Only connect…

Stephen Fry’s experience with Vista networking.

For those who think I was being unfair on either Vista or Sony, I should explain that I wasn't trying to set up a new network, I wasn't doing anything even vaguely complicated. There was a WEP security-enabled network in the room already to which a G1 phone, 2 Blackberry devices, iPhones, an iPod Touch and two Macs were all happily connected. A hotel room.

I introduce a brand new computer, fire it up and try to get it simply to connect to this already existing network. If it was tricky to create a network, to alter a router's parameters, to change SSID's Ð anything like that, I would buckle down and do it, certainly not blaming Vista, for it is always tricky to set up new wireless networks. What was so extraordinary in the year 2008 was that an expensive new piece of kit was unable to join a simple 40 bit WEP secured network. It saw the network, it agreed with me that it existed, I clicked to connect and it failed. Not surprisingly, as at no stage in trying to connect did it ask me for a password or offer a field in which to insert one. It offered to 'diagnose' the problem. Its diagnosis being that I was unable to connect. 'Doctor, I have a headache.' 'Mm. My diagnosis is that you have a headache. Leave your cheque with my secretary.' Bleugh.

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