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Mac shipments suspended from NYC Schools over WiFi flaw

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Scheduled delivery of Apple computers to schools run by the New York City Department of Education have been temporarily suspended due to problems related to connecting to the DOE's wireless network infrastructure.

Apple is scrambling to address the WiFi connectivity issue within its Leopard operating system. The fix appears set to be included in the bug fixes of the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5.3 release, as noted in the report Successive Mac OS X 10.5.3 builds continue.

Until the software fix ships, all Macs on order with wireless features are being held at Dell's merge center in Austin, Texas. The DOE contracted with Dell Managed Services to handle all of the school system's tech related ordering, including the procurement of Apple desktops, laptops, and servers. Because of the WiFi compatibility problem, ordered units have been on hold for as much as two months waiting for a fix.

Apple apologized for the delay both in an email to faculty obtained by AppleInsider, and in a notice on the Apple product catalog on the Dell Managed Systems website. The company said it was working to resolve the issue as soon as possible so that the pending orders could be delivered.

Schools managed by the DOE can still order new Apple computers and servers through Dell Managed Services, and systems that do not rely on wireless connectivity can be approved for shipping despite the order suspension.

In an apologetic email, an Apple sales representative offered to help compile a list of any orders "for desktops or laptops that you DO NOT plan on using your wireless networks but rather want to have installed using standard wired ethernet hook-up" and to "work with Dell Managed Services to identify these orders and release them for installation now versus waiting for the wireless issue to be resolved."
post #2 of 45
Hopefully, a bit of power play by a significant customer gets Apple to FINALLY fix this pervasive and extremly annoying bug many insignificant users face.
post #3 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post

Hopefully, a bit of power play by a significant customer gets Apple to FINALLY fix this pervasive and extremly annoying bug many insignificant users face.

Ditto....
post #4 of 45
So what is this bug? My Mac (running 10.5.2) has had no Wi-Fi problems connecting to Actiontec (Verizon FiOS) and Linksys base stations.
post #5 of 45
I've had no issues with my Leopard iMac or my MB Air.

However, I do notice that file copying to/from my Time Capsule runs at speeds that vary amazingly. (Like, 50k to 5MB per second!) Probably unrelated.
post #6 of 45
Yeah, nice to see this sort of thing happen rather than they accept delivery and sue Apple 2 years later in a class-action lawsuit. I'm glad someone was on the ball and holding Apple accountable. Now we just have to get a major company to halt shipment on iMacs until they can display the "millions of colors" that were specified when the orders were placed
post #7 of 45
Nice caption. It's false, but hey whatever grabs your privates.

An accurate title:

Mac shipment suspended for NYC Schools over WiFi flaw in OS X Leopard
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Nice caption. It's false, but hey whatever grabs your privates.

An accurate title:

Mac shipment suspended for NYC Schools over WiFi flaw in OS X Leopard

I agree. The current title is open to misinterpretation.

I don't quite understand what "flaw" they are referring to, though. Can someone elaborate for me?
post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I've had no issues with my Leopard iMac or my MB Air.

However, I do notice that file copying to/from my Time Capsule runs at speeds that vary amazingly. (Like, 50k to 5MB per second!) Probably unrelated.

I see this with copying files from my Mac Mini to my Macbook via Wifi, but not the other way around: I copy a 20 MB file and the first 3-4 MB run OK. Afterwards its 50 kb/s tops and constant, but it still copies. If I stop and try again, the process is repeated exactly. Strange.
post #10 of 45
I haven't had any wi-fi issues with my time capsule or linksys router. What are the issues?
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri3 View Post

I haven't had any wi-fi issues with my time capsule or linksys router. What are the issues?

Our source information did not identify the specific issue.

Sorry guys,

K
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post #12 of 45
Um. this is just unfair for all the student's who's parents got them a mac becasue they needed it, and now can't get it!
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post

Hopefully, a bit of power play by a significant customer gets Apple to FINALLY fix this pervasive and extremly annoying bug many insignificant users face.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steviet02 View Post

Ditto....

