Hello there Gnome-land, how are you today? Did you have a good weekend? My weekend was pretty darned laid back. I managed to squeeze in a few gigs, but they were easy pickin’s and didn’t get in the way of an otherwise enjoyable weekend.

Saturday started out with a cleaning crew in my townhome. For a long, long time, my wife and I have wanted to get a window washing crew to come over and clean all of our windows inside and out. We finally got in gear and located a service after asking around our community. It was well worth it. A three-man crew came by and with amazing efficiency had every window cleaned of nearly four years of gunk. The difference was amazing – so much more light coming in. There’s no way we could have gotten them all clean ourselves so quickly.

After that wrapped up, I had my wife drop me off at a customer’s house on the far north side of the city. This customer had just recently moved, and they weren’t sure they had hooked up everything 100% correctly in their new home. So I just sorted out some cabling, reattached and tested all their peripherals, and everything checked out. I was in an out in just over an hour.

We got home in time to catch up on a few more chores then head to a 4PM matinee showing of the latest Pirates movie. I’m usually averse to these kinds of “franchise” movies, especially sequels, but I make exceptions once in a while. I thoroughly enjoyed it, finding it as much fun as the first one. We treated ourselves to a nice dinner after the show, and were home by 8PM. As we were backing into our garage, I saw a neighbor across the driveway; I recalled he mentioned having trouble setting up his new Linksys router. I asked him if it was a good time to stop over, and he said absolutely.

He had one of those nice Linksys SRX routers, but he was having trouble running the setup CD. It was one the strangest things I’d ever seen. We’d launch the Linksys setup utility, and the wizard screens that would normally guide you through the setup were only partially displaying. It was almost like some kind of goofy display bug with his Dell laptop, which had a WSXGA+ display. Thinking perhaps it was just an issue with the resolution, I adjusted it something a little more mainstream, like 1024X768. The setup screens were still goofy, with action buttons not showing. OK, well, no big deal, there’s always the Web-based setup, which I prefer to use anyway.

So we logged into the router with a browser and set it up the old-school way. In no time at all, I had it humming along on his Comcast cable modem. I set up a desktop he had with a Wireless USB adapter, and lastly his work laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad T60. Actually, the whole thing reminded me of a pet-peeve of mine – when OEMs choose to put in their own Wireless LAN GUIs, rather than utilizing XP’s Wireless config tool. The Dell had Intel’s Pro Wireless LAN config utility… the Desktop had the Linksys utility, and the ThinkPad had IBM’s own network tool. Yes, they all had their own nifty advantages, but each one had a significantly different look and feel, which is bound to cause confusion on the part of the consumer. In most cases, you can change the settings to revert back to using XP’s wireless config tool, something I showed the customer how to do if he ever needed to. So I sat down with him and knocked back a few beers as I politely declined his offer of cash… it took me all of 20 minutes, and he was 75 feet from my back door. I told him the Heinekens were payment enough.

[tags]troubleshooting,computer repair,good neighbor,linksys srx,wireless lan gui,heineken[/tags]