I've created an Apache-based filehost. This is generally for short-term downloads that I want to make available to certain people. Really, I don't expect to leave files in this folder up for very long, but only long enough for people to download. How many ways can I say this?

Anyway, you'll find the filehost at If you see anything there that you don't think should be there, give me a buzz with the contact link, which is not at this exact moment available, but will be in a few minutes hopefully.


Faster Internet is (at least for now) better.

We've just gone live with our newly activated ADSL connection. As of 5:00 this evening, I was able to plug in the aforementioned modem that we bought on Friday and successfully connect to first Qwest's initial login page, then, well, everywhere else! Of course, everybody's test to see if they're connected is Google. Well, not everybody. The modem and the Qwest disc would rather you connect to their homepage, but it's still essentially the same thing.

I had to spend a little time figuring out the best configuration, and I decided to go with the transparent bridge setup, where the modem simply acts as DSL-to-Ethernet translator and all other router functions are disabled. In the same manner, I am able to put in all of the primary internet login information directly into the Wi-Fi router and everything works like a charm.

Of course, with this setup, port forwarding is working wonderfully. I've already opened ports from a telnet server that I have running on my main computer, as well as a few webservers that I have not yet been able to figure out permissions on. For some reason, only the localhost can access it. I'll be sure and fix that before I give any updates on where they are or what they do.

When Andrea got home from work and settled in, she turned on her laptop and managed to get on without telling me. I was a bit suprised, mostly because I was still configuring the whole system and relying on the assumption that nobody would be immediately demanding service from it. But I haven't heard any complaints yet. She had her laptop down on the coffee table with Astronomy Picture of the Day loaded. I mentioned it and her exact words were, "I was waiting for it to load and it just appeared!" So obviously this system is better than I had anticipated. Apparently 1.5Mbps is a TON better than 28Kbps...nearly 54 times as better in fact.

Anyway, yes, we are up and running and everything is functioning perfectly. There are no extraneous redundancies such as making the modem work as a second router/firewall, so we don't have double-network problems to work through. Of course, we still have to call Integrity and get all our stuff filtered, and since we're all on a pretty much parallel network, it won't be easy to get everyone proxied through them unless we install the hardware solution. That's about the only way I could think to make filtering work...and how would that affect my port forwarding requirements? I really really don't know. I hope this works.

Yep! Everything's just fine and dandy here!!

My Router-Modem Setup

!Here's what I've figured out with my router/modem setup:

The router has two sets of plugs in it. One set is the regular ethernet ports to hook in single computers to. However, there is a single yellow port known as the WAN or Internet port. What really is the difference here? I've figured it out. The WAN port actually is the interface to a second half of the router. Just as the router communicates with computers so that the computers can communicate each other, all pieces being in a single "network" the WAN port on the router functions in exactly the same way with the though, though the modem now acts as a DHCP server and the router functions as a regular old client computer on the MODEM'S little LAN, known by the router as the WAN. From there, the MODEM creates a WAN network with Qwest...and who cares what THEY do? The configuration for the modem's LAN is an interface ONLY for the router, and the configuration for the router's WAN accesses the same exact interface, only from the other side.

So in short:

Modem WAN = Qwest Connection
Modem LAN = Router WAN
Router LAN = Computer 1, Computer 2, Computer 3 etc LAN

at least with my setup, this is how it works.

The way I found this out was with the strange way I could somehow access the modem THROUGH the router, even though the modem had a different base IP than the router was assigning to my computer. Of course, the best way to configure a modem is to attach it directly to a single computer and edit its stuff that way, but for some reason I was able to access it through the router. I had also figured that, well with two DHCP servers, one of them could be turned off and the router could assign them all. WRONG. I have to leave BOTH of them on! Why? Because when plugging the modem into the WAN (Internet) port on the router, that network created is entirely separated from the LAN that the router creates with my computer. They are TWO SEPARATE NETWORKS and any single one cannot be terminated, nor can their dynamic IP addresses conflict.

I had tried turning off the DHCP on the modem. This made the modem completely unavailable, because the Router cannot assign IP addresses via the WAN port. It is only a client there. I tried changing the IP address of the modem to the same IP address the router had on the LAN. This made BOTH unavailable to the ultimate client: my computer, because to my computer, these addresses were conflicting. I tried changing the IP of the Modem to something a little more friendly than the industry standard In fact, in each case, I changed it to something like or But this was in the thought that the modem existed on the LAN. It does not. The modem exists on its OWN network with the router only.

