Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Netgear router = impossible to configure

I wasted another couple prime Friday evening hours this week at my brother's office trying to configure his Internet connection. I set it up once months back but he lost connectivity and called Verizon instead of me. The tech had him wipe out my configuration, and then couldn't help him get back online. Grrrr.

The hassle is his DSL router and his Netgear Wireless router both want to be a DHCP server, and both want to be IP I can configure the DSL router however I want, it's got a nice interface. So I disabled its DHCP and gave it a different IP. So far so good.

The Netgear router has a "configuration wizard" that you cannot escape. After a hard reset, it redirects all requests to, and writes a route aliasing the domain "routerconfig" or whatever to that adress. Then it tries to sense the Internet connectivity. If it doesn't have a upstream link, you can't proceed any further in the wizard. Nor can you bypass the wizard, Grrrrr! If it's plugged into the DSL router, it detects that it'll get a dynamic IP and beckons you to continue. But "poof!" it doesn't work. 404 for the next screen in the wizard.

I've concluded that the best way to "solve" the problem is to replace the Netgear wireless router with a different one, form *anyone but Netgear.* I talked to Jeremy, my Senior Systems Administrator, and he said that about a year ago Netgear switched their interface around and now they are total crap spo he's stayed clear.

I recently replaced my Netgear MR814 Wireless Router at home because it no longer allowed wireless connections. Most often it wouln't broadcast anything, not even its SSID. Most I could get out of it was 5 minutes uptime wirelessly. It guess that's a "security feature" since it couldn't do WAP either.

The replacement is a Belkin Wireless G Plus router. WAP, plus an interface I can do anything with. I sense I'll be buying one in the near future for my bro. Much better than losing yet another Friday evening.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Tragic follow up: High school poets

Last Friday I blogged about listening to high school students recite poetry at Barnes & Noble; their teacher is another parent from my daughters soccer team. Our daughters played together while I listened to her students' poems.

This week when I arrived for the end of soccer practice, the eight year old girls were all gathered around a picnic table working on a group sympathy card for a team mate. I learned that, tragically, her father had died suddenly over the weekend of a heart attack. He had been at work. This was the same family who I had run into at the book store.

I was flabbergasted. I cannot imagine. This is a young family; he was not an old man. He was my peer.

It made me assess: am I doing everything I can do the keep my heart healthy? I made it to the gym this week twice, I need to go more. I've been eating healthy. What would my family do? I cannot imagine.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Highschool poets

My 7 year old daughter -- D'oh!: 8 year old daughter! -- Meg and I both had birthday money burning a whole in my pocket tonight, and it needed to get spent at Barnes and Noble. While I was paging new paperbacks Meg's soccer coach asked if I'd come over and listen to her high school students present poetry. I applaud, no: snap, their willingness to stand up in public -- the closest thing we have now to a town square -- and read their own work.

It reminded me of a poem I wrote in college, especially appropriate for the young audience of tonight. I wish them all well.

"Bite Big"

Bite big!
Grow, puppy, grow!
Don't be afraid to choke.
Show canine smile around raw red meat.
Aggressively chew, aggressively eat
and Grow!