fAIL: The Self-Replicating Network Connection

Good morning gentle readers. I opened up my craptop this morning to witness the struggles of what seemed to be a laptop battling cancer. No, this was not another case of opteron cancer. Instead I found that Windows, unable to cope with my Cisco Aironet 350 wireless card, was creating network connections one after another in the system tray. Recently I have been taking out my wireless network card while at work, which used to always reside in my laptop’s PCMCIA slot. At the end of the day I’d plug it back in usually either before or after I had sent my laptop into power save mode.

So this morning like all mornings I take out my laptop, set it up, open the lid and log in. Within seconds I notice my system tray bombarded by a new wireless network connection appearing once every second or so, enlarging the system tray beyond its normal size (note the arrow to the far right of the screenshot). My esteemed colleague Chris Wright and I were both disappointed that the info bubble did not in fact pop up for each of those connection icons. Luckily this cancer seemed benign, and within a few seconds Windows realized there actually was only one wireless networking device.

Though it seems this all boils down to the lesson: never mess with an IBM trying to get some sleep. Whether it’s not waiting long enough for a print process to get out of the queue causing endless beeping or windows self-replicating wireless network connections, you’ll face the seemingly impossible behavior of a laptop pushing the boundaries of sanity.