Airport Extreme works THIS WAY. EAT IT.

Wed 07 April 2010

So, I'm getting increasingly annoyed at Apple's railroading of people's use cases (no, this has nothing to do with the iPad).

It's only after I started using a Nexus One with android that I realised how shite the iPhone was in a lot of ways. Case in point: The one thing that I wanted my phone to do wasn't implemented yet, so I did it. The concept of doing that on iPhone without jumping through a ridiculous number of hoops is alien to me.

Another case in point happened this evening, or at least a symptom of it.

I'd recently gotten a Soekris net5501 to act as a home dhcp/dns/etc. server, having gotten tired/bored of just letting the Airport extreme do everything. I wanted to use DynDNS properly, and I wanted something I could leave on when I go on business trips (So I can leave power usage monitoring on, etc).

Sounds like a plan, right? So after fiddling with getting the Soekris installed, I plugged everything in, set up ISC dhcpd and Bind, and then went to Airport Utility to turn off DHCP on the Airport Extreme.

Except, you can't.

You can't actually turn off DHCP, without putting the device into bridge mode. You literally cannot run a NAT network using an Airport Extreme where it's not the DHCP server for your LAN.

Rather than ditching my Airport on some unsuspecting fanboy and doing research to find a good 802.11n router, I just set a DHCP pool size of 1 and got on with my life.

However, this basically reinforced my increasingly negative opinion of what Apple is up to these days. Apple products are increasingly not for people who know what they want.

As a disclaimer, I own an ipod and use a macbook pro as my only computer for day-to-day use. They work fine, and are great products. Which makes it a shame that a lot of their other stuff falls down so hard.

Aside: here's how to get ISC dhcpd to ignore a certain MAC address if you have a stupid device you want to talk to another dhcp server:

host stupidhost {
  hardware ethernet MA:CA:DD:RE:SS;
  deny booting;

More in a bit.

Category: Tech Tagged: imported apple airport dhcp