Well it would seem we have two forum members right hear that are professing to have the same problem... Perhaps they would be kind enough to enlighten the rest of us... For something that is "pervasive and extremly annoying" most of us posting here so far know anything about it...

Dave
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Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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post #14 of 45
I haven't had wi-fi connectivity issues at all and neither have my friends. It seems more likely it is an issue with how the NYC DOE set up their network.
post #15 of 45
Yeah, none of our Macs are having WiFi problems. At all.


Now my Wii.... *throws it out the window*
post #16 of 45
The flaw is with many MacBooks. Internet connection drops randomly, often re-setting automatically, sometimes every few minutes. The problem varies from somewhat annoying (pages won't load) to work stopping (pages REALLY won't load). Other computers with the same wireless router (including PCs) remain rock solid. Only those with Leopard drop out. (Or, according to others, Tiger too, after 10.4.10.) In fact, my MacBook worked flawlessly--never dropped--until 10.4.10. Now it's schizo.

Don't believe it's real? Take a look at the Apple forums under MacBook-->Internet and Networking

One thread has 51,000 views and 618 replies. Another has 9,000 views and 145 replies.

If you haven't seen this flaw with your MacBook, just be thankful. But, believe me, this is real. I hope this pressure helps Apple get on the ball.
post #17 of 45
This has been a huge issue that Apple has been ignoring for quite a while. It's affecting me and quite a few others.

Here is one of MANY such threads on the Apple support forums:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1231631
post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Well it would seem we have two forum members right hear that are professing to have the same problem... Perhaps they would be kind enough to enlighten the rest of us... For something that is "pervasive and extremly annoying" most of us posting here so far know anything about it...

Dave

I don't know the exact issue the NY DOE is facing. My case is as follows (in short):

MacBook+10.4.11+WPA2=
MacBook+10.5.0+WPA2= (for most, problems started here)
MacBook+10.5.1+WPA2= (lost connection after seconds, later unable to connect at all, spent hours)
MacBook+10.5.2+WPA2= (I had hoped for a solution...)
MacBook+10.5.2+WPA1=\ (my temporary solution)

You'll be able to find lots of discussions in the Apple forums. The reason doesn't always seem to be the same, but just a few examples:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=6643660
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=6466793
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1231631
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1008143

Some friends of mine had problems with their Macbooks right out of the box...
post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post

I don't know the exact issue the NY DOE is facing. My case is as follows (in short):

MacBook+10.5.2+WPA2= (I had hoped for a solution...)
MacBook+10.5.2+WPA1=\ (my temporary solution)

That sucks and I feel for you... I come with my own tale of insanity that revolved around 10.2 or 10.3 (can't remember) mounting SMB shares (hosted by W2k3 servers) and Mac users trying to save Excel files while other people had them open in read only mode... The files would get TOTALLY NUKED!!!! Yea that would be BAD in a research environment...

Talk about a circle jerk...

Apple -- It's W2k3
Apple -- It could also be the MacBU who wrote Office 2004
MS Server Group -- Its Apple
MacBU -- Its Apple

Blah blah blah -- static static static...

Problem went unfixed for close to a yea IIRC - I **think** 10.4 had the fix in it... but OH what a nightmare!!

Dave
Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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Apple Fanboy: Anyone who started liking Apple before I did!
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post #20 of 45
This problem rendered my imac g5 un-useable the day Leopard was installed back in October. Reinstalled Leopard, then wiped it clean and reinstalled...yada yada yada, been on the phone with AppleCare for hours and they finally admitted this is a bug. I have had no use of my computer for almost 6 months. It is outrageous! I'm glad that some of you aren't experiencing this problem but for those of use that are, it is so bad that the wireless simple doesn't work at all. The machine worked fine with Tiger, now I can't use it. Some lawyer needs to jump on this! Shame on Apple for their handling of this situation!




Quote:
Originally Posted by rmansfield View Post

This has been a huge issue that Apple has been ignoring for quite a while. It's affecting me and quite a few others.

