Wednesday, 4 April 2007
Vaio WiFi woes
I have a Sony Vaio SZ1VP Laptop which I've owned since May'ish last year. It's a lovely compact machine with a glorious screen, fantastic battery life and was a completely indulgent purchase. We buy Dell machines as a rule at Esendex and my Latitude D400 was coming to the end of it's useful life. The company was doing well, we'd reached a major milestone and Julian and I felt it was time to reward ourselves. I had a complete nightmare with mine, having 3 different machines shipped out. I was going to Australia to visit our office out there shortly after I received the first one. I ended up taking one with a french keyboard as that was all they had across Europe at the time. Typing was fine as long as I didn't look down! Since then everything has been pretty much fine, apart from the networking. I've always suspected something dodgy with the networking and specifically the WiFi card which it reports as an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG. Every so often it just won't talk to WiFi hotspots and access points. Further, on some access points, I can't successfully establish a VPN connection using the Cisco VPN Client. Given that most of these WiFi points are advertising Intel compatibility, I'm a little perplexed and a lot infuriated. At our holiday apartment in Melbourne they provide WiFi Internet access and low and behold the ****** thing won't connect. The company the apartment owner used was Azure Wireless who seem to be a specialist hot spot provider in Australia. On the card in the apartment was a card with their support number on it. Thinking I had nothing to lose and expecting to get short shrift from an off-shore call centre, I called them. I turned out to be completely wrong. The support person was knowledgable and geared his help to my technical ability rather than the lowest common denominator, as is usually the case. He quickly diagnosed the problem, suggested I call reception for a wireless bridge. This duly came, I plugged it in and it worked first time. I have had this problem before so, lovely as my laptop is, it's a bit lacking in the wireless department and I think PC Card WiFi adaptor might be in order. Just got to find one that's compatible with everything. At the time I bought the Vaio, a good friend of mine was waxing lyrical about Toshibas. I wish I'd listened.