Monday, September 20, 2010

In which my old Billion 7402G becomes a Wireless Access Point

Currently (or at least an hour or so ago), my home network was powered by a Billion 7404VGO. Luckily, the previous home owners who did the renovations also had good sense to wire the place for Ethernet to several positions in the house.

And that's a good thing, because the main panel for that wiring is stuck in one corner of the house, the study, and that makes wireless access to the rest of the place, including the veranda, a little bit flaky.

So tonight, I hooked up my old Billion 7402G to act as a Wireless Access Point in the living room, where most things wireless are doing their accessing. This will mean a stronger signal for wireless devices on the veranda as well. This is a little note on how I did it.

Firstly, I took a note of my existing subnet and gateway. 192.168.66.254, nice a memorable. I then unplugged my computer from that and hooked it into the old router, and waited until the DHCP came up with something useful. It was on 192.168.1.X, so I pointed my browser to http://192.168.1.254/ and luckily I could still remember what the old password for the web interface was.

Now, I'm not sure that I did the next bit right, but it worked out in the end. First, I turned off DHCP Server, and set it to DHCP Relay, and pointed to the existing router at 192.168.66.254. Next, I changed the address of the router to 192.168.66.253. At that point, I lost the connection to the router, because it's IP had changed, and there was no further DHCP set up on it to provide a proper IP address to my computer. A small voice in my head mentioned that probably wasn't the smartest move, and luckily I just do programming, not any type of network support.

So I plugged my computer back into the network, and plugged the old router into the new one. I then accessed the old router via http://192.168.66.253/ and saved the config!

Now that I could access the old router via the new router, via the browser, it was time to swap the wireless part over. I disabled the wireless on the new router, and enabled the wireless on the old one. I made sure to keep the SSID and password the same, under the same type of encryption. I then used my iPhone to make sure that side of things were all good.

After doing one more Save Config, I moved the old router into the living room, and plugged the cable from the router into the wall where the TiVO used to go, and plugged the TiVO into the router. I then checked the DHCP table on the new router, but couldn't see an entry for the TiVO. As it turns out, the TiVO isnt connected to the network all the time, so I used Annikas laptop to test the router.

First, I made sure the wireless was still working. Well, that was a problem. The wireless seemed to be working, in that there was a connection and the signal was strong, but there was no internet access. I knew that I wanted some sort of bridge, but I couldn't find any solid documentation on it, so I put the router into 1483 Bridged IP LLC mode, with NAT enabled. Now, since I've got nothing actually plugged into the WAN port, it shouldn't make a lick of difference, but somehow, it did. The internet became available to the laptop, via wireless.

I then disabled the wireless cared, and plugged the laptop in to the router via cable, and that worked too. I should note that the, now wireless, router showed no DHCP Table, nothing in the NAT Sessions and nothing in the Wireless Association. Actually, looking at the Wireless Associations now, it has two entries, but the IP Address is unknown and the MAC is populated. These are probably the house hold iPhones and I think the unknown IPs are because the DHCP is handed by the newer router.

If anyone does know how to set up a Billion 7402G as a wireless access point properly, please feel free to drop me a line.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last nights grading

I had another Tae Kwon Do grading last night. This one was progressing from my third blue belt to my first red belt. The grading requirements are fairly simple, just form and sparing, but they must be of good quality to deserve the entry into red belt. This is the third grading I've had that has required sparing, so I didn't get nervous about it until yesterday, and I thought I was fairly well prepared.

The form went as well as it could. The school hall in which we do our gradings is some synthetic bouncy material that can be a little too slippery, for my liking. I rely a little on the floor having some grip for my feet so I can make my stance changes and moves swift, and yet have power. That comes a little bit of a problem when your foot might slip out at any moment.

Then came the sparing. Sparing opponents were a little thin at the "older guy" end of our belt level. There were just four of us, one of which trained at my club, another that I'd sparred when going for my second blue, and the other that I'd sparred when going for my third blue. Both of the likely opponents I had history with.

The first I had knocked over when going for second blue, by putting up a kick that lifted his already raised leg, and off balanced him. When we were warming up when going for our third blue, he looked like he had been practicing his spinning side kicks a lot.

The second I had accidentally landed a glancing blow off his upper chest into his jaw when we were sparring for our third blue. I lost a point for that infraction, since there is to be no punching in the face at gradings, but I still got a pass overall for the grading. Punching in the chest is something I've been doing in training when I get too close to land a good kick, or I get really tired. Though this time around, I wasn't going to let either of those things happen. I should mention this guy is an ex-boxer, and very very solid.

This time around, I was paired with the second guy, and we even had the same ref. I wonder if he recognised us?

I only remember giving two kicks, maybe blocking one and then smelling sweaty glove and wondering what was causing the pain at the back of my neck. And then wondering what I was doing on the floor. Oh yeah, I copped a punch in the face, and lost a little bit of memory for the second or so before it happened.