Here is one of MANY such threads on the Apple support forums:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1231631
post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kikuchiyo View Post

The flaw is with many MacBooks. Internet connection drops randomly, often re-setting automatically, sometimes every few minutes. The problem varies from somewhat annoying (pages won't load) to work stopping (pages REALLY won't load). Other computers with the same wireless router (including PCs) remain rock solid. Only those with Leopard drop out. (Or, according to others, Tiger too, after 10.4.10.) In fact, my MacBook worked flawlessly--never dropped--until 10.4.10. Now it's schizo.

Don't believe it's real? Take a look at the Apple forums under MacBook-->Internet and Networking

One thread has 51,000 views and 618 replies. Another has 9,000 views and 145 replies.

If you haven't seen this flaw with your MacBook, just be thankful. But, believe me, this is real. I hope this pressure helps Apple get on the ball.

I have noticed this with my MacBook running 10.4.11 but I did not think it was an issue. It is very minor on my MacBook, it only looses its connection for a second or two every so often. This is not usually a problem unless I am downloading a big file or playing an online game. I just thought it was one of those things that happens with WIFI.
Addicted to a Mac since the Mac Plus
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Addicted to a Mac since the Mac Plus
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post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by lab View Post

I don't know the exact issue the NY DOE is facing. My case is as follows (in short):

MacBook+10.4.11+WPA2=
MacBook+10.5.0+WPA2= (for most, problems started here)
MacBook+10.5.1+WPA2= (lost connection after seconds, later unable to connect at all, spent hours)
MacBook+10.5.2+WPA2= (I had hoped for a solution...)
MacBook+10.5.2+WPA1=\ (my temporary solution)

You'll be able to find lots of discussions in the Apple forums. The reason doesn't always seem to be the same, but just a few examples:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=6643660
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=6466793
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1231631
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=1008143

Some friends of mine had problems with their Macbooks right out of the box...


Same here although I started getting the loss of connections in Tiger 10.4.11 if I remember right.
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kikuchiyo View Post

The flaw is with many MacBooks. Internet connection drops randomly, often re-setting automatically, sometimes every few minutes. The problem varies from somewhat annoying (pages won't load) to work stopping (pages REALLY won't load). Other computers with the same wireless router (including PCs) remain rock solid. Only those with Leopard drop out. (Or, according to others, Tiger too, after 10.4.10.) In fact, my MacBook worked flawlessly--never dropped--until 10.4.10. Now it's schizo.

Don't believe it's real? Take a look at the Apple forums under MacBook-->Internet and Networking

One thread has 51,000 views and 618 replies. Another has 9,000 views and 145 replies.

If you haven't seen this flaw with your MacBook, just be thankful. But, believe me, this is real. I hope this pressure helps Apple get on the ball.

I currently have a MacBook, used to have a MacBook Pro after I broke it by accidently throwing some at my screen, and before that has a PowerBook, and I have noticed this issue with everyone of my Apple laptops, and i think the issue has to do with when there are multiple locations pushing out the wireless signal for the same network. THANK YOU SOMEONE FOR FIXING THIS PROBLEMS???? APPLE I LOVE YOU, BUT GO F*** YOURSELF FOR NOT ADDRESSING THIS KNOWN ISSUE INT HE PAST!!!!
post #24 of 45
Am I the only one wondeing why DELL IS SHIPPING APPLE PRODUCTS? can someone please enlighten me?
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

Um. this is just unfair for all the student's who's parents got them a mac becasue they needed it, and now can't get it!

I say just put an apostrophe in every word, that way you can be sure to get it in the right one 1 out of 3 ain't bad...
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

That sucks and I feel for you... I come with my own tale of insanity that revolved around 10.2 or 10.3 (can't remember) mounting SMB shares (hosted by W2k3 servers) and Mac users trying to save Excel files while other people had them open in read only mode... The files would get TOTALLY NUKED!!!! Yea that would be BAD in a research environment...

