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SCHOOL-IT  November 2009

SCHOOL-IT November 2009

Subject:

Re: Linksys compatibility issues with Broadcom wireless on the 6735b

From:

Vincent Rossano <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 23:40:44 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (353 lines)

Craig, et al.,

As I told Drew last week, this problem is not unique to Linksys access
points; we are having the same problem in Montpelier with Apple Airports.
While it's of primary importance to all of us that our laptops work in our
own schools, the usefulness of these laptops (for teachers) would be
compromised by their inability to connect at other sites - workshops,
conferences, and their own homes. We need these machines to be able to
connect to all brands of wireless equipment.  I hope I can assume that, if
a fix is found, it will be a general one and not specific to Linksys.

-Vince


> -----Original Message-----
> From: School Information Technology Discussion
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Craig Lyndes @ wcvt.com
> Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 9:14 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Linksys compatibility issues with Broadcom
> wireless on the 6735b
>
> All,
>
> HP and Topfloor sent people to Fairfield Center School
> yesterday to look at the 6735b notebooks that were having
> problems.  There was Alan from Topfloor, Gerald from HP
> Burlington and Timothy from HP Boston.
>
> My greatest fear was that as soon as they entered the
> building the problem would go away, thankfully that wasn't
> completely true.  They were very surprised at my Linksys
> WAP54G configuration, where I had all the access points on
> the same channel to support roaming.  Although this is what
> Linksys says to do, they said it works better with the access
> points on different channels so no 2 access points that can
> see each other are sharing a channel.  All the other wireless
> devices have worked with my current configuration, so we left
> that alone for now.  Is anyone else who is having problems
> using roaming?  If so are you using one channel or many?
>
> We replaced a radio in one of the 6735b that have been giving
> us trouble with an older version that just supports 802.11
> a,b,g (no N).  Immediately the laptop began working correctly.
>
> They are suspicious that there may be an issue with the
> motherboards in the effected laptops, so they took one of the
> bad machines back to the shop to replace the motherboard,
> while keeping the original radio.  I should be getting that
> back today to bring to Fairfield and see what effect that has.
>
> They are doing a very thorough evaluation of the problem in
> an environment where it is repeatable.  I'm confident that we
> will be able to determine what causes some of these notebooks
> to not work with Linksys access points.  Timothy was very
> clear that once they know what the cause is HP will make it
> right with their customers.
>
> Thanks everyone that has worked on this.  I'm feeling like we
> will have a solution soon.
>
> Craig Lyndes
> FCSU
>
> > Drew,
> >
> > Keep me posted on what you find in St Albans tomorrow with
> the HP rep.
> > Thanks
> > Robin
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 4:59 PM, Drew Campbell
> <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >>  Hi Vince,
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Thanks for the information! The feedback we had received
> so far was
> >> based on Linksys, so it's very helpful to know that you've
> >> experienced this problem with Apple equipment.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Please do keep in mind that the specific Broadcom card
> facing these
> >> issues was a configure-to-order option, and HP offers a whole
> >> spectrum of wireless options identical to that of any other laptop
> >> manufacturer, so I hope you won't think negatively of HP
> as a whole
> >> because of problems with this card.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We continue to investigate this issue, and we'd certainly like to
> >> include you in the resolution. Technicians at The Top Floor are
> >> working on troubleshooting right now to identify the issue and
> >> possible solutions.
> >> The
> >> Top Floor is doing all of this information gathering and technical
> >> troubleshooting completely free of charge to ensure you're
> satisfied
> >> with the HP products we sell.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> When our troubleshooting and information gathering is complete, we
> >> will be working with HP, Broadcom and others to ensure a timely
> >> resolution for everyone involved. Meanwhile, any specific case
> >> numbers you have with Technical Support would be helpful in our
> >> information gathering, so please pass those along.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Thank you!
> >>
> >> ~Drew
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> [image: The Top Floor - Business Computer
> >> Solutions]<http://www.thetopfloor.com/>
> >>
> >> *Drew Campbell* - [log in to unmask] The Top Floor - *Business
> >> Computer Solutions*
> >>  ------------------------------
> >>
> >> PO Box 524, Middlebury, VT 05753
> >> Phone: 802.388.1600 x252
> >> Toll-Free: 800.290.4979 x252
> >> Fax: 800.290.4765
> >>   ------------------------------
> >>
> >> *From:* Vincent Rossano [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> >> *Sent:* Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:57 PM
> >> *To:* Drew Campbell
> >> *Cc:* School Information Technology Discussion
> >> *Subject:* RE: Linksys compatibility issues with Broadcom
> wireless on
> >> the 6735b
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Drew,
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Here in Montpelier, we are using Apple Airports and are
> experiencing
> >> the problems described by others on our tech listserv.  We
> have had
> >> no problems with other laptops, just the HPs.  We have mostly Dell
> >> laptops on the PC side and, of course, MacBooks for our
> Apple users.
> >> We also allow teachers and students to connect to our network with