So, as I lay awake at night, I thought, "What if I were to keep everything on, but change both the IP address of the modem and its DHCP assignments to the same, but completely different network? My router right now is on the LAN address and it assigns clients IP addresses from to Those are two different screens on the router configuration. The modem has almost the exact same screens. A place where you can set its IP and a place where you can change its DHCP." Then this two-network configuration dawned on me and I knew it would work. There is also a WAN screen in the router configuration which shows its own DHCP-acquired IP address on the Internet.

Thus, when I got up this morning, I decided to play around with it, but with this knowledge in mind.

Going into the modem's DHCP settings, I changed the assignments to to (different from the router: I got an error saying that the modem's own IP address was not on the same domain as I was trying to change the DHCP settings to. So I went into the Modem's LAN screen, where you can set its local IP address, and changed it to I then in turn went BACK to the DHCP settings and tried again. Nothing changed when I hit apply, no error..and the numbers did not change. However, I figured that it was probably stuck, as a popup had occurred when changing the IP of the modem, saying that it needed to be rebooted. This time, I tried a software reboot via the menus. It worked, I hit refresh, and it errored out.

Oh yeah. Its IP isn't anymore. It should now be So I changed that in the browser's address bar. Lo and behold, it came right up! No problems at all!!

Now then, I've figured out that with this configuration, I have a two separate networks in my system. The router sees the modem's network as the "Internet" and serves to the computers the -real- LAN, while the modem sees the router as -its- LAN and pulls the Internet in as it should be, through the phone line with authentication. With this in mind, it is my new hypothesis that the router will NOT need to be configured to connect to Qwest. It is working thus far..I can connect to the modem through the router, and really, the modem IS the entire internet as far as my router is concerned. At least until I get the modem to connect to the internet and pass information through. So in my router's WAN setup, I should think in terms of "it is only communicating with the modem in this network. Everything should be left as off or default."

And in the same manner, I must consciously remember that all the INTERNET security features are pretty much up to the modem to block/allow/forward on to the router, because in terms of the modem, the router is the only computer connected to it!

Actually, theoretically, I should be able to place a switch between the modem and the router, giving me access to three more ports that will exist in the modem's network. I do have a switch. A switch is pretty much just a passive ethernet splitter, with a few hard-code smarts to make using it faster for all computers. There is no host plug, no client plug...everything just connects to the same string of ports and all interfaces through it function as parallel clients, even the Internet feed (server via router or modem). So, if I were to place my switch between the router and the modem, I should be able to attach a client computer to that switch and sit on the modem's network. In fact, with a switch, I should be able to take the router out of the equation completely. Of course, this would also take my router's wireless interface out, and the laptops would not be able to connect, but the modem would create the LAN network for both the router and a computer.

Now...there IS a feature in the modem configuration. It is called RFC Transparent Bridging. This basically turns off EVERYTHING in the modem and simply passes the DSL signal directly through to the router down the line. If I were to turn this on, my entire web interface to the modem would disappear (requiring a hard factory reset in order to get it back), and my router would be able to be configured with username/password/connection protocols directly to Qwest.

What if...I were to take the above two scenarios and combine them? What if I were to turn on the modem to transparent bridging mode AND split out the signal with only the switch? What if I were to make my LAN completely irrelevant? What if each computer was allowed to directly access the internet on its own?

In this case, each computer would need to be authenticated via their Local Area Network settings to work directly on the internet and authenticate with Qwest's servers. But in each case, the computer would be able to have their own IP with the rest of the world and function on their own! Of course, with this in mind, they would also be tying through the same switch, and so would be able to access each other, even with domain names (or in this case, workgroup names, because I don't have a computer with a DNS server).

Oooh!! With that last sentence, I just came up with another setup! If I could program a single whole computer as a server, I could buffer the Internet from the switch and essentially make that computer my "router."

And the possibilities go on. I could attach a router to the switch, making a wireless subnet (with a different set of IP addresses, of course). I could turn the modem back on, put a server in between the modem and the router and make a three-stage LAN...although this would be rather pointless unless you wanted to serve stuff up with minimal security.

So back to my first and currently-working scenario. What makes accessing the modem, and hopefully the Internet through the modem so easy if a router is buffering the signal and splitting the network into two? My hunch is what is called Routing Information Protocol or RIP.

