Showing posts with label wifi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wifi. 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."

July 6, 2009

Sony Ericsson Android phone leaked pictures

T3 has some details on Sony Ericsson's latest Android phone codenamed "Rachael". Based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, the hardware looks decent. 1 GHz CPU, 600 MHz DSP, Wifi, bluetooth, 720p video, WXGA display support, up to 12 Mpx digicams and a whole slew of audio/video codecs. Even DVB-H (video calls, TV on your mobile) can be included. And... Linux is support too. ;)

To me it's the first decently styled Android out there, something Sony was always pretty good at. It may even become my first Sony phone. ;)

February 10, 2009

Amazon Kindle 2 now official


T3 has a scoop on the new Amazon Kindle 2.

Although there's no more SD card reader :( it has 2 GB of internal storage, 3G and WiFi connectivity and the battery is good enough to last for 4 days with WiFi on! Without WiFi it'll last about 14 days! O_o There are 230,000 titles for sale and Google just launched 1,5 million eBooks! :)

December 13, 2008

iPhone Antenna Boost tricks

I read more and more reports on signal strengths issues with the iPhone. I even notice them myself with my Nokia SmartPhone, so some of these tricks may work in general. As phones become smaller and smaller, our hands cover many places that the phone uses for signal reception. These tricks try either improve the reception in a alternative area, or boost the signal in a specific area. :) Easy
Check out C|Net's iPhone Atlas, Griffin's ClearBoost sleeve or external antenna's from the iPhoneAntenna guy. The latter can even be used with a general external signal booster. :) Fugly but will work for sure!

Note that these solutions will enhance your voice calls in case you're in an area with bad reception, for instance office buildings with heat shielded windows, many other signals interfering with your voice call or rural areas where the signal simply isn't that strong. But they also can strengthen your WiFi signal.

December 4, 2008

Simplify Media - stream your music to your iPhone

A colleague mentioned this really easy utility that lets you stream your music collection to your iPod or iPhone. Simplify Media installs as a server on your existing mp3 collection and stream music to you and any friends that you authorize! But it also streams it to your iPod, as the Touch model has WiFi access, as well as your iPhone. Whether on the road over 3G (!) of at home over WiFi.
It probably uses the DAAP protocol, which is already in iTunes and other players. So this is not really something brand new. It exists. But SimplifyMedia makes it really easy and... cross-platform for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux! Works with Ubuntu and Rythmbox. W00t! It can hook your entire iTunes, WinAMP or mp3 folder up to your friends, no wires necessary...

November 3, 2008

PdaNet - your iPhone as a WiFi Router for your PC/Mac

Read about this app for the iPhone that can turn the phone into a WiFi AP so your PC, laptop or netbook can use it to access the net! Genius!PdaNet would be a must-have for me, if I'd have an iPhone. And for some reason, am leaning towards the Android instead...

October 19, 2008

Installing Mini-Me to an eeePC 900

Well, I managed to install MiniMi just fine. Updated the madwifi driver and got connected to Internet easily. However, the updated kernel presented some troubles...

I kept getting "mount error 123" upon reboot, after installing the new kernel. It simply wouldn't boot from /dev/sda1. Tried Google and found only problems relating to SATA disks. Then, this morning, I remembered the HOWTO listing a config file that needed a switch removed... Right! RTFM Chris! INITRDOPTS must be empty in /etc/sysconfig/installkernel! Duuh! Reinstalled, the new kernel - again - edited the file and rebooted. Now DKMS is remaking all kinds of modules and it compiles just fine! Woohoo! Thanks mypclinuxos.com!

October 18, 2008

Installing PCLinuxOS Mini-Me to an eeePC 900

As I am home alone today, I can nerd all I want with the heat turned dow to a comfortable 19°ree; Celsius, Trance & Techno & livesets blasting from the Mac Mini MediaPC and a pot of fresh espresso nearby! w00t

Decided to give the Mini-Me disto a try, as I read good things about it. Abusing Petra's USB Lipstick again as it is the only &$#%@& bootable USB stick in the house, I tried the Live OS and was amazed! It uses KDE but looks very crisp and clear and the OS is just blazing compared to Eeeubuntu I have been using the last week. :) Very pleased! So I am installing it, however MiniMe wouldn't start WiFi. On my netbook, that is a big Must Have so I checked Google and found Installing Mini-Me to an eeePC 900 (2.6.26 kernel - everything WORKING!!). I'll update here as I progress...

