Airport, Configuring And Managing Airport (Graphite) Base Stations

The first Airport base station (ABS) introduced by Apple came out of Cupertino around July 1999, with a time limited exclusive agreement between Apple and Lucent Technologies (the proponent that powers much of Apple’s WiFi technologies). The 802.11b spec, Airport (Graphite) had a short run that only lasted till November 2001; but it still remains the most inexpensive ABS that can be found today.

Unlike the later ABS models that followed, the advent of Mac OS X and Windows XP, has made setting up an Airport (Graphite) a cumbersome chore. One of the first things to note is that although its purported to function with the current versions (e.g. version 4.2.) of the Airport Admin Utility for Mac OS X, we’ve found that its still much easier to configure using the earlier OS 9.2.1 compatible Airport Admin Utility version 2.0.4 and that’s just for starters.

The current Airport Admin Utility version 4.2 for Windows 2000/XP is not compatible with the Airport (Graphite) at all. A possible means to overcome this, is to try and use third party Airport Admin apps such as Freebase written by Rop Gonggrijp.

In addition to this, resetting the Airport (Graphite) also requires a user to set up a fixed IP over Ethernet to be able to communicate with the Airport (Graphite) once it has been reset. This is mainly due to the fact, that the Airport (Graphite) resets to a default IP address and subnet mask.

20060728032158316_2If you currently own an Airport (Graphite), you are strongly recommended to reference the ‘related articles’ listed below in choronological order for optimum results. Otherwise, its probably best to purchase a later version of the ABS rather than the Airport (Graphite) which represents an archaic part of Apple’s WiFi history. Significant improvements have been made since the Airport (Graphite) in following models, e.g. the Airport (Dual Ethernet) or popularly know asAirport Snow because it came in white in contrast to the original Airport (Graphite)’s metallic silver finish.

If you cannot seem to configure the Airport (Graphite) using a Windows system, the safest bet is probably to locate a Mac that can run the Airport Admin Utility version 2.0.4 in OS 9.2.1 or Classic mode.

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