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Airport Express December 24, 2005

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Technology.

Well, I must admit, I was probably expecting a bit too much when I bought this new gadget, but it looked so cool! The feature list includes:

  • Built-in LAN/WAN port
  • Built-in USB port
  • Built-in Audio out
  • Wireless 802.11g

The audio out port is designed to allow you to remotely play stuff from iTunes. A cool feature, to be sure, but not what I had in mind.

The USB port, also cool, might allow me to configure a network printer. OK… sounds interesting too.

A LAN/WAN port? Are they kidding? Now that would be too good to be true! That sounds like I could set it up as an 802.11g wireless access point, and hook up all sorts of devices that have an ethernet port (but aren’t 802.11g capable), and have them on a WAP-encrypted network. It would be the best of all worlds!

Alas, it was not to be. While the Airport Express does a ton of stuff, it does not act as an access point. You can use it as a very mobile wireless router (via the WAN) port, but you can’t use the LAN functionality and be connected to a wireless network at the same time.

On the other hand, everything else that this thing does is cool enough to make up for its shortcomings. This morning, I decided to configure it to play music downstairs from my Mac Mini upstairs. It took less than 5 minutes, and that included the time to find RCA cables to wire it to the sound system!

Say what you will about Apple as a company. When these guys decide to make technology accessible, they get it very, very right.


1. A Fool and his Words are Soon Parted » iTunes Roaming Network Rocks! - January 15, 2006

[…] OK… I generally hold back, but this is just way too outrageous. Sometime back, I bought a Airport Express. I already determined that it was cool, even though I wasn’t able to use the built-in LAN/WAN port to turn it into a wireless access point as I’d hoped. However, playing with it tonight has me feeling that the guys at Apple are absolute genuises. iTunes and Airport Express As I pointed out before, hooking up iTunes to play music in an adjacent room via the Airport Express was an absolute breeze. It sounded great, and there were no noticeable artifacts on Pop/Rock (as you’d expect). The setup is clean, and the Airport Express box is amazingly versatile. […]

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