Mercury News' Dawn C. Chmielewski Adds iMac To Her PC House

PCs and iMacs working together together harmoniously. Well, almost. So believes Dawn C. Chmielewski of the Mercury News, who recently bought a new iMac and and Airport and found things were not as hard as she expected them to be. Ms. Chmielewski says:

I set aside a whole Saturday afternoon to set up the new iMac, which left hours to tidy my home office. Setup took all of 15 minutes. In fact, it took less time to plug in the new iMac and upgrade the operating system to Mac OS X than it did to run a Norton virus scan on the home PC.

Wireless home networking proved similarly effortless, requiring no sophisticated knowledge of networking, the nuances of routers or the rituals of human sacrifice. I had prepared for the worst -- contacting our high-speed Internet access provider to obtain the network settings for each of our home computers. I got it all -- the IP address (or Internet serial number) for each of our five PCs, the DNS Server Name and the address of the gateway router. (Consult your network administrator for definition of terms.)

It was unnecessary. The hardest part of the whole process was finding a screwdriver small enough to open the iMacis broad, round base and add the AirPort wireless network card.

The trouble started when she attempted to add a PC laptop to the wireless LAN. From the article:

This proved entirely different, an ordeal that spanned three days and required three calls to technical support and the late-night intervention of a friend, who is vice president of information technology for Four Media, the biggest post-production house in Hollywood. He knows from Macs.

The problem, it turns out, was the security measures AirPort uses, or rather, the lack of security on the laptop.

After an hour of fiddling with networking protocols that I couldnit begin to understand, we discover the problem: The AirPort encrypts the connection between the device and the wireless gateway -- a security feature that prevented my Toshiba laptop from communicating with the AirPort. We disabled encryption -- and the laptop immediately (should I say miraculously) finds the AirPort.

Ms. Chmielewskiis article, iPutting a Mac in a PC housei, is a good read.