RIP is defined by the router (modem's client) as allowing a router to exchange routing information with other routers. The RIP direction selection controls how the router sends and receives RIP packets. It can do Both, In or Out. There are two versions for RIP: RIP-1 is universally supported and is sufficient for most networks. RIP-2 allows for more information, uses subnet broadcasting (RIP-2B) or uses multicasting (RIP-2M), but is not as well supported.

RIP is not defined by the modem, but the setup says that "If a gateway or router is set up behind the modem, consult the documentation that came with the router to see if dynamic routing is needed and what version." And in turn, you can change what your router's RIP version is (1, 2 or off).

It is my theory that RIP (termed Dynamic Routing by the modem), is what makes passing information from the router's network into the modem's network (and the internet by extension), and vice versa. It basically bridges the two and says, "Yes the computers on the router's network can access information on the internet. And the computers on the router's network should also be able to access computers on the modem's network...if there are any." And I just tried it. From a computer, I typed in (the router on the modem's subnet), and it came up smooth as silk. I can get the exact same screen with at COOL!!! Now to see if I can turn off RIP on either of the devices and still make this work...

With the RIP on the modem off and on the router on, I can still access the modem's subnet (160.0.0.x). When turning off RIP on the router also, I can STILL access the modem's subnet. Okay. My concept of this is off..however, the modem did say that RIP should be enabled if a router is buffering its signal with the LAN, so I will turn it back on. I guess the fact that I can access 160.0.0.x means that this subnet looks like the Internet to my computer. Hopefully it won't conflict with another network on the real internet.....though it shouldn't matter really.

I expect the modem to be assigned a single IP, or at least with the arrival Qwest's documentation, to be given four IP addresses that are assigned directly to me (after all, I did say to the guy on the phone that we would have four computers on the internet at once). And in my modem's DHCP settings, I will make my little window of real-world internet IP addresses available to any client that connects directly through the modem. This means that my own router will have an Internet IP. But in my current setup, none of my actual client computers will. They will rely solely on the router IP for all transactions with the world. This means that my will probably have to change.

But...since none of the client computers will have IP addresses on the network, unless they are connecting directly with the modem, it is likely that I will need to set up Port Forwarding for anything I want to serve from a client..web page, Telnet game, etc.

Port forwarding exists in both the modem's and the router's configuration screens. If you refer to my above configuration examples, let's take config 2.

Port forwarding a webserver from C2 through the router would make available to C1, a webpage that by typing in "" it would be able to access. The port from the client would be passed into the router, but it would appear on the modem's network that the router was hosting the entire server, when in fact the client behind the router was forwarding port 80 through.

If I in turn turned on port forwarding in my modem's settings (Security/Port Forwarding) for a single computer, I could pass the router's Port 80 through to...the internet and the IP which is assigned to the modem will be able to be typed in to the web browser and C2's webserver SHOULD pop up!!

This brings up another issue though. While looking for Port Forwarding in the modem's config menus just now, I ran across the modem's IP address config. Does the modem also buffer with another IP address? Will the IP addresses it assigns to the router not be valid on the internet? Ignore Line 182. In the modem's config under the Status button (currently the modem is NOT online), and under Broadband status, it has a place for WAN IP, Gateway IP and modem model/MAC,etc. This means that the modem will be given its own IP which will itself buffer the rest of the network underneath it from the internet. Meaning that with my statement to the guy about planning on four computers connected at once (because there's a limit of five, which doesn't make sense), they're probably going to make me put my modem in Transparent Bridging mode and assume that I don't have a secondary router behind it. They will also assume that my modem is the same box as my router, so really it will be a wireless/wired switch in bridging mode. This will NOT be the case. I SHOULD be using only one of the four assigned IP's at a time and I'll just forward the services through as is required. The end. Deal with it!!!

So far, this is all I have that I could up, what really IS RIP? What is NAT? I don't know...let's find out! :P

Oh hey. I just had a thought. If I forward port 80 from C2 through the router, that should mean that I should be able to access (router's WAN connection) via C1 (or C2 as the case may be), and see C2's webserver rather than the router config! But going from the other way and accessing (router as a server), I should get the router's firmware configuration.

Same with the modem. If I forward the router's new (or old) Port 80 through to the internet, I should be able to plugin the modem's IP address on the internet, and see the router's webserver (or configuration screen) rather than the modem's config. But I should be able to come in from the LAN ( and see the modem config just fine. This could be cool!!!

DSL and Networking

I've always hated self-help books you find at B&N or the library on how to set up your own home network. In short, they always would assume that you had high-speed internet coming into your house and that you could create a standard configuration. However, up until about 30 minutes ago, we were using dialup for our main internet connection.

