, then. . . .
by jennywren1420 / July 29, 2008 5:15 AM PDT

maybe nobody has a clue about what's happened to my formerly fine Internet connections. I have a related question, though, that someone might be able to address. I got a new monitor a very little time before things started going weird. In addition, the person who owns our small network used to have a connection without encryption or a password of any kind. She bought a new router and (without meaning to) set it up with all that. She shared the WPA password with me and with someone else. Both of them can get access to and use the network, but I can't. I know that one of them has a PC but don't know about the other, but I can't see what either the monitor or the router would have to do with any problem of this kind. On the other hand, there have been some little strange things happening with my computer (it goes to sleep unexpectedly and then won't wake, or I can't get the computer to come on without forcing it to shut down and then boot up again) since I got the monitor. Again, I've no idea what the monitor could do to disrupt anything. Or maybe it could.

By the way, the monitor can do either analog or digital, and I have the capacity to do either. I put it on VGA, because that's what I had with the old monitor, but maybe that's not the best thing. Again, I'm not informed enough to know. I just wondered, because when the computer is booted up or shut down, the monitor flashes "analog" alternating with "digital" before the desktop comes up or goes away. I am wondering whether it's doing something to mess up the smooth functioning of my G4, including the Internet connection. I thought that monitors were just vehicles for images, but maybe not.

I know this is all over the place, but so am I. If anyone can help to address these matters, I shall be embarrassingly grateful.


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That WPA password
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 29, 2008 8:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Okay, then. . . .

You may find that the Router is expecting the password to be in HEX while you are sending it something else.
I believe that Windows will send a password, "password" for example, in HEX automatically. The Mac, on the other hand, does not do the conversion for you and you have to enter what the Router is expecting.

There has to be some information in the Router handbook about this. Could it be that your Wireless device cannot do WPA, see your literature for further info. The original Apple Airport Card, still plentiful for around $44 on eBay, can only do WEP security.

The monitor has nothing to do with the loss of networking and everything, I think, with the purchase of the new router.

Are you 100% sure that your AGP Graphics card has a DVI connector on it? I ask because Apple used, back in the G4 Sawtooth days, a video card that had what looked like a DVI connector but was actually a ADC (Apple Digital Connection). This, of course, does not fit a regular DVI plug.

As to why your G4 is behaving like it is, that is probably the subject of another thread.



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II'll have to look into all this
by jennywren1420 / July 29, 2008 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: That WPA password

Somehow, Peter, I missed your reply to my message. So sorry.

I'll look into the matter of the manner of the router. It sounds very likely that this is the case. As to the rest of the strangeness (change in the name of the device, sudden disconnections, regardless of what the device links me to--long story), I now not. It's truly odd, but I hope that Belkin, maker of my device, can shed some light on all this. You are probably right about the monitor. There certainly is something that looks like a place to plug the DVI cable I got with the monitor, but it could be a red herring. Maybe I just shall stay as I am but try to find out how to keep the monitor from going to sleep. It seems to throw the G4 into a swoon (or more like a coma, neither dead nor truly alive).

Thanks for the stroll into unknown territory. Always revealing, and you explain things so well.



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Take a look at
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 29, 2008 10:40 AM PDT

the System Preferences/Energy Saver. You may be be telling the monitor to go to sleep


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Sleepy monitor
by jennywren1420 / August 2, 2008 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Take a look at

I have looked at it, and indeed, both the monitor and computer were set to go to sleep after a while, but I can't set them separately: When I set one or the other, both change. They both are now set at "Never." The button on the monitor no longer blinks, but I'll have to set the computer to go to sleep manually, each time I leave it for a while. No great problem, but it is curious, no?

Internet connection strangeness continues. I'm trying to find some workaround and have been in touch with Belkin, the people who made the USB wireless device. Unfortunately, the person who has been trying to help me seems either not to be able to read my messages or doesn't understand them. She is called "Sarah," but her English syntax makes me suspect that English isn't her first language. No slur meant, at all; it just can get in the way of people understanding one another's meaning, at times. I also think that she's not familiar with Macs. I've asked whether someone else could take on the case. At the very least, the instructions they send should no apply only to PCs. (I told them that I had a Mac and what model, etc.)

Sorry to be complaining, but I expect you all understand, sharing as you do being not of the PC world.

Thanks for the help on the monitor. I'll manage.



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Energy Saver
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 2, 2008 4:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Sleepy monitor

The Energy Saver system preference pane for 10.4.11 has two sliders which operate independently of each other.

Not sure why yours is different.

As a matter of interest, when was the last time you rebooted that machine?

We all sympathize with you on your adventures with Outsourced Technical Support.
Been there, done that!


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Energy Saver reply
by jennywren1420 / August 2, 2008 4:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Energy Saver

Yep, it has two sliders, but they can't bear to be parted and both move together. I've always been able to set the monitor and the computer to sleep at different times from each other, but not now. Stranger than fiction. . . .

I rebooted, I believe, about two hours ago. And thanks for the sympathy about tech support. Maybe I'll act as my own tech support, put Tiger on that dear old laptop, test the device. If it's not the fault of the device, it might be something weirdish with Tiger, no? If so, I'd hope that a reinstall (not the kind that wipes everything out, of course) might bring things back into line. Being as how I'm only now getting familiar with some aspects of OS X, though, I'm holding off on doing that until I have eliminated other options.

And of course, because I'm talking about wireless connection,it's always possible that the problem lies with whatever I'm connecting to, not me (do I sound slightly paranoid?), the device or my system or computer. That wouldn't explain everything (the device name changing in the list of ways to connect to the Internet is downright spooky!), but it could explain some things.

My money is either on the device (preferred, for me) or something being off in my system.

Thanks again,


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"couldn't get the right Airport card for my Mac"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 29, 2008 6:00 AM PDT
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I thank you, I do
by jennywren1420 / July 29, 2008 7:31 AM PDT

I'll look into the thing you suggested, but Bob, my Belkin device is only months old! Further, it was hardly cheap and worked quite well until recently. I'm rather reluctant just to ditch it. But I am appreciative of your advice, and if there's no other way to address this problem, I'll consider getting something else. What with my new monitor going into sleep mode (though the computer is not) and refusing to let me get to my desktop and the fact that the problem is of recent origin, it feels as though something else is going on, something unrelated to what device I use to connect to the Net.

Most obliged,


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