Talk about a circle jerk...

Apple -- It's W2k3
Apple -- It could also be the MacBU who wrote Office 2004
MS Server Group -- Its Apple
MacBU -- Its Apple

Blah blah blah -- static static static...

Problem went unfixed for close to a yea IIRC - I **think** 10.4 had the fix in it... but OH what a nightmare!!

Dave

Multi-vendor finger pointing nightmare. Sorry
I try to stay vanilla one-vendor, but I know it is not feasible for most people.
(and even that doesn't prevent issues)
post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

I say just put an apostrophe in every word, that way you can be sure to get it in the right one 1 out of 3 ain't bad...

sorry about that

dang typoes

and great comment!
post #28 of 45
For my intel mac mini, after installing the logitech software for mouse, the wi fi connection went dead, after thrashing it, the connection came back to life.
The only problem I have is connecting to another mac through the wi fi but the PPC laptop running Leopard works fine, my conclusion is, it has something to do with the Intel chip (could be wrong here)
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Nice caption. It's false, but hey whatever grabs your privates.

An accurate title:

Mac shipment suspended for NYC Schools over WiFi flaw in OS X Leopard

I would imagine the author was having fun with the "bad student gets suspended from school" concept.

Is it that hard to figure out?
post #30 of 45
I'm a NYC teacher who just purchased a MacBook two months ago. I have gone all over the place and gotten on various WiFi networks - except in my school, there I must use an ethernet cable. My school's intel iMacs (Leopard) are having WiFi problems as well ... there is a teacher with a 17" MacBook Pro who is still running Tiger and she has no problems with the schools WiFi.
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnuva View Post

Am I the only one wondeing why DELL IS SHIPPING APPLE PRODUCTS? can someone please enlighten me?

thats about the only thing i took away from the article too!! and i have the same question! and, if they're being held, shouldnt apple be doing the holding?
post #32 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by just_a_guy View Post

Um. this is just unfair for all the student's who's parents got them a mac becasue they needed it, and now can't get it!

The parents are not the one's who are buying the Macs for their kids. It's the department of education that's buying them for the schools.
post #33 of 45
My brother bought a 24" Alu iMac shortly after Leopard was released … it came with Tiger pre-installed and a Leopard update disc in the box.

He had no end of Wi-Fi trouble on my AEBS.n from day one. Network not showing up, password and security not checking out, and of course dropped connections … many, many of them.

This happened both on Tiger and Leopard, probably versions 10.4.11 and 10.5.0 back then.

I got him to wipe it and clean install from our Leopard family pack and nothing seemed to change.

However, one day while helping out with a friend's faulty iBook (its Airport card antenna connector needed an extra hard push) I'd put the AEBS on channel 9 instead of automatic and that – reportedly – has kept the iMac's connection pretty stable. It ain't perfect, but it is pretty useable now. Neither 10.5.1 nor 10.5.2 did anything to alter matters.

Meanwhile the two Mac mini's and three PowerBooks in the house have been rock solid on the AEBS throughout, as well as a couple of visiting Intel Mac laptops on .n instead of .g…
post #34 of 45
I work at a university in Portugal and our issue here is that we connect to a WiFi network that is supposed to work in all european academic institutions - Eduroam. In theory I should be able to go to any university in europe and be able to log on to their Eduroam wireless network, through WPA Enterprise and 802.1x with TTLS Authentication. What We've noticed is that ever since Apple ditched "Internet Connect" in favour of "Network Preferences" you can't *make* OS X authenticate via User rather than System or Login Window . No matter what you do, OS X eventually defaults back to System or Login Window rather than User definded "username" and "password", so one does connect at startup, but if you lose connection for some reason the only way to get back is to restart, which make no sence to me and is pretty darn annoying, especially because it used to work fine - and still does - with tiger.

Sorry for the extensive explanation and my english, but I though it might be interesting to some.

