Etc.

Well, this should be quite the week. Geoff and Adam are in Taiwan covering Computex, while much of the gaming press is attending E3. Together, they should provide a rich, syrupy flow of news each day. Meanwhile, Cyril and I will be back at HQ, trying to manage all of the info coming our way. We also have a couple of longer articles queued up, which we’ll try to get posted shortly.

I’ve had a new experience this past weekend, attempting to set up a home network that will allow my parents to view and print pictures, listen to music, access the web, and check email—without having a beefy PC involved in the mix. My dad has Parkinson’s, and his computer use has shifted to his iPad, which works best for him for various unavoidable reasons.

The trick was to retire dad’s Windows-based laptop while enabling him to browse, edit, and print from his large, many-gigabyte trove of pictures and to listen to his large digital music catalog. Neither data set will fit on any iPad, you see.

My solution has been more smarts at each node on his network. I upgraded the iPad to iOS 5, enabling cloud backups and freeing him of the need to sync with a PC. I added a new all-in-one printer/scanner; its Wi-Fi connectivity, AirPrint support, and iOS control app combine to make printing and scanning easy and cable-free. The printer also has a card reader and a 4.3" touchscreen, so dad can print photos straight from his camera’s SD card. For storage, I chose the 2TB version of WD’s My Book Live NAS, which connects directly to a router and enables network-wide sharing. WD has a couple of iPad apps that allow access to the NAS, one for browsing multiple file types including music and videos and another, slicker app dedicated to photo viewing. The photo app makes scanning through his many gigs of family photos very fast and easy.

The one kink in the works is that AirPrint (Apple’s print-from-the-iPad feature) doesn’t work reliably, apparently because their Linksys WRT110 wireless-n router has multicast issues. This router has the lovely combo of being largely locked out of using third-party firmware and not having any official updates from Cisco/Linksys since 2009. There’s a possible fix involving downgrading to an older firmware rev with known security flaws, but I’m not keen on that. My solution was to order a new Netgear WNDR3800, which I picked based on positive experience with my own WNDR3700. In addition to (hopefully) working properly, the WNDR3800 will connect to the My Book Live via GigE, speeding network transfers.

I think it’s all coming together reasonably well. For my next trick, I may even return his Windows-based laptop to service, with a fresh OS installation, though not in a mission-critical capacity. If it works for occasional use, bonus. If it’s infected by malware or otherwise troubled, as Windows laptops too often are, the show will go on without it.

Oh, also: cat-copter.

Comments closed
    • demani
    • 7 years ago

    I haven’t read all the comments, but one thing that helped my grandfather use the computer when his tremors were acting up was an adapter that took out the “noise” from the mouse signal from Montrose Secam. It isn’t the cheapest thing (and I wish someone would implement a software version, or dammit-put it in the OS in the Universal Access area) but it was amazing to watch him get back into things because the mouse was no longer a hurdle. It’s a little hard to use for other people because there is a layer in between, but it makes it possible to for someone to have fine control who otherwise couldn’t.

    [url<]http://montrosesecam.com[/url<] Highly recommended.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 7 years ago

    The word “dad” should be capitalized when directly referring to a person. When you say “dad” or “dad’s name”, it’s capitalized.

    sincerely,
    srsly_bro

      • lycium
      • 7 years ago

      Grammar nazi here, “dad” is not a proper noun.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        You mad or just wrong? You can be both. It’s okay.

        [url<]http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_Mom_or_Dad_capitalized_in_a_sentence[/url<] [url<]http://www.reference.com/motif/society/do-you-capitalize-mom-and-dad[/url<] [url<]http://www.englishforums.com/English/CapitalizingSentences/dkbkq/post.htm[/url<] Need more references? And am I the only one here who passed the 5th grade the first try? I'm referring to the people who voted me down in my initial post. The word "dad" is capitalized in this instance. Your apologies are all accepted.

          • brute
          • 7 years ago

          your dum

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            grammar nazis clearly don’t get sarcasm, along with other things like laid, popularity and kind sentiments

            these sentences intentionally left incorrectly punctuated

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Sincerely should also be capitalized. And your username, of course, due to TR style guidelines, which I just made up.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        You have a funny way of apologizing.

        yours truly,
        srsly_bro

          • Firestarter
          • 7 years ago

          kinds regards,
          Brosauphorus

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          Nobody’s sorry.

