DrayTek VigorAP 800

A long time ago, long before wifi was invented and the World Wide Web was still merely an idea in someone’s head, a contractor built my house. Not knowing this would hinder wireless LAN reception, they used reinforced concrete, and put the cable and telephone connectors in a far corner of the structure. As a result, I now have an upstairs study that’s almost impossible to get to with wires, and where only the best wireless adapters get a decent signal.

To deal with this, I’ve been using an wireless bridge. Strategically placed for best reception, it connects to my wifi, and allows (wired) devices in my office to connect through it. This setup works pretty well, except that the first, rather low-end adapter I got turned out to have some pesky issues. The most irritating being that it lost the wifi password every time the power was disconnected, and had to subsequently be reconfigured. So when DrayTek offered to send me one of their offerings to check out, I jumped at the opportunity.
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Wireless routers explained

Like most people who know a thing or two about computers, I often get asked to help out friends and family when something’s not working. As long as their questions aren’t about printers I don’t really mind. It can be a real eye-opener to see how even the most basic settings sometimes puzzle users. Especially when it comes to networks.

Most people have no clue as to how the most important box in their network setup works. I thought I’d try to clarify. It’s really not that complex, and it might help you troubleshoot issues should they arise.
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My next keyboard may well be solar-powered

I’ve been using a Logitech Ultra-X keyboard for a couple of years now, and it’s an abolute delight. But with the wear and tear of daily use, it’ll probably need to be replaced soon. Like with mice, I like wired keyboards. I don’t carry them around, and the wire running across my desk doesn’t bother me. Not enough at least to deal with the hassle and pollution of wireless keyboards that use batteries.

That’s why I love Logitech’s new K750. It has the type of flat, laptop-like keys I like, and is solar-powered. The press release says indoor lighting should be sufficient, and if that turns out to be true, this may well be the ideal combination of wireless freedom and battery-free convenience. Very clever stuff.

Now I realize that somewhere inside this thing there’s a battery. So eventually, when my future K750 is in the state my Ultra-X is in now, it’ll be a little harder to recycle. But at $80, and given Logitech’s track record, I’m expecting it to last for a long time. Now all I need is a motion-powered(?) mouse to go with it.

Logitech MX400 corded laser mouse

Logitech MX400 corded laser mouseMy Logitech MX1000 mouse stopped working yesterday. The mouse pointer simply wouldn’t move any more, even though clicking did work. I guess it’s a sensor problem, so I’ll have to send it in for repair. The first Logitech mouse to fail me, in what I guess is ten years now. But with work piling up I needed a replacement asap. That’s why I got an MX400. As a backup. But after using it for a couple of hours I don’t think I’ll put it away when the MX1000 gets back.
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Parting is such sweet sorrow

Linksys WRT54G router

I just sold my Linksys WRT54G router on Marktplaats (a hugely popular second hand marketplace here in The Netherlands). It had been gathering dust or a few months, and I didn’t think it deserved that after being my ‘lifeline’ for years. This router has been my single favorite piece of equipment ever. I love the way it looks, I love how it never ever failed on me, I love the simple setup, it’s hackability (although I never did load any of the alternate firmwares out there).

I feel silly for feeling bad. Guess it’s quite a feat for a small plastic box to get me all sentimental. But now that wireless-n is here, and my provider-supplied modem/router finally supports WAP encryption, there’s no need for me to hang on to it. I hope it makes the buyer happy. Sigh…