Entries from October 2009 ↓

Use Two Routers To Separate N and G Wireless Network Clients

[If you'd like to completely separate the G and N clients, set up the two routers to use the different SSIDs, and follow the instructions here for setting the second router to a Static IP from the first router.]

I had this problem, however strange, of a mixed wireless G and N network, where my MacBook Pro would drop its internet connection, or become really slow whenever my wife booted up her Asus Windows laptop.  My assumption was because her laptop was 802.11G, and mine was 802.11N.  I use a DD-WRT equipped Linksys WRT-350N for my home use and didn’t want to switch to G-only wireless.

What I figured I could do is similar to what I’ve done in the past, separate my  wireless network to two different routers.  What I didn’t want, though, is to have a separate network for the connection.  I didn’t know if it would work, but I had a Buffalo router laying around and figured it was worth a shot.

First you set up your router as you normally would, in my case it’s DD-WRT, but this should work on the standard Linksys firmware as well.  I have a cable connection, so my router gets its address via DHCP from Optimum Online.  You are going to want the first router to handle DHCP.  I set the DHCP to the second half of the IP range for the subnet (10.0.10.129), although this really only matters if you want to worry about setting up subnets. I don’t really do anything with subnets either, but I do have both routers, three printers, and a LaCie NAS, all with static IP’s.  This way I don’t have to worry about my setting a static IP in the DHCP range, which could cause problems.

So the first router (the DHCP server) I set to the IP 10.0.10.1, the gateway to 10.0.10.1, and the Local DNS to 10.0.10.1.  This is the first available address in that IP range.  Turn the DHCP on, set the range to 10.0.10.129, and the number of clients to whatever you think you may need (25 to 50 should be fine, if you’re doing this for your house.)

Basic Router Settings--Router 1

Basic Router Settings--Router 1

Next, setup the wireless N network.  Under the Wireless tab, Basic Settings, fill in your SSID.  Wireless mode is AP(access point), Wireless Network Mode will be N only (or G only if this is your G router.)  See screen shot below:

Wireless Settings--Router Connected to Modem

Wireless Settings--Router Connected to Modem

Don’t forget to setup the WPA encryption in the Wireless–> Wireless Security tab.

Next, you will set up the second router to be an access point in tandem with the first router, only to be a N (or G…opposite of whatever you did for router 1) only host.  You want the WAN port set to disable, and you want to set its gateway as 10.0.10.1 (or whatever address you decided on for the first router.)  The IP address for the router, which I set to 10.0.10.127, which would be the last addressable range in that subnet if I decided to set that up. Technically it would be the broadcast address for the .0 address range of the /25 subnet, but that’s why I did it. So I’d remember.  Nevertheless, here are screenshots of the second router, now set up as a regular access point serving G-only clients:

Router 2 Setup

Router 2 Setup

Router 2 Wireless Settings

Router 2 Wireless Settings

The SSID is different, although I did make the WPA key exactly the same.  This way you don’t have to worry about managing people coming over, they get one key for their iPhone, laptop, whatever, and the network hands it an address from the appropriate router.  Seamless.  This has stopped my connection issue, and my link is a consistent 130Mbps (it used to fluctuate wildly from 36Mbps to 78Mbps) on my MacBook Pro. No more dropped connections, either.

Also, for all of your shares it still works, because the actual network is still the same.  Everyone will still be addressed to the 10.0.10.0/24 network.  Meaning, all of your shares still work without issues, even though the wireless clients are on two different SSIDs, they are still connected to the same network.  Beautiful!

Letter to Congressman Regarding Net Neutrality

I’ve been entertained lately by Fox news and some other reading on net-neutrality.  So much so, in fact, I felt obliged to write my Congressman John Hall, who is in district 19 here in NY.  The last letter I wrote to him was begging him not to vote for Bush’s money for the banks bill that Congress really had no time to review.  He went ahead and voted for it anyway, which was disappointing.  Alas, I digress.  Here is the letter I sent him:

“It is imperative for the future success of our country that you form stringent opposition to Sen. John McCain’s proposals against net neutrality. Net neutrality is making the infrastructure neutral, meaning data is data no matter who put it on the wire.

Forcing people (or allowing) payment in return for priority on the national grid is absurd, and will only serve to keep and strengthen the basic oligopoly that stands to weaken and destroy our country.
Separating the infrastructure from the content providers is paramount to quality, affordable prices, and universal access to services. It is time we catch up to the rest of the world on this issue. We have gone from 4th to 15th in broadband penetration due to the policies of the last administration, and cannot afford to slip backwards any longer (even though we are still declining.) Please read the Berkman Broadband Study (Harvard University) here: http://www.fcc.gov/stage/pdf/Berkman_Center_Broadband_Study_13Oct09.pdf which was presented to the FCC for a better understanding of what the government policies across the globe have accomplished as compared to ours here in the United States. It is very well researched and makes it very obvious where Mr. McCain gets his money. They spend less, and their country gets more. The trend is not in our favor, and will only get worse if we keep or strengthen the current policies in place today.

Don’t let us down!

I try to stay informed the best I can on this issue, and hopefully when it comes time to vote, we can see some real change.  Here is the response I received from Congressman Hall:

Thank you for contacting me about “net neutrality.”  I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this issue.

Over the last decade, the Internet has grown and evolved at a rapid pace. People now shop online for clothes, cars and even groceries. People can buy music and movies and download them immediately. They can also send photos and home movies to friends and family all over the world.  The development of the Internet has revolutionized the way people communicate, innovate, and do business all over the world.

