Extension Update 3: Rooms and Wireless Planning

Came home today and inspected the progress on the extensions. Very happy that the dividing frame is up. Now we can really see what sort of area that we have to work from.

I can start planning the new built in desk layout and function. Looks like there is going to be heaps of room to play with. Looking forward to the big desk and built-in cupboards.

In thinking about the layout of the new office I am also considering the associated work such as the home network. I am planning on hard wiring most of the house to the Internet. Including a wireless access point upstairs to provide wireless access over the whole house.

As far as wireless access points go I am currently considering two models from Netgear:

  1. PROSAFE™ 802.11G WG102
  2. PROSAFE™ 802.11G WG302

Both are pretty good wireless access points. The one thing that I have to consider is that I am trying to provide wireless access over two floors and I need the signal to travel both horizontal and vertically. The point will be upstairs and most of the coverage will be over this area. So the additional areal on the WG302 may be distinct advantage, being able to position it at a different angle. Both units are capable of PoE which is a must as the access point will be on a small shelf high on the wall. I am going to have a chat to my brother as he is a guru with this sort of thing… he should be, since he is an IT manager!

The hard-wiring over the rest of the house is mainly to the entertainment areas such as near TV’s etc. This is not so much essential now but more a future proofing measure. I firmly believe that in the future all our “Television” will be delivered via the Internet and not as a signal through the air as it is now (in Australia at least). So I figure that hard wiring it with CAT6 cable is the best option for this application.

So getting back to the office layout; I’ll need a shelf or cupboard dedicated to routers, power, switches and access terminals. So being able to see the walls is starting to make the decisions as to where these things go a lot easier.

Maybe by the end of the week we shall see a second floor start to emerge.

Advertisements

House Extensions Update 2

I got home this afternoon and I was excited to see that the frame has gone up on the ground floor. The dividing wall between the two rooms is missing but I am guessing that it will go in tomorrow.

I managed to get out before it got too dark and take some photos. I took the boys down as well and they had a great time walking around and getting a feel for what it will look like when it is finished.

Extension Update 2

Initially we were concerned about the size of the rooms. We had the plan revised before they started. But we were never 100% sure that we allowed enough and made the rooms large enough. Today I was pleased to have a look at what will be my study and actually visualize the room size and where things will go. The rooms are going to be great. No regrets so far as to design and sizing. Although we do have the upstairs floor to go yet. But things are looking good.

Extension Update 2

No doubt with the dividing frame tomorrow there will be yet another hole into some fixture. But I am getting used to that!

More images on flickr

20 Must Have’s for Firefox :: Streamline your Development

There are heaps of these type posts, “50 best…”, “10 must have’s for Firefox” etc… you know what I mean. But this post stood out in that these types of posts usually have the same old stuff that everyone has seen before.

This post called “20 must-have Firefox extensions” is a little different in that there are extensions here that I never knew existed. Sure some I have, but then there are others that I have not, it is the “have not’s” that I enjoyed in this post.

“These plug-ins give you souped-up functionality, better look and feel, and streamlined development tasks. And some are just plain cool.”

–  20 must-have Firefox extensions

I think that is the key, these extensions are niche focused, more of these please. We have seen the top 10 too many times, a pleasure to read something with a specific focus.

Check out the post from Computerworld. I am not going to re-blog the article. It is worth reading it for yourself. But there is a nice summary of each extension suggested and easy to drill down what you want out of it.

The 100 Worst Firefox Extensions

There are plenty of lists around the place, top 10 this 10 best of that. Here is a twist in more ways than one.

Firefox is a highly customisable browser, as such they don’t make it hard to create extensions for it. If you subscribe to the RSS feed for new Firefox extensions there must be at least 10 a week. Generally extensions at some great functionality to Firefox. Just for your information they are not like Internet Explorer Add-ons that you have to remove with the Add/Remove Programs. Firefox extensions are very easy to remove inside the browser itself and when they are gone they are gone. So given all that there are some duds.

Here is a list of the Worst 100 Firefox extensions. Ironically they can be found on the Unencyclopedia. To add further to the anti of everything the Worst Firefox extensions list links to the 100 Worst Lists of all Time.

Firefox is not perfect all the time, just most of it.

“Typos” can Lead Disaster for Your PC

The slip of a finger on the keyboard can result in miss-spelling something. That can be bad. Some malicious websites use the fact that typos are common and we can’t spell against us.

