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Monday, June 11th, 2012

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Two wonders
Our network is not wired-contiguous -- the cable enters on the second floor but the printer and cavy's docking station is downstairs. This evening I configured a pair of Netgear WNDR3700v3 wireless routers as repeaters. The base station is upstairs and serves as the router; the repeater is downstairs and creates a wired network in the first bedroom. I had some trouble doing all this work in the right order because, after both routers are configured on the same SSID, I could no longer reach one of them. Here's the order that work:

1. Set up base station as desired. Note that, for repeating to work on these routers, one must use WEP and a fixed 2.4GHz channel. Also, the only data rate is 54Mbps, and it'll run at half-duplex on account of repeating. So long as it's faster than my connection to the 'net (which it is, but not by much) I'm content.

2. Configure base station as base station of wireless repeating. This step amounts to adding the repeater's MAC address to the base station's configuration, and checking a box on the admin page.

3. Configure repeater on same channel (and with same WEP information) but use a temporary SSID. "Apply" and the router will reboot.

4. Connect to the repeated on a wired network. Configure it as a repeater, set the MAC address of the base station and choose an IP address on which the repeater will live. The verbage on the Netgear setup page was pretty unclear -- you're entering the MAC address of the base station but making up an IP address for the repeater. Choose some IP address that the base station is unlikely to give out as part of its DHCP. (One can probably block out that address but I didn't bother -- I'll never have so many devices on my network that it'll confict.) "Apply" and the router will reboot.

5. Change the repeater's SSID to match the base station's. "Apply" and the router will reboot.

6. If all is well, at this point if you try signing in at routerlogin.net (Netgear's URL for all local router logins) you'll reach the base station -- even though you're on the wired network on the repeater. That's what you want. You can confirm all is well by visiting the IP address you used earlier -- you should be at the repeater's admin page.

And that's the story of how we got a second wireless router. The End.
Moved in
This post is long overdue...

We've moved in! Construction is complete (but we have a few handyman tasks left) and we moved from Mouse House and Lamplighter in separate weekends in May. The house still is furnished with a mix of out of place possessions, boxes, and proper furniture, but day by day we're moving the first, unpacking the second, and unburying the third. We haven't had a housewarming party yet but we're hopeful we can host one either just before or just after Independence Day weekend.

Removing the wall to forge we we're calling the Great Room has been nothing but an excellent idea. We really like how the space turned out and we spend the far majority of our waking time here. I really like how the lighting worked out; the $300 spent with the lighting consultant was money well spent. The space is ample enough for a pretty large crowd but with lights on in only one part it doesn't feel cavernous when it's just Melinda and me.

The kitchen got its first proper service in cooking our final month's Bacon of the Month Club offering, then forming scrambled eggs (along with some leftover's from Celia's). Everything seems to work - oven, dishwasher, range. We're adjusting to a world where we can toss food scraps in the compost toter outside, rather than just in the trash; we're still making fine changes to where things are placed around the house and in the kitchen. The breakfast nook still serves as an extra large tool chest, while I pretend to be a handyman, and the den hasn't gotten much decoration or furnishing love. The bedroom on the first floor will be home to my electronics workbench, our board game collection, and other objects TBD. I installed some shelving for most of my electronics to keep it from sprawling.

Upstairs the master bedroom is set up and we've moved in to it now (we were using the guest bedroom upstairs for several days until the master bedroom was more unpacked). Bookcases and bureaus are where they should be and are filling up. We haven't sorted out the cycle of clothes yet -- where should worn-once jeans go? -- but there's lots of square footage in the room so it's not really a priority. The fireplace seating mantle is hosting most of our glass art collection, pending we decide where to exhibit what. The guest bedroom could accommodate a guest with about 5 minutes of straightening up, and the third bedroom upstairs has a nice couch, Irving our stuffed bear, and increasingly fewer packing boxes (our goal is to leave this bedroom as empty as possible until we need the extra space).

Outside, the garage has more random stuff than we'd like. Many things can move to the attic when I get around to doing so; they're boxes of mementos - we're not going to give them away but we don't need them at immediate access all the time. Doug's Garage will move in in July, likely, after we've thought through when we want to make what renovations to the garage. (We could move out of Doug's house pretty quickly, if need be, but we're not in a big hurry.) I dug up a climbing rose and a banana palm plant that we didn't want in the front yard; no plans yet for what will fill it in, although another quince tree would be nice. Digging up those trees convinced me that I don't want to till the backyard myself, not manually, at least. Maybe rent a machine, or maybe have a service do it. The back yard is only 50% grass, and 50% bare dirt. I'd like to plant something that's really low maintenance and that would enjoy the clay soil we have. The water table is pretty high in the not-summer months, so there's surely some grasses that would be happy. We plan to lay in 2" creek stone along the hidden side of the house, filling in around stepping stone islands of concrete lattice that was left at the house in the yard. This project will happen in July, too, I expect; it just takes some time, that's all. The rest of the garden in the back we're inclined to let run mostly wild; we're thinking a bed of wild mint would be nice, and we may experiment with what else enjoys the seasonal damp and consistent shade. The bottle brush tree and the lemon tree seem pretty happy.

So, that about rounds up the current house situation.

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