Hi guys, new firmware around the corner.
But we need more testing now. We have done tests with some volunteers that we are so thankful for, but now we need more feedback. We are releasing a Release Candidate for 22.214.171.124 soon.
It is not a final image: We don’t consider it stable and it has bugs that we expect to fix when the final 126.96.36.199 is released. However we feel it is now ready for some field testing.
So, what should you expect from this test firmware?
- The FON Hotspot feature has been fixed. You can share your WiFi again at your will.
- We have fixed the WiFi issues that the Fonera was having with the BCM4325 chipset from broadcom. This WiFi chipset is used by the iPhone 3Gs, many last generation iPods, some Apple laptops and desktops and other brands (Dell etc).
- We have been in close touch with RaLink, our chipset vendor, to make sure the WiFi configuration is the best possible. In previous versions we had a couple of values that were not completely optimized. Now the WiFi conf should be the best.
- Improvements in the 3G system: we have made some internal cleanups so the 3G configuration is cleaner. For instance, you can now reset the 3G configuration when it’s dialing, in case it seems to be stuck.
- We have replaced the software that controlled the 3G dongles with “usb_modeswitch”: a software that will allow us support many more 3G dongles and will make it easier as well. This doesn’t mean all units will work out of the box but many will and others will be easy to fix in the near future.
These are the things you might miss:
- We have removed the “Repeater Mode” or WiFi-WAN mode. It was unstable and until we find out why, if ever, it will be switched off.
- Torrent, DLManager, Samba etc. have had no changes. As we said many times, we will first try to make the base system (mainly connectivity) as stable and reliable as possible.
These are things we know are wrong:
- MAC OSX 10.6 seems to have issues with the 802.11d protocol (country code exchange protocol) over 802.11n. What does it entail: when WiFi is enabled in OSX, it will listen to any APs around. The first one that sends a message containing a country code, will determine the country selection of OSX. Once a country is selected, OSX will refuse to connect to APs advertising different country codes.
How does this affect users? The Fonera is broadcasting US as the country code. If you live in Europe and your OSX gets a frame from a different AP saying it’s in Spain, for instance, then it will refuse to connect to the Fonera since it is in a different country (US).
This bug is not Fonera exclusive, (see http://discussions.info.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10500601) it happens to OSX with any AP that has a ‘wrong’ country code. We will very likely add a dropdown menu so the user can chose what country the AP is in.
- MAC OSX (other OSes not confirmed yet) seems to get micro-disconnections from time to time. We are still studying this issue.
When can you expect to test this new test firmware?
Well… we are aiming for next week. Can’t promise yet but it looks like we might be able to have it cleaned up and ready for you guys to test. Please, bear in mind it will be a test version and only those who feel confident (or desperate enough) should try it :)
Thanks for reading all the way down to here!