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Showing posts from August, 2005

My Home Network

Recently, I established a home network using the existing single-run CAT5e cabling running throughout my house. Fortunately, my builder had the foresight to use CAT5e to connect the phones. Ideally, I'd have future-proof bundled cables running through the house, but I didn't want to pull the cable through exisitng construction nor incur the expense. While carrying data and voice on separate twisted pairs within the same cable isn't CAT5e compliant, it worked well for this situation.

Planning
First, I visited many home networking sites and spoke with my networking-savy friends to understand materials needed and how to architect my network. Next, I created a matrix outlining all the drops in the house and what materials were necessary. Afterwards, I surfed the non-user-friendly ;-) Leviton site learning how their products worked together. Finally, I created a simple paper-based diagram detailing the wires and materials.

Materials
I bought all Leviton equipment. My choice stemed …

HOWTO: Secure your wireless network

Usually, WiFi vendors will provide browser-based interfaces to secure a wireless access point. However, sometimes those interfaces aren't the most intuitive so it helps to understand the issues and gain additional background. These are the best articles I've found:

Securing Your Wireless Network
Configuring Windows XP IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networks for the Home and Small Business

In summary, the most important steps to securing your wireless access point:
-Read vendor documentation throughly
-Use 128-bit encryption
-Change your SSID
-Update the access point firmware
-Enable the firewall (if built-in)

Happy hacking.

HOWTO: Remove the My Way Search Assistant

I abhor spyware. Recently, I was chagrinned to discover the "My Way Search Assistant" element within my Windows XP Add/Remove Programs on my new Dell Inspiron 6000. At first, I though I'd accidentally picked it up installing other software. After a Google search, I realized Dell factory installs the utility. Dell denies My Way is spyware but mysteriously prohibit its removal. (As you can tell, I love a conspiracy theory!)

So, here's how I removed the My Way Search Assistant:

1. Open the registry using a command line prompt regedit
2. Search for the string "My Way Search Assistant"
3. Once found, examine the other nodes within the same parent registry key. There should be one referencing an .msi file.
4. Browse to the directory of the .msi file.
5. Right-mouse on the .msi file selecting uninstall.

Happy hacking.