IPads not functional with U. network
Blocked devices represent only half of the iPads that have attempted to connect to the University’s network. Nonetheless, OIT recommended on April 8 that all iPad owners not connect to the network because of the high risk of problems. The announcement came five days after Apple released its much-anticipated hybrid between the iPod and a laptop.
The source of the problem is a bug in the iPad’s system for assigning itself an Internet Protocol address. A system called the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol gives devices like computers, laptops and iPads an IP address when these devices connect to the campus network.
“The DHCP client on the iPad is not working correctly in that once it is assigned an IP address, it does not do necessary updates to the assignment,” Sather said.
This caused disruptions to the campus network.
“OIT and Apple engineers are actively working to resolve this issue,” Sather explained. “We hope the issue will be resolved soon, but at the time do not yet know how quickly a correction may be distributed.”
One unsuccessful user is English professor William Howarth, who tried to use his iPad on campus but couldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi. After checking the settings, he realized that his Wi-Fi had turned off. The iPad connected to the “puwireless” network only after he restarted the Wi-Fi.
“The Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to know how to switch networks automatically,” Howarth explained in an e-mail.
OIT did not anticipate problems with Apple’s new device, Sather noted.
“IPhones and iPod touch are connected to the network and their DHCP clients do not exhibit this behavior,” he said.
OIT’s warning, posted on its website, stated, “Until a fix is provided by Apple, OIT recommends not connecting your iPad device to the campus network as it is likely it will malfunction. IPad devices that malfunction in this manner while connected to the campus network may need to be blocked to maintain the stability and reliability of campus network services.”
Despite the unexpected delay in functionality, Howarth said he is still excited about his new gadget.
“I’m enthusiastic about using the iPad for research, writing and also in teaching classes,” he said.