I'd like to think it was a good solid punch. It landed on my top lip, because that was all feeling pretty numb. It must have just slid under my nose, because that was bleeding and there wasn't the shooting pain and watery eyes that usually comes from such I thing. It was right in the centre of the lip, so it definitely wasn't glancing. And then there was the pain in the neck. I guess any punch in the face is going to see a bit of whiplash movement in the head.

Amazingly, I was fine! Well, I was at that point. That was probably the adrenaline kicking in, or just numbing everything. There was no blood, my mouth guard and the cushioning in his glove had done their job.

I got up. The ref asked my if I was okay. I was thinking, "I don't know. Shouldn't you do one of those pupil dilation tests?". Instead, I just nod my head enthusiastically. I'm not much of a talker with the mouth guard in. I was expecting a bit of "how many fingers am I holding up?". Instead, I get asked to breathe. So I do. I think there's a dopey grin on my face at the time. And then someone from the judges panel suggests I do proper breathing, so I do the big arms up, out to the side and in breathing exercise that we do at TKD to show I'm good in the breathing department, and I can still follow instruction.

So with that done, we're back in for round two. It was really short. I think I manage to get 3 more kicks in, two of which are definitely head height, and then it was over. I was just about to launch a spinning kick as well, as is all that is left to do when up against an opponent of my size and is an ex-boxer. I seem to recall a similar thing happening last time, when I realised that the front kicks I was landing weren't going to do much to move him back.

My trainer checked with me as I was putting my gloves and shin guards away. He said something along the lines of me catching a downward chip. Despite the lack of broken skin, and that I was otherwise feeling fine, I don't think it was a chip. And landing where it did, it sure wasn't glancing off anything else.

It wasn't until I was half way driving home, did the possibility of a head ache present itself. I popped a couple of paracetamol when I got home, and relayed the story to my girlfriend. She's a fourth Dan in TKD and fairly familiar with the sparring routine. Apparently, it's par for the course to make the second round really short, just to make sure the knocked down opponent can get back up and get back into it.

Today, my neck is a little sore and my nose is a little sore to touch. I guess it's all connected, and maybe my nose got buried in the glove padding afterall, just not enough to make contact with the bone.

I'll find out next Wednesday if I pass or not. Hopefully, I will.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Christchurch Earthquake

I was born in Auckland, though most of New Zealand childhood that I remember was spent in Christchurch until I moved to Australia when I was ten.

The recent quakes experienced in Christchurch are changing the face of a city that I've only had the pleasure of visiting a few times since I left 25 or so years ago.

For outsiders to get a good idea of where the quake occurred, and the fear that a lot of Canterbury dwellers are experiencing with these aftershocks still happening, take a look at the Christchurch Quake Map.

I hear no hobbits were harmed during the quakes, though that's mostly because their homes are located in the North Island, and they're not real.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Like a no-ob, tweeted for the very first time...

Sometime last week, I signed up for a Twitter account. Twitter's been around for so long, but I've been slow to adopt. And truth be told, I'm likely to be seldom to use. I wasn't really sure what would make me tweet, why I would tweet or even when I would tweet. But events conspired against me today, and I finally realized what it(Twitter) was for.

I've got several social networking gizmos floating around the net. I've got three blogs, which with a different purpose. I've got Facebook, which I use for friends news. Stuff posted to FB has either come from my public blogs, or is something for friends. I've got Google Buzz, which is good for stuff shared by friends on Twitter, Flickr, blogs (mine specifically), reshared by Google Reader, or even just original content. Even though Buzz is a free app with the Google domain, usually the only people to notice Buzz are those who have opted in to it, and have it as an option in their Gmail.

In summary, Facebook is for friends, Buzz is for Buzz friends, blogs are for everyone, and Twitter is for everyone in 140 characters or less at a time.

Now I must change the topic a little, and talk about today. Today started out good. I got up, had a shower, had a bit of breaky and greeted the day at about 10am or so. The greeting started with a mowing of the lawn. It's in various states of repair, and the new lawn, which has been sown by hand, was looking like it needed it's first mow. There was also alot of leaves on it that were starting to cover the bits of dirt that were struggling to spring forth with the grass, so I thought a bit ow mowing with the mulcher would break up those leaves and promote a bit of growth.

After the mowing, I hauled the garden bag to the front of the yard. It was getting a bit full, and is due to be picked up sometime in the next two weeks. I'd gone a bit nuts with pulling weeds out of the lawn from the previous week.

Then there was a mattress to cover and move into storage under the house.

And finally, a scrubbing of the front deck in preparation for an oiling. It's actually a bit more involved than a standard scrubbing. First, there's the nail punching, then the sanding, then the hot water and soap scrub, then the hosing, then the nasty chemical scrub for that deep clean and another hosing. Whilst doing this, I noticed that some of the support timbers had rotted, and would need replacing sometime in the next year. I knew it would happen sometime, since the building inspector told me as much when we bought the place, I just didn't think it would be this soon. Folks, don't use pine for support timbers on a deck that is exposed to the elements. Use hardwood, or something that won't rot.

