Showing posts with label network. Show all posts
Showing posts with label network. Show all posts

November 9, 2009

Digitally pimping a home network

While visiting Michiel in Singapore, I pimped their home network a bit. It was fine, but cumbersome and loosely tied together: 5 laptops, PS3, Wii. They have a cable modem, but didn't know their connection speed. WiFi was setup but not used because downloading over a fixed connection into the WiFi router was "going faster". Hehe, I told them their ISP limits the speed and after a bit of testing concluded that their 8 Mb down-link would scarcely fill the 54 Mb/s bandwidth of their 802.11g WiFi network. So no need for the fixed network hook-up not sitting near the router, freedom to sit around the house wherever they wanted to. I moved the Linksys WRT54G into a nook, out of the way, receiving thousands of thank-yous from the housekeeper who hated the nasty blue box on the floor in the livingroom. ;)

I then tied the PS3 and Wii to the WiFi network. This meant all devices were now on the same subnet. I installed PS3 media server on Molina's Vista Acer laptop. (It's free, open source and supports Windows, Mac and Linux!) Up until then, they'd had borrowed the HDMI cable from the PS3 if they wanted to watch downloaded TV series. Fine, but why swap cables?! :) Now, they hook up USB disks with movies, music and series to the Vista laptop, fire up ps3 media server, turn on the PS3 and watch or listen to anything from the Windows laptop. :)

linksys WRE54GNext, after seeing this digital revolution in his house, Michiel asked if he could somehow get WiFi on his 17 m2 roof terras, overlooking the Singapore skyline? I said sure, but he'd likely have to drill a cable up to the roof. The reinforced concrete would be unlikely to pass his WiFi signals. So did a little digging and after MrVanes suggested WiFi Range Extenders (I had been looking for that term), it all came quickly together:
* get a WRE54G Linksys Range Expander to get unobstructed full speed WiFi access outside on the roof
* pulling a cable up from the livingroom
* Connect a QNAP TS-410 NAS server to a free network port on the WRT54G and add some disks to taste.

QNAP NAS SOHOThe NAS supports Windows, Apple and Linux, has built-in everything and is expandable with hot-swap drive bays. The UPnP/DLNA media server supports their PS3 so the Windows laptop can be used as a workstation instead of doubling as a media server, the built-in bittorrent (BT) client let's them download directly to the NAS and the iTunes server let's them stream their music collection to their laptops, iPhones or iTouch devices. If only I could be there to install it and see it work!!! :)

October 20, 2009

Alex - a dual-screen Android-based e-book reader

More cool Android innovations: Alex - a dual-screen Android-based e-book reader.
"Up top you get a 6" monochrome E-Ink EPD display, while underneath sits a tempting, bright, colourful 3.5" touch-screen LCD. Alex politely supports wi-fi and mobile networks for browsing, contains an SD card slot for storage."

September 26, 2009

Next Gen networking: Intel Light Peak

Tom's Hardware reports that Intel has come up with a demo of what may become the next gen in networking: Intel Light Peak. Whereas Copper cable seems to be topping out at 10 Gb/s, Light Peak will start at that rate and easily up it to 100 Gb/s over the next decade.
The high speed optical cable will be used to connect computers, HD displays, video recorder, Blu-ray players, iPods and solid-state disks (SSDs).

Update: Apple is going to use Intel Light Peak in 2010!

August 17, 2009

Hootsuite: "What’s Think of it as your social network glue.
A account lets you send a single update to multiple networks simultaneously: Facebook, Wordpress, MySpace, LinkedIn, and more. And now you’re able to send those updates through HootSuite to take advantage of scheduling, clickthrough stats, and all the sweet goodness HootSuite has to offer.

I knew it was coming and now I think it's here :) I'll be testing it soon.

Open Source GSM Network At HAR2009

At a hacker convention held in the Netherlands very recently, HAR2009 (@har2009), hackers have demonstrated it is very possible to run an open source GSM network for current mobile phones! See Slashdot for brief details or the HAR2009 GSM wiki for details. At the convention, 391 mobile users were able to talk to each other just like on any other GSM network. So cool!

