Tag Archives: Hardware

USB Enclosures are Cool!

I received my USB enclosure I ordered this week. Goodbye old 300 MHz server eating up juice and raising my electric bill, and hello new external hard drive on my desk, that I can turn on and off when I need. An extra 80 GB – nice addition.

Here is the enclosure I bought.



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This week, I worked on a PC for someone, and wow, was it infected with Malware/Spyware, bad stuff. Couldn’t stop it with Norton, MS Antispyware, other tools, etc. I found some forums saying to follow these 20 steps and it might work – forget it, just redo the PC.

That stuff is nasty, you need to watch what you install, especially from the web, stuff that pops up. I have seen that kind of stuff dissipate since XP sp2, but this computer didn’t have that, and must have gotten something that way.

Old School Computers (Kinda)

Yesterday I got to work on a couple of old school computers. They weren’t too old, but one Windows 98 and one Windows ME. Microsoft has come a long way. They both had 56k modems, and they were having issues connecting.I suppose I should give a plug for Jeff Orbeck, owner of Kim-Built Propane in Kimball – that is where I was helping out. They had some awesome grill’s there – I wish I didn’t live in an apt, or I would probably have one. For your propane needs in Central MN, give Jeff a call at 320-398-3420 – he’s a good guy.

P.S – this is my first post from Outlook using NewsGator!

Linksys WRV54G Wireless VPN Router

For xmas, I got a Linksys WRV54G Wireless VPN Router. I set it up and it worked good, wireless worked, wired work, etc. You are supposed to be able to use it as a VPN endpoint, so I decided to try it.

First thing I did, was upgrade the firmware. I was running 2.10. I downloaded the latest version (2.37) and upgraded it. Once I logged back in, I saw new options for VPN Clients, etc, so I figured I was going in the right direction. I could still get on the net, so hopefully it worked. Then I tried to VPN in to my connection from an outside connection, using the Linksys QuickConnect Client. No Luck. I figured what the hey, I have some setting wrong. Then I tried to VPN out to a remote location (which worked before the firmware upgrade) using a Cisco VPN Client. No Luck. WTF? So after a few hours of fiddling with settings and it still not working, I put firmware 2.10 back on. Lo and behold I could VPN Out again, but something else broke. My website I run wasnt working (port forwarding in the router). Darn it!!! So I upgrade firmware to 2.25 – nothing. My last resort. Firmware 2.36. Once I loaded that, I could get on the net, I could VPN to the remote location, and my website worked. Ok, one last thing to test, VPN in to my connection from a remote location. I added a VPN user and the router prompted me to change my internal network to 10.x.x.x network instead of 192.168.1.x network. I figured something must be working. I had to change the static ip of my server to the 10.x.x that i got, and then I could connect to everything internall. I connected to a remote connection, and tried VPN in to my apt. Wow, it actually worked. I could map a drive to my server.

After searching numerous KB’s and website, here is what I have seen.

1) People dont understand the differnce between VPN’ing out, and VPN’ing in. Routers have VPN Passthrough on them so you can VPN out. VPN Passthrough is like one setting to open many ports for you, just so VPN works.

2) VPN Endpoint on this router is configured by default, you just need right firmware and to add a user. You DO NOT need to set up VPN Tunnels! The page in the Admin area for VPN Tunnel and VPN passthrough is misleading. They shouldn’t be on the same page!! If you are going to set up a tunnel, the other end of the tunnel needs to know about you, and you will be connected 24/7. It isn’t like connecting with a VPN client and disconnecting!!

I hope someone out there who is having problems with their WRV54G reads this. Before I got it to work, I figured it was a piece of junk. Now it works great. You just need to have patience. If anyone needs help, just let me know and I can give advice on how to get it rolling.

FM Transmitter – MP3 Player

I have Rio Nitrus (1.5 GB) and I have been using it a lot lately. I just purchased a FM Transmitter from Best Buy so I can use it in my vehicle. It is pretty cool, but doesn’t work as good as I would expect. You tune your radio to 88.1, 88.3, 88.5, or 88.7 and then set the switch on the transmitter to match. In Saint Cloud, 88.1 is KVSC, so that setting doesn’t work at all. 88.3 also picks up some of KVSC, so that is out too 88.5 and 88.7 work, but crackly. Sometime it works ok, but sometimes it doesn’t. I guess it works good enough to listen to songs. I might need to make a mount for it and the player, so I can get it in a good position and it will stay clear.

PS2 to USB Connector

I finally received my PS2 to USB connector I ordered from Best Buy. My HP laptop doesn’t have a USB connector, and I wanted to hook it up to my monitor and keyboard, etc, and I don’t own a port replicator. There are two USB ports on my laptop, and the wireless keyboard/mouse I own has two connectors, USB and PS2. So now that I have the connector, I can plug the keyboard/mouse into one USB port on the laptop, plug in the monitor, and away we go. Pretty sweet!

Floppy Drives

WTF is with new computers not having floppy drives? What a pain in the a$$ to try to get something of a floppy disk. I have some old files on two floppies, that I would like to get to, but I have two laptops in my apt, and neither have a floppy drive. I mean, once I can get to the data, I will burn it on CD, but I mean, come on! Maybe I should invent a little device that you put a floppy in and it puts it on memory disk or CD for you, so you don’t need a computer, and then you don’t need a floppy drive in your computer either.