Monday, 5 June 2017

More Nerdie Stuff

It’s Foundation Day (Bank Holiday weekend) here in Western Australia and our already quiet neighbourhood is so quiet you can hear the birds breaking wind. 

My sister has kindly loaned us her old TV.  After looking at it for a week we’ve now realised it’s the same model and size as the TV we left behind when we moved to the UK in 2011.  At that time it was the best TV you could buy.  A Pioneer 50” plasma screen.  There wasn’t an internal tuner which meant a separate set top box was required.

IMG_1677 Yes that’s a reflection of me on the screen.  The small set top box is in the cavity underneath the stand.  In their day plasma screens produced a much better quality picture than LCD/LED.  But they are very heavy and consume considerably more electricity.  You can feel the heat emanating from the screen when you stand close to it.  We are going to need a new TV as a replacement for our original plasma Pioneer so I’ve been doing some research.

Yesterday we received an email from Telstra which was the first monthly rental bill for our phone line.  You know……. the line they haven’t connected and failed to respond to our initial application!  Until the line is activated they can stick their bill where the sun doesn’t shine.  But their email did include our new phone number.  So armed with that I was able to write to our internet provider and ask them to activate our ADSL connection.

My sister also kindly left us a Netgear ADSL modem/wireless router.  It’s not particularly modern, but all we really need is the ADSL modem part of the device.

IMG_1679

Our youngest son kindly gave me a powerful Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router as a 2016 Christmas present.  It doesn’t have the ADSL modem functionality my plan is to connect the two devices to create a combined powerful modem wireless router.   This is part of one item on my bucket list.

IMG_1678 The Netgear Nighthawk router with the Raspberry Pi on top.  You might recall I wrote about the Raspberry Pi during the winter of 2015 when we were cruising on the Llangollen Canal.

Whilst the Nighthawk is a powerful router I can make it even more powerful by replacing the standard Netgear firmware with open source software which will give me access to more functionality.  There are two options;  DD-WRT or Tomato.  I’ve decided the Tomato firmware aligns more with my requirements.  Replacing the firmware on any device carries the risk that you might “brick” it.  “Bricking” a device means you stuffed up the change in firmware making the device useless.  All it’s good for is being a brick!  I was so worried about bricking the Nighthawk I read the instructions three times before starting and then carefully referred to them during the process.

The standard Netgear firmware looks like this

Netgear

And Tomato on the Nighthawk looks like this

Tomato

So a completely different operating system.  Why did I want to change the firmware?  Well I want to install VPN (Virtual Private Network) software on the router.  The VPN will protect our privacy.  This is a whole new subject which I may write about in a subsequent post.

Marilyn I’d be like Canute if I attempted to convince the locals to change their approach to lawns.  You would think that people who lived in a very dry environment would cultivate hardy weeds.  We’re actually considering artificial turf!

Jennie,  I don’t know where Jan found the narrowboat…. but she knows how to sniff out a bargain!

Jaq we hope your boat mechanical issue have ended and your cruising only gets better.  Of course we are having withdrawal syndromes.

1 comment :

Marilyn McDonald said...

Just quietly allow a few dandelions and buttercups and daisies to flourish. Get Jan to sunbathe over them when the BIL arrives. Works every time!
For the rest of the post, I had to have a lie down - too much information, mate!
We have just come back from the Cape of Good Hope pub - 2 glasses of Sth Australian chardonnay (the owners are NZers - what are they doing, for heaven's sake!!) and I am now ready for a snooze before we head off for a balti in town ...
By the way, I have been instructed by jenny and Robin that, if you come to NZ, and come to see us, they MUST be invited! So get yourselves ready for a bake off!
Mxox