I believe that much of the Internet’s ability to spur innovation and change is rooted in the ability of individuals to enjoy equal access to a wide array of sites and services.  There is significant concern that this principle, known as “net neutrality,” could be undermined by 2005 decisions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)and the U.S. Supreme Court that broadband Internet service is an information service as opposed to a telecommunications service, and therefore not subject to the more stringent regulations that govern telecommunications services.  Specifically, questions have been raised about whether or not telecommunications providers will be able to create a “two-tiered” internet that will allow individuals to connect to provider-owned or favored sites and services more quickly than those run by competitors or small businesses and groups that cannot afford to pay for high-speed preference.

I am concerned that compromising the principle of net neutrality would undermine the fundamental principle of open access that has fueled the growth of the Internet, and could hurt consumer choice, discriminate against sites involved in public discourse or espousing political views, and disadvantage small businesses.

I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as Congress considers this issue. Please feel free to contact my office whenever I might be of assistance to you.

What I am particularly concerned with, is this quote:

“the fundamental principle of open access that has fueled the growth of the Internet, and could hurt consumer choice, discriminate against sites involved in public discourse or espousing political views, and disadvantage small businesses.”

The rest of the world has been putting in place legislation that truly affords open access to the backbone, whereas our legislation has not.

If you managed to read this long-winded post (and maybe even that Harvard study linked up top in my letter), tell me what you think.

How do you feel about net neutrality?

Upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 7

I upgraded my wife’s Asus F3Sv Core2Duo last night from Vista to Windows 7 last night, using the Family Pack Upgrade 32-bit disk.  Upgrading failed at my first attempt, but it rolled back flawlessly and didn’t change anything which was nice.

The reason it failed, essentially the reason I’m writing this post, is because I chose to get the updates to the install disks live online.  Where it failed is in my inability to put 2+2 together.  The upgrade process first scans your current Windows installation and informs you of things that might have problems, in order of priority.  It gives you a scrollable list (quite nice actually) starting with things that will definitely be broken, might have issues, and then finally things that have updates available, even though the latter won’t be a problem when you upgrade.  The really slick thing is the list also gives you the manufacturer’s links to click on so you can go ahead and grab updates on the fly.

Where I dropped the ball, and my installation failed was fairly easy to see.  When you tell Windows to get the updates live before installing, it lets you know that you need to maintain internet connectivity throughout the installation.  I wasn’t plugged in to the ethernet connection when I upgraded, and my Intel Pro/Wireless connection was in need of an upgrade, too.  So the install got about halfway done, dropped the internet connection, and ultimately failed.  I plugged in to ethernet, restarted the installation, and all went nearly flawlessly.

The only other hiccup I had was getting re-established on my home network. For some reason, Windows connected to my router (I Was still wire-connected at this point) and also added a “Public” network, leaving me connected to two separate networks at the same time.  Weird, but it was an easy fix. I just disabled the ethernet adapter and re-enabled it, by clicking on the connection in the “Network and Sharing Center” window.

iPhone Games Suitable For Young Kids (And Adults Alike)

When I got the iPhone 3G, my daughter was just shy of her second birthday.  My friends and family teased me, asking if she had written any programs on it yet.  I replied, “No, she’s not allowed to touch the iPhone. She already insists on using my Macbook Pro!”  They thought I was kidding, but at the time, she really was navigating around the screen on my laptop.  People have been known to call me a techno-geek, and I suppose they might fear for my little girl’s social acceptance (jokingly, of course), wondering about pocket protectors and GPS tracking when she goes to Pre-K.

I made a promise to my wife that we wouldn’t be the parents whose kid has a $500 phone before she hits Kindergarten, but I may have to bend the rules a bit on that one.  She may not need the phone, but I’m seriously considering getting her an iPod touch for sure.  I have been letting her play with my iPhone basically since she was two years old (and she just turned 3.)  She can now unplug it properly, doesn’t try to dial 911 or some other random number, and actually takes pretty good care to leave it on a table or other acceptable place.  There was definitely a progression to the applications that I downloaded for her to try, and I will review them here, in case you are also blessed with a budding little computer geek of your own.

The first one I ever downloaded for her specifically was TappyTunes.  There are many songs in this app, and you can check out the publisher, Utilitouch, here.  This app is basically a bunch of songs, broken into music snippets. When you tap a tempo on the screen, the song plays.  The faster you tap, the faster the song plays.  The idea is to get it to sound like the song you already know by heart, but for a two-year old, the tempo doesn’t matter much. You can, however, play the song as well, from half speed through double speed.  A nice feature.

The Alphabet Song, for instance, is amazing.  The letters come on the screen as you tap, and they can be “plucked” around the screen, too.  There are a bunch of similar children’s songs, and I’d be willing to say she fell in love with music and my phone because of TappyTunes. Here are some screen shots current as of 10/25/2008:

TappyTunes

TappyTunes

http://utilitouch.com/app/tappytunes/index.html

Categories in TappyTunes

Other Songs

Other Songs

Alphabet Song

Alphabet Song

Another application she was quick to learn and fascinated with is a very, very simple one.  It’s called BubbleWrap and it’s published by Orsome.  There is a Pro version as well, where you can win US $250.00. Here’s a screenshot:

BubbleWrap

BubbleWrap

All-in-all, a good, fun application for kids, and I’m not ashamed at all to say I play it.  Simple, and lots of fun.

If you remember Etch-A-Sketch this next one is similar in looks.  It’s called Pocket Doodle, and has a few things the big bad original didn’t. You draw on it by selecting a pen or marker shape, and slide your finger around on the screen.  I am a little disappointed you can’t shake it to clean the screen, but the slider mechanism at the bottom works well.  You can slide it partially to clear part of the display, if you like.  Nice and easy to use, my daughter still enjoys it:

Pocket Doodle

Pocket Doodle

Those are a few that I had downloaded when my daughter first showed an interest in using the iPhone, and she still enjoys using them over a year later.  I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy them as well.