Update: Alright, now at my 3rd reinstall of minime. Got the WiFi working with madwifi update. Then enable the testing repo as well to get better support and install remaining packages. Thankfully, there is apt-get and Synaptic but RPMs work as well. Easypeasy! Oh and NEVER use the %#&@$%! autopartition.

September 17, 2008

Kodak OLED WiFi photo frame

I've been looking for a nice digital photo frame for some time now. We got a cheap one right after our wedding but it's terrible. Low res, very white LCD, terrible UI. Yuck!
The Kodak OLED Wireless Frame seems a lot more promising: OLED 7.6" 16:9 display with 800x480 resolution. Still not high, but I have a lot more faith in the quality Kodak can make. Now if only the price would be reasonable: £500 Yikes!

August 12, 2008

Lenovo ThinkPad W700


Lenovo has the new killer laptop! It's a 4 kg beast but it has more than most desktops!
The ThinkPad W700 features a 3.0 GHz Core 2 Extreme quad core processor (!), up to 8 GB DDR3 RAM, a professional NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700M graphics with 1 GB of RAM and dual harddisk bays with an on-board RAID controller. Oh, and a 17" screen (a bit disappointing, I thought), a built-in Wacom tablet, dual-link DVI, 5 USB pors, WiFi/WiMax and an optional Blu-ray drive. Prices start at $3000, so that's fine too! ;)

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.

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. :)

April 24, 2008

Alienware's ultimate Home Theater Setup: Hangar18 HD


Stumbled upon the ultimate Home Theater PC...!
Alienware's Hangar18 HD seems to have it all! Up to 4 TV tuners to record everything at once. 2 TB (2000 GB) of local storage to store it all. 1080p to watch it all and 5.1 surround sound to hear it all. Add a Blu-ray dual-layer player/burner, 4 USB 2.0 and a Firewire port, a Gigabit Ethernet connection, WiFi, an ATi 2400HD video card and up to 4 GB of RAM.
One sad little damper on th whole thing: Windows Vista Home Premium! Yuck! :puke:

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.

November 9, 2007

Lanzarote Casa rural Amatista

Sorry for the long silence. We're on vacation on Lanzarote in Casa rural Amatista. We're having a great time, half way through now.
I finally decided to help out with their WiFi, as their router and AP was positioned under a desk in a drawer... Go figure. We picked a better spot and told the owner to hang it up as high as possible and voila: proper WiFi. Also removed WEP, kinda useless anyway, as he didn't want to have to hand out the password all the time. :)
Anyway, have 300 photos to process and upload. So I'll be back soon!

August 20, 2007

Canon EOS 40D specs leaked on amazon

Just found out that Amazon is already offering the Canon EOS 40D for pre-order, leaking the specs of Canon's latest D-SLR digicam: 10 Mpx, CMOS sensor, 3" LCD, sRAW, 35 zones, new expansion unit with WiFi and RJ-45 Ethernet port, new AF points and special center AF spot and more. Cool! Can't wait to see DPReview's details...

April 23, 2007

TVease - Linux, MythTV and full control without the fuss

tvease sevenYou know you want a HTPC and a DVR in your livingroom. You you want to be able to download movies while at work and come home and watch them on your TV without the need for a physical DVD. You know your girlfriend hates the miles of cable that you know are necessary for stable and fast connections. You also know you could do all of it using Linux instead of Windows Media Center. But you realize it just might be easiest and quickest way to get it... Well, not anymore! :) Check out TVease!
These guys have taken decent, pretty HTPC housing, added Linux, MythTV, Hauppage TV tuner cards, WiFi and 80+ GB of storage and built the ideal HTPC/DVR for you! No muss, no fuss, just buy, wait, unpack and use! Brilliant!