Look Ma, no wires!

One more down, two thousand seven hundred and fifty-five to go – from my “gadgets wishlist”.

My RCO (residence-cum-office) is now a wire free Internet zone. I am typing this sitting in the house across the street, still accessing my home Internet connection wire free. No no, I’m not trying to impress you. Infact this is so lame and common now that if you’re impressed hearing this, you really need to spend more time getting to know what technology can do these days.

Anyways, I was building up towards the news that I have the Netgear WGR614 up and running. Setting it up wasn’t much of a task once I remembered that I would have to attach the router to my computer the first time via the included Ethernet cable. Though, the included CD did not have a Mac OS configuration utility, the web interface worked just fine for me when I connected my PowerBook to the router. Infact I liked the various advanced options that the interface provided, allowing me to specify exactly the kind of connection and security settings I wanted. I’m not sure how the not-so-technically-inclined Mac OS (or even Windows) users would do if the “auto-detect wizard” failed to detect the network settings properly, which is exactly how it behaved in my case.

Before installation:
Enable DHCP on the machine you connect to the router via the Ethernet cable, allowing it to be assigned a IP ( in most cases). You can then use the software (windows only) or the web interface ( username: admin password: password) to configure the router.

After installation:
Disable SSID broadcast if you don’t want your neighbours (or anyone else around) to detect the presence of your WiFi network. Enable WEP as well (password authentication for your network, simply put) – both of these things might decrease the usability of your network a little bit, but go some way in securing it from unauthorized (or unwanted) access.

PS – Okay, only fair you know, I am not really across the street – I’m only 30 feet away (from the router) infact. But, hey, I could have been (across the street i.e.) !!!

Active Desktop on Mac OS X

Remember the Active Desktop feature on Windows, that allowed you to put web pages on the Desktop? Since Mac OS does not have built in support for that, you might think that there’s no way for you to get similar functionality on this side of the world. Think again.

Web Desktop attempts to duplicate (some of) the functionality of Active Desktop by allowing OS X users to place any web page on the desktop that can be automatically refreshed after user-defined time intervals, if necessary. Useful for keeping track of your stocks, scores or other news items.

Worth a “dekho” if you really miss that feature from your dark days.