oh no, Netgear sux too…

16 07 2009

i “inherited” a Netgear Rangemax WPN824v3 wireless router recently, and found a use for it. as it’s a pre-802.11n uber-802.11g 104Mbps thingy, so i figured it’d be a good idea to put the latest (2 year old, so presumably stable) firmware into it. and that’s where the fun stopped…

i was trying to upgrade the firmware in this thing on a Mac with Firefox, but got a ‘invalid filename’ error when trying to upload the new firmware.

what a ridiculous fiasco ensued:

– the product support pages have a FAQ note advising to use Firefox2 or IE, and that updated firmware will be posted soon. but, how am I to get this promised-but-as-yet-undelivered firmware into the router with this bug?!?

– so I try the following setups:
Safari4 on Mac = same problem
IE8 on Windows7 = same problem
IE8 on WindowsXP = same problem
IE7 on WinXP = same problem (how is that possible!??)

in disbelief & desperation, I went to the Netgear forums.

– a 1 year old forum post on this topic (now closed – why is it closed? the issue is clearly unresolved) advises to “turn off Java”. without logging in to this forum, the 2 pictures attached to the post didn’t display. so I dutifully disabled Java. same problem.

– i noted the original poster says only IE is supported, all else “at own risk”. nice to see that in the user manual – NOT.

– so i dig up some old forum login credentials – they seem to be half recognised but i’m none the less referred back to a full registration page. so i register – again.

– then i see the 2 pictures, clearly showing both Java AND JavaScript unticked. for the uninitiated, Java & JavaScript are totally separate & unrelated things. i untick them (as unintuitive as this seems, given that the Rangemax config pages appear to require JavaScript). but finally that works.

TWO HOURS LATER a 10 minute job is done.

not wanting to sound like an Apple fanboy, but this kind of chosen mediocrity by a (once respected?) major networking company just drives me nuts.

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