Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wii, day 7 - setting up the wireless information

It has been a while since we used the Wii in the classroom. With our short week from Spring Break and then the Spring festival we had, there just hasn't been much time to get it all together. So, this week Chris and I worked at getting back into the swing of things. During Spring Break, I was able to get the wireless access points (Cisco 1000 series - older models which are end of life, but still work great) up and running throughout the school. So, what's the first thing that I need to do with them? Well, get the Wii up and running on the Internet of course! As with everything in technology, it should have been a cake walk. Just double click on the wireless adapter, auto find the SSID, put in the password (of course there is a password!) and cruise the web. And as with everything in technology, it just didn't work out that way! Here is a page with directions from Nintendo for setting up a wireless connection(BTW, the Nintendo site is a pretty good one with info on errors and pictures/videos to help with the install). I wasn't able to just double click and go for whatever reason. When I did a scan for the SSID, the console would see it and give me the correct security settings. However, when I tried to put in the correct password I would not be able to get on the web. It kept coming up with different error codes that had to do with wireless connection problems. So, after some conversations with a friend who is very knowledgeable with Cisco equipment (thanks Chuck!) we wound up creating another wireless SSID that didn't have the same level of security. I turned off the broadcast feature and created all the settings manually. If you click on the Manual Setup button (shown here) you can enter in all the settings.From here you add the SSID (again, I turned off the broadcast so I had to add it manually).
Then choose the type of security and put in the encryption password.
From here we manually put in the IP address and DNS address (if you don't know what these are you should be able to ask the tech person at your school).

The last setting is the easiest. Don't change it! Just leave it set at 0 and hit save.

At this point I was able to run the connection test and see it hit the Access Point. In just a few seconds I was talking on the Internet. The first thing the console wants to do is download the latest firmware from the web. You get the warning that if you have modified the console any that it may become unusable when the upgrade occurs (at least it gives you a warning/reminder). We did the upgrade at that point and it seemed to be steady connection and it worked the following day when we were playing a game. The next thing that we did was download the Internet browser for the Wii. Here is a page on specifically how to do this but I will give the highlights.
  1. Select the Wii Shop Channel from the Wii Menu. If you have not previously accessed the Wii Shop Channel, you will need to read and agree to the User Agreement.
  2. Once the welcome screen is displayed, select "Start Shopping."
  3. Select "Wii Channels" from the Wii Shop main menu, then select "Internet Channel." Select "Yes" if you agree to the amount and to confirm the download. THERE IS NO COST to download the browser.
  4. After the Opera Browser finishes downloading, the "Internet Channel" will be added to your Wii Menu.
Follow the directions on the link above to learn about the different icons on the browser and how to navigate around. It is pretty simple if you give the article a quick once over!

One thing, we did occasionally lose the connection for a second or two. I hope that this is just because the wireless lost signal (some kind of interference) for a moment. It did come right back but I did have to reset the game settings once it lost the wireless so it is a inconvenience, but certainly not a deal breaker. I think the reset was just because I was on a web page through the browser. If I had been playing a game I don't think there would have been the same reset problems...

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