June 2, 2009

E3: Xbox 360 to get Twitter, Facebook and

E3 has led Microsoft to announce that "Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is due to get a social networking overhaul in the console next update, adding, Facebook and Twitter to its list of functions."

wow, that is great news. They're turning the Xbox into... into... into a PC! Cool! Excellent idea!

May 4, 2009

YouTube's Social Network

According to the YouTube Blog, YouTube is now also becoming web2.0 and adds a social network. Using the youtube bar, you can see in real-time what your friends (on friends) are up to, what they're looking at and so on.

Your very own Social Network

BuddyPress, based on the popular CMS for sites and blogs WordPress, has been released as GPL. Now you can create your own Social Network a la Facebook with just your friends.

"The idea behind it was to see what would happen to the web if it was as easy for anyone to create a social network as it is to create a blog today. There’s been an explosion of social activity on the web, it’s probably the most important trend of the past few years, but there’s been a dearth of Open Source tools that enable the social web."

March 5, 2009


Still not sure what the ps3mediaserver does. But I am intrigued. I think it is a server that the PS3 can scan for so that any media content you have lying around on your network (i.e. a Linux file server, a Windows desktop for you and your kids, your neighbours' servers, etc.) can be streamed, transcoded if needed and played back on your PS3. Why? I guess because you can and coz... why not?! :D

It connects directly to your iTunes and/or iPhoto collections... No more copying or transfer needed.

October 7, 2008

WordCamp NYC: Matt Mullenweg on the State of Wordpress

CenterNetworks has a video of Matt Mullenweg on the State of Wordpress taken at WordCamp NYC. He talks about the current state of Wordpress, a walkthrough of the upcoming version 2.7 and the future.

August 13, 2008

The BeagleBoard: $149 Linux System

Was rereading LinuxJournal's write up over Jailkit, an easy toolkit to setup and configure scp/sftp for specific users, when my eye saw this: The BeagleBoard: a $149 Linux System.

The specs are impressive! I only lack an Ethernet port, but using USB (for power), you could add disk storage as well as a network port. Easy! What could you do with it? Uhm... create a media server with it; build a portable movie center; build a fancy web or database server; create a firewall or proxy server... lots!

I'm thinking putting this inside a small box, take a USB hub with power, a USB Bluetooth dongle, a Bluetooth mini keyboard and a mouse. Add Linux, install VLC and connect your choice of USB disk(s) filled to the brim with HD 720p movies and all you need is a TV with an S-video input and you can watch whatever you brought with you! w00t :nerd:

August 6, 2008

WiFi monitor arrives on Linux desktops

xirrus wifi monitorA really nice WiFi monitoring, debugging and securing tool for WiFi networks, which has been freely available for Windows and OS X for some time now, has arrived for Linux too!

The Xirrus WiFi software let you:

  • Details on available WiFi networks, including SSID, signal strength, channel, and security
  • Current WiFi connection signal strength with five-minute history
  • Display of WiFi adapter IP and MAC addresses

Applications for the utility include, searching for WiFi networks, verifying WiFi coverage, locating WiFi devices, detecting rogue APs, aiming WiFi antennas.

July 9, 2008

FoxyProxy for Firefox

FoxyProxy is a great proxy configurator for Firefox. It can hierarchically arrange web proxies for you and based on simple URL patterns decide which proxy to use or not.

For instance at work, I could use 3 proxies: 1 for the corporate intranet, another fast one for internet access and downloads and an anonymous proxy for social networks, torrents and other shady business. ;) Or, if you work for various clients that have different web proxies and access rules, passwords, etc., you can configure a separate proxy for each client, use manual switching and when you arrive in the morning, you choose the proxy for the day. Simple, easy and only a hassle once rather then manually tweaking browser proxies each time you get to work.
FoxyProxy lets you do this and even comes with a handy wizard for using Tor, an untraceable, anonymous web proxy.

