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I have a friend with an old Win 98 machine with the exact same problem. 
Sadly they do not believe me that their computer is a POS. I feel your pain!

Mark Koskenmaki wrote:

>I did an install up on the mountains today...  It's just about a half hour's
>drive from my workshop, almost an hour's drive from home...
>Although this is a very remote AP, there ARE a few homes nearby.  And one of
>those had called and we're doing the install.   So, we get her IMAC hooked
>up and viola!   It works.   But, my speed test was chugging along at only .9
>to 1.5Mbit - it's a web based script that estimates download speed.
>So, I downloaded a file.   Sure enough...  It starts about 175KB/sec, and
>after about 5 megs go by, it's crawling along at 80KB.   I log into the cpe
>and try adjusting every stinking thing I can, making sure we have great RSSI
>at both ends (ap and cpe).  Still, the data flow is not good at all.
>Well, I had forgotten the switch so we could get her husband's machine on as
>well.   So, later in the day I returned and we put in the switch.   Well, I
>ran the speed test again...  1.2MEGABYTES PER SECOND download speed.     I
>had set it up with what I thought were really good settings...   I THOUGHT
>it was right.
>I just didn't realize that her old IMAC couldn't sustain more than 80KB/sec
>downloads.    No kidding.  The hard drive thrashed visciously and that's all
>it could do.
>Sometimes I forget...   I know what I know, I know what I'm doing...  Or, I
>should.  Man, trust what you know you know, self-doubt can really mess ya up
>and waste your time.
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