Trusty WRT54G – Transformed

wrt54g.pngRecently I changed from FIOS back to Cablevision and I found myself in a position of not having a modern wireless router. Yeah, I realized that as soon as I had order the re-installation of cable only 5 days before the install. FIOS had come with it’s own cable modem with built-in wireless router. Cablevision on the other hand, requires that you get your own. When I switched from Cablevision to FIOS I had given my Apple Extreme Base Station to my Dad as I thought that I didn’t need it any more. Now with the change back, I thought I had to go out and buy a new modem. Not that I mind – I’m jonesing for the NETGEAR WNDR3700-100NAS that just came out. However, at $180+ I think I’ll wait awhile for the price to come down.

In the meantime, I dug into the Pile of Tech (other wise known to my wife as the garbage pile in the basement) and found my old Linksys WRT54G. It’s actually a v1.1 model, so it’s going back some time – it’s ancient as far as tech goes. At the time that it came out, I believe that 802.11g was just ratified. So the router was top of the line, cutting edge at 54mbps. Compared to 802.11n, I thought using it would feel like going in reverse. Since I owned it already and I really needed to get online with a router after the cable guy had left, I thought I’d give it a chance.

I was fortunate enough that the router had retained it’s configuration from the last time it was used. Thus nothing really had to be change in the way of security. I was up and running in a matter of 10-15 minutes once I got the right cables pulled through the network cable nest I have in the basement. (Another project I haven’t had time to get to yet.)

But I couldn’t let it rest there… I had to improve it!

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Dell Mini 9 – Upgraded to 10.5.8

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Wow.. I just upgraded my Dell Mini 9 to OS X 10.5.8 and I’m just completely overjoyed on how uneventful the upgrade went. Almost not worth writing a blog entry about it. I made a backup of my DellEFI v1.2 alpha 5 application, upgraded to 10.5.8 via Software update, re-installed the DellEFI, reboot. Done.  

Although it seems like a lot of people have starting doubting the usefulness of these netbooks, I can tell you I get a lot of mileage out of mine yet. It now has a permanent home in my Go-Bag.

MacBook 13.3″ LCD Replacement

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Ahhh… kids…. such bliss. What could be better? Kids and laptops… or rather broken laptops.  

One of the kids’ 13.3″ MacBook LCD screen was damage – magically, of course. The screen had two very serious cracks which rendered the device pretty much useless. However, that didn’t stop them from using it anyway.. In any event, this is a quick article to point out a couple of really great resources to perform your own upgrade.

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Much needed feature in Outlook

lotusnotesoutlook.pngFinally got around to posting another article on the blog. Real Life has been a bit hectic lately and really hadn’t the luxury of playing with anything new. The biggest news is that I finally got a normal-show-up-everyday-type job. No more selling my ideas or convincing people they are just doing it wrong … wait, scratch that, I still do those things. Just now, it takes longer to convince people.

Of course, new job, new tools. Or in this case old tools. The email platform of choice for this company is Exchange with Outlook 2003 clients. Yup, Outlook 2003 … a product that I thought most corporations had delegated to the binary bit bin years ago. Now, I’m not too much of a prude, but when you’ve been using the best of open source or Lotus Notes v8 (or even v7 or v6), Outlook 2003 seems to be a bit dated. Well, time to make do. I mean, we are only talking about email here. Nothing earth shattering. I used to use Outlook Express for years when I had Windows machines in the house – so I’m not a complete stranger.

However, Outlook is missing one feature that just absolutely kills me. That is the ability to choose to file an email that was just sent into a folder. Lotus Notes had this feature and for me it’s absolute must-have. Its great to be able to go into any project folder and see both the email you’ve received and sent – without have to search for it, go to a Sent folder, etc.

Read moreMuch needed feature in Outlook