The tech world is exciting, because there’s always so much progress happening.
New inventions are happening every month, and new and better products are
being released semi-annually at least. It’s a fast-paced industry that makes
our lives more efficient, healthier, and more fun.
…and if you believe that, I am also a Nigerian noble with a few million
dollars I need to get out of the country with your assistance.
Yes, the tech world is marketed that way, and it’s an easy sell for two
reasons; first of all, no one understands technology so if a company says it’s
developed something new and exciting, we mostly believe them because we don’t
know any better. Secondly, there are self-evident advances that seem to
support the idea; we really did put a man on the moon, we really do have man-
made satellites in orbit around the Earth, and computers really have gotten
smaller and monitors have gotten thinner.
The problem isn’t the claim, it’s the hype. It’s the degree of what the
companies are claiming. Yes, there are advancements in technology. No, there
aren’t as many as we’re told their are. Just think about how often you’ve
purchased the latest and greatest computer only to have it pale in comparison
to the latest and greatest revision that comes out three months later. And the
only reason it pales is because the manufacturer decided to put more RAM, a
bigger harddrive, and a better graphics card. It’s got nothing to do with
advancement in technology, it’s just good ol’ fashioned profiteering.
Look at wireless routers. They haven’t really changed substantially in years.
And they’re something that really do last. In many ways, they’re naught but a
fancy AM/FM radio; you send network packets into it, and broadcasts those
packets over a radio wave (and vice versa). Simple. It’s technology that we’ve
had, essentially, for a very long time. So why shouldn’t they last for a long
Well, it turns out that most of them do last for a long time. And that, for a
profiteer, is bad business. Companies want to sell you a new router every
year, not have their routers last for five or ten.
Enter Apple Incorporated, the company that bases its business model on forced
The Apple Airport is the one line of wireless routers in the world that cannot
be configured from a web browser. If you’ve ever bought a router, you’ll know
that usually you plug it in, turn it on, connect to it, and go to some address
like 192.168.1.1 and then login to the router’s interface, and set it up.
Because it works in a web browser, you can do it from nearly any modern
Not an Apple Airport. They forbid connections to it from within a web browser.
You have to run the Apple Airport Utitlity software, which is available for
Mac mostly, although infrequent updates to a Windows version are made, and
there is no version whatsoever for Linux. Let’s just call that Apple’s way of
“encouraging” you to buy an Apple computer along with that router.
And with the latest version of the Macintosh operating system, Apple itself
has made it impossible to configure older models of the Apple Airport. In
otherwords, if you have an old Apple-branded Apple Airport wireless router and
make the mistake of updating to 10.7 or above, then you can no longer ever
configure that Airport. Period. They just don’t allow it.
It’s not a compatibility issue, it’s not that the technology is old and out-
of-date, it’s just that Apple has decided that if you’re using an old Airport,
then it’s time that you purchased another.
Take my advice, first of all, and don’t ever buy another Apple Airport. It’s a
mistake. Go buy a good router by Trendnet, or Linksys, or Netgear, because
they’ll last for as long as the hardware functions.
And don’t let technology companies get away with this. We’ve reached a plateau
in technology, and the companies know it, and so they’re trying to force
upgrades on their customers. They know that the computers, for instance, from
five years ago were editing video just fine, so they’re writing software that
won’t run on the old computers to make you think you need to buy a new
computer to keep editing video.
The list goes on and on. But we shouldn’t let it. Assess your tech needs,
don’t let the tech companies and blogs tell you what you “need” to do or want
to do. Think about what you actually need technology for in your life, buy
once and buy smart, and challenge yourself: how long can you make it last?