Golden Arches Theory

 

If you subscribe to Thomas Friedman’s Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention as outlined in his book, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree”, then you’ve gotta be concerned about the Kremlin kicking McDonald’s out of Russia.

"Why do I need to learn how to type?"

 

In today’s hi-tech world - you HAVE to learn how to type. Communication is paramount. By typing well, you can put your thoughts, feeling, ideas (anything of importance, really) and lay it down in a permanent fashion for unlimited future consumption. Whether you’re voicing an opinion, stating facts, teaching, or just sharing your feelings with the world - being able to convey your thoughts directly from your head, down to your fingers, and into eternity is the ultimate advantage against someone who can’t.

How to Setup Multiple Wireless Routers in Same Network

This is one of the most common questions asked by my non-technical friends. The reason why it's so hard to find the answer they are looking for on this topic is because they are USUALLY asking the wrong question. For the sake of this example, let's describe a common predicament that my buddy, Michelangelo is facing:

Lately, Michelangelo's internet connection has been intermittent. He would sometimes lose his wireless signal or complete internet connectivity for a few seconds. This is a VERY common issue for consumer grade wireless routers. After speaking with his internet service provider's tech support and with the advice of his friends, Michelangelo purchases a brand new shiny wireless router. He hooks up the new router and viola! Consistent internet and wireless connectivity!. But, what does he do with the old router? Toss it? He thinks he can maybe use it as a spare and use it concurrently with the new router. So, he searches online, "setup multiple wireless routers same network" and can't find the answer so ends up just tossing the old router in the trash.

The reason he can't find the answer is because it is the wrong question. 99% of homes need and can only use 1 router. He doesn't need or want MULTIPLE ROUTERS. What he REALLY wants to do is be able to use the wireless capabilities and maybe even the network ports on the back of the old wireless router. He wants to use the old wireless router to expand his network capabilities. What he REALLY wants to do is expand his wireless network coverage; maybe put the old wireless router (old device) in a dead zone of the house that gets a weak wireless signal. The proper question Michelangelo should have asked is, "how to configure a wireless router to a wireless access point". Unfortunately, a non-technical person would never know the difference between the two questions. I hope this write up will help clarify the difference.

I'll try to stay away from jargon in this explanation. Within the scope of a home network, the duty of the router is used to share 1 internet connection with many users. Your internet service provider installed a modem in your house in which your router will plug into. Using this definition, a 2nd router will be of no use to you as you only have 1 internet connection and it's already plugged into the the 1 router. Back in the old days, a router would be a dedicated computer to do all the complex tasks of splitting the internet connection between all the users. Back in the old days, you would need a separate device, called a wireless access point which would basically be a radio device that would allow wireless devices to connect into the network. Technology has allowed manufacturers to combine both devices into one and shrunk them down to the small sizes you see today. There is A LOT of technology and complex calculations packed into that innocent looking little $80 wireless router.

So... what Michelangelo really wants to do then, is to disable the router feature of his old device and make use of just the wireless access point feature. That would allow him to run two concurrent wireless access points (the old router and the new router)! Strangely enough, the symptoms of the intermittent dropped connections of the old router oftentimes disappear when the device is commissioned to be used only as an access point because the workload is lighter.

Here's what you need to do to get this setup working:

  1. Isolate old device from the network completely.
    • Ideally, you would want a computer hooked up to the new, properly working network and another computer hooked up only to the old device. You would use each of these computers to access the web interface and configuration for each of the devices, old and new
  2. Restore you old device to the factory default settings.
    • there is usually a reset button on the back - hold this for 60 secs or until the lights on the front flash
  3. Setup the wireless network of the old device.
    • the SSID or wireless network name must be unique from the new device.
    • for example, searching for wifi in Michelangelo's house would show MIKENET-1 AND MIKENET-2 and the user can select from whichever has a stronger signal
    • you should test this and try to connect on your newly configured 2nd wireless network (use your phone's wifi) to make sure this part is properly working before proceeding to the next step
  4. Set a static ip address on the old device.
    • must be on the same subnet as the new, working network
    • for example, if the computer on the new, working network has an ip address of 192.168.1.2 then you must set the static ip address of the old device to something like 192.168.1.x where "x" can be any available unused number between 2-255
    • VERY IMPORTANT: write down the new static ip address that you've selected
    • after you save the setting, you will loose connection to the web interface and you will no longer be able to access it using the old ip address. You'll need to access it using the static ip address that you had assigned it on the previous step. WARNING: you may also need to set the ip address of the computer connected to the old device to be on the same network as the new static ip address that you have just assigned.
    • move on to the next step ONLY if you have successfully regained access to the web interface of the old device
  5. Disable DHCP on the old device
    • every control panel is different but typically, this setting can be found in the LAN or general SETTINGS sections
  6. Connect the old device to the new, working network.
    • VERY IMPORTANT: make note of the port on the back of the old device in which used to connect to the cable modem. DO NOT connect into this port. This port is commonly marked as, "INTERNET" or "WAN" or "TO MODEM". Again DO NOT connect into this port. Instead, you should connect to one of the "switch" ports that you normally plug a computer into. Connect the other end of the ethernet cable to the same kind of "switch" port on the new device.

That's it! You should now be able to connect to your second wireless network and it you'll have internet access. Good luck!

Is your FTP Firewall Data Channel Port Range Grayed Out and Read Only? Here is how to change it.

On a fresh install of IIS 7 on your windows server 2008, your FTP Firewall Support's Data Channel Port Range is usually set to 0-0 by Microsoft as shown in the screenshot below: 0-0 means that your FTP Passive Port Ranges will be the default range that is set for your TCP/IP on the server which can be found by typing the following in your command line:

Configure a static ip address in CentOS 5.5

This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to configure a static ip address on CentOS 5.5
You will need to login as the root user and type the following command, "system-config-network":

 

 

You will enter the SELECT ACTION screen in the network setup screen:

 

 

Select "Edit Devices". You will be presented with the option to configure the various network interface cards that are currently present on you system:

 

 

Hit enter to begin configuring your ip address. On the next screen (shown below) you will enter the appropriate values for the static ip address for your system. Be sure to uncheck the option for "Use DHCP". DHCP is the acronym for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol; just a fancy way for requesting an ip address from your gateway (router) instead of explicitly specifying an ip address. For the purposes of my example, I've configured an internal ip address:

 

 

When finished, select OK and then SAVE. Now, back to the SELECT ACTION screen, we'll select "Edit DNS configuration":

 

 

On the following screen, we configure the DNS settings. We can specify the hostname of your machine, in my example I've left it as "localhost" and then you specify the ip addresses of each DNS. A DNS is short for Domain Name Server. A domain name server simple converts a alphanumeric name into an ip address. For example, when you type in google.com in your web browser, your system will query a DNS server for the ip address of the web server that is hosting the google.com website. This would be equivalent to you actually typing in the ip address of google.com directly into your browser. The benefits of using DNS is that users won't have to memorize an ip address, and system administrators can change ip addresses (web hosts) without users needing to make any changes or updates.

In my example, I've configured my system to use my gateway (router) as my primary DNS. I've configured the secondary and tertiary DNS as google's public DNS servers, and left the search field blank:

 

 

Finally, select OK and SAVE&QUIT to exit the network configuration menu. Lastly, you will need to restart your network to apply the changes. Type in the following command, "service network restart". You should see the messages that the network has successfully stopped and restarted as shown on the screenshot below. You can test to make sure your ip address is correct by typing in the following command, "ifconfig". If you cannot get eth0 to come up (the device that we've configured to use the static ip address, you'll need to open up /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 and make sure ONBOOT=yes. Congratulations! You're done!

