(wherein Tara makes her father, her fiance and all the boys from her Comp Sci classes overflow with pride)

We are in the process of setting up our future married abode and a major part of that process is setting up the internet.

The installation guy came Monday morning to activate our line and set up the modem. He was a friendly, chatty man and had things done in short order. The line was activated, the modem set up, and away he went.

It was then that my adventures began. He had the wired internet set up, but we still needed to set up the wireless internet. And as M was at work, by “we”, I mean “me”.

M sent me a quick text telling me the location of his Airport Express (a wireless router, for you non-Apple people). He also told me it would be a fiddly process, but I was welcome to begin if I so wanted.

Seeing as the cable from the modem was a) short and b) in a corner, I most certainly did want. And so I began.

Step 1: Connect the Airport to power and the modem.
Step 2: Connect the laptop wirelessly to the Airport.
Step 3: Type the Gmail URL into the web browser.
Step 4: Watch as nothing happens.

This, it seems, was the beginning of the fiddly part, which continued throughout the whole rest of the process.

I began with a tip from M to use the Airport Utility (a program for configuring the wireless router). After much fiddling, I finally found the program and opened it up. It claimed two errors: a lack of internet connection (despite being connected to the modem) and a lack of proper settings. Switching the modem cable back and forth between the router and my computer, I was able to look up some forum advice. I tried doing a hard reset of the router. Then a Factory Default reset. Neither seemed to be working. After some more research (and re-reading the articles M sent me about the process), I realized that it was in fact working just fine.

The only indication the Airport Express gives you as to its status is a light. Solid green if it’s working just as it should; flashing amber if it isn’t. I was expecting the resets to produce a green light, but it would only do so if the other errors were resolved. The amber light flashed faster when I performed the reset steps, and this indicated that it had been reset.

So I went back into the Airport Utility and saw that it was still listing two errors. I clicked “Configure…” and it took me through the steps for setting up the router. I named the device, gave it a password, created a wireless network and named and passworded it, and then connected my computer to the network.

And nothing happened.

By this time, it had been at least an hour (which, however, included a break as I chatted with my mom on the phone).

The error was still Internet Connection, or rather, a lack thereof. I couldn’t understand it. The router was clearly plugged into the modem and the modem was clearly connected to the internet.

I went back into the Airport Utility and it gave me two options for configuring the IP address: either through DHCP or manually. It was on DHCP and showing the amber light, so I switched it to manually (why not?). The light changed to green.

Woohoo! It worked!

I was relatively certain that there had to be more set up for Manual than just what I had done. But the light was green, so I happily typed Gmail into my browser. And, unsurprisingly, nothing happened.

But then I had a thought.

I unplugged the modem (forcing it off) and plugged it back in (forcing it on again).

I still had the Airport Utility open to the error page and when the modem was plugged back in, I watched as several errors popped up in the Utility and then were resolved as the Airport linked back up with the modem. And then the Internet Connection error popped up. It lingered longest of them all, until suddenly, it disappeared.

And the light turned green.

And here I am. Online.