            • brute
            • 7 years ago

            Nobody’s fool. – Cinderella

      • sonofsanta
      • 7 years ago

      I’m with you on this one, even if most others aren’t. My Dad is my father, my friend’s dad is my friend’s father. Capitalise for your own because you call him Dad, it is his name as far as you are concerned, therefore it should be treated as a proper noun in that context.

        • yogibbear
        • 7 years ago

        We’re not thumbing him down for being incorrect, we are thumbing him down for being a jerk.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 7 years ago

          Apparently, you, among many others, struggle with the grammar game. I’m not thumbing you down for failing to comprehend, I’m thumbing you up because I wish you well.

          insincerely,
          srsly_bro

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          and off-topic

          this post is off topic

          please give me many minuses

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        sonofsanta is a wise lad.

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      You take second place in the Petty Grammar Nazi Olympics in my books. Sorry you couldn’t get first place, but the guy who beat you out was a lot angrier and more offensive about his petty corrections πŸ˜‰

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        Criticism noted.

        thanks,
        srsly_bro

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder who is auto-downvoting all the Apple-mentioning posts?

      • adisor19
      • 7 years ago

      You can be sure it’s not me.

      Adi

      • internetsandman
      • 7 years ago

      Legions of Apple haters have programmed bots to do the work for them. Not sure if they’re refined enough to know when to up vote a comment hating Apple, or it they just scan for that singular keyword

      • jdaven
      • 7 years ago

      Okay I admit it. It was me. πŸ˜‰

    • crabjokeman
    • 7 years ago

    The cat-copter would be far scarier if the cat looked like Hitler.

      • crabjokeman
      • 7 years ago

      Their fourth-ranked kitler is still my favorite: [url<]http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigboardbest.pl?3488:1[/url<]

    • burntham77
    • 7 years ago

    The part about your dad preferring the iPad to a regular computer due to Parkinson’s is interesting. My mother-in-law suffers from that, which makes me wonder if she would want an iPad.

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      My dad’s neck is bent down most of the time, one of the effects of Parkinson’s, and being able to place a tablet in his lap makes for a more comfortable posture. That was what caused us to go there initially. He wasn’t using his computer much at one point, though he wanted to, since it was uncomfortable. I took him up to the Apple store for a demo, and he quickly decided he’d like to have an iPad, so we placed an order.

      As time went on, we found that the simple, bulletproof nature of the device was a big help, too. I also think the precise control required by traditional PC GUIs is hard to navigate, whereas iOS is all about getting close, not being exact.

      Worth considering, I think!

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      Just noting here my recommendation for a montrosesecam AMD (see my earlier post). Just wanted to help you catch it, since I believe in it that strongly.

    • Dposcorp
    • 7 years ago

    By the way Scott, which all-in-one printer/scanner is it?
    Laser or Inkjet, B&W or Color?

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      HP PhotoSmart 7500. I kind of hate HP, but it was right for this mission, which is about good photo printing, AirPrint, wirelessness, and the touchscreen/SD card reader with print-from-console.

      I much prefer my Brother MFC for my own use. πŸ™‚

        • Dposcorp
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks Scott.

        I have a B&W Laser Brother MFC as well and love it.

        I was just wondering since that MFC hits many of the right topics that people ask me about.

        I always tell buyers about the high cost and reliability, but sometimes they want a device that does it all.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 7 years ago

    That cat-copter is terrible. I get the humor of what the artist (?) is trying to display, but I’m not laughing.

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      I am also not laughing.

      This new breed of flying cats may very well mean the end of thousands of species of birds.

      • mattthemuppet
      • 7 years ago

      what? I nearly fell of my chair laughing! Better than being wrapped in a bin bag and chucked out in the trash, surely?

      • cygnus1
      • 7 years ago

      i honestly don’t think it was done for humor… the article said he had the cat stuffed before thinking of the quadricopter mod

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Sick humor? I noticed him scaring cows with it. Other than that, it’s new source material for lolcats.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      For your nickname, you’re terribly uptight.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Let me guess, you are [i<]offended[/i<] by cat-copters?

      • burntham77
      • 7 years ago

      Oh great, just as I got the little furry bastard to stop climbing on the tables.

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    I’d love to take that copter out to a park. That thing has pussy written all over it.

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      I’d love to take that copter out to a park. That thing has pussy [i<]magnet[/i<] written all over it. There. Fixed. But still hilarious none the less.

