29 July 2008


The purple E! The purple E!

I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable supporting the TMZ paparazzi (a woman near the end of the video calls them "vultures"), but it's refreshing to see a celebrity like John Mayer have just as much trouble doing family phone tech support as the rest of us:

Via Dan "No Longer Fake Steve" Lyons.

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27 April 2008


Time for a new Wi-Fi router

UPDATE: Yup, the AirPort Extreme Base Station worked like a charm. Back to normal now.

Evidence indicates that it is indeed our wireless router at fault for the slug-like behaviour of the Wi-Fi networking in our house. I think this will be a good excuse to purge the ungainly stack of networking gear...

Linksys and Netgear Wireless Setup

...and replace it with a single wireless router that can do everything with fewer wires and, with luck, less general flakiness. Some of that stuff is only 10BaseT or 10Base2 speed, and has been blinking away in our den closet for a decade.

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26 April 2008


Argh argh argh

Our Internet connection has been painfully slow at home for the past few days. Or so I thought. It turns out that the hardwired connections (like the ancient iMac in the kitchen) are just fine, but the wireless network is behaving very oddly: uploads from our computers to the Net are speedy, downloads crawl. Unfortunately, most stuff (email, web, podcasts) requires downloading more than uploading.

I've tried restarting the AirPort Express that serves as our base station. It shows full bars for signal strength, so that's not a problem. I've tried disconnecting it and hooking up the old flaky Linksys base station—which was still flaky. I've changed the AirPort Express wireless channel, gone to 802.11g only (instead of mixed b/g), turned on Interference Robustness, increased the multicast rate, and so on.

Next I'm going to reset the firmware on the base station. If that doesn't work, I'll see if turning off network encryption, or changing the encryption type, makes a difference. In the meantime, we're mooching off a neighbour's NETGEAR router, which is (strangely) sometimes locked down and sometimes not.

Any other suggestions? This setup has been fine for months and months, so why it's suddenly gooping like molasses I have no idea. Networking remains voodoo, I tell ya.

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23 June 2007


Saving Tod Maffin's bacon via cross-country tech support

Saving Tod Maffin's bacon via cross-country tech support: live! at Flickr.comBecause I'm still recovering from all the radiation and chemotherapy and such, I can't attend the Podcasters Across Borders conference in Kingston, Ontario this weekend.

However, I was able to provide cross-country phone tech support to get Tod Maffin out of a bind when his Mac Finder kept repeatedly crashing right before his 8 p.m. (EDT) presentation. We even delved into some Unix permissions wizardry for good measure.

Good luck Tod!

And yes, I'm feeling better today, so I think it's okay if I gloat a little.

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