Gone wireless

dg834gt.jpgI’ve just managed to get my new Netgear wireless router working and I’m typing this from the kitchen! It’s very cool – now I can get on with work on my laptop while Katie uses the computer in a different room.

It took a little bit of setting up and wasn’t without some frustration – BT Broadband insisted that I didn’t need to use a password to log in with them but the router wouldn’t attempt a connection without one. They kindly gave me the number for Netgear technical support, whom I found to be very helpful but I still couldn’t get connected – the lady on the phone told me that I should go back to BT and request a password. Finally, I tried typing a dummy password and it magically worked!

From the release notes for the beta version of the firmware available on the Netgear website it looks as though this problem is known about and will be fixed soon.

PDF concatenation

PDFThings have moved on, so to speak, pretty rapidly in the house moving department. A couple of weeks ago we found a property that we fell for in Berkhamsted, a gorgeous little town just outside the M25 motorway within easy reach of central London by rail. Luckily for us, prospective buyers for our current house have also come along at the same time and everybody wants to get on with things so hopefully we’ll be able to move quickly – fingers crossed!

The surveys on our new place dropped through the door today and I am happy to report that at first glance things all seem to be in order. The next job is to ensure that our solicitor has a copy. Instead of waiting for the photocopier at work tomorrow, I decided to employ our trusty Epson 1670 scanner to create PDFs of all of the pages so I can email the documents on as well as print them out and send them by post.

Somewhat annoyingly, the scanner software creates PDF files containing one page each – there is no option to scan in multiple pages and generate one file. This isn’t particularly convenient – having to open one page after the other when they should all be in the same document makes things hard work. That’s where Google came to the rescue again this evening. A quick search soon turned up ConcatPDF, a tiny application that will take a number of PDF files and produce one. Just the ticket – I now have single files to keep for myself and email to the solicitor.

You do need to download and install a small component from Microsoft before you can use it, but this is a little price to pay for a neat – and free – application.

O2 phone tip

If, like me, you have trouble in answering your mobile in good time and you’re on the O2 network, you may find this tip useful. You can increase the amount of time that the phone will ring before it diverts to voicemail by typing:

**61*901*10*<number of seconds>#

…and pressing SEND. It doesn’t seem to like values over 30, though, so if you get a message such as ‘Network Error’, try a lower number.

Paper DVDs

I saw this story on BBC News earlier in the week about high-capacity paper discs. They sound amazing, both in terms of data capacity and how much more environmentally-friendly I guess they will be, but I can’t help wondering whether after a while they would take on a musty smell and go yellow like library books.

SingStar

My friend James has just told me about a fun new release for the PlayStation 2 that will be out in May. Called SingStar, it works in a similar way to the EyeToy in that it comes with hardware to plug into your USB ports – this time it’s two microphones instead of a camera. From what I understand, the object of the game is to try and sing as on time and in tune as possible – kind of a scientific karaoke! Looks like it’s worth a go after a few beers but as it only comes with 30 tracks it may get boring (or excruciating) quite quickly.