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Wednesday 7 May 2003

BY and Wireless Adventures! [vagga]

I moved house not so long ago. I did not want to move house, but the bitch from hell who owned the house wanted to sell it, as its right beside where Arsenal are allegedly building their new stadium. So we moved up the road. Where is this blog going I hear you ask, I don't for one second think any of you really give a fuck about my living arrangements so don't worry its not going there!
I was a customer of Eclipse, I did not think they were amazing, but I never had a reason to complain. So when I realised I was going to move I thought, fuck it I was going to 'play the field' and see what, or indeed who was out there! Telewest fitted nicely into this picture! We needed to chuck in a phone line, I wanted Sky Sports (and History, Discovery Channels!) and 1 Meg cable internet sounded good! The house was pre-wired for Telewest, so it was a piece of piss. So I'm now a Telewest customer!
As a bit of background, I live with 2 birds and another bloke. The bloke is also a techie, and has desktop and laptop. I have a desktop, and bring my laptop home now and again to work (or play) from home. That's 4 machines, not a massive amount, and given both of us have been SysAdmin type people we have quite a cool network setup, with an old P3 500 as a DHCP server on our network, so once you plug in you have your IP and internet access immediately. The next step we wanted to take was to go wireless! I have never worked with a wireless network before, so I was a bit worried. But how hard could it be in the age of making all things technical gobshite proof!=20
So I got bog standard wireless equipment from Scan, a Wireless Access Point, two PCI wireless network cards and two PCMCIA wireless network cards. They were not that cheap, but not as expensive as I had feared. We faced two problems, one was the fact that the Blueyonder cable modem worked via DHCP, and therefore we hoped that the wireless network would be able to take a IP and the devices behind it would be able to talk away happy as Larry!
Not so! I tried it a hundred different ways, but it would not come together. No matter how I twisted and turned and no matter how many setups' I tried it would not work. NO matter what I did the wireless adapter would not get an IP from the cable modem. I decided that I would go back to the old setup for a while till I figured out what to do?
It was while doing this I found out something truly mental. Something, had I known a few months ago I would have stayed with Eclipse! You guys may or may not know but you have to register your mac address with BY, and indeed every mac address of every machine access the internet from your connection. It's a bit of a pain, and I have to wonder about the Big Brotherness (is that a word!) of it all, I can see where they are coming from so I do not get that upset about it. I can add and subtract mac addresses till the cows come home so that softens the blow. But the thing that really 'fucked me off' (as Chris would say) was that you can only have 5 mac addresses per account. So I can only have 5 devices capable of accessing the internet at any time. Now that would not be that bad for your =A310 a month basic package, but I'm on the 1meg cable =A340 a month jobbie and with the wireless adapter I have 6 devices/interfaces that may or may not access the internet. You cannot buy another block of 5 or anything like that. It's a hard and fast rule. It's insane.
Now to top it off I was downloading the newest 24 on Monday morning and the connection just died. Rang support, they were nice, polite but had no clue. I left it for 24 hours just incase it was an outage or something like that. Alas 2 days later BY haven't a clue what the problem is, I was onto their support pe0ns for about 2 hours last night to no avail...=20
'power the modem off, wait 10 seconds, power on....does that fix it'
'ok then, power the modem off for 10 seconds, and power your PC off too....turn them both back on....does that fix it'
'I don't know what to do then, I will have to escalate it to our Engineers. You should hear from them in about 2 days if your lucky'
So I have a computer desk (which was a week late from Argos), and a copy of Raven Shield (ok, long last), but I can't access the fucking net to play it online and support the game is wavering a bit in EED it seems!


  1. Update: Telewest have rang me and said the issue is now fixed. Therefore my wireless and indeed internet full stop should work fine!

  2. Not only can you only have 5 MAC addresses registered, you can only use one at any one time. Sez hereDon't worry, I'm in the same boat, NTL cable modem service is the same.You just need a router don't ya? I bought a Netgear RP614 and it is lovely, and silver. And comes with a little stand to make it vertical. YAY!Consequently, I only have one MAC address registered with NTL, the address of the router. I can add compooters willy nilly without any need to register any more.Oh and I've found this invaluable in the past, Blue Yonder specifics are in blue..

  3. The reason BY (and indeed NTL) added the MAC address registration was to stop '3l33t haxx0rs' getting a DHCP assigned addreses, setting them as static, and repeating the process to end up with a network with lots of valid IP addresses on it, humping the DHCP server in the process.
    Rather than going the router-route Vagga, why not just stick a second network card in the DHCP server you have, and NAT'ing to the internet? Saves the £100 or so quid additional cost of the router - tho things like port-forwarding could be a little more tricky, if you have a need for such wizardry.

  4. As homer says. A router is all you need. Can't you just use the 500mhz machine?
    What happens if two Pc's try to access the internet at the same time anyway? You'd have been stuffed.