    • Corrado
    • 7 years ago

    Why not just get a refurb $40 Airport Express to plug into the printer. Then you should have zero AirPrint issues, no?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      This is what I do with an Airport Extreme Base Station, and also with an external hard drive formatted HFS+. Even though there’s not a Mac in the house (I elected to retire my E6600-based Hackintosh recently), it’s still perfect for backups and printing. Bonjour Print Services for Windows makes it easy to do from a PC, and I can still print from the Kindle Fire running CM9. But the router is a bit of a cash outlay at the start.

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      And no Ethernet switch to connect the NAS.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        That could plug into an existing router – did they already have a router or is that a whole new device?

          • Damage
          • 7 years ago

          They had a router already, and I was surprised to find it doesn’t work correctly with AirPrint/Bonjour services–lots of folks online have similar issues; it’s a known thing, it seems. The printer is new and is fully AirPrint capable, as I said. I don’t think adding an Airport Express helps anything.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Yeah, in that case probably not then. I have never tried Bonjour Print Services with a non-Apple router; I’ve had my AEBS since the first-generation 802.11 draft n devices hit in like 2007. Before that I always just shared the printer from Windows or OS X.

            • Damage
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t think AirPrint/Bonjour should be hard to pass over a correctly functioning IP network. I just think this router is kind of a piece of junk. πŸ™‚

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            Disregard.

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            Ahh, didn’t see that the printer is AirPrint compatible/capable. Was thinking it was hanging off of something with a hack. Disregard.

            Why not just replace their router with an Airport Extreme in that case? You get gigE, and an easy to manage router setup.

            Sure its not quite as full featured as some of the other routers, but its dead simple to setup, and rock stable as well.

            • Damage
            • 7 years ago

            Costs more than the Netgear, which is at least as capable.

            • Corrado
            • 7 years ago

            Reliability is the issue more so then capability. I went through several $100+ routers (Linksys, NetGear, Belkin, Asus) and each one had some kinda weird ass problem. Linksys was great except it was slow as dirt over wifi to the PS3. JUST the PS3. The Netgear was fine with the PS3 but the XBox 360 refused to see the SSID. The Belkin was just a joke and would reset randomly and not come up right requiring a hard power. The Asus would choke out and die in torrents due to the number of connections.

            I finally said enough and bought a Airport Extreme and 1 Express (my house has 2 floors and a full basement. The router is in the basement so the farthest point gets spotty WiFi, which is where I put the Express). Since then… not a single issue with any device.

            • Damage
            • 7 years ago

            Good for you. I’ve had a similarly solid experience with my WNDR3700, which is why I ordered the 3800 for my folks.

    • Dygear
    • 7 years ago

    Sure you could go with the WNDR3800, or you could get the ASUS RT-N66U

    [url<]http://www.asus.com/Networks/Wireless_Routers/RTN66U/[/url<] That thing is nuts, and the just announced Asus RT-AC66U is even more insane! [url<]http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/4/3062298/asus-rt-ac66u-aicloud-router-supports-802-11ac-wi-fi-for-1-75gbps[/url<] I have a Linksys E4200 v2 and I'm feeling some router envy right now. I can't use DD-WRT at all because of the Marvell chipset, so I'm pretty upset with the router.

      • adisor19
      • 7 years ago

      I second the suggestion for the ASUS RT-N66U. Once you load any of the modern versions of Tomato on it, you get an awesome beast of a router.

      Highly recommended.

      Adi

        • Damage
        • 7 years ago

        …for my parents? No thanks.

          • adisor19
          • 7 years ago

          For everyone really and especially for your parents. I have a very similar setup for my parents place where I can access their router remotely and RemoteDesktop /VNC to their machines and troubleshoot any problems they may have.

          I can see at a glance what device has an IP adress, i can see if something is pingable or not. It lets me help them without always having to pass by. The advanced nature of the the Tomato firmware makes these things possible while making it very easy for me to troubleshoot most network related problems they have.

          Adi

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      I like my Linksys E4200 v1. Using tomato firmware. Really disappointing that linksys changed the chip on the 2nd gen without changing the model name, pretty sneaky of them.

