Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Making the House Wireless

I've got two really old printers that both have problems. Last year, I was  able to get at least one of them to work when I needed to print. I have several left-over ink cartridges left to use, so instead of buying a new 3-1 wireless printer/scanner/photocopier I at least want to wait until both of these units has died/used up their last ink cartridge. So how best to make use of them?

Fortunately, I have a very old desktop that's still usable. Since my Toshiba notebook died when I was on tour last fall and had to be serviced 4 other times as well, I had to buy a new cheap laptop as well. But now the manufacturing flaw for which the lawsuit was filed seems to have been fixed. So I have three machines available to deploy in this 3 story house! (each story is quite tiny). One runs English XP and Ubuntu Linux, a second runs Chinese XP, and the third runs English Vista.

I thought setting them up wirelessly would be a synch. However, I soon found out that Vista has flaws... It shows up in the XP networks, but cannot detect the XP machines. After downloading a patch from Microsoft and installing it on the two XP machines, it was able to detect one XP computer.

The final difficulty was in getting the Chinese XP desktop to show up on either my Vista laptop or old Toshiba XP/Ubuntu laptop. For the longest while I thought it might have something to do with the base language being different. But then I found a post that reminded me of the obvious: maybe its firewall was blocking detection. Sure enough, the Sysgate firewall I have running on that machine made it unnetworkable. Now that it has been enabled, I have three machines I can place in different parts of the house--- allowing my working class/farmer neighborsto surf the internet and for me to use my printers while I'm downstairs in the common areas. Now only to get the 10 year old Epson printer's black cartridge unclogged, and the rest of the house unpacked and orderly! 

1 comment:

Ed Look said...

Linux, Mark? Wasn't that Charlie Brown's friend??

Personally, I don't really like inkjets... lasers run cheaper in the long run.

I avoided Vista because I had heard about stuff like this. I have my boys' comps on a wireless network, but for some reason I can't get other computers (like visitors' laptops, etc.) to be able to get on the network even if they have the key. So, XP has it's networking hiccups, too.

How come computers work so well on Star Trek??