I began a new job on Monday, and during the day, the subject of website development came up—specifically, what my level of knowledge in that area was. To illustrate with a concrete example, I opened a browser window and pulled up this blog and my personal site. I got a nasty shock. No, the site had not been hacked by a lowlife sending out X-rated spam, nor did the site crash the browser or come up as a disjointed, disorganized mess. I have tendencies toward obsessive-compulsiveness when it comes to a project I have voluntarily undertaken, so what happened was an unpleasant surprise for me despite its minor nature.
I am a Firefox user. I avoid Internet Explorer like the plague, because it is a security threat and is hard to customize to one’s own needs. I love the Firefox add-on database. (Lately I am getting very fed up with some antics of Firefox 3, namely its incessant crashing for no apparent reason and its multi-version, multi-release problem of RSS feeds causing it to freeze at startup. When Google releases a customizable version of its Chrome browser, I may very well switch.) However, Internet Explorer was the only browser available to me on the work computer, and I was immediately faced with the horror of cross-browser incompatibilities. I vowed to do something about this as soon as I returned home. (Read more…)
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Do a web search for “how to use two routers on a home network” or something similar, and the overwhelming majority of the search results will be blog posts or forum topics directing you to put one of the routers in “bridge mode” and/or to turn off DHCP.
(Bridge mode is a mode that, in a nutshell, has the device simply forward whatever traffic it receives from the “downstream” router. It effectively disables that router as a recognizable network device. Rather than a true “stop” on the network, it is a bridge. You can then forget connecting anything to that router and expecting to get a functional Internet connection, unless you have a non-bridged router in between. DHCP is a protocol that automatically assigns IP addresses to machines on a network. The idea behind turning it off for one of the devices is to avoid getting conflicting addresses assigned to machines.)
I have a rather unique situation in my home network, and it is such that neither bridge mode nor deactivating DHCP would work well for me. The network has two devices with routing capability — a Westell 6100 combined DSL modem/network router with a single Ethernet port, provided by the ISP, and a Netgear WGR614 wireless router that I own. I had been using the Westell in bridge mode, with the Netgear acting as the DHCP server and the router for the network. There are four computers that could conceivably connect to the network, two of them requiring wireless because of their locations, and the Netgear’s capabilities were clearly required.
There was a problem, though, and a pretty significant one. (Read more…)