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Gigabit card only connecting at 100mbps? Here’s the fix.

I finished a modernization project where I replaced all of my 100-megabit gear with gigabit-capable gear, including my cabling and router and access points. But after I replaced my last 100-megabit switch, I found we had two Windows desktops refusing to speed up. Here’s how to fix a gigabit card only connecting at 100mbps.

First, if you know you’re not connecting at gigabit, you probably already know how to do this. But if not, here’s how to check your network speed in Windows 10. Then here’s how to fix it. After all, you want to enjoy the advantages of a gigabit LAN if you have the hardware.

Read More »Gigabit card only connecting at 100mbps? Here’s the fix.

PC Magazine has its reader’s choice awards for home networking equipment online

PC Magazine posted its reader’s choice awards for home networking equipment Monday. PC Magazine‘s reader surveys aren’t gospel, but they’re valuable. They’re a cross-section of the opinions of people who care enough about technology to read the magazine, and as such, I give it more weight than what, say, Consumer Reports says.Read More »PC Magazine has its reader’s choice awards for home networking equipment online

Balancing safety and versatility

John C Dvorak has a very simple solution to the HP printing problem. Lock down the firmware so it’s not upgradeable. And while we’re at it, do the same thing to routers and other equipment.

This solves the problem of loading rogue firmware on the devices, but there are several problems with such a draconian approach.
Read More »Balancing safety and versatility

DNS and iTunes and other streaming media

There are reports floating about regarding third-party DNS affecting downloads of movies and other media, particularly from iTunes.

So, if tweaking DNS settings used to be what all the cool kids are doing, maybe it’s about to become less trendy, thanks to advice circulating to ditch third-party, centralized DNS providers like Google and OpenDNS, because they “defeat the distributed nature of DNS itself.”

The answer of what DNS to use and why is more complex than that.
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What to look for in a router

I revisit the topic of what to look for in a router every six or seven years. As important as it always was, I think it’s even more important today, as there are a number of underpowered routers on the market and it’s best to avoid them.

This post originated in 2010. I revised it for 2017 needs, and by the time I was done, I’m not sure much of my 2010 text was left. But that’s OK.

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Time for me to ask the questions for once

OK, I’ve got some questions for once.
I heard a song that held my attention for about four blissful minutes tonight. Of course the DJ didn’t tell me the artist or song title. I grabbed a pen and transcribed a couple of lines:

I am hungry for something that will make me real/ Can you see me and/ Do you love me cause/ I am desperately searching for something real

Google tells me the artist’s name is Plumb, and the song is, appropriately, titled “Real” and it’s off an album called Beautiful Lumps of Coal. The song is supposed to be a protest of our sex-crazed/centered society.

Question #1: Anyone familiar with Plumb? Is this one of her best songs? The lyrics for the rest of her stuff look promising, but I figure I might as well ask for other opinions.

Now for my other question… I finally put in some wireless networking equipment, which makes connecting a computer to my stereo practical. I can control it over the network so I don’t have to have a keyboard and monitor there, and I can make it play MP3s through the stereo, or make it broadcast them over the LAN with Icecast or something similar so I can listen when I’m in the office or somewhere else. I’ve found a few Linux-based MP3 jukeboxes, several of them with nice web-browser interfaces that include a “Never play this song again” button–perfect for when a song like “Where the Birds Always Sing” by The Cure comes on–but I haven’t found one with a function that emulates a radio station’s “heavy rotation” orders.

So, Question #2: Has anyone out there messed with LAN-based MP3 jukebox software? Anyone have any recommendations? The one I’ve found that looks most promising is Gronk, by the legendary jwz, but there’s no heavy rotation option.

Nasty weather takes down a site (this one)

Last night, we got pounded with some severe storms here in St. Louis. My power flickered off a couple of times and actually stayed down twice that I know about. The longest outage was a couple of hours.
There was lots of other goofy stuff going on too–I heard sirens almost nonstop for about half of the long outage. After the rain let up, I went out to my car a couple of times to listen to the radio but I didn’t find out anything useful.

And, of course, any time there’s severe weather, my Internet connection goes goofy. Since my networking equipment and Web server are on UPSs, I think the site actually stayed up a good while after I lost power.

Anyway, there’s another round of storms rolling in tonight, and there’s supposed to be another one tomorrow too. Less severe, or so they say. We’ll see.

If the site is up and down a lot for the next few days, that’s why. Don’t worry. Once summer arrives in St. Louis, we should have some pretty smooth sailing. (I don’t know what to call the season we’re in right now.)

I wish I had something interesting to talk about, but I don’t. I slept through the night last night but I sure didn’t sleep very well. So my idea bank isn’t exactly running over right now. It might be just as well–I don’t know how many people will be able to read whatever I post.