Category Archives: Tips

How to information and advice

How to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal

Wi-fi tip - perpendicular placement for antennas

If you have a router with adjustable antennas, I have a tip that can help you improve your wi-fi signal. Actually, this tip is from Alf Watt. He created the popular iStumbler Wi-Fi utility and is a former Apple Wi-Fi engineer. According to Alf (reminds me of the old ALF TV show), it’s best to point one antenna straight up and have the other antenna parallel to the ground.

According to Alf, the perpendicular placement is best because radio reception is maximized when both client and access point have matched polarization (antennas pointing along the same plane). Some client devices have antennas in vertical orientation, some horizontal. For instance, the current line of MacBook have their antennas in the black plastic part of the hinge in a horizontal orientation. By pointing antennas vertically and horizontally, you’ll maximize radio reception no matter which way your device’s antenna is oriented.

I actually have three antennas on one of my routers. I wonder how I should point the third antenna. I’m guessing it should be pointed at a 45 degrees angle. Anyone know the answer?

Source: 4 Wi-Fi Tips from Former Apple Wi-Fi Engineer

How to Measure and Calculate Distance Between Multiple Points in Google Maps

Google Maps to measure distance

Google recently added a new feature to their map service. Now you can use Google Maps to measure distance between multiple points. Right now you can already get distance information when you request driving directions. But with the new feature, you can include detours in your trip or use Google Maps to calculate distance along a walking path like I did in the photo below when I was figuring out the walking distance from OMSI to Saturday Market.

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Microsoft Office 365 vs Google Apps

A couple of months ago Microsoft rolled out the beta version of Office 365, which is an upgraded and rebranded version of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS). Microsoft Office 365 consists of Office Web Apps (online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote), Exchange 2010 (for email, calendar, and contacts management), SharePoint 2010 (access and share documents and insights, contacts, calendars, and tasks in a single location), and Lync 2010 (instant messaging, video calls, or online meetings). As you can tell, Office 365 competes in the cloud with Google Apps. If you’re looking for a comparison between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, below are some highlights.

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Setting up Hosted Exchange and ActiveSync with Rackspace

I’ve been selected by the Microsoft Communications Services (MSCS) team to test some of their services. Their services include hosted Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communications Services. The first service I played with is hosted Exchange with ActiveSync. I signed up for a trial account with Rackspace. Their online sign-up process was relatively simple. However, if you sign up with a free mail account (like Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail), then you’ll have to verify your account information by phone.

The next step was to setup the email accounts on the Exchange server. The first step of this process was easy. All you have to do is log into the Rackspace control panel and click on the Add / Edit a Mailbox link. Then click on the Add Mailbox button and fill in the appropriate information (like first and last name, display name, user name, password). After you have added all your company’s user mailboxes, you will need to update the DNS settings of your domain to point the MX records at Rackspace.

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How To Move Your Website To Another Server

I’ve been busy moving my sites to a new server for the last couple of weekends. It was a lot of work and wasn’t easy — especially since I’m not a Linux or Apache guru. If you have to move your site to new server, the easiest way to do it is to put in a ticket to your new web hosting company. That will save you a lot of trouble. However, you do have to freeze the content and disable the comments during the move. According to my webhosting company, that could take up to 72 hours or more (depends on the requests queue). Disabling commentings on my busy giveaway blog for three days wasn’t going to work for me so I decided to move my sites by myself. This post is about how I moved my sites over to a new server. Most of you probably don’t care, but one of these days, you might need to move your blog to another web hosting company and this info will be handy. BTW, my experience is based on dedicated servers hosted at HostGator.

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Protect Your PC with ClamAV and AVG Anti-Virus Software

I’ve been meaning to write about a couple of anti-virus software for a while now, but my reviews and giveaways blog is sucking up all my free time. Anyhow, a few months ago my blogs were hacked multiple times. Initially I thought a hacker found an exploit in WordPress or in one of the plugins I was using. But the hacks were actually the result of a trojan on my primary computer. I was using Windows Defender at the time and the program detected the trojan and quarantined it. But the next time I started Windows, the trojan reappeared and my sites were hacked again. After I surfed the net, I found two free anti-virus programs that I want to share with you guys.

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Six Tips for Securing Your Wireless Network

I had to setup a new Linksys wireless router recently and I thought I would share some tips for improving the security of your wireless network. Below are six ways for securing your wireless router.

Tip #1: Change the default password
local IP address of routerI’ve owned several routers through the years and it seems like all of them use 192.168.1.1 as the IP address, admin as the user name, and password as the password. In my opinion, most people don’t even bother to change the default password, which is a big mistake — especially if you share your WiFi connection with neighbors, house guests, and nerdy friends of your kids (when they come over to do homework). If you don’t change your password, anyone can log into your router and makes changes — like locking you out, disabling the firewall, and turning on remote router access. Now would also be a good time to change the local IP address of your router (something other than 192.168.1.1).

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