At this point, yes, we're at the mercy of Apple pushing an update. However, they updated it for Mountain Lion, I have to think there are still plenty of folks running the older hardware who will want this.
At this time, my network is centered around a later model Airport Extreme, and as long as it's liltte light doesn't start flashing, I think I'll be OK. The older hardware sometimes hiccups, causing the home base to worry that it's not getting a signal from one of the children in the repeater network.
I'm also lucky enough to have a 2007 iMac that I can administer from in a pinch. Good thing I didn't take the plunge and update it last night as well.
However, they updated it for Mountain Lion
No, they did not. AP 5.6 could only be installed on Mountain Lion using third party software.....which was not officially supported by Apple.
What that really meant was that if you were running AP 5.6 on Mountain Lion....and you called Apple for support on an issue.....you got no support.
I suggest that you hold onto the iMac to be able to administer the older AirPorts.
we're at the mercy of Apple pushing an update.
Please post back when you see this "update" appear.
I also have this problem and need to manage an original Airport Express M9470LL/A currently used as a booster.
I don't have the option of using a spare old Mac. So, Apple, why can't you provide OS support for kit you were still selling only 5 years ago. There must be many 1,000s of people with this issue.
So, Apple, why can't you provide OS support for kit you were still selling only 5 years ago. There must be many 1,000s of people with this issue.
As you know this is a user-to-user forum. I would suggest that you let your feelings about this be known to Apple by submitting a request to the Apple - Feedback site. Who knows if they get enough of these they may consider implementing support for older AirPorts in the future.
If you purchased Lion or Mountain Lion from the App Store in the past, you can install that version on another, previously erased boot volume, and use the following workaround to administer an 802.11b/g - only Express or Extreme after booting OS X Lion or ML.
Read the following caveats before proceeding:
- The procedure that follows applies to Lion and Mountain Lion systems only.
- AirPort Utility 5.6 will not run with Mavericks.
- This procedure will not restore AirPort Utility 5.6 to life with Mavericks.
- Be advised that using an older Express or Extreme may cause unknown problems when using Mavericks.
- The extent of such problems has yet to be determined.
- Remember that you are using obsolete equipment. Many new OS X features require supported AirPort equipment and support for 802.11b/g - only AirPort Base Stations is gone.
- Proceed at your own risk.
Lion / Mountain Lion's package installer will refuse to install superseded versions of AirPort Utility. Instead you will need to use a package extractor such as Pacifist or unpkg. Pacifist is shareware, unpkg is free.
Download Pacifist here: http://www.charlessoft.com/
Download unpkg here: http://www.timdoug.com/unpkg/
Download AirPort Utility 5.6 here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1482
When the AirPort Utility .dmg file finishes downloading, open it to expand and reveal the AirPortUtility56.pkg package installer file.
Directions for Pacifist (I do not have screenshots for unpkg but the idea is similar):
Open Pacifist and from its File menu, navigate to the package and open it.
Click the "reveal triangles" until you see AirPort Utility 5.6.app:
Select it and then click Install from Pacifist's toolbar. It will then be installed in your Utilities folder, and you can quit Pacifist.
do you happen to know what the technical reason is why Aiport Utility 6.x doesn't/can't support older base stations?
Apple engineers did not include the software needed to administer older AirPort base station with AirPort Utilty 6.x versions.
Your next question might be "why?".
"Why" questions can only be answered by Apple. Only Apple knows the "why" about anything.
At best I can only speculate on any technical reasons ... and I have a number of them. However, since this is against forum rules I will forgo doing so. Sorry!
From a user-to-user perspective it appears to me that Apple is trying to "push" users to upgrading to newer systems. Whether that push is considered gentle or not I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion. I do find it a bit odd that if you build dependable products that you would want to incorporate a strategy to "abandon" them after just a few years.
I have the same problem. I really don't understand why I cannot use anymore certain features I paid for buying an airport extreme (like Profiles), just because I want to stay up to date with the OS version. There is no need to update the old 5.6 version, the actual simplified iOs style one could be fine: just re-add the deleted features via a separated menu for 'pro' users or something.