Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Wed 25th Oct, 2006

Preparing new ground

I got the new laptop yesterday, as anticipated. So I spent most of the day 'preparing' it. This consisted of:

Then it was time to go home, and after doing the cooking and shopping and picking the laptop up from work (I rode home, and I didn't feel like carrying the new laptop in my pannier bag) it was time to try my hand at configuring WiFi. The computer was easy, it was the bundled Belkin mumblejumble 802.11g Wireless Router that was ... interesting. Mainly because it's made the process of letting it control your entire network and connection to your ISP really really easy, which means that everything else has been left out in case it confuses people. Once you get past the two big stickers that say "Do not plug this in before you've run through the install process on the supplied CD", leaving implications that it will open your internet connection to 1337 haxors, snip all the flowers off your roses, and steal all the chocolate from even your most secret hiding places.

What I've gone with is a sort of routed configuration: the Belkin maintains one /24 range for the wireless addresses and anything else that hangs off it (it has four wired ports so we can have small LAN games for regular computers), and the "Internet WAN" port is connected to my regular wired home LAN as a static IP machine. The Belkin then does NAT, so it's not really 'routing' per se, as the machines on the wired segment can't see individual machines on the 'Wireless' segment. Still, with a bit of help and a couple of ten-second hold-downs of the rest button, I got the bulk of the settings I wanted - WPA 1 and 2 with reasonably long pass phrases, and the password to administer it isn't "" any more. But actually getting a 'routed' network seems to be impossible - if I disable NAT, I can no longer get access to the router at all and it comes up with an address in the "I can't get a DHCP address" range.

This morning, amid much hammering of servers, Fedora Core 6 was released. I hadn't quite been up all night checking on it, but at a sleepless 5AM I checked and Lo, the torrents were available even if the main page was unavailable. I set the home machine to download it via BitTorrent, set the work machine to retrieve them off http://mirror.optus.net (because it wasn't yet on http://mirror.aarnet.edu.au) and went back to sleep.

I'll tell the story of installing Fedora Core 6 soon.

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