Wednesday, February 27

Domant bloging'

Wow, its been 3 months and I've not posted a thing on my blog site, what must have been wrong with me? To a word, just plain busy. Just before Christmas I left my job at IBM to take up a new job in London, which is better money and hopefully better career prospects. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the job at IBM, which I did, but some things at IBM, I feel will never change, now if your at IBM you know what I mean.
So in January I started my new job at a company called Euroclear with there Unix team as a Support Engineer, going back to the support and administration work that I know and have done for years.
I did miss the first week of work due to a rather bad coughin' and vomiting bug that I caught, plus Jax got the winter sickness bug so I was at risk and there HR really preferred me not to come in and give it to other people. This in turn meant that I missed the pay day cut off so had to wait another month for my wages, and as some people know IBM in the UK pay in advance. It worked out that when I go paid this month I hadn't been paid for 3 months, 3 long hard months. As you can imagine things have been very tight, and on top of that our car decided to have a gear box failure costing just under a grand. Lucky my Mum has lent us the money till I get something sorted out else we would have been up the creek with out a paddle, thanks Mum.

Anyway onto the the other stuff, as I result of the new job I now stay up in London 3 weeks out of 4 else I would be doing 72 miles each way, and a 2hr journey. Its hard to do as it means Monday to Friday I'm not seeing Jax and PJ, and I miss them both very much, but it needs to be done. I'm hoping after a couple of years doing this we can sort something out, moving jobs, home or even both so that I can give them both the things they need and want. Enjoy those family holidays and travel to those places that we would all love to do.

We had a nice Christmas though Jax's Dad was very ill over it which made things very hard as he was in hospital, he has got better now and is at home and recovering well. So all the best Dad.

Jax has had her birthday yesterday as well, not mentioning age here, and she got lots of presents and cards. Thanks to Jax Mum I put up some balloons and banners as a little surprise when she popped out at lunch and even managed to get PJ's nursery to get him to make a card for Jax from him. It was a nice mellow day and I hope Jax enjoyed it.

I've also been fiddling with stuff as per my normal geekyness, and just put Sky Freesat in our kitchen. Managed to acquire a sky box of Jax's brother Pete as he's gone over to Virgin same as us. So we where going to stick it on ebay as he didn't want it, ebay not really being his thing, but in the process discovered Sky Freesat. Sky in there attempt to curb the people move from them to freeview offered a freesat service, where you can have the dish and boxed fitted but get all the 'free' channels through it. As this house already has a dish and we have the equipment you can just pay 20 quid to get a 'freesat' card and then just use it. So this was the plan, set it all up, plugged it all in and... Nothing... Lucky for us the guy next door is a Aerial and Satellite engineer so had a look for me. Turns out that the LMB had been struck by lightning at some point in its life and was fried, so popped out to the van and dug out a second hand one for me. Presto! It all came to life, and we did a swap with a spare 40GB Sky plus box for his time and the parts. So he was well happy and as was I, as we now have digital in the kitchen and Jax never need miss Corrie, Emerdale, or Dancing on Ice again.
You can find out more about this on the web just looking for Sky Freesat, FTA or FTV.

In addition to that I got hold of a BT homehub router which is a re-badged Speedtouch modem with a Linux core, now after a little fiddling I have managed to get set up as wireless bridge. Lucky for me my old (over 5 years) 11b cable modem supports WDS (Wireless Distribution System), the great little modem/router that it is, seems to support everything and as my broadband is only just becoming 10mb I see no point in upgrading.
So after a lot of faffing I managed to get them to link up, the trick was to put on the BT's firmware that I got off the 'HomeHub Hacks' website. Then set them to the same wireless channel, the SSID does not need to be the same, and the same wireless key so make access easier. You can set the SSID the same to make auto switching to the strongest signal enabled, but I didn't want this. You also need to set both routers so that they have different admin address so you can log on and administer them, so one on and one on .253. Ensure that the BT hubs mac address was added to the 11b routers wireless details as I explicitly set my access control via mac address. Add the 11b router to the BT hubs 'repeater' details, then turn of DHCP on the BT hub via the 'IP addresses' menu. As all this is now being controlled by the 11b router as the BT hub is simple a bridge to jump the signal.
Now hopefully this will mean that I can keep the router downstairs and connect stuff in that does not have a wireless card on to my network, or peoples laptops that I'm repairing which is not yet added into my mac address list. Also looking about the web I should be able to use the BT Hub to add in other devices via the USB interface on it, so I could have wireless printing or network storage. Sweet as they say, and my nerdy moment is complete.

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