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.

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When I got my first BlackBerry, countless years ago, one of the features the annoying sales rep was trying to push was that Hotspot@Home garbage. You know, where T-Mobile (I guess I’m outing myself) gives you a wireless router and you use it to make “unlimited” Wi-Fi calls in your home, and on your handset for an additional $10/month fee. Little did he know I did my reading and knew that I didn’t need that BS. The Curve 8900 came with the UMA feature that let’s you connect to T-Mobile’s services from ANY Wi-Fi connection that supported it. Yea sure it would use my monthly minute allotment, but I was planning to join the cheapskate “MyFavs + Google Voice = Unlimited Calling plan. Suckers. Read the rest of this entry »

Oh RIM, ever since I jumped on the smartphone bandwagon four years ago I reveled in this wonderful new ability to get things done on-the-go. I still remember the feeling as I took my Curve 8900 home for the first time. Coming from a RAZR, it felt like I had magic at my fingertips. I mean, it had a qwerty keyboard for crying out loud. Ever the frugalist, I entrusted RIM with the task of being my sole internet provider as wi-fi wasn’t abundant (or rather I was too cheap for a faster ISP). In a pinch I could tether my Curve to Silvia for a quick email, or a light web browsing session. Sure it was slow, but I was “mobile”. Yup, Silvia and “Odie” (yes I name everything) made a great team. Then something happened.

As a tinkerer, and someone who generally likes to unlock new potential in older things, I became wrapped up in the world of beta software. Every now and then they’d add something new to appease my boredom, but nothing really wowed me. By this time I’m sure the iPhone debuted, and I found my phone spinning its wheels trying run all these newfangled apps RIM was trying to catch up with (hourglass reference). I even found myself under attack because of what phone I was wielding. Which was odd to me, I never thought of a tool as an outward expression of self. After installing beta OS after beta OS, it became clear that BlackBerry wasn’t gonna rule. At first I tried to deny it, focusing on the utilitarian and even minimalist qualities in the experience. Less is more. Less distraction, more productivity. Once I got a taste of broadband, I needed more speed. And I had hoped I could get it from RIM.

“Hope is the denial of reality” —Margaret Weis

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