Allow Downloads in Internet Explorer 6/7/8 on Windows Server 2003 and 2008

Hello,

My first post here will be about a basic necessity that you will probably need on any fresh installation of Windows Server 2003 or 2008 which is the ability to download software and anything else you may need to your server.  Windows Server, as a security measure, has disabled downloads from your Internet Explorer browser on a fresh installation.  In order for you to be able to download anything from the web you will be required to enable downloads on Internet Explorer,  below are the steps needed to enable downloading:


Step 1: Open Internet Explorer and go to Tools > Internet Options

 

Step 2 - Navigate to the Security Tab, Make sure the "Internet" Icon is selected and click on the Custom level... button

 

Step 3 - On the prompt that comes up, scroll down until you see "Downloads" and select "Enable" for "Automatic prompting for file downloads" and for "File Download".

 

Press OK and you can start downloading anything you need for your server.   Feel free to post any questions or comments you may have!

How To Install CentOS 5 (from scratch)

Hey all! Since this is my first offical post to Stumpee, let's kick things off by going through the bare basics of installing a very popular server operating system, Linux. I've gained some experience with CentOS not by choice but since it's been used heavily at every stop at my career. From simple FTP servers, web servers, database servers, to full blown carrier grade VOIP switches... CentOS works wonderfully. Let's begin.

First, you'll want to download the latest verions. Your first stop is here: http://mirror.centos.org/centos/5/isos/

If you want to run the 32-bit version, click on the "i386" folder. If you want the 64-bit version, click on the "x86_64" folder. Next, choose a mirror of your choice (I can't really tell the difference between any of these until I just go ahead and try them out). Next, you're pummeled with a bunch of links that may seem overwhelming. Through trial and error, I've realized the most stable and consistent isos to download are the xxxxxx-bin-1of7.iso to xxxxxx-bin-1of7.iso (64-bit goes up to 8). For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll go through the 32-bit version. I figure if you're reading this, you're likely new to the world of Linux so... you're probably gonna want to experiment on an old computer lying around, most of which are 32-bit compatible. I've highlighted the links to download in the image below with a red arrow:

 

 

After you've downloaded the 7 (or 8) isos, you'll need to now burn them to actual CD-ROMs. If you're never dealt with an ISO before, it's basically an exact copy of a CD/DVD but saved into file. This file can be emailed, saved onto a USB drive, or whatever you want to do with it. The awesome thing about ISO's is that can always burn these onto a disc for later use. If you're running Windows 7 you should be able to just pop in a blank disc in the drive and choose to burn an iso from the popup menu. Otherwise, you can always download an iso burning software. Try this one: http://infrarecorder.com/

Once you have all the ISOs burned onto a disc, we can now install Linux. The first thing you'll need to do is set the priority on your motherboard to boot from your CD/DVD drive before booting from the hard drive. If your computer prioritizes booting to the hard drive first, it won't read your installation discs. This change can be set by entering the BIOS. Each BIOS is different among all the different motherboard manufacturers, please reference your computer's specifications on how to enter the BIOS settings. Most of the time, upon first powering on your computer you'll see somewhere in small letters that will say "Press DEL to Enter Setup". Usually you'll either be prompted to press DEL or one of the F keys (F1 - F12). Once you've successfully logged into the BIOS menus, take some time to navigate your way around the menus to see all different options that you have at your disposal. Navigate your way around until you get to a screen similar to the one below:

 

 

 

At the above screen, you'd hit ENTER to begin configuring the boot sequence of your motherboard. The screenshot below shows how the boot sequence is configured in my test system. Make sure that the boot priority of your CD/DVD drive is above all other devices. This will ensure that your system will read from the Linux installation discs that we burned earlier.

 

 

Once the settings have been saved, Save and Exit. Wait, before doing so - be sure to insert installation disc 1 into your CD/DVD drive. On my test system, I had to press F10 to save and exit the BIOS. At this point your system will reboot, and if your settings are correct, your system will boot from the installation disc.

