Fun without wires

Archive for the ‘WiFi’ Category

Free Internet Infrastructure

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Ignoring the fact that Verizon are clearly evil (as shown by their service, and the amount of sneaky rubbish installed by their software), maybe they are contributing to a greater good, without even realising it.

I have moved to America now, and in the area that I live, there are only 2 ISPs, Verizon and Road Runner. Verizon’s DSL service is cheaper, so a lot of people are going for that. Road Runner’s Cable service is better, so I went for that. Either way, I tried out Verizon Online DSL, and part of their sales process is to attempt to upsell customers to buy a router so that they can have as many computers as they want online… a wireless router… which is always sold without WEP or MAC-based security configured, because it causes too many support calls! I talked with the technician who installed my Road Runner service and she said basically the same thing, that people are allowed to install a wireless router on their home connection, but that they certainly wouldn’t assist with configuring any security measures, or provide them with security enabled by default.

At first, this just sounds like the usual cop-out of large corporations (HI TELSTRA!), but if you look again, you realise that if this upsell process is effective, and people get the wireless router and use it, then they are providing something to the public; free broadband wireless access to the Internet. There are no bandwidth restrictions (to speak of) on any of these accounts. They are always-on, and not charged by download, upload, connect-time, nothing. It’s a flat charge per month no matter what you do with your account.

I’m not condoning that people should run around looking for open access points to use, but my point is this; if ISPs are providing these facilities (in particular un-metered, un-secured, wireless access to their connection), then there has to be some level of acceptance of the fact that people are going to be using the service without direct authorisation.

The reason that I thought of all of this, is that before I got my connection installed here, I turned on my iPAQ and checked for wireless networks – it immediately picked up 2, one of which was unsecured. Just for a laugh, I let it have a go at connecting, and bingo, I had a nice, fast connection to the Internet, care of a friendly (read: clueless) neighbour. If I thought that I was costing them anything, I would have gotten off immediately, but with everything here being flat-rate, and me only checking a few emails and doing some quick browsing, I didn’t feel too bad.

What’s the general vibe from other people out there about this sort of thing?

Written by Beau Lebens

July 1st, 2004 at 4:00 pm

Bluejacking iPAQ-Style

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Oh it’s sweet – Contacts -> Send via Bluetooth -> scan for devices.

Haven’t had that much luck so far, only had one successful send, and I didn’t get to see who received that one either. Oh well, it’s all fun and games.

(Did I mention that I’m posting this on my iPAQ, using vi, from an SSH terminal, through PocketPuTTY, sitting in my bed, wirelessly connecting to my local network and thus to my server? Didn’t think so.)

Written by Beau Lebens

April 21st, 2004 at 4:00 pm

Configuring a Wireless Network under Windows XP

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So I got my new computer (well, most of the pieces anyway, the keyboard’s coming next week hopefully), and I wanted to get wireles set up and running straight away so that I could get on the ‘net with it and download any patches etc that I needed. I get everything connected, then get my box to pick up my AP and then what happens? Nothing. Absolutely, positively, not a damn thing. For some reason, I could not get my desktop box to connect properly to my AP. It would say it was connected, but if I logged into the admin interface on it (using my lappy luckily), it wouldn’t say it was connected.

To cut a potentially long story short, I tried playing with some of the settings in Windows’ control panel, and it turns out that XP and the Netgear control utility don’t play so well together. When I told XP to control all wireless network settings, everything Just Worked(tm).

So now I am posting this, the first post from my new desktop, which is wirelessly connected to the ‘net (insecurely ATM!) into another room, where my modem sits on its own. When I get my keyboard, things will really be getting wireless, but this will do nicely until then!

Written by Beau Lebens

February 26th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

Desktop Wireless

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Netgear Wireless USB Adaptor (MA111)

In arranging my new desktop machine, I realised that things were going to be much easier for me if I could use wireless for my Internet connection. With the nearest telephone point being in another room, I’d have to run a cable all over the place otherwise, so this way I can leave the modem near the phone port and connect wirelessly without any hassles.

I gave the guys at Zoom ITG a call and arranged to have a Netgear Wireless USB Adaptor (MA111) included with the new box that they are building for me, so I should be all sorted once it gets here!

Written by Beau Lebens

February 17th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

New Location, New Gear

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Next weekend, I’m moving house to a new place (still in Como, WA), so I’ll have a chance to try out some new things. Shortly after moving, I’ll also be getting a complete new desktop set-up, so I’ll be able to try some cool things with my new config. Here’s a couple things I’m looking forward to:

  1. Having my desktop set up in my office for serious work/play, connected to my ADSL modem directly (CAT-5)
  2. Having my laptop lying around in my lounge-room or kitchen, connected wirelessly, ready for me to load it up and do a quick search or whatever
  3. Possibly playing with some wireless surveillance cameras and things like that, controlled from my main machine in my office 🙂
  4. Stumbling the apartments that I will be in (and the ones next door) properly, since I don’t think I’d get it all from the road
  5. Hopefully doing continuous scans over time from my desktop (if I put wireless in it) to detect surrounding networks as they come on/go off during the day (if at all)
  6. Using MS Remote Terminal Server or whatever it’s called to connect from my lappy, to my desktop, then control it to select songs to play out via my stereo system 🙂
  7. Having someone over and trying out a networked game, with them in the loungeroom, on my lappy, and me on my desktop

It should be fun to try out some new things, now that I’ll have another machine to play with 🙂

Written by Beau Lebens

February 5th, 2004 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized,WiFi

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