Anyway, by the time that was all done, it was time to go to Neeks folks place to help lift pavers in their front driveway. It was going to be a bit of a long afternoon thing, so we packed Moo Moo (or Missy Moo Moo, as she is formally known as) in her travel cage, packed an old wooden pallet and wheel barrow in the borrowed trailer, and hooked that up to the car (the trailer, that is: Moo Moo gets the front seat, with Neek).

So we're driving along, and just before we hit the Captain Cook bridge, I notice possible flapping of the rope holding the wheel barrow down in the trailer. Oh crap. A quick exit at Stanley Street, and bit of an adjustment later, we're back on the free way.

It was a pretty nice day out, and Riverfest was on with the jet planes planning to do their last low fly over and after burn thing that evening. The freeway had a bit of traffic but nothing too busy. Just the usual unexplained slowing of traffic up ahead.

Then just as I was approaching the exit for the Inner City Bypass at the start of Coronation Drive, the car starts to shudder, and it feels like the trailer is jumping around. Bloody hell, what now? I'm thinking I've got a flat, but I just can't stop. So I take the Little Cribb Street exit, and pull over to check out the suspected flat.

Well, no flat. All tires seemed to be quite inflated. So what the hell happened? Then I see it. A swath of metal mesh jutting out of one of the trailer wheels. Oh, bloody joy. The tire was totally cactus. Well, no problems. I'll just swap it with the spare from my car. Jack comes out, nuts are loosened, trailer lifted, wheel off, wheel on. I said, wheel on. Oh bugger, the wheel won't go on. My car has wheels with four bolts, the trailer has wheels with five. Bollocks.

So phone calls are made. I mentioned earlier that the trailer was borrowed. It was borrowed from Annikas parents. We were heading there anyway, so they get the first phone call. They've got a car with a five bolt wheel. Yay! Neeks' sister is on the way with the spare wheel. It's now about 2pm. We left home around 1:30pm. It's going to be about 25min before Catherine arrives, so Neek wanders around to the local fast food joint to use the facilities, and to see if the petrol station there has any tire options, just in case.

So I finally figure out what Twitter is for. It's for saying something that everyone, or no one, will read. Since I hadn't tweeted yet, the only people to read it would be those following me on Buzz. Maybe I'll hook Facebook into Twitter some other day. It was supposed to read something like "Busted trailer tire. Saturday arvos on Little Cribb St are tops." Thanks to the auto spelling on iPhone, it came out slightly different. So there it was, my first tweet on the Twitter, complete with spelling mistakes. Awesome. There was a follow up. Moo Moo was happily preening in her cage, on the front seat with the window down, while I stood outside. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I could tell it was happy chats.

That's about all the energy I have for completing this blog post, but I'll try and cover the rest in as few words as I can.

Moo Moo gets seed stick. Neek returns with fries and hand feeds YT, who has dirty hands. Catherine arrives.

Tire fail, it's too wide for the trailer. I call RACQ. Cathy calls 24 hour tire place. RACQ can only do a tire service, so I tell them I'll call back if the 24 hour tire guy can't help. Neek looks up her car on the internet to check tire specification. Its 175SR14, just like the trailer tires. Awesome.

Neek and Catherine head back to ours to get the spare. Get phone call from Neeks Dad, and update on options of Neeks spare, 24 hour tire guy who will call back soon and tow option.

Tire fail number two. Neeks car only had four wheel bolts too. Neek and Catherine hit Google. Neek and Catherine drive to local Kmart Tire and Auto that's open 'til 4pm. It's currently 3:44pm.

Tire fail number three. They don't sell wheel hubs, and need the rim, which is inconvenient located in the trailer at my location. Neek and Catherine drive back to me. Neeks dad is on his way to investigate the situation, and considers driving with the bung tire. I get call from 24 hour tire guy, who doesn't have anything new in that size on a Saturday afternoon. I'm pretty chuffed he called back, and since I missed his call, I decided to call back and thank him.

Neek and Catherine arrive. Keith (Neeks dad) arrives. Keith surveys that damage of the tire, and it doesn't take much to convince him that driving with that thing would be a danger to everyone. Miltary choppers fly overhead. Must be prep'ing for Riverfest.

Neek organises tow with RACQ. Neek and Catherine stay with the trailer and Keiths car, to accompany RACQ tow guy back to our place. Keith takes Catherines car back to his. I follow in mine, and a wrong turn somewhere along the way, and finally get to help with lifting pavers until it's too dark to tell the good pavers from the bad. RACQ tow guy turns up in record time, and Neek and Catherine finally arrive just after dark.

Shower. Dinner. Skullfck joke on Facebook via iPhone. Drive home. Put Neek to bed. Blog.

And now it's time for a bit of WoW.