Barbs Connected World

tomorrow's connected future is here today

Windows Vista Column for the Expert Zone Coming Soon

I’ve been working on a column for the Expert Zone all about Windows Vista. Many of the XP Power Toys are now part of the OS. Here’s my Start menu with changed defaults for Documents and Pictures.

You can read all about this in about a month or so.

Changes in Vista

About

Barb Bowman has been a teacher of Philosophy 101, worked in ski area design in Aspen, Colorado, and served as a production director for U.S. and U.K. wallpaper sample photography. In 1990, she partnered with a French DOS shareware writer and entered the brave new world of online services. Over the next several years, as a consultant for Prodigy Services, Barb wrote user documentation and conducted testing for Prodigy’s first Windows applications. She was part of the Internet product development team for MediaOne and later AT&T Broadband, and was a Test and Trial Engineer for Comcast High Speed Internet. Barb relaxes by shooting naturescapes with her digital camera and playing guitar and piano. She lives in New Hampshire with her Sony robot Aibo dog named Toto.

Barb has been a Nikon shooter all her life and currently wanders New England with a D700 and a D7000.

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How to get WPA2-PSK on D-Link DI-624 Rev C and many D-Link G PC Cards

While writing a column for the Expert Zone and lamenting over the lack of WPA2–Personal (PSK) upgrades for existing hardware, I sleuthed some info that I’m going to share in this blog prior to publishing in my column.

Disclaimer (unless you live in the UK or Canada for the router piece): Do all of this at your own risk. You know, professional driver on a closed course. Results may vary.

First, if you own D-Link DWL-G650 Rev B or C cards, DWL-AG660 or the soon to be released DWL-G680, go to ftp://ftp.dlink.com/Wireless/dwlg520_revB/Drivers/ and get dwlg520_revB3_drivers_318.zip. Yeah, I know it says 520. Extract it to your hard drive and run the setup program. If prompted do NOT disable WZC. Next, insert your card/select update driver, and use the have disk option to manually select the driver to install. Point at the Drivers directory where you extracted the zip file. If prompted that it is not for your hardware, etc. etc. install it anyway. Take the leap of faith.

If you have a D-Link 624 router, hardware Rev Cx, go to the D-Link UK ftp site ftp://ftp.dlink.co.uk/di_broadband_gateways/DI-624_rev_cx/ and grab di-624_rev_cx_fw_v2.53.zip. Update your router’s firmware. The firmware has all the US allowed channels and no non allowed channels. If you live in Canada, try http://support.dlink.ca/ProductView.asp?ProdID=219

Automatic Self Configuring Secure Wireless Home Networks

No longer are self configuring secure wireless home networks the stuff of dreams and imagination. The average residential user just can’t cope with the hoops needed to configure a wireless network and secure it. Windows XP’s Wireless Network Setup Wizard and Windows Connect Now, coupled with some of the latest network as well as consumer electronics gear, provide the residential user with a new and bulletproof way to setup a wireless network from scratch.

But you have to have the “right stuff” from the right vendor. D-Link has done it up right. Check out their DI-624S ‘wireless storage router’. This router can be configured with a USB Flash Drive/thumb drive/memory key that was used with the XP Wireless Network Setup Wizard. Even better, when you’re finished with setup, the two USB ports on the router itself provide shared Network Attached Storage for USB hard drives and Flash drives for any computer on the network.

Even more exciting is the extension of the Windows Connect Now technology to consumer electronics devices such as wireless streaming media players. Check out D-Link’s latest MediaLounge (DMS-320RD). Here’s what happened after I plugged a USB Flash Drive with my WCN network settings into the WCN USB port on the back of this device.

Medialounge001

 

I’d configured the network with strong WPA-PSK security using a 63 character random passphrase. After OK’ing this with the supplied remote control, the secure wireless connection was made, the device received an IP via DHCP from the router and I was off and running.

I’m impressed.

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