Monday, January 11, 2010

No Matter What The Weather

Life Is Good

The Netgear wireless router.

I recently got
a wireless router to take with me when I visit friends who don't have WiFi in their homes. I have become accustomed to using my Macbook wherever I happen to be and find it inconvenient to be stuck in the back room/office to use my computer. The router is from a company called Netgear. I like it, and I use it at home because it works better than the wireless feature on the 2Wire unit I bought from AT&T. Now I am considering getting another wireless device called Airport Express. Its from Apple and takes the wireless thing another step; It hooks up to the printer and the stereo, too. ( Look Ma, no wires! )

Apple Airport Express wireless router.

This seems like a good thing to me. Internet, printer, and stereo all from my laptop without wires. I like that. It's from Apple, so I can just plug it in and it will do what it is supposed to do. It will work with Windows, but requires the usual time consuming, frustrating, fiddling and fretting that is part of the PC experience.

Example of PC setup;

1. First download the latest version of both the Airport Update and Airport Express Firmware Updater from [...]

2. Run the latest version of the Airport Update (4.1 at the time of this writing)

3. Disable your firewalls, plug in the Airport Express (AX) to an electrical outlet and attach it to your computer or router with an ethernet cable. The AX will have a steady or blinking yellow light.

4. Launch the Airport Admin should detect the Airport Express in the "Base Station Chooser" within a minute or so and the light on the AX should turn green. You may have to hard reset the unit a few times by pushing the small reset button with a paperclip for about 10 seconds. If, like mine, it does not show up in the Airport Admin Utility leave the AX attached by ethernet and reboot, launch the Airport Admin Utility, and hopefully it will show up quickly.

5. As soon as it does show up, launch the latest Airport Express Firmware Updater (I used 6.1.1) and update the AX...this seemed to make a significant difference in the ease of detection later. This will take a minute or so. The AX will reset and you may have to leave it attached by ethernet, reboot, and relaunch the Airport Admin Utility to detect it again.

6. Once detected by the Airport Admin Utility, click the "Configure" button in the lower right hand corner.

7. A new set of tabs will pop up. Click on the "Airport" tab and select "Create Wireless Network" from the Airport Network dropdown box. This will be changed to "Join an Existing Wireless Network" later.

8. Now click on the "Network" tab and and check the "Distribute IP Addresses", the "Share a single IP address" button, and from IP range drop down list choose the IP range for your router (192.168.x.x being the most common for Dlink, lynksys, Netgear, and other non-Apple routers).

9. Go back to the "Airport" tab and change the "Create a Wireless Network" to "Join an Existing Wireless Network".

10. In the "Network Name" box type in the name of your wireless network (also called your SSID)

11. On the same page rename your AX to whatever you want it to be called in iTunes (often the physical location of the speakers the AX will be attached to, ex: Living Room, Bedroom, Ambient Sound), give it a new password (required), and give it a location.

12. If you are using security click on the security button, choose your encryption settings, and add your WEP key or password, etc. It might be handy to have your router security info open in a window so you can copy and paste the key right into the appropriate box.

13. If you now go back to the "Network" tab you will see everything is greyed out but now your new IP Range settings are visible.

14. With the AX still attached by etherlink, click the "Update" button and wait a minute or so for the AX to update. The changes you made should be reflected in the Airport Admin Utility when the update is complete.

15. Now you can launch iTunes and you should see a button in the lower right hand corner that says "My Computer". Click this button and you will see you have the choice of your computers speakers or the AX. Any further changes you want to make to the configuration such as the name you see in that button are easiest done while attached by ethernet so try to get it the way you want it with further Airport Admin Utility updates before unplugging the ethernet cable. As long as your Airport Admin Utility can see the AX you can update without being connected too.

16. When you are satisfied with the configuration and the AX is updated and is showing up in iTunes go ahead and unplug the ethernet cable. Now you can move The AX to your chosen locations electrical outlet, and hook up the audio cable. The AX light will blink yellow for a few minutes while being detected and then turn green. You can now choose your AX in iTunes and start playing your music as normal. Itunes will show it is busy connecting to the AX for about 30 seconds and then hopefully you will hear your music played from your remote speakers.

Example of Mac setup;
Plug it in and it works.

I think you get the picture.

If you like
what computers do for you - get a Mac.

If you like to keep PC technicians employed - get a PC.

Or, There Is This

Only $2,500.00 and I don't need an HDMI cable. Wow!

The LG 55LH85
lets you watch HD video on the full 1080p LCD panel, wirelessly.

But rather than drag a TV around with me when I visit friends, I could just carry the HDMI cable I use at home to connect my Macbook to their TV.

There is one other gizmo that I am considering trying; Apple TV.

A little white box that delivers HD content from the internet to my TV even without my computer. You can rent, buy, or watch free stuff to your hearts content. This includes music, photo's, movies, videos, TV shows, or anything else the internet offers, in the highest quality available. (No Blu-Ray player needed.) I might consider it someday in the future, when we have recovered economically from the Bush years.

Speaking of Apple, Sandi gave me that cool t-shirt I am wearing in the picture at the top of the page. It wasn't until I was putting the picture in this blog that I realized the significance of the album title; Let It Be. Of course! I don't really need to get a WiFi TV, or Airport Express wireless router, or Apple TV. I have that kind of stuff already!

I guess it's just fun to Imagine.

For now, I can Let It Be.

Beatle  PaulBeatle  JohnBeatle  GeorgeBeatle  Ringo
Who are these guys?

Something To Chew On

The dentist and me. 1/11/10

Once again, I am at the dentist for my teeth cleaning. I am here for my 3:30 appointment. I am on time and sitting in the dental chair as I write this. The day is cloudy and cool, but it's bright and warm here in the clinic. At one time, this dental care was covered by MediCal, but the Bush years really wrecked California's economy and we have made cuts all across the board to help balance the budget. Nevertheless, I have recently discovered that good health and well being are connected to a healthy mouth, so I cut some things from my budget so that I can afford to pay for dental care.


Two of the smiling ladies in the front office. 1/11/10

The people who are part of this Access Dental location have been here for sometime, and it is sort of like going to a private practice. The staff knows my name, (even without looking at my chart), the same dentist works on my teeth each visit, and we are working our way toward giving me a healthy, happy, and photogenic smile.

Today they checked my pockets and they aren't as deep as when I first came here. I thought of a bunch of jokes, but my mouth was full of equipment.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

Fly Me To The Moon-Diana Krall


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