Google Lively: a Virtual World Across Social Networks

Google Launches Lively, a way for users to create 3D avatars similar to a Nintendo Mii™ that can be embedded anywhere on the web and are connected to others through the Internet.
You embed your avatar, for example, on Facebook, Hyves, Hi5, Orkut, your blog and your site(s), set up a room where others can join you and this way Lively creates a large virtual social network across all others...
I think it's a good idea, because it ties in all your networks into one instantiation or interface yet lets the social network do their own thing independently. But if it's useful... we'll seee

June 26, 2008

Testing and verifying system and network security

A few years ago, cracking WiFi networks protected by WEP encryption was all the rage. A flaw in WEP made it ever easier to brute-force hack those wireless networks in 10 minutes or less. Eventually, the Linux community compiled a version of Knoppix specifically for "penetration testing" and detecting poorly protected wireless networks. This tailored Knoppix Linux was called Whoppix. The name later changed to WHAX and WHAX was finally incorporated in to BackTrack...
BackTrack 3.0 was released a week ago... Just so you know and are up to date again. :)

May 6, 2008

ExpressCard, SD and CompactFlash Adapters

My friend MrVanes mailed me about this ages ago (4 weeks actually) but I just reread his mail and the implications just dawned on me... :yawn: ;)
When you buy a new laptop, you may no longer have the trusty PCMCIA expansion interface that we used to use for modem/network functionality before these were always built-in, or for card readers... So now you cannot insert the card reader in the new ExpressCard slot, because it is physically different from the PCMCIA slot. So how can you read all your digital media cards, i.e. CompactFlash (CF), Secure Digital (SD), mini/micro SD and SDHC (High Capacity)? Well, MrVanes had the same problem and found virtuavia that sells ExpressCard adapters: card readers, e-SATA and printer interfaces, and more. But also an PCMCIA to ExpressCard adapter (if you want to use the old expansion cards on your new generation laptop!). But wait, there's more...! They also have ExpressCard to CF adapters, so you can simply stick your 8GB CF cards straight from the digicam (Nikon/Canon) in your laptop and transfer images. Better still... they sell an SD/SDHC to CF adapter which will let you use SD/SDHC cards in your older D-SLR camera that will only accept CF cards. But they are getting harder to find and SD seems to become cheaper than CF... :D

March 25, 2008

Nagios & NagVis

Found an add-on for Nagios, the well-known open source monitoring tool based on SNMP. NagViz adds visualization to Nagios, in a way that - as far as I understand it - lets you create a kind of dashboards to show everything is up. For instance, all devices related to Email delivery or a web application farm or your extranet portal.
Should help convince board members that Nagios is worthwhile as well as providing people with easy to use screens. Check out

January 15, 2008

Sony announces "Transferjet" wireless data transfer

IrDA, Bluetooth, WiFi, DECT... the list of wireless options just keeps growing. Sony just added another: "Transferjet" wireless data transfer.
While a bit skeptical, I can see why it could work and work well. The ability for noobs to just have to hold 2 devices close (max 3 cm or 1.5 inch) to each other is tremendous. Any connector is a nuisance. You always need a cable and never have it if you really need it. :) Besides, the 375 Mb/s (ca. 45 MB/s) effective transfer speed are enough to make it very useful... we'll see!

January 11, 2008

Steal This Wi-Fi

Wired has an interesting article about Bruce Schneier, a security expert, who does not protect his home WiFi network. Mainly because there is nothing to get, his computers are all secure and travel outside his home too. So what is the point in protecting nothing? Criminals who use your network to do bad things...? The article lists his talks to several lawyers on the subject and his bottom-line: why bother? You may need someone else's open WiFi when your provider stalls and leaves you offline for several days! Then we'll talk again!
Good point! Read the aricle Steal This Wi-Fi.

December 5, 2007

giver - Google's P2P

"giver is a simple file sharing desktop application. Other people running Giver on your network are automatically discovered and you can send files to them by simply dragging the files to their photo or icon shown in Giver. There is no knowledge or set up needed beyond what the person looks like or their name to use Giver."