This is where I talk about current projects that I'm doing or stuff that you can do yourself. Most of the stuff talked about here are all techie.

Setting up a Fry's Router for my Nintendo DS

posted Mar 27, 2010, 9:21 PM by TechNick TechNick   [ updated Mar 30, 2010, 6:22 AM ]

A week ago I got my self a copy of the new Pokemon game that recently was released at Costco, I got Heart Gold version. I've been playing the game the game a lot this past week. The fun thing about Pokemon is the trading of Pokemon and items. With the Nintendo DS it's no problem to trade Pokemon over wifi and it's easier to do trading thanks to the WTS. I had only one problem I have the original DS which can only connect to WEP or non secure networks. My home network uses WPA2 which will not work with my DS meaning I can't connect to the internet for online play for my DS games. I've had this problem for a while and I've pretty much never bothered using some of online play stuff in my games but thinking about it now I really wanted to be able to trade Pokemon since that was a major part of the game. I didn't want to change my home network into WEP since it can easy be cracked under a few minutes. I looked into different solutions on how to get my DS online I even tried creating a ad-hoc network with my laptop but that didn't work as well. I finally just decided to buy a cheap router from Fry's Electronics. I bought the cheapest router Fry's carried and that turned out to be their name brand router that only cost $20. Once I got home I took my new router out of it's box to see what it came with.

What the box the router came in looks like.
Whats inside the box.

Everything that the box came with laid out.

The router came with a Cat5 cable and some screws in case I wanted to wall mount it.

Also inside was what appeared to be the top of a Lego.

The Lego thing turned out to be the rubber feet for the router which I had to apply myself.

After I applied all the rubber feet to the router, I plugged it in connected it via my main router. I then tried to get into it via web browser but that didn't' work. It seems that the new router was on a different subnet than my router not only that but also almost all routers have DHCP turned on by default and since my main router also had DHCP also on at the same time it was sure to cause problems.  So then I took out my laptop and and plugged the Ethernet cable from the new router into my laptop. After entering the default IP address for the router I was greeted with it's log in screen.

After entering the default log in crentials, I think looked around for the basic settings of the router.

I found the network settings in the router and changed the IP address from to that way it could be in the same subnet as my router. I also turned off the DHCP since my main router already acted as the DHCP server in my network and having two of them would cause conflicts. After I had made these changes I saved the settings in the router and after they where saved I disconnected ther router from my laptop and I plugged it back in to my main router since now i should have been able to play around with the settings. After turning off my laptop and putting it away I tried to log in from my  desktop and sure enough I got the log in screen. Now that the routers network settings where set it was  time to change the wireless settings.

I found the wireless settings and tried to configure it it was actually had to manual setup the WEP since it astriks the key that you where typing. Eventually I used the built in wizard in the router to wet up my wireless settings for me, it was easier to do and it generated a very random key for me. I set the router for WEP since that is the only security protocol it supports. I used a 128-bit encryption since that was the storngest available in the router. I then turned on my DS and after entering the WEP key tried to see if I could connect, I was getting an error that I couldn't. After playing around with the settings I then discovered that what was preventing me from connecting to the router was that the Wi-Fi Protected Setup was enabled, that was what it seems was not allowing me to connect. After turning it off my Nintendo DS was finally able to connect to the wireless and I could now play my games online.

I'm Going Virtual

posted Mar 1, 2010, 1:34 PM by TechNick TechNick   [ updated Mar 1, 2010, 2:19 PM ]

A few days ago I got my new (actually it was refurbishment) hard drive from Western Digital to replace my old dying HDD that was still under warranty. I roughly spent the better part of 2 days trying to figure out what to do with this HDD. I already had 2 hard drives in my current rig the 500 GB drive that replaced the dying one before I found out about the warranty and my old 200 GB HDD from my XP machine. I thought about using the HDD I just got from WD to maybe use it for setting up a RAID 1 with the other 500 GB disk, but as a friend pointed out to me that seemed sort of redundant, since hard drive failures where very rare and usually I'd have back ups of data somewhere else. I thought about it longer and finally decided to use the newly required HDD as a drive to store my virtual machines in. When it comes to VMs I really don't like that fact that they are on my main drive taking up my space so using a spare drive 500 GB just dedicated to them made sense to me. First I had to install my new drive in my computer I put it in my case, screwed it down, then I connected all the cables, I then did a slow format to NTFS, then gave the drive a befitting name.

