It's not really "random". The network name is set to the last 6
characters of the box serial number. You can't change it, however.
On mine it isn't any section of the box's serial number.
The hardware does let you change the network name, it only forces
the first six characters of the name ... so you can make it longer,
you just can't change the first 6 characters.
You are FORCED to use encryption and the encryption key MUST be
exactly 5 ascii characters. The ascii code for those characters
becomes the 40 bit encryption key.
The _software_ forces you to use encryption and with that key.
The _hardware_ is perfectly capable of doing everything an airport
base station can do - no encryption, changing the SNMP community
string, etc, but Lucent's configuration _software_ for it is crippled.
Point the java airport configurator at it with the SNMP community
string 'public'. Other than the stupidity with the first 6 chars
of the network name it's an airport. The guts are _identical_
apart from the LEDs and the firmware.
I'm thinking about writing up a web page explaining the differences
between the Airport, RG-1000, and Cabletron RoamAbout systems. It
just happens that I have the Cabletron system and two of my relatives
have the other two so I have good experience with each. :)
Not messed with the Cabletron stuff, but I have an RG-1000 and an