      -Oh, and took em long enough to make one of these N66U’s, when the capability’s been around for a while, while deliberately not using heat sinks in the E4200 so that they overheat, internal antennas, and we almost have proof of planned obsolescence. Funny how it takes a new wireless standard to push out a quality broadcom router. Don’t think they like furthering open source firmware.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      Thanks for posting that; the RT-N66U looks like the WRT54GL replacement I’ve been looking for. The bad thing is, I just convinced my wife to let me buy motorcycle gear. πŸ™‚

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      802.11ac is on the horizon. There is no need to spend more then $20-30 on a 802.11n device and slap DD-WRT on it.

    • ermo
    • 7 years ago

    Isn’t this part what all the post-PC hubbub and Microsoft’s Win8 tablet focused design decisions is all about?

    [quote<] For my next trick, I may even return his Windows-based laptop to service, with a fresh OS installation, though not in a mission-critical capacity. If it works for occasional use, bonus. [b<]If it's infected by malware or otherwise troubled, as Windows laptops too often are, the show will go on without it.[/b<] [/quote<] If a platform becomes a liability for normal people like you just outlined...

      • Damage
      • 7 years ago

      Microsoft is certainly a big part of the problem. Dunno whether Win8 is part of the solution yet, though. πŸ™‚

        • ermo
        • 7 years ago

        It’s interesting, because it’s now been 10 years since Bill Gates announced that security should be Microsoft’s #1 priority going forward, and they have implemented a very impressive methodology called [url=http://www.microsoft.com/security/sdl/default.aspx<]Security Development Lifecycle[/url<] which ensures that due consideration is given to security implications in all of their software development practices. For instance, I personally use Microsoft Security Essentials on my Windows PCs (a laptop and a gaming box - I use Linux for my media center and my home server) and actually, I think it is pretty pointless to have other companies than MS provide antivirus tools, as MS has access to top notch internal developer support (not to mention source code) and since they invite black hats to MS sponsored conferences where they actively encourage them to inspect their source code to find previously unknown exploits.

    • DPete27
    • 7 years ago

    Great article, I feel like my parents are headed in this direction as well.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      You’re going to stuff them and turn their bodies into helicopters? I don’t think that’s the sort of thing you want to admit in public.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks, jerk. I laughed so hard my coworkers are looking at me.

          • cygnus1
          • 7 years ago

          control yourself man!

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          OK seriously, that was said in jest. Who would minus me?

            • Dposcorp
            • 7 years ago

            I dont know, but I just minusesesed you now. πŸ™‚

            • Duck
            • 7 years ago

            Downvotes for everyone!

            • Dposcorp
            • 7 years ago

            Someone is upvoting our down votes darn it!

            By the way, nothing personal with my downvotes.

            After my first post on the Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 670 got 50+ minuses, it was GAME ON!

            (By the way, is that a record for votes on one comment? (+ or -)

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            I’d plus you any time, big guy. Meow.

            • burntham77
            • 7 years ago

            Tone of voice doesn’t always translate to text. But I could tell you were joking.

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            The trick is not to mind it. But to answer your question, i think it was the Minus Mafia. I heard they deal cocaine and downvotes.

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        If there was an annual awards ceremony for funniest comments on TR, I would totally nominate this. +10 (Poor DPete really did walk into this one…)

    • emorgoch
    • 7 years ago

    OMG. Looks exactly like my girlfriend’s cat. Can’t wait to see her reaction when I send this to her….

      • adisor19
      • 7 years ago

      Ditto.

      Adi

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        Why are you sending it to emorgoch’s girlfriend?

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    The cat thing is morbid.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      You just don’t have the class to appreciate fine art.

        • Dygear
        • 7 years ago

        I’m with Duck, that is a little on the freaky side.

        • Duck
        • 7 years ago

        I try to make my own art, but they run out of the road too fast.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 7 years ago

          TouchΓ©.

      • PrincipalSkinner
      • 7 years ago

      That shit is so f*****g sick.

        • Damage
        • 7 years ago

        Don’t try to work around the word filter, please.

        • brute
        • 7 years ago

        Hell yeah, dude. Nothing is sicker than making a f’in hellichopter out of a cat, bro. Dude. You feel me, bro? Dude?

        Hella sick, bro. Wicked.

        Lifted trucks and hot blonde babes with peanut butter complexion, dudebro!

        • 5150
        • 7 years ago

        SKIIIIINNNNNNNNNEEEEEEERRRRRRR!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]The cat thing is [s<]morbid[/s<] awesome.[/quote<] There, fixed that for you. edit: I wish the strikethrough would show in the comment preview.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This