Typing an address directly into the address bar is a great way to ensure that you are headed to the correct site. As opposed to clicking a link that you think goes to the right place when in fact it is a rip off of the correct site. It might look the same, but look closer and you might notice some discreet differences to what you remember. Like a slightly different adress or wording of the site. This is called “phishing“. The new version of Firefox, Firefox 2 will have inbuilt protection from these sites. But there are also applications that will help as well.

The whole thing that lead to this post was that I was sending a colleague some links to sites that will help them become more secure, such as anti-spyware and such. I came around to recommending they install an extension called Site Advisor. I went to the site and I noticed that they have posted a video on YouTube that chronicles what can happen at the slip of a finger.

It all starts when a user types “goggle” instead of “google” directly into the address bar… It all goes downhill from there. But let it be a warning to all. If you type an address into the address bar, be careful! In addition to this install Site Advisor it will tell you if the site you are on is bad. The extension also indicates a web sites status in searches, so that you know before you click if something nasty lurks at the other end. I would also strongly recommend using Firefox. Although there is a version of the extension that works with Internet Explorer, found at the same site.

Another great tool is Link Scanner by Exploit Prevention Labs, it checks sites before you visit without finding out the hard way. Something that I do a bit as well is “hovering” over a link without clicking it. Doing this will show the actual link at the bottom left of the browser. I look and see if it is going where the text on the page says it is, or where I expect it to be going. Call me paranoid but I do it. Plus I have been on the ugly end of a zero day virus and it isn’t fun. Tends to make you a bit paranoid.

I always said I would not use video on my blog unless I thought that it was effective in either demonstrating what I was saying or was in some way exceptional this does and is. Scary stuff, glad it was not my PC. I would say “enjoy” but I felt decidedly ill. But cool to watch and see what happens, if happens to you just hose the system, there is no going back, not to the point where I would trust it anyway.

As described by the YouTube User that posted the Video:

“McAfee SiteAdvisor takes a videotaped spin through some dark alleys of the Web. The result? A computer crash worth rubbernecking.

Disclaimer: Exploit Prevention Labs is a current sponsor of The Global Geek Podcast of which I am a host.

AllPeers is LIVE!

AllPeers LogoNow this is exciting. I have just discovered that AllPeers has gone live and is available for download from the official Mozilla extensions site. You can check out the features of AllPeers by having a look at the All Peers homepage.

AllPeers is a sharing extension for everything! You can share files from your local machine, web-pages and if you don’t want to share the whole page just share a picture; no problem – just drag and drop the picture you want to share to the contact that you want to share it with. Drag and drop goodness.From the screen shots it looks like you have contacts that are easily added with an invite via email. It is cross platform with XP, Mac and LINUX support.

I am keen to try it out. No more huge emails! Maybe email will be used as it is supposed to be used now… for text? They are also touting that it is secure, my only concern is that it is. I have just checked the All Peers FAQ and all transfers are made using SSL. Any app that has access to your files in this manner needs to be.

It would appear that it installs yet another toolbar on Firefox. I am not sure if it is toolbar worthy though, I will have to see. I am very guarded about what toolbars I let Firefox have, one toolbar means a sacrifice of screen real-estate – so the application has to be great for me to be totally in favour. But like most Firefox applications and extensions there the toolbar is usually fully customisable and you decide where it goes if at all. I trust that this is the case with AllPeers.

This really does look like a killer application. The question now is how fast is it? I am assuming that it is going to be quicker than sharing files using IM clients. From reports it would seem that the transfer rate is reasonable, they have been described as “very good”.

“… and I received very good transfer speeds.”

Please remember that this is Beta and the usual rules apply for “beta” stuff. I would stay tuned for this one to be updated rapidly and development to be fast and furious as this exert implies from the AllPeers Official Blog, PeerPressure:

“…this is still a beta and we’re keen to hear about any suggestions you have for improving AllPeers. We’ve built a fabulous foundation (if I may say so myself) so you can expect to see rapid progress from here on out. I’ve seen a lot of questions of various stripes here and around the blogosphere. I’ll get a FAQ out as soon as possible that addresses them all and gives some more insight into our long-term plans.”

No doubt we will review this extension on the next The Global Geek Podcast, it looks like a great application that will solve many, many problems. Myself and my friends are always trying to share large files and constantly sharing web images and URL’s, this is a God-send in my opinion. Can’t wait to see what is next.

I am off to lunch. Don’t know why I am telling you that but I am…