Mac Pro Sporadic Wireless or Bad UPS

macpro frontAs it turns it… Both. And a tiny bit more.

But the main culprit appears to have been my UPS. For a week or more I would see my wi-fi signal disappear or hold steady with no data coming in or going out. I was baffled.

I tried the software route first – reinstalling the Airport Extreme software provided on the CD that came with the wi-fi card. Things seemed better, for about 10 minutes, then it was back to same ol same ol.

Next I tried re-installing the operating system despite the knowledge that 10.6 will be released very soon. Ah well. It’s better than waiting a minute or two for Google to load. Seriously.

That also seemed to help a little but things quickly returned to previous state of affairs. I was stumped and left things alone for a day or so.

Then I stumbled onto completely different issue… Ants.

Recently über tiny ants have been stalking the kitchen and spare bedroom. We’ve been completely stumped by their arrival. Thanks to my computer troubleshooting, I found the root cause of the ants – paper.

Yes. Paper.

My next wi-fi step was to check for large amounts of dust inside the computer. I removed the printer, it is left on top of the compy, unplugged, and what the truck did I see… A few incredibly über tiny baby ants scurrying around on top of the computer. !!!???!!!

I cleaned up the computer, removed dust, inspected the inside for dead bugs – none were found, and then listened. Ahh. What’s that? A buzzing sound? Huh. Odd. Wait-a-minute… That’s the UPS. That should not be happening.

Unplugged and left alone all was quiet. With the computer and monitor plugged into the outlet directly, the wireless connection has been solid. Every now and then it skips a beat but that’s all.

The ants…

I forgot to say I vacuumed the day before and remembered seeing a few spider-webs. One had a number dead ants in it. I let the spider scurry away while I grabbed its home and tossed the ants.

Then it all clicked. The paper was stored in the closet where I found the web with the ants. There were baby ants on the computer… below the printer. OMG. The ants are somehow coming from the paper. Sure enough, I grabbed the bag of Staples paper that I had obtained from my job at a swap box and what’d I see? The same and smaller über tiny baby ants.

The paper from the printer was removed and put in with the remaining paper from the bundle and microwaved to ensure the infestation, I use that word very loosely, stopped there and then.

The paper was discarded into a recycling bin and the ant problem has more or less gone away.

Thus concludes the wifi ant saga of 11o1.

Now… 10.6, would you please be released so I can spend more time installing OS X? Grrreat.

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