Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   Grand Army Plaza point of presence
Friday, January 18 2002
I finally got around to deploying some wireless networking technology I'd bought some months ago, just to learn what I needed to know and to marvel at an internet connection made entirely without wires. Along the way I learned that the software drivers for my particular wireless card have a nasty habit of corrupting an installation of Windows NT Server, and it was a very good thing I discovered this on a machine I built only for the purpose of testing this technology.
There were a few little settings that appeared to be crucial for getting both the wireless hub and the remote computer to connect. One of those was that the default IP address of the SMC wireless hub came preset within the wrong range to work with my Linksys router, so I had to reprogram it in an isolated (two ethernet address) environment. For a brief time during this network topology craziness, I unplugged the upstairs neighbor Ernie (who is thanklessly receiving his broadband internet access for free). Within minutes, I could hear him on the answering machine calling down to register a complaint. Mind you, it's not like he prefixed his complaint with a statement like, "You know, I'm really enjoying the broadband access you're giving me for free, but I'm noticing that..." His voice had more the quality of a call placed to Earthlink tech support after two hours spent in hold limbo. It was a call I didn't choose to dignify by either answering it or returning it.
When I finally had everything working nicely, with me having the ability to surf the web wirelessly and with the meters indicating an "excellent signal," I was pleased myself and full of ideas about the next step to take. True, this was hardly a rigorous test of the technology; the antennæ were about six feet apart and the best shield I could find (my hands) succeeded at dropping the signal only to 75%. But data was flowing unseen through the air. In nearly any other century this would have only been possible through magic.
What really motivated me to get all this wireless technology up and running was our neighbor Anna, who lives across the block and down the hill 450 feet on Union Street. She's much more deserving of free internet access than Ernie, but she's a little far away for stringing a DIY ethernet run. So I have the idea of getting her hooked up wirelessly. True, the center of the block is hopelessly cluttered with brick walls and vegetation, but if I need to, I'll be more than happy to put up some roof-mounted antennæ. Before I'm done, there might well be a free wireless internet access point of presence for the whole Grand Army Plaza area.
At midnight tonight it was suddenly Gretchen's 31st birthday, and she began opening the many packages her friends and family had mailed her. It was interesting to see the sort of presents that people send her based on certain key features they know about her interests. Often, it's clear that people are trying to combine two of Gretchen's disparate interests in one present. As a result, Gretchen has received more than her fair share of poetry books having to do with cats and dogs. This birthday, however, the presents were, by and large, apt. The exquisite "gel pens" sent by her parents were a particularly big hit.

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