Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wifi Setup - Finally

Finally went ahead and got the network at home wifi enabled! Thanks to my good friend and neighbour - who also went wifi the same day.

So am sitting in the sitout - cool summer breeze and blogging about this (Look Ma - No Wires!)

Now my setup at home looks something like this

(except the Game Console - someone will have to spring the dough for that :-(. And the wired printer.)

Equipment:
Belkin 4 port Cable/DSL Gateway Router,
Huawei MT800 DSL Modem (courtesy my ISP),
WRT54GL - Linksys Wireless Gateway Router
Toshiba Tecra S2 with built in Wifi (Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG)

The 2 PCs are wired and the latop connects over the 802.11g network.

So why not replace the Belkin Gateway router completely by the WRT54GL? I thought about it - and then figured - I can always have wifi on demand - and this also extends my network (the fact that I'm too lazy to disturb the existing setup has got absolutely nothing to do with this ;-). Right now the Belkin router and the DSL modem are in the networking closet (I've got conduits laid from all over the house that converge here) and the WiFi router is in one of the bedrooms (till I find a suitable place for it that gives optimum coverage all over the house).

Setting the WiFi router was not exactly a breeze - as I thought it out to be. Here are the steps I did

1. Checked that the Belkin Gateway router was at 192.168.2.1 (which luckily it was - thanks Belkin)
2. Plugged in a network cable from one of the switch ports of the router to the Internet port of the Linksys WiFi router.
3. Then connected a network cable from my laptop to one of the ports of the WiFi router.
4. For some wierd reason it just didn't bring up the web based admin console - even though I could easily connect to the internet through the Belkin router.

Next came the difficult part - setting up a "secure" wifi network. Ran the linksys network setup CD thingy - and tried to use that to configure the wireless network. 3-4 futile attempts later I gave up that route. Did a factory reset, unplugged the network cable from the laptop, allowed the laptop to discover the Wireless network and connected to that. This it did very easily. Then typed up 192.168.1.1 (remember to bypass any proxies that you may have) in my favourite browser and presto - I was presented with the username and password dialog box - entered the default values and I was in. Then I did the following (in sequence) to make the network secure

- Changed the SSID and the channel (this caused the network to lose connection - no fear, was able to reconnect easily)
- Then setup the security part (WPA - PSK) along with the passphrase (remember to follow the key size specifications).
- At this point I brought up the network connections tab (control panel) and updated the settings (SSID, Security, password, etc.) for the wireless network.
- Was disconnected and could then easily connect (was asked for the password once)!
- Tried setting the MAC based filtering - but that just broke everything (had to roll it back).

And that, my friends, is the story of my wifi network setup. Next stop - trying to figure out how really secure this network is!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Webaroo

ooooooooo....
This is interesting. Defnitely worth a post. (Beware this post is without actually using Webaroo, yet).

So what is Webaroo?
Simply put - the web on your machine (or in your hand). But what's that you say - you already have the web in your machine? But what when you are not connected to the net - do you still have the web in your hand? That's the void that Webaroo aims to fill.
The classic debate would be (as Om Malik puts it on GigaOM) between storage and bandwidth (usage, presence, connectivity) and Webaroo is betting on storage getting cheaper at a faster rate than bandwidth.
Will this work sell? Oh wait it is free. Let's reword the question "Will it become popular?". This definitely will generate a lot of interest. And am sure a lot of people are going to try it out.
In a lot of ways this makes sense - picture this scenario: At work your computer (or laptop / handheld) is connected to the net (always on). Webaroo uses this time to sync up the content cached on your machine with the real world (how it does this is an interesting reading at http://www.webaroo.com/rooTech.html), and then when you are on the road or at home or wherever - you can browse the web even when you are not connected.

So how does Webaroo plan to make money ? The same way that Google does. If you are not sure how Google makes money google adsense...

Will this be discouraged by Service Providers and encouraged by Storage Manufacturers? I think this augurs well for both. This is definitely not going to reduce your bandwidth consumption. On the contrary it is going to increase it (actually it will increase bandwidth consumption of your employer - and that's where I see this causing some problems). Employers are either going to have to block this - or setup Webaroo servers within the organizations. The bandwidth requirements for keeping the data in sync is going to be huge.
In so many ways this has been attempted at so many levels - "caching". Web proxies cache it - your browser caches it - so what's different this time? If you thinks this is going to succeed check out some of the comments on /. They are really hillarious!
If this is to succeed - then Webaroo has to go the enterprise way - tie up with corporates so that they implement support for this and setup Webaroo servers within. This is going to be very crucial.

More on this later (when I actually start using/trying it out).


Google pages


So - thought I'd write an edit on my googlepages (nataraj.googlepages.com) effort. When I heard of googlepages - I thought - Wow - that should be good. I guess I am a bit dissapointed. This sort of threw me back to the days when I first got my VSNL account - they had setup a place where you could "host" your page. Let me see if I remember what it was .... (some desperate attempts - finally had to google for it) personal.vsnl.com/nataraj - that's a blast! Ah memories... I had setup my wedding invitation there - online - complete with links to Holiday Inn (where the reception was). I guess that was a pioneering effort of sorts.. but I digress.

Googlepages will eventually give into either
a. A web hosting kind of thing (where I can run what I want)
b. A blogging place - it has to.

What would I use this for? Blogs (I can have blogger)? Repository (that could be google drive or, again, blogs)? A place to put my links together??? Overall I prefer blogger - there is some focus there - and that's what most people want to do today - Blog!

I think googlepages is a few years late....(to be continued)...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sysinternals - tools for Windows

Found this interesting site and set of tools (freeware :-)) www.sysinternals.com

This has got an amazing set of tools for Windows. Also check out the blog that Mark Russinovich maintains at http://www.sysinternals.com/Blog/

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Trying out Performancing Firefox extension

This is a test blog to check out how this work.

http://performancing.com