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If you’re familiar with RIM’s products, by now you might have heard something about linking your BB to the not-so-stellar 7″ device that is the PlayBook. I’m talking about the BlackBerry Bridge App, I mentioned its features before, but I’m trying to put that all behind me. All the disappointment’s been too much to bear. I wanted to think it was great and useful, but then I realized how cumbersome it is to have a device so inadequate you need a BlackBerry to *add functionality.

Anyway, one of my yearnings for Trinity is a shiny new wireless keyboard, with back-lit keys, and a solar-powered recharging feature. They’re coming to market (not back-lit), but I don’t see them coming down to my price range soon. It occurred to me when fiddling around with Bridge that there’s actually a fully-fledged keyboard and mouse buried in the sub-menus and key combinations. The Windows Start Menu key, Ctrl, Alt, F1 to F12, it’s all in there. It uses a bluetooth connection to link to the PlayBook… and Trinity has bluetooth… See where I’m going with this? What if… I could use Bridge to control Trinity? I mean bluetooth keyboards and mice have existed for some time now. Surely it couldn’t be that simple? Read the rest of this entry »

Success! After a month of trial and error (and more error), I’ve finally found a way to reliably turn on Trinity over the internet. Wake-on-LAN—you know, that feature where your computer’s onboard ethernet adapter listens to the internet for a magic packet of data telling it to wake up your computer. Why do I want to do this? I want to access Trinity on the go and on command via LogMeIn, without running her 24/7. That wouldn’t be very green now would it? I was really close after reading a guide on lifehacker, but somehow I couldn’t crack it. I could only achieve my goal from within my own wireless network at home, not very useful when I cross the pond. It seems after a period of about thirty minutes, dormant devices disappear from the router’s ARP cache, making it invisible to magic packet bursts sent from the outside of your home network (or so I’ve read). The solution? I needed better tools.

The stock Linksys firmware of my WRT54GS2 is ok, but it lacks several advanced features, mainly WOL. TomatoUSB is free*, open source firmware, written by third parties giving you greater control of your router’s settings and capabilities. I’ve heard good things about DD-WRT, it seems to reign in popularity, but TomatoUSB is a bit simpler to install so—yea, I went with TomatoUSB. The great thing about it is there’s a WOL feature built right into the interface. Simply log into the router, click the “WOL” heading, find your machine, and click on it to wake it up. Easy peasy. It seems the trick to doing this from outside your network is setting up remote access to your router. Doing so requires knowing your external IP address, the one given to you by your ISP [You can check it at whatsmyip.org]. The other problem with that is, sometimes they change it without telling you, and if you’re not at home to spot the address change you’ll be essentially locked out. No matter, that problem has been solved.

Want to know how to do this for yourself? Read the rest of this entry »

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