Three hard drives, the madness!!!

I then went to the Oracle Sun site to download a copy of Virtual box. Virtual box is one of my favorites out of all virtual software. Did a quick install and now I had to get some OSes to play around with. Luckily I'm still a student so I was able to grab some stuff from Dream Spark. I downloaded copies of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2. The first OS I decided to install was Server 2003 since many place still seem to not have upgraded yet.

A computer with in a computer doesn't get better then that

Rebuilding my HTPC, The Rebirth of Red Dragon, I mean Red Phoenix

posted Jan 10, 2010, 8:26 PM by TechNick TechNick   [ updated Apr 8, 2010, 4:00 AM ]

My HTPC has been for setting in my room for almost 2 years just collecting dust. I finally decided it was time to rebuild my HTPC Red Dragon. I went on NewEgg to look for deals in the combo section. Eventually i found a CPU and motherboard combo consisting of  a AMD Phenom X3 8750 Black Edition Toliman 2.4GHz CPU and a ASUS M4A785-M Motherboard, buying them together saved me around $40 to $50. I bought the combo deal and just had to wait for my order to come in. In a couple of days my order arrived from UPS and on that same night I got to start building. I installed the motherboard and CPU in my media center case. I used a piece of spare RAM I had just 1 GB worth just so I could do the OS installation, I was planning to add more ram in the future. For the hard drive and optical drive I used the old ones that had been sitting in the old HTPC for a while, the hdd was 500 GB so that was more then enough and the optical was a DVD drive so it would work as well. So once my build was all complete and down I powered up the system. The system then turned on for a brief second then it powered back down again, I could smell something burning. I then opened up the case and took a look, sure enough something did burn. On the motherboard a trace had blew, I don't know what happened but a trace did blew.

I then pressed the power button to see if the system would maybe still boot up and work, and surprisingly it did. It turned on and went to the BIOS and everything. I then proceeded to turn it on and off a few times to make sure it wasn't some sort of fluke and it was still working fine, everything stable after a few ons and offs. I decided that since the system was still working I would go ahead and at least install the OS.

I got a copy of Windows 7 Professional a few days before getting my parts, directly from Microsoft its self from their student program since I was still a student for a few more months. It only cost me around $75 for the full OEM copy of the OS, not a bad deal at all. Now the OS deal from Microsoft isn't an actually disc but a disc image, I ordered the disc as well for an extra $13 just because I usually lose the burned disc and burned disc tend to not last very long either. I downloaded the OS which I believe took a good part of a day, hence the reason why I bought the OS before the parts arrived, after the download was complete I burned the image on a DVD.

Since made my OS disc ahead of time from my parts arrival I didn't have to wait on anything. I inserted the disc in the drive and then proceeded to install windows 7. During the installation I realized that this computer build was really nice hardware just for a HTPC that I would be using to watch TV. After giving thoughts and considerations I decided not to make this a HTPC but my main system, Blue Phoenix. After more time of thinking I considered to change the names since both Red Dragon and Blue Phoenix where out of commission at the moment I created new names Blue Dragon and Red Phoenix. Aren't I genius at names?

Besides installing the OS I also decided to install important software such as firefox and my virus software as well. After installing those I dissembled my build and packed up the motherboard and cpu back in their boxes. The next day I shipped the motherboard back to newegg for a RMA. After about a weeks time I got my new replacement motherboard from new egg. During that time to wait I got my old main computer case back from a friend who was painting it for me.

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