weird things

There are still some weird things going on with my desktop computer, but it’s mostly good now. I may let it do a full backup tomorrow, while I sit in front of the TV and play Final Fantasy VII. (I really need to finish that game.)

For years I’ve been using a desktop sticky note program called Stickies, by Steven De Toni. It’s freeware, and it’s always worked fine, doing exactly what I want it to do. Unfortunately, after the last reformat/reinstall on my desktop machine, it started acting weird. When I was typing a note, the cursor would always jump back to the beginning of the line every time I pressed the space bar. Sometimes, it would jump back to the end, and sometimes it wouldn’t. Urk. I investigated quite a few possibilities, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It’s exactly the same executable I use on my work machine, so the problem has to stem from some outdated DLL somewhere that it’s referencing. If only I had an easy way of figuring out which DLL it was.

I eventually gave up and decided to find a new sticky note program. Maybe I’m just really picky, but I must have tried out 20 programs without finding even one I liked enough to keep. I think I’ve settled on Magic Notes. It’s shareware, so it’ll cost me $15, but that’s pretty reasonable. In some ways, it’s still not as good as Stickies, (for instance, you can’t bring one note to the foreground without bringing them all to the foreground) but it’s OK. So, on with my life!

Lots of Computer Weirdness

Lots of stuff has been going on with my desktop computer over the last week. To make a long story short, I would up reformatting the drive, reinstalling XP, and reinstalling all my applications. Lots of work, but the thing’s mostly better now. I still can’t run chkdsk/f or Norton Disk Doctor without hosing things up, but I guess I can deal with that for a while.

I’m an idiot.

I now have both my Dell laptop and my iBook hooked up to my Airport Base Station, using WEP. I had originally disabled it, because I thought the USR card on the Dell wasn’t compatible with the 40-bit WEP implementation on the Airport Base Station. The USR config software only had options for 64-bit and 128-bit WEP. Little did I know that 40-bit and 64-bit are the same thing. And little did I know that the Airport Admin utility has a menu option to convert the text password used by Airport into the hex key required by the USR software. This nice little article explained it all: Flying into Other AirPorts. Yay for TidBITS! They rule!

My efforts to get WEP running again were of course spurred by Sunday’s Doonesbury.

Hooking up a Windows laptop to an Airport Base Station

I just bought a USR 11Mbps wireless card for my laptop. I wanted to set things up so I could access my Airport Base Station from that laptop. It took a little doin’, but all is now well. If you need to do this, the important thing is to disable WEP on the base station, and set the PC card to “infrastructure” mode. Here are some links that might be helpful:

Cross-platform AirPort Wireless Networks

USR Support for the USR2410 card