> >> their personal laptops.  We have had no complaints of failure to
> >> connect with any of them - as long as they're in
> reasonable range of
> >> the access points.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> The Apple Airports we use are compliant with both b & g
> protocols.
> >> If the cards in our laptops are not connecting to
> complaint devices
> >> then THEY are not compliant.  As far as I'm concerned, it is
> >> HP/Broadcom's problem to
> >> fix.   Building a new wireless network with Procurve
> access points is
> >> totally out of the question; we don't have a budget that
> could handle
> >> that.
> >> Plus, our users expect their laptops to connect when they
> go off to
> >> conferences or meetings in other facilities. They can't ask the
> >> conference organizers to replace their access points to
> accommodate
> >> them.  It's not that "users want compatibility with
> [so-called] lower
> >> class technology", they absolutely NEED compatibility with "lower
> >> class" technology.
> >> Putting
> >> non-compatible advanced technology in a $500 laptop is
> crazy.  Maybe
> >> they should have limited sales of these machines to Fortune 500
> >> companies that can afford "advanced technology".
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Many of the schools in Vermont have a long history with HP
> laptops;
> >> we do not.  The 55 I bought this year were our first.  Given this
> >> problem, if I had it to do over, I would not buy HP.  And, if the
> >> problem isn't resolved, I will never buy another.  I don't
> mean this
> >> as a threat (I hardly have the purchasing power to do so), but I'm
> >> just letting you know how disappointed I am.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Anything you can do to help (other than suggest we
> purchase expensive
> >> access points) would be appreciated.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> -Vince Rossano
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Vincent Rossano
> >> Information Technology Director
> >> Montpelier Public Schools
> >> 5 High School Drive, Unit #1
> >> Montpelier, VT 05602
> >> (802) 225-8690
> >>
> >>
> >>  ------------------------------
> >>
> >> *From:* Drew Campbell [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> >> *Sent:* Thursday, October 29, 2009 3:49 PM
> >> *To:* Drew Campbell
> >> *Subject:* Linksys compatibility issues with Broadcom
> wireless on the
> >> 6735b
> >>
> >> Dear Tech Coordinators,
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We have heard from some of our customers regarding the
> compatibility
> >> of Linksys access points with HP Compaq 6735b notebooks, or more
> >> specifically those with the Broadcom 4322AGN card. This Broadcom
> >> Wi-Fi card supports 802.11a, b, g, and draft-n 2.0
> technologies for
> >> the widest range of compatibility, but some users have experienced
> >> trouble connecting it to certain Linksys access points.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We've heard from some users that updating the firmware on their
> >> Linksys access points solved the problem, yet some Linksys
> models do
> >> not (yet?) have firmware that supports stable functionality of the
> >> Broadcom 4322AGN. In that case, some users have switched their
> >> Linksys access points to mixed modes (for example 801.11b/g rather
> >> than just g) which improved compatibility but not to the level
> >> desired.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We suggest using business-class technology such as HP
> ProCurve or Cisco,
> >> and customers using these have not reported any problems
> with wireless
> >> functionality. Unfortunately as a cheaper consumer line of
> products,
> >> Linksys
> >> does not always keep up with updates to support the latest
> technology.
> >> However we also understand that it's important for
> Broadcom to support
> >> the
> >> wide range of access points that are out there. It's a
> balancing act -
> >> Broadcom wants to advance its technology, but users want
> compatibility
> >> with
> >> lower-class technology.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> The Top Floor has sold over 400 of the HP Compaq 6735b
> notebooks to more
> >> than 50 Vermont schools this year, and this continues to
> be a popular
> >> model.
> >> Most of our customers have been very pleased with the 6735b's
> >> business-class
> >> technology and the affordable price we offer for Vermont schools -
> >> starting
> >> below $500.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> We are dedicated to helping Vermont's educational
> community and we want
> >> to
> >> ensure those experiencing any problems with our products find a
> >> reasonable
> >> solution in a timely manner. Even though we don't
> recommend Linksys, we
> >> want
> >> to make sure you remain satisfied with HP notebooks. We're
> currently
> >> working
> >> with some larger deployments to troubleshoot and better
> understand the
> >> compatibility issues these customers are experiencing with
> Linksys. If
> >> you
> >> are having similar issues, please contact me.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> I welcome any comments or questions. Feel free to give me
> a call, or
> >> chat
> >> me up at Vermont Fest - we're a proud sponsor this year,
> and we will
> >> have
> >> great demonstrations of HP technology at the event. Also
> feel free to
> >> forward this message to any other Vermont contacts or
> listservs where
> >> you
> >> think it may be of interest.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Thank you!
> >>
> >> ~Drew
> >>
> >> [image: The Top Floor - Business Computer
> >> Solutions]<http://www.thetopfloor.com/>
> >>
> >> *Drew Campbell* - [log in to unmask]
> >> The Top Floor - *Business Computer Solutions*
> >>   ------------------------------
> >>
> >> PO Box 524, Middlebury, VT 05753
> >> Phone: 802.388.1600 x252
> >> Toll-Free: 800.290.4979 x252
> >> Fax: 800.290.4765
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> > --
> > Robin
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > The best way to forget your troubles -wear tight shoes
> >
>

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