I purchased a wi-fi router a few months ago which was able to tie all of the computers in the house together so we could theoretically manage LAN games, streaming audio from one computer to another and sharing a gigantic hard drive. The only thing I had to consciously do was ignore every instance of "how to hook your router to the internet" because routers don't really take into account dialup connections. Here is how it looked:

If you notice, I had a nice little tie point for the four computers (actually, I couldn't make Laptop 2 connect due to Windows Vista finickiness, but it would have worked if I'd been able to sit down and fix it up). But this tie point was not at all able to access the internet. Instead, I had to run a proxy on Laptop 1, which has a built-in dialup modem. That way, Computer 1 and Computer 2 could route THROUGH that proxy via the internal network I had set up and access the internet just fine. Very nice..and workable.

Of course, everybody who has anything to say about anything will say that running dialup through a proxy or internet connection sharing is pretty pointless, and I have to agree. 28Kbps (3.5KB per second) running on even just one computer is painful to deal with. Splitting it between two or more would be one of the most annoying problems you'd run in to. BUT my point was, I wanted to make it work! Putting annoyances aside, will it even WORK? Of course. The picture above shows the configuration that actually worked for me.

In fact, Laptop 1 and Laptop 2 both had dialup modems to connect to the internet, as you can see, but if I had successfully been able to get Laptop 2 onto the wi-fi network, I could have routed that through the proxy so that Laptop 1 would have been the only machine with a real internet connection.

However, just 30 minutes ago, Mom and I got on the phone with our phone company and had them add DSL internet to our landline phone service!! FINALLY I can standardize my router and use the modem port on the back of it...and forget all this proxy and internet connection sharing nonsense that I had to work with.

At least, they said that by Wednesday the line should be activated with DSL. And by Wednesday, they'll have the self-installation disc with all the tutorials on how to make sure it works. I'm excited. We're planning on stopping by Best Buy this afternoon to pick up the $40 modem. Of course, that's a whole new snag. People assume that you don't already have a standalone router that cannot connect directly to the internet. They think that you don't have ANYTHING and that you'll just buy a router-modem combo, which is very true in the STANDARD case.

Of course, the combination router-modem box will cost $100 or more. And the standalone router I have now was $100 by itself. Via marketing logic, you would think that my $100 router by itself is of a higher quality than a router + modem that costs $100. That's my guess.

Anyway, I went to Best Buy earlier this week to check out what was possible and it turns out that for a mere $40, they also have a standalone DSL modem. Of course, there's only one choice in that sense, meaning a DSL modem is a DSL modem. There probably isn't a lot you can do with it apart from hooking it up. And by hooking it up, I mean, attaching it to the phone line, running an ethernet (CAT5) cable from the modem to...the router or a single computer, which I can do both, installing whatever software on that computer (or a computer that can access router functions), and accessing the modem from inside the home network.

This I am very excited about...but still somewhat confused. The phone company, in order to set us up, had to know how many computers would be connecting to the internet at any given time. But..why do you need to know? I can put a TON of computers in my home network. My router is a very nice one and can take probably hundreds of simultaneous connections. Why does the ONE wire that comes from the modem and that plugs into the WAN plug on the router need to know how many computers are behind it?

Unless somehow the router and the modem together are going to give each individual computer its own internet IP address. I don't know! I guess we'll find out. I had almost hoped and was at least planning that the router itself would be given an IP address on the internet and that the computers behind it would be able to "route" through to access the internet, but any What's-My-IP web scripts would only see the router's IP as accessing their sites/services, not the Laptop 1, Laptop 2, Computer 1, Computer 2 that's accessing the router.

Maybe there's something I don't understand, but that's how I thought this was going to work. But really, I should know by Wednesday how everything works. I told them that I was up for installing it myself instead of having a tech come out and fix us up for $50. Save money...and learn the ins and outs yourself. Not that I'd want to hack my connection. I just don't want to be one who stands around hoping the tech knows what he's doing because I don't. I want to know what he's doing also!

All in all, I'm excited. And you should be too. After all, if this is a success, I'll be able to finally host a website from my very own computer!! No more of this Brinkster stuff for me.

Youtube (Again)

Ten great uploads just today!! Nine of the ten are mine (and Andrea's) first Linerider lines that I didn't ever get a chance to capture until a few weeks ago. Check them out here.

Also, Dad brought home his Batman figurines we got him on a birthday cake a long time ago. Well, I just couldn't resist an animation.

View it at