Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Setup a Wireless IP Camera for monitoring your home from your work computer or smart phone?

Buy a camera

1.      Search for Wireless IP Camera on websites like
2.      I have been using an older version of Cisco-Linksys Wireless-N Internet Home Monitoring Camera. It is about $104.00
3.      Foscam FI8910W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera is about $90.00.  It has more features and received good user reviews.

Note down the settings of your wireless router

1.      Enter the local IP address of your router on the internet browser.  It is a number like It may be written on the back of your router.
2.      Default Login/Passwords are typically admin/admin or admin/password, administrator/(blank) etc
3.      Go to the Wireless page and note down the SSID, Security Mode (most likely WPA2 Personal) and Passphrase

Configure the camera for connecting to the home wireless network

1.      Connect the camera to the wireless router using an Ethernet cable
2.      Find the IP Address of the camera by looking at the Status-->LAN/Local Network-->DHCP Client Table.  You should see a minimum of two entries in the table – one for your computer and the other for the camera.
3.      Open another browser window and enter the IP Address of the camera.
4.      Go to the Network page and unselect DHCP and/or select Static IP.  Make sure the displayed IP Address is same as the one we have entered on the browser window; if not, the set IP address same.
5.      Go to the wireless page and set SSID, Security Mode and Passphrase fields to match that of the router
6.      Power-off the camera, disconnect the Ethernet cable, and power-on the camera
7.      Re-enter the IP Address of the camera on the browser window. You should now be able to connect to the camera wirelessly and view videos from the computers in your home network.

Configure the wireless router for accessing the camera from computers outside the home network

1.      Go to the Applications & Gaming page of the router and make entries for port forwarding as follows:  External Port = 80, Internal Port = 80 , Protocol = TCP, Target IP Address = IP Address of the camera
2.      May have to reboot the router to take the above settings effective
3.      You can now access the camera from outside the home by using the IP address of your router.
4.       You can find the IP address of your router by Googling  my ip address from a home computer
5.      Warning!  You just allowed access to your camera from outside the home network.  So please change the default admin/ administrator password on your camera

Using a domain name instead of remembering the IP Address

         Go to , register and obtain a free hostname (e.g.
         Go the DDNS page of you router and enter the Username, Password and Host Name of your account

More Useful Settings  

  • Add a timer to the power plug so the camera will be up only on specific times (for. e.g. Mon-Fri 2:00pm to 6:00pm). 

  • Enable motion detection and emailing snapshots.  You will have evidence even if somebody destroys or steals the camera.)


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Magellan GPS - Firmware Update Issue


I was getting the following error when I tried update Magellan firmware: "failed to read source file"


I had been using the wrong USB cable. The problem got resolved when I used the USB 2.0 cable came with the Magellan.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DELL and PowerDVD, Blue Ray problem


I bought a DELL Studio Mini computer in Dec, 2008. When I played Blue Ray discs using PowerDVD it showed only blank screen. Please note PowerDVD was successful in playing the title but did not play the movie, also the problem was not present for older discs.

Failed Attempts:

As advised by some websites I tried to update the MediaDirect s/w to the latest version, but it failed saying that the base version is not available in my computer.

Then I tried to update the graphics card driver (ATI Radeon HD 3450) using the version from the DELL site; the installation failed (could not load or assembly CLI.Implementation, version=...) leaving the graphics card driver s/w inoperable. I fixed the graphics card driver issue by uninstalling the driver (from the control panel) and downloading the latest driver version from the ATI Radeon site, but the Blue Ray disc problem was still not resolved.


Finally the problem got resolved when I uninstalled the PowerDVD s/w (from the control panel) and then reinstalling PowerDVD DX 8.1 from the installation CD came with the computer. Please make sure you have the installation disc available for PowerDVD before you uninstall it. When I tried to play the PowerDVD first time after the reinstallation, it downloaded updates from the DELL site.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Configuring more than one Router at Home

I can group my wireless devices into two sets based on the level of security they support -- newer devices supporting WPA/ WPA2 and WEP, and older devices supporting only WEP. Since most of the wireless routers available in the market do not support simultanoeous activation of WPA/ WPA2 along with WEP, I decided to configure two wireless routers - one with WPA and the other one with WEP.

Let us call the router configured with WPA as Router1 and the router configured with WEP as Router2. The idea is explained below.
  1. Connect Router1 to the cable/ DSL box
  2. Change the IP address of Router2 to
    • The default IP address of most of the routers is 192.68.1. We need to change the IP address of Router2 to a value other than to avoid the conflict. I found this configuration under the "LAN IP Setup" page of my Netgear router.
    • In order to perform this step you need to connect your computer to the Router2. After performing this step you will have to use to access Router2
  3. Disable DHCP on Router2
    • The devices on router2 will use the DHCP service from Router1. I found DHCP configuration under the "LAN IP Setup" page of my Netgear router.
  4. Connect LAN port of Router1 to LAN port of Router2
    • We need to connect to the LAN port of Router2 (yes, it is not WAN) because we are configuring Router2 as a switch.
Notes/ Observations:
  • Remember "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link". An intruder can use Router2 as a week link to enter your home network. So I keep Router2 on only when I use it, for example, I turn Router2 off as soon as son has finished playing with his DS-Lite which support only WEP.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Skype Sound Problem in Ubuntu

I recently installed Skype on Ubuntu Intrepid, but whenever I tried to make a call I got an error - "Problem with audio playback". Upon searching the Internet, I found many postings advocating to remove the "pulse audio" package, but I was not comfortable removing a package which is a part of the official release.

After some trial and error I found a solution that worked for me:
  1. Make sure the headphone (or any other sound device) is connected
  2. Click on the "Skype logo" on the bottom left corner
  3. Select "Options"
  4. Select "Sound Devices"
  5. Pick the right devices for "Sound In", "Sound Out" and "Ringing". Click on "Make a test sound" to verify your selection.

Try Ubuntu(Linux) or Windows 7 Beta without disturbing existing OS.

You wanted to try an operating system such as or Ubuntu or Windows 7 Beta, but did not like the idea of disturbing your existing operating system such as Windows XP or Mac.

Well, VMware make it easier to install a guest operating system as an application on your existing (host) operating system. The required steps are given below:
  1. Download and install VMware Player
  2. Download and install BitTorrent if already not installed on your computer
  3. Go to the VMware Virtual Appliance page. Search and download the desired operating system such as Ubuntu or Windows 7 Beta. Write down the username and password given in the download page - you will need this info for the first time login
  4. If the download file is zipped, unzip it and extract the files to a directory
  5. Double click on the ".vmx" file and wait for the guest operating system to be launched.
Some observations:
  • VMware simulates the computer hardware, therefore an operating system installed on VMware will be slower than the operating system installed directly on hardware. In my experience, this slowdown is unnoticeable if you use a relatively newer computer.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sound Problem with JIN on Ubuntu

When I tried the JIN chess client first time through Firefox on Ubuntu, the sound was not working.

The solution is to download the the client software and install it and use directly (without the web browser).