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.