If there is a safeheaven, speaking financially, it must be Apple Inc. You've probably read already, that it has more cash than the American government. Yet, even with Apple there is something that is not right...
When I was coding for a research project back in the old days of my PHD, we were working with a modified Mobile IP stack. Not only the code itself was in development phase, but also we were modifying the code here and there to match our needs. For sometime we observed a weird phenomenon. Everything worked fine as long as there was some traffic between the clients and the server. As soon as the traffic died out, we had to restart everything from scracth.
As it was customary for such R&D projects, there was a demo coming in a few days, so we had to come up with a quick and dirty solution. We wrote a shell script that pinged the server every now and then to solve the problem. We knew it was a lousy solution and we had to solve the actual problem. And thats what we did eventually.
My girlfriend bought a shiny Mac Book Air recently. Everything worked fine, except the one thing that has to work bullet proof in Mac Book Airs: Wi-Fi. See, Mac Book Airs don't have ethernet connections, they work on Wi-Fi only. No Wi-Fi no internet. No internet, to system updates...
For some reason, our Mac Book disconnected and searched for an alternative access point at random intervals, even though there was nothing wrong with the signal quality.
The first entry on Apple forums on this issue is dated March 18 2008 [link to the entry]. Come 2011, there is still no official fix [link to the current questions]. I tried everyhing in this troubleshooting webpage[link] (not by Apple), from giving a static IP address to flushing DNS cache without any success.
So I tried out keeping the connection alive solution (called a heartbeat in geek talk), and the problem melted away. I wrote a simple shell script:
#!/bin/bashand saved it as a shell file (pinger.sh). If you run this file with the terminal application, it pings the wireless AP every five seconds.
ping -i 5 -n 192.168.1.1
I still can't believe how Apple can let a bug go unfixed this long, that resembles the bugs I had when I was a PHD student, and be the richest organization in the world. Surely there are millions of annoying bugs that goe unfixed. There is definetely a Mixed-Up Confusion somewhere!