Tag Archives: problems

AirPort Express Woes

So now I’ve had the AirPort Express for a little while. My wife loves it – she uses a MacBook and iTunes and can pump music out to our family room stereo with no problems.

One thing that is bugging me is that I can’t configure the AirPort Express from my Dell laptop. The AirPort Utility just refuses to connect or see it. Whereas the AirPort Utility on the MacBook works with no problems. To me, it’s not a big deal as I can use my wifey’s MacBook.    But after a bit of googling, I’ve found that many others are having similar problems. But they might not have access to a MacBook, so they’re really.. just… stuffed… and left with a white brick.

First, to explain my home network configuration:

  • Wireless Linksys WRT54G wireless router connected to D-Link ADSL Modem to the Internet
  • All devices in the house are connected wirelessly.  This includes my wifey’s MacBook, my Dell laptop, Tivo, PS3, AirPort Express, any work laptops, etc.
  • WIreless uses WPA-PSK (TKIP).

Now, when I first set up the AirPort Express, it created its own wireless network by default.   I think my Dell did find it at the time, but couldn’t configure it.  I ignored it at the time and just configured wirelessly using the MacBook.   After configuring it, I ended up with this:

  • AirPort Express connecting to my existing network with remote speakers configured.
  • iTunes on the MacBook can see remote speakers
  • iTunes on the Dell laptop can see remote speakers
  • AirPort Utility on the MacBook can see the AirPort Express and configure it
  • AirPort Utility on the Dell laptop can’t see the AirPort Express at all

Here is the AirPort Utility output from the MacBook:

AirPort Utility from MacBook
AirPort Utility from MacBook

Here is the AirPort Utility from the Dell laptop:

AirPort Utility from Dell Laptop
AirPort Utility from Dell Laptop

Not really useful.  I click on the Rescan button but it finds nothing.

I’ve checked that the AirPort Express is actually there.  For example, I see it listed in the list of wireless DHCP clients on the Linksys WRT54G status page, and I can actually ping the AirPort Express from my Dell laptop.

Pinging the AirPort Express
Pinging the AirPort Express

In the AirPort Utility, you can actually specify an IP address directly.  I tried to enter the AirPort Express IP address, but it still can’t connect.  But it gives me an error this time:

AirPort Utility error
AirPort Utility error

Oh, the dreaded 6722 error.  I did a bit of googling and I think I found someone with the same problem and he was being bounced between Mac and Windows forums as they pointed the finger at each other.

It’s wierd that iTunes on the Dell laptop can see the AirPort Express, it can ping it, but the AirPort Utility can’t.  I’m convinced it’s a software bug with the Windows version of AirPort Utility.

I’ve installed the latest updates and firmware but it hasn’t helped.  For now, I’ll have to make sure we keep the MacBook around in case I need to reconfigure it.   But everyone else out there – if you don’t have an iMac/MacBook/etc, you may want to think twice before buying an AirPort Express.   You may be buying a very pretty, smooth and white…  brick.

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Problems with uploading photos to Facebook

I’ve been running into many problems when trying to upload photos to Facebook.  I usually select a large number to upload at once and then the browser starts to do its thing.  Unfortunately, lately it always fails.

I did a Google and found quite a few other people with the same problem but there didn’t seem to be any silver bullet to solving the problem.

I found I had an hour or two on the weekend to investigate it further and eventually was able to upload the latest photos from our Italy trip.

First I looked at the Java console log and found this error message:

Starting upload
2/08/2008 01:27:29 org.apache.commons.httpclient.HttpMethodDirector isRedirectNeeded
INFO: Redirect requested but followRedirects is disabled
Status =[302]
2/08/2008 01:27:29 org.apache.commons.httpclient.HttpMethodBase getResponseBody
WARNING: Going to buffer response body of large or unknown size. Using getResponseAsStream instead is recommended.
UploadException occured

I Googled these errors and didn’t find much but did find a Facebook discussion where others had the same problem.  It seemed that the uploader would try to upload the photos, then get near the end, wait for a response from the Facebook server, and then decide to try uploading all the photos again.

Just to rule the browser out of things, I tried switching from Firefox to Internet Explorer.   Fortunately, it made no difference 🙂

I then made sure I had the latest Java toolkit and Java console.  It still made no difference.

In Internet Explorer, I checked the ActiveX controls I’ve downloaded and found that my PC actually had 3 different Facebook uploaders but was only using one.  Just to be sure, I deleted all of them and went back to the Facebook site again to reinstall it.  It still made no difference.

Downloaded ActiveX Controls
Downloaded ActiveX Controls

I then experimented with the number of photos to upload.  It could be a problem with the number of photos or the time taken to upload the photos.  Here is a screenshot of some rough notes I took:

Notes of upload numbers
Notes of upload numbers

I managed to get up to 18 photos to upload at once with no problems.  Momentarily I was joyous!  I could upload my holiday photos in batches of 18, although I still have problems trying to make out the photos in the thumbnail view.

This went all right, until it failed again.  And this time on only 11 photos.  I reduced the number down to 6, then down to 1 – and it still failed.

Check internet connection – OK.

It turns out that the Facebook photo uploader was having problems with one particular photo of mine.  Don’t know why – it was the same dimensions and roughly the same size as the others.  But I didn’t upload that one and it was fine from then onwards.

I’m pretty sure I’ve uploaded near the maximum of 60 before in one shot before – but this was at my previous place with ADSL2.   I’m unfortunately only on ADSL1 at the moment with an upload speed of 128k.  My gut feel is that it’s something to do with the time taken to upload or response time, which is related to my connection speed and the number of photos I’m uploading.

For now, I’m happy to find my magic breaking point of ~18 photos.   Something for others to think about if they’re having problems!

[Update 26 May 2009]

I’ve noticed that this blog post still gets a lot of hits!    I’m not sure whether these techniques work for anyone or not.

Lately, I’ve been having much more success uploading to Facebook if I resize my photos first to a maximum width of 1024 pixels and upload smaller groups at a time.  It even works with the Java based uploader!

I think my mistake above, nearly a year ago, was to upload the photos taken directly by my digital camera.  With digital cameras commonly having 8-12 megapixels nowadays, the images produced are really too large for viewing on computer screens.  The solution is to resize your photo BEFORE uploading.   This makes the size of the photo drop dramatically too, and reduces the work that the Facebook uploader would do in resizing the photo.   Hope this helps someone out there!

[Update 6 Oct 2009]

I tried again on the weekend to upload some photos to Facebook and it still didn’t work reliably.  But then I tried using the Facebook publishing tool in iPhoto, and it worked successfully the very first time!    This really leads me to believe it’s the java code in Facebook’s uploading page that is not very robust.

So, if you have a Mac, use iPhoto.