So, I spent several fruitless hours yesterday trying to get my wireless networking working properly. I picked up a Netgear MA521wireless adapter at Staples (hey, $10 after rebate? Yeah, I’ll take that) and discovered that it couldn’t see the wireless access point we have in the basement. After some rearranging, a little rewiring, and a minor injury, I was able to put the access point in the kitchen, where it should provide a nice, strong signal sine it’s about ten feet from where I usually sit. Well, one would think, anyway. My network connection was dropping all over the place, and after screwing with it for a few hours I finally gave up and went back to a wire. Judging from the fact that the link light on the card seemed to go on and off at random (independently of whether I had connectivity or not), I’m suspecting it’s a driver conflict of some variety. I also note that some reviews indicated that the newest revision of the MA521 switched from the industry-standard Prism II chipset to a RealTek chipset; that’s another possible source of problems. Oddly enough, it works fine on takaza‘s laptop, which is good since he was using a Netgear MA111 USB wireless adapter but due to wear and tear, one of the two USB ports on his laptop broke. Rather than risk the other port, he’ll just use the card. (I’d use the MA111 on my laptop, but all I get is random BSD’s and reboots. What fun!)
So, we also tried making Alton Brown’s fried plantain recipe last night (aka tostones). This was my first attempt at cooking with plantains. The recipe was good, but I learned something very important: the riper plantains get, the more banana-like flavor they develop. The recipe calls for green plantains but by the time I got around to preparing them, the plantains we had were more yellow than green. I cooked them up and while they tasted OK, the combination of a faint banana aftertaste and garlic was…off-putting. And after eating a couple of them, just plain unappetizing. It would be worth trying again, but I’d make sure that the plantains were green next time. Also, they could really be improved by a dipping sauce of some variety. Blue Corn Cafe in Durham make a fabulous mango dipping sauce to go with their fried plantain chips; I’ll have to investigate something like that.