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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Saturday, 17 February 2007

doorstops and resurrections..

It's been a bit of a mixed day for technological goings-on!

With the relative success (albeit temporary - solder is such a soft metal!) of a power connector repair to Beth's brother's SatNav still ringing in my ears, I took it upon myself to upgrade my lovely iPAQ to the shiny new Windows Mobile 5 without the use of a safety net (or, to be more specific, without reading the manual properly).

The hope is that they've finally worked out how to make their Pocket Internet Explorer less woeful, and to take advantage of the persistent storage feature (which means the thing won't keel over if the battery goes flat! Only took 5 versions of Windows for Pocket PC for them to realise that's a bad thing!)

Anyway, it would appear that I rushed into it, somewhat, preferring the (on reflection, rather foolish) infra-red data connection to the standard combination of cradle and USB cable... suffice it to say, the first bit happened, and the iPAQ went into its most basic mode, cutting off the IR link.

I'm now hoping that, when I get to the office on Monday, the software will see the iPAQ at the other end of the cable, and things will go OK. Otherwise, off it goes to the fixers again!

While I was rummaging about in the loft, looking for a box suitable to pack a printer in (I have just sold my second ever item on eBay.. I'm sure I said 'never again' last time... it's such a hassle to get the packaging, shipping and everything sorted!) I discovered a dead Linksys WRT54G router.

Sometime last year (or even the year before?) it had just stopped working, much to Beth's consternation, so we hastily procured a replacement, and - being unable to throw anything away, I cast the duff unit into collection of 'things I might get round to having a look at'.

The main symptom with the router was that the red 'diag' light was constantly on, and it wouldn't actually start doing what it should. It just so turns out that this isn't so unusual - or fatal! Looking at a comment on one of the first blogs I encountered that mentioned problems with this popular brand of router, there was an issue where the power supply just couldn't deliver the current required to start it up.

So - I found a spare 5V supply and... yup... it started working again! I took full advantage of this newly restored router by trying out one of the many extended firmwares that can be found at www. wrt54g.net (Linksys released the sourcecode as Open Source, so any clever person could have a go at improving it) and eventually chose Thibor's version. It worked jolly well, so I've adopted some of the settings on the main router, which has been - if slightly less creative than working on a song - an interesting diversion.

Ooh, yes. there was something else I was going to add about cable TV, but that can wait until tomorrow..

Quick links of the day

  • www.onguardonline.gov/tutorials/index.html#tutorials-wireless : The US Government's website designed to help with wireless security - some useful (if fairly baisc) videos there.
  • Chocolate Rice Crispy Cakes made by Lenni and Chriswww.eatwell.gov.uk/trafficlights : The UK Government's (or rather the Food Standards Agency) new campaign to promote healthy eating, using coloured circles. We saw this on a billboard when we walked up to Asda earlier to pick up the ingredients to make chocolate rice crispy cakes (click on the pic to the right to see the remainder after teatime.. Lenni's were the ones with monkey heads on top; Christopher went for the more conventional candied fruit!)

Posted by james at February 17, 2007 11:27 PM

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