Cheers
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclovin View Post

APPLE I LOVE YOU, BUT GO F*** YOURSELF FOR NOT ADDRESSING THIS KNOWN ISSUE INT HE PAST!!!!

Software can be really complex, especially when it behaves unpredictably. Please save us from your temper tantrums next time. None of us know what Apple's action on this has been thus far, except that they've acknowledged the issue and are working on it.
post #36 of 45
I am not personally aware of the problem encountered by the NYC schools, but I suspect it is WPA. The earlier reference to the Macbook forums with the high number of hits centered around WPA. When my daughter got her new Macbook in mid summer (Tiger 10.4.10) it would not connect to our wireless network, or if id did connect it would take 5 to 10 minutes to paint a screen and graphics were blocked out. Apple's response was that if you can connect in an Apple Store then there is no problem. Of course, the network in the Apple Store does not use security. Instead of listening to customer complaints, Apple just used the base bad code in Leopard. People had hoped they had fixed the problem, but instead they just propogated it. In their extreme arrogance, Apple did not acknowledge the issue and instead just continued with the flawed code. At her University, they use a different security method. so wireless does work. When she comes hope we switch the wireless to WEP which is a less secure standard or give her a long ethernet cable which restricts her to working in the living room. When she goes back to school, we go back to WPA.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by motero99 View Post

I am not personally aware of the problem encountered by the NYC schools, but I suspect it is WPA. ...

This is almost certainly true. And just to add a piece of totally anecdotal, subjective data to the pile ...

It seems to me (from reading reports of this bug), that almost everyone concerned who has had it is living or working in an area with "old" infrastructure (older US cities, etc.).

It's one of Apple's Achilles heels that all of the people that work for them, as well as a huge majority of their users, are using "state of the art" kit. It's only after releasing the software do they start to see problems from users with terribly old computers or those who are located in far-away places doing weird and wonderful things.
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post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

This is almost certainly true.

Is is almost certainly not! I've been one of the many people who do have problems, and my wireless access point is now configured with no security at all (except for mac address filtering).

I have to say that coming here and hear a load of people bleat on about how they've never seen the problem (with a tone that suggests therefore we're making it up) is frustrating. This is a very real problem.

I have several computers and internet devices, and my iMac is the only one that has any kind of trouble with wireless reliability. My iPod touch is rock solid. Even my HP professional laptop when I ran OSX86 (I was just curious to see how it ran) was better than my iMac!

When I bought my Mac I got 10.4 and 10.5. I spent some time a while back installing 10.4 alongside Leopard, and it was much better (in terms of reliability). However, the reason I got the Mac was to develop iPhone apps, so Leopard came back (with a clean install) and it's still flakey.

I would really, really like Apple to fix this problem. My HPs don't have these sorts of faults, even those that are now pretty ancient. One of the ways I sold the Mac to my wife was that it would be a 'perfect' experience, but all she wants to do is smash it up.

Bah, humbug.
post #39 of 45
The only computer affected by this problem in my personal experience is the newest of them all: a late 2007 iMac. A pair of five year old PowerBooks have never had any wi-fi wobbles in all that time and soldier on today.

The base station is last year's white AirPort Extreme 802.11n, I've tried the network on a wide variety of modes of course including WEP and plain no protection at all. No difference. It's only channel 9 mysteriously which has any effect at all.

There's nothing more lame than being told a brand new system straight out of the factory in a base config has a problem with its wi-fi which is apparently "known" and no, you can't hear if there's anything being done about it. I'm glad it wasn't a laptop as ethernet was of course always possible (although not preferable). For affected MacBook owners this must really suck.
post #40 of 45
For folks with an iMac a temporary solution is to get another AEBS or some other router that can act as a bridge.

If you are on a G network there's a $50 Buffalo one that I got for travel once since I was somewhere for a couple weeks and I was like 10 feet from a reliable connection. The external antenna on the Buffalo had better range and was rock steady.

For those with a laptop...well, that's a lot more problematic unless you have a specific place you tend to compute from and can leave the access point/bridge in place.
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