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A Few Tips to Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly
by Web Technology Engineering

If you asked me personally what to do to keep your computer running smoothly, I will tell you in a split second, dump Windows and install Linux. Or get a Mac. Don't get me wrong, I am not against Microsoft. We got to give them that they changed the world by making computing accessible to everyone, everywhere. That in itself is admirable and I respect every bit of the company and their philosophy. Still, if you are like the 90%+ of people who have a computer, chances are you use some version, shape or form of MS Windows. And if you are like most everyone who resist change or is afraid of the unknown, you will probably not want to switch to Linux or Mac. It's OK----for now. Just be familiar with the following and do your best to keep up with these tips:

  1. Anti-Virus. Keep your anti-virus current. Run it frequently and pay attention to what it finds.
  2. Anti-Malware. Same.
  3. Be vigilant of your emails. Many jokes sent in email chains are not really jokes. Many have hidden trojans and viruses that you don't want. This is no joke.
  4. Defrag your hard drive every now and then, especially if your hard drive is 50% or more used.
  5. Check for errors on your hard drive every now and then.
  6. Monitor and empty your recycle bin and temp files often.
  7. Depending on your OS and your budget, if your PC is a few years old you may want to swing by ebay and see what you can do about buying more RAM. If you are still running 256MB, get to 512MB, if you have 512MB, go to 1GB...you get the point. This should improve your speed a bit, especially if you have a lot of applications running.
  8. Try and uninstall software that you no longer use (or that might have come with the computer and never did have a use for it).
  9. Buy some canned air and compress your PC at least once a month or more frequently if it's in a dusty environment.
  10. This may be a little too much for many people but to the extent possible, install a real firewall behind your cable/DSL router.

This list is by no means comprehensive but it should be a solid start in keeping your computer running smoothly.

Wireless Home Networking - Losing Signal Constantly
by Web Technology Engineering

I've seen so many times the same problem: a wireless connection being lost for no apparent reason. Most users buy a wireless router and install it while using all default configurations. Many a time, your wireless network signal will compete with your wireless phone as they are in the same frequency and the problem is that your phone will win almost always (of course, it all depends on the models of router and phone that you are using but still, this happens very frequently). Funny thing is that even if you don't have a wireless phone, chances are your neighbor does.

The solution is to open your wireless router configuration interface whatever that may be (web-based or inserting your install CD), navigate to the settings where you can choose the channel and select some odd number. By default, I've seen routers use auto-channel-detect, channel 1, channel 2 or the last channel. Don't use auto-detect, change it to something like channel 7. Even if the wireless phone is in the same frequency, chances are it'll select default channels (the more frequently used ones) and not interfere with a random channel like 7.

This is not a total fail-proof solution, but you should really see a big improvement

ZoneMinder - Repairing MySQL
by Web Technology Engineering

ZoneMinder is a great, stable Linux-based surveillance system. Here's a quick line to repair your MySQL database in the event of an unexpected crash:

mysqlcheck - -all-databases - -auto-repair -p -u "mysql_user_name"

VPN Ctrl-Alt-Del trick (RealVNC) – Remote Desktop Control
by Web Technology Engineering

I have a VPN Access to my main Win2003 Server. I am using RealVNC. However, when you access your remote desktop and try to log in with Ctrl-Alt-Delete, your laptop OS reacts to it and gives you the local Windows Task Manager. To log in your remote desktop, you will need to press Shift-Ctrl-Alt-Delete….Hope this saves someone out there some time.

Setting up a 2Wire 1701 Router as a Bridge (DSL) for IpCop
by Web Technology Engineering

I spent some time on the phone with ATT at a client site. They have a DSL line with ATT and were using a 2Wire 1701 as a gateway to connect to the internet. They were also using the 2Wire 1701 as a router (and wireless access) and firewall. With tons of critical data in mind, I installed a firewall right in between the 2Wire 1701 router and their switch. I am a big of fan of the Linux-based IpCop Firewall and converted an old P4 (1.5Mhz – 750MB Ram) into a firewall appliance.

From the IPCop standpoint, I set up a Green + Blue + Red network. The red interface was set up as PPPoE (email and password are not set up when you first install IpCop—you use the web interface under network-dial-up). I also installed CopFilter, URL Filter, Advanced Proxy and Update Accelerator.

The trick was setting up the 2Wire 1701 as a bridge. The gateway, typically 192.168.1.254 has a “secret” menu….. (well, I don’t know about “secret” but without having a manual close by, it was pretty hard to guess it without a little help from ATT).

  1. You first log in to the regular web interface, again, typically 192.168.1.254. Then go to Home – Network – Advanced Settings and enable Bridge Network.
  2. You then open the secret menu: http://192.168.1.254/mdc. From here, you go to
  3. Broadband Link – Configure -DSL and ATM Settings and disable ATM PVC Search (ATT told me to make sure the ATM Circuit identifier was VPI-0 VCI-35. then you go to
  4. Broadband Link – Internet Connection – Connection Type and select Direct IP. Finally,
  5. Advanced – Configure Services – Disable Routing.

This should do it and I hope my 2 hours on the phone with ATT help someone else as well.