Since I’d rather be rock climbing right now, this is going to be the short version. Last night I took delivery of one Monoprice-sourced mini-displayport to DVI adapter. This made me happy, as I could now use my external monitor with my 24″ iMac. Two screens are better than one, and such. I plugged in said adapter, and rejoiced. This joy was short-lived, as my internet suddenly stopped working. Given that Comcast is probably the single worst service provider known to man, I did not associate my failed connection with the addition of my second monitor.
For some reason, I could not connect to my wireless network. I could, however, connect to some open AP named “Guest.” I could also connect to my AirPort Express’ WPA2 network. Why, oh why, was my WRT54G’s WPA2 network timing out!? No clue. I tried for hours, resetting routers, nuking .plist files, changing wireless channels, etc. Nothing worked. Of course, every other wireless-enabled device in the house worked just fine and dandy through every single change. Only my iMac refused to play nicely. Finally, I gave up and packed up my iMac and my WRT54G (to recreate the problem) and headed for The Genius Bar.
Everything worked fine there.
What. The. Heck!?
When I returned home, it was right back to being broken again. This prompted me to go through exactly what was different, and the only thing I could point to was my second screen. Upon realizing this, I reached behind the iMac and unplugged the adapter. LET THERE BE WIRELESS! I’m sure, at that moment in time, I had the most bewildered face ever, but I’ll never know.
Now it looked like, despite all rational thought saying this was impossible, somehow my mini-displayport was unhappy with encrypted wireless. I moved the iMac to another screen in the house, and surprisingly enough my wireless still worked. Doublepluspuzzled. The only difference from there was one screen had a USB hub, and the other did not. Unplugging the USB hub on the Dell screen did nothing to resolve my lack of wireless. How very bizarre!
Electromagnetic Interference, I imagined, had to be the source of my problems. This shouldn’t be possible, given industry standards and whatnot. Ignore the fact that this very same screen spent a solid year plugged into my MacBook Pro before that unfortunate beer incident, and wireless worked that entire time. I did the only logical thing, and moved the screen away from the iMac. Specifically, I put it on the floor about three feet from the actual computer. When I plugged it in, my wireless remained. How very surprising. Thinking that moving it back would surely disconnect my wireless, and thus prove my EMI theory, I picked the screen back up and put it right back where it started. Only, nothing happened. In fact, I’m typing this from my iMac, with my browser on my second screen. All connected wirelessly.
If you can make sense of that, please contact some research agency and go figure out cold-fusion or something useful. This just makes no sense at all!