Friday, October 17, 2008

Wifi Issues and a new Apple Airport Express

For a while now I have been having the wifi that I have setup in the house cut out, and the only fix has been a restart, well sometimes it was "broken" for over a day and then just start working again. I thoughtthat someone may have been hacking it. But doing scans I could find no other wifi in the area when it was "broken". This had been going on for a couple of months and was starting to do my head in as there didn't seem to be consistent cause. So the last time it did it, I put it down to a flaky wifi unit, it is a couple of years old. So since I have become bit of an apple fan, and really like the options on the Apple airport express, I went and got one. I really like the idea of using the Iphone remote app and AirTunes to control music in the house.

So got home and plugged it in.... expecting setup to be Apple simple. Well it was but it didnt work straight away. I couldn't get the bloody thing working. No wifi connectivity. Bugger.... Then I had a brainwave. Perhaps there is some wifi interference from something. But what?

Nothing new has been added, or changed..... cluck goes the old brain. The baby monitor, we have a video one, and the little one sometimes plays with the camera in the bedroom. Its one of those that have three channels you can select from. So setting the camera setup to a different channel and wifi started working. Double bugger..... so after all these months it was the bloody wireless camera messing with my wifi. So the inconsistent occurrences were due to when the little one decided to play with the camera. I turned the camera off, and after all my mucking around with the airport trying to get it to work I did a hard reset and started again. Bingo everything worked first time.

Well I was happy that it was all working, So now I wanted to try the remote speakers and itune / iphone remote features of the airport. I could not get the iphone to show up in itunes as a remote on the PC, It would on the MAC. Frustrations..... I checked Vistas firewall settings and Application settings. I could not get it to work. Then while on the MAC I noticed that the MAC airport was on. During my numerous tests to get the Airport express to work I must have
left it on, when I turned it off the iphone remote didn't work. Hmmm puzzling.

So after even more Googling I found a reference to make sure that the itunes PC/MAC are on the same subnet as the iphone. But they should be have been, as I have only one home network IP range and one DHCP server. But checking the Iphone it was getting a different IP range that the LAN IP range. So I jumped onto the Airport setup utility, yip sure enough it was dishing out DHCP address in another subnet range. There is a little setting which turns this off and make the Airport a bridge. Once that was selected and updated, the iphone remotes started showing up in itunes on both the MAC and Vista PC.

The actual iPhone remote application and the controlling of music and speakers is very slick and worked a charm once setup. After all the trials which were all due to my environment I can full recommend the Airport Express.

I ended up putting my older wifi unit back in the mix (since it wasn?t faulty) as it had a larger range and used the airport in the lounge hooked up to the stereo. So now i can fire up music on the lounge stereo with the iphone and then use it as my whole house music remote...... very cool, Now I need another airport express for the other rooms music.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Extraverts verse Introverts

This is a great read. I am a strong introvert, and alot of this article rings true for and how i need to work. I need time space to do my thinking and work. Which been an enterprise architect alot of the time is just noodling and mind exercise on how things will fit together, and interruption can break a train of thought.

Go read these articles and get some insight to the world of the introvert.

My preferred method of saying I'm busy is the use of music, or more to the point headphones. When I have those on people at work know that I would prefer not to be disturbed. On days when the office is very disruptive I use my Shure noise canceling headphones.