Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too tired on Friday, and we got back too late on Sunday, so we put up our tree in Castleton last night. It is quite big, too big for this tiny house really, but it is a nice tree. We didn't put up a tree in Samsonville over the weekend, so that is the plan for Friday or Saturday.

The reason we didn't put up a tree in Samsonville, and also why we got back to Castleton so late, was that I spent nearly all weekend working on the computer situation there. First, I had to get the cable modem working. I don't think the Time Warner technician had it hooked up right. So after wasting some time tinkering, I gave up and installed an ethernet card in the machine. The technician had it connected via USB, and that was no good. With ethernet, it worked fine right away.

Then, I hooked up the wireless router. That was a breeze. I took my laptop over the my parents' house to see if the signal went that far, but it didn't. So I threw in the towel, went back home, called Staples, said I wanted to return the wireless adapter and get an ethernet card for my mother's machine instead. Then I did some surfing, read on the Internet that wire only works for a maximum of 328 feet.

The next morning, I reconsidered, moved the router around, and while I was at church, Bob discovered that the wireless signal was within about 75 feet of my parents' house. So we went to Staples and bought a range extender, as well as two very long ethernet cables, so I could move the router to the end of our house that is closest to my parents' house.

When we got home, I moved the router and hooked up the signal extender. With those changes, my laptop could see the signal from my mother's computer room. However, something about the range extender isn't working right since I couldn't get on the Internet with my laptop. I installed the wireless adapter in my mother's machine anyway, thinking that maybe it would work better than the laptop (since the laptop is "G" and the router and adapter are "N"). But I ran into another snag, since her machine has Windows ME and it seems the adapter is for Windows XP and 2000.

I gave up at that point, because it was getting very late, my patience was thin, and we had to make the drive back to Castleton. Yesterday morning I called Staples, canceled the return on the adapter (but kept the ethernet card order just in case), and called Netgear to see whether the problems with the signal extender and adapter can be corrected, or if wire will be the better solution (though I am still concerned about the distance).

The good news is that the Netgear technician gave me a link to software to download so that the adapter will work with ME, and said that he can walk me though configuring the signal extender. And Staples said that they will take everything back if necessary, even though I have opened all the boxes. So on Friday and Saturday, in addition to putting up the tree there, I will be back at the computers.

This week's regular (and priority) focus is end of semester grading, and it is going OK.

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