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The Patient Died

                    COMMENTS ON 802.11 WIRELESS LAN 
                   USED FOR P802 DURING THE JULY 1999
                        MEETING IN MONTREAL
                          Bill Lidinsky

These comments are mine based upon the use of the 802.11 network and 
its related server during the Montreal meeting.  The notebook that I am 
using is a [deleted] 600 running [deleted] SR2.  I had a 
[deleted] PC card and [deleted] software.

There are two general problems: geographical coverage and operation with 
my machine.  The latter has been a disaster for me.

From my perspective the coverage was fine early in the week.  All the 
rooms that I was in were covered.

But at the SEC meeting on Thursday night, I could not access the
The [deleted] software indicated that the link was not there.

There were several issues.  The situation while I had the software 
and PCMCIA card as provide by [deleted] installed was as follows:

(1) Suspend/resume would not work reliably with the software.  Even when 
the PC card was not installed suspend/resume did not work reliably.  It 
sometimes worked and sometimes did not.  It was inconsistent.

(2) Hot starting the network PC card caused the network to become 
inoperative even though the connection was good.  Messages said 
that the shares were not available.  This was true even after I ran 
winipcfg and released/renewed.

(3) Hot stopping similarly caused problems.

(4) The only way that I found to make things work reliably was to shut 
down and restart.

(5) While at 802 meetings I often login to my home institution in the 
evenings.  Having to startup, change the [deleted] domain client to that 
of my home institution, and then shutdown and restart and then do it all 
again after I'm through logging into work was a pain.

(6) During the Thursday evening SEC meeting, when the network was not 
available to me, operation of my whole computer was comprimised.  So, 
using the Uninstall Shield provided with the [deleted] software I unistalled 
the software.  In ControlPanel/Network/Configuration I Removed the 
adapter(s) and changed the Properties for the Client for [deleted] 
[deleted] Properties to my home institution domain.

After uninstalling per (6) above, the situation was (and still is):

(7) IP networking no longer works on my machine when I try to use in 
via my PCMCIA Ethernet card, either from home via my ISDN line or when 
at work directly connected to an Ethernet subnet.  My Netscape browser 
doesn't work.  My [deleted] brwoser doesn't work.  PING doesn't work.  
Traceroute doesn't work.  TELNET doesn't work.  My email doesn't work. 
In short:


Yet my machine still functions well as a [deleted] domain client.

But when I connect via my modem, everything works.  My [deleted] browser 
works.  My [deleted] brwoser works.  PING works.  Traceroute works.  My email 
works.  TELNET works.

I've confirmed that all my Internet addresses (e.g., IP, gateway, DNS 
servers, subnet mask) ARE CORRECT.  I've also investigated the routing 
table.  As far as I can tell, all seems OK.  Using winipcfg, I've 
Released and Restored the DHCP configuration.  No help!

The net result is that my notebook computer is now broken. 

  - I cannot use my machine when directly connected to Ethernet.  
    It only works when I connect via a modem.  Interestingly my machine 
    does work as [deleted] Domain client no matter how I connect.

  - Suspend hangs my machine.  I must manually turn off the machine 
    with the on/off switch and then manually start it and go thru 
    ScanDisk to get back to a partially working machine.  In looking 
    at processes, a process named Msgsrv32 is not responding.  
    Killing this process does no good.  The machine is still hung.
    Suspend invoked via [deleted] Start/Suspend or via a control key 
    combination did the same thing.

  - Hibernate also hangs my machine is the same way as Suspend.

I use the Internet ALL THE TIME.  And I use Suspend and Hibernate 
with some regularity.

I ask that someone from [deleted] [deleted] ([deleted]) who is knowledgeable on 
the problems described above contact me on or before Wednesday 14 July 
1999 and provide consultation on fixing my machine.  I really don't 
have the time to work the issue.  My email is  My 
phone is 630-840-8067.

I don't intend to use such a system again.  I was a fool to let this 
happen to me this time.  I'd be a bigger fool to do it again.  
The only network that I 
will use is one that provides networking via either my modem or 
Ethernet card.  I do this regularly while on travel to other meetings.
It works just fine.  And there is no need to install anything on 
anyone's machine.

AGAIN!  And someone saying that's good software won't do it for me. 
Connect to my machine - fine.
Install software in my machine - NO WAY!

I suggest that at future 802 SEC meetings Ethernet hubs be provided with 
an Ethernet strung around the tables.  A wireless conections can be 
provided to connect to a server if that's easier.  This way there is no 
need to fiddle with anyone's machine above possibly changing an IP 
address or two.  No possibly dangerous software is put anywhere where 
it can mess you up.

Having identified several problems, I'd still like to congratulate Vic 
and the people and organizations with whom he worked.  Nice try!  
The experiment was a success.  It's too bad that the patient died.