Every week I’m getting some kind of alert that some software application needs to be updated. Most of the time it’s just Microsoft, but things such as Adobe whatever, Flash, Java and even a couple of other programs I’m running here and there will pop up saying I should upgrade, and I always do.

However, not everything will alert you to the fact that there’s an upgrade. It is in that vein that last week I tried to do something different.

Linksys - RangePlus WRT160N 4-Port Wireless-N Broadband Router

After one more story about someone who had their wireless connection leeched by someone else who was downloading kiddie porn I decided it was probably time to close my connection. My neighbors aren’t all that close and in my area signals get degraded quickly, but my mind said let’s not take any chances.

I have a Linksys router and figured out how to get into the software settings so I could change things around. Then it alerted me that there was a firmware upgrade for the router. I checked it out, seemed like a good deal, downloaded the program, did the upgrade, and figured all was fine. What the upgrade was supposed to do was two things. The first was to protect some of the open ports better against intrusions, and the second was to boost the speed a little bit more. I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with either of those things, and my computer still worked great.

The problem came the first time I tried to sync my Palm to the computer. Because of stupid Vista I can no longer sync the Palm via a USB connection; it has to be wireless, unless I want to take the time to go out and buy a Bluetooth connector for the computer, and I don’t. And the problem wasn’t the protection I had put onto the computer against wireless intrusions without a password either, as my laptop still accessed things fine.

The problem was that suddenly the upgrade had changed from 40-bit and 80-bit technology to 64-bit and 128-bit technology, but the Palm, being older, could only handle the older bits. I couldn’t get it to work with the computer in any way, shape or fashion. Talk about disappointing!

I worked on it for hours, then decided to shut it down and try again the next day. Same thing, couldn’t get it working, although this time I kept sporadically trying things. Nope, wasn’t happening. Then on Twitter I happened to mention it and someone said to try to do the upgrade again. I did that; as a matter of fact, not only did I do that, but I went in and turned off the wireless protection as well.

I’m not sure why but after the 4th time of running that upgrade I was finally able to sync my Palm; came out of nowhere, as I just wasn’t expecting it. I was elated beyond belief. Unfortunately, I still can’t access the internet on the Palm, but it’s more important to me that I can sync my address and date books again.

In a way, it’s a problem I should have thought about ahead of time based on the reality that many people have been trying and failing to upgrade the Flash BIOS on their Dell laptops and have found themselves with laptops that no longer work. There’s supposedly a class action lawsuit out there somewhere against them because it’s been found that many of their motherboards, estimated at around 12 million or so, are faulty and thus helped to cause the crashes.

Of course I could just go out and buy a new router like the one above, the N-series, and maybe that would help, and I may do that some day; just not now. 🙂

Either way, it does point out that whenever you’re thinking about upgrading your technology you might need to think about your older tech to see if it might cause you problems you don’t want to deal with.

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