Saturday, June 04, 2005

In the Kitchen Talking to Blogger

Get this!! I'm currently in the kitchen typing this entry on Sunshine's little Macintosh laptop, connected through a wireless ADSL modem/router (pictured)... The lamb roast is in the oven and I'm just about to peel the potatoes. I'm so stoked about the wireless that I thought I'd post to the blog just to prove it to myself.

AAPT finally made the connection, and it wasn't all smooth sailing to get it going either. Bear in mind that I run a Linux desktop, a windows laptop, and a Mac power book. I think my initial trouble was caused by trying to set up the modem from the Linux desktop. Nothing wrong with the Linux, but the modems are generally ready to work with windows, and Mac before Linux, so lucky I had a windows machine on hand.

For those of us who know nothing or little about these things, it turns out that ADSL modems (or DSL for short) have software inside them. You need to set the connection settings, such as your service username and password, inside the modem before it can connect (unlike dial up modems where you set up on your computer's network settings). The difficult thing can be getting into the ADSL modem to set the connection settings...

The modem that AAPT sent me was pretty easy, once I realised that it would be easier using the windows machine. I called AAPT and waited on the phone for about an hour, yes that's right - an hour (more on that later), before a lady talked me through a few things. I had to unplug the phone so that the modem had sole connection. That got the modem happy, once it was happy, it then let me into it to set the password. Once the password was set in it I was right to go. It worked now on the windows, Mac and Linux machine. And what a difference broadband is! So, the key thing to remember is that ADSL modems have settings inside them that need configuring. You access the modem through the browser.

Now, once my free DLink modem was happy, and I was experiencing broadband, I wanted more. Wireless! So I went out to the local guy and bought myself a NetGear wireless, fire walled 4 point router/modem. Which basically means a modem that can plug in 4 computers with cable, and offer wireless connection for any in the vicinity (picture me in the kitchen using the wireless, and Sunshine on the Linux desktop plugged in with Ethernet cable). Oh, and I guess firewall means some sort of extra security - and I haven't noticed any connectivity problems caused by the firewall either... yet to try out chat programs or file sharing...

About the 1-hour wait for AAPT. Apparently they have been swamped with enquiries to broadband. The teleservice operators explain to me that AAPT are trying to train up more teleservice operators but can't meet the demand. Friends tell me that they are experiencing the same with other service providers, which tells me that Australia may be going through a very rapid network upgrade. This may be something worth noting for us in education...

Anyway, I better peel those potatoes and chop some wood. It’s getting cold up here.

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