Upon successful boot into the installation disk #1, you will see the screen below:

 

 

Although there are several options from which to choose to install CentOS, I prefer to use text mode. Although graphical mode is much easier on the eyes, I've encountered numerous issues with video card and graphics compatibilities with older machines. I've found that using the text-based installer yields the most stable and consistent installations. Enter "linux text" similarly shown in the image above and hit ENTER to begin installation.

The installer will begin loading the necessary files to install the operating system. After the required preliminary files have been loaded, you will have the option to check each of the 7 (or 8) installation discs. If you're never checked your installation discs before - it's a good idea to run this disc check to facilitate a successful installation. However, for the purposes of this tutorial, I will skip the disc check and select OK to skip the media test.

 

 

The installation disc will now run anaconda, a system installer. Then, you'll be prompted with a "Welcome to CentOS!" screen:

 

 

After you select OK on this screen you will be prompted to choose a language installation. Select "English" an hit ENTER. Then, the next screen you'll be prompted with a keyboard model (defaulted to "us"), click ENTER again. I've shown the two screenshots below:

 

 

 

On the next screen, you will be prompted with a warning to inform you that you are about to delete all the data on the hard drive. You'll need to select Yes at this point to continue with the installation.

 

 

On the next screen, you will be presented with some options on how to setup the partitions for your operating system installation. The default setting is to remove linux partitions on selected drives and create a default layout. You will need to use the TAB button to change between the setting options. Let's leave it default for now and TAB to OK.

 

 

On the next screen you'll be prompted to confirm the removal of all existing linux partitions. Select Yes and continue.

 

 

You can select No to review and modify the partitioning layout:

 

 

The next screen will prompt you to configure your network. At this point, let's choose No. We can configure the network after the operating system has successfully installed:

 

 

Now, you'll be prompted to enter your gateway and DNS settings. Usually, the most common setting to put here is the interal ip address of your router. In my case, my router's ip address is 192.168.1.1 and the same ip address will be used for my DNS setting:

 

 

On the next screen, I select to manually choose the hostname and called it "localhost":

 

 

Now, select the timezone settings:

 

 

Now, you'll be prompted with a root password. Be sure to write this down and don't forget it!

 

 

On the next screen, check everything except the following boxes:

  • Server
  • Server - GUI
  • Customize software selection

 

 

On the following screen, uncheck everything except the following:

  • Administration Tools
  • Base
  • DNS Name Server
  • Development Libraries
  • Development Tools
  • Editors
  • FTP Server
  • Java
  • Java Development
  • Legacy Network Server
  • Legacy Software Development
  • Legacy Software Support
  • Mail Server
  • MySQL Database
  • Network Servers
  • Server Configuration Tools
  • System Tools
  • Text-based Internet
  • Web Server
  • Windows File Server

 

The next screen will let you know the path to find the installation log information:

 

 

The next screen the final screen before installation will finally commence. Select Continue to begin:

 

 

The disc will now format the file system. During the installation process, you will be prompted to change the the installation discs. It's a good idea to keep them all handy at this point. After inserting the final disc, you will be prompted to reboot:

 

 

After rebooting, you will arrive at the setup screen. You can use this screen to make system changes including firewall and security settings as well as choosing which programs should launch at startup. Let's skip this for now. You can always pull up this menu after logging in and typing the command, "setup". Here's a snapshot of the menu:

 

 

Finally, almost done! The image below is a snap shot of what you should see when you've succesfully installed the operating system: 

 

 

Login with user name: "root" and enter the password that you selected in an earlier step. If you're never logged into a Linux/Unix based system before, when you type into the password, you will not see the cursor move or stars to represent characters. It may seem like the screen is not accepting your input - don't worry, just continue to enter the password correctly and off you go! You're now ready to start enjoying the world of CentOS! 

Images and how they work

 

Sample iTouch Icons Created By Elias A

Welcome to Stumpee

 

If lblName.Text = "Joey" Then
     lblSiteName.Text = "Stumpee.com"
End If

 

This was a sample code for VB.NET