Cisco WAG54G2 Router Problem

5 10 2010

When I got back from Aleppo to Damascus my Linksys WAG54G2 ADSL modem stopped working. The DSL LED was on, but I couldn’t get an internet connection. I looked in the router Log, and this is what I found:

Thu, 1970-01-01 00:07:38 – Restart adsl…

Thu, 1970-01-01 00:07:38 – Connecting PPPoE socket: 00:00:00:00:00:00 0000 0x81088

Thu, 1970-01-01 00:07:38 – Couldn’t get channel number: Unknown error 107

Thu, 1970-01-01 00:07:38 – Doing disconnect

I double and triple checked the settings but nothing changed. So I plugged in another router (Billion 7300G) and it worked instantly!

The problem really baffled me, as I was sure I had the same exact settings on both routers.

So, after some research and many hours spent on trying different settings and even Firmwares, I discovered a solution. I just flipped the Autodetect setting to Off, and set the VPI and VCI manually, and the problem just went away! My internet connection is now back to normal.

I hope this could help some users out there as it helped me.

My Firmware version is 1.00.19  Annex A. And my ISP is tarassul.sy.

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Useful Firefox Add-ons

26 03 2009

Most of us, Internet users here in Syria, are struggling each day to get the most out of our 4 Kb/s connections.

There’s no doubt that Firefox surely did help us in terms of page-rendering speeds, and its efficient caching system. But unfortunately, we can’t ask for more with 4 Kbs.

However, for those of you who love to go the whole way for a better browsing experience, here are some very useful Firefox add-ons that I use on a daily basis, all of them are freeware:

1 – Flashblock

This add-on will disable all Flash objects on every page you visit, and replace them with “Play” buttons that you can click to activate only the objects you want to see. Very useful and saves lots of bandwidth.

More info and download here: http://flashblock.mozdev.org/

2 – Gmail Notifier

This one will sit next to the search bar, and will check periodically for new emails on your Gmail account(s). This also saves the bandwidth to go check your Gmail account every once and a while to check for new emails.

More info and download here: http://www.nexgenmedia.net/extensions/

3 – FoxyProxy

This will help streamline your browsing experience. Recommended for those who use more that one proxy server, or those who use Ultrasurf (or any other proxy breakers). You can define patterns to visit certain websites using one proxy address, and others using another. The add-on will then automatically switch your proxy settings accordingly.

More info and download here: http://foxyproxy.mozdev.org/

4 – Page Saver Basic

This one will help you take images of whole websites and save them on your hard drive. Very useful for saving the page as it is displayed in your browser in JPEG or PNG format, for a later review.

More info and download here: http://pearlcrescent.com/products/pagesaver/

Hope you find them useful as much as I did. Please drop a comment if you know any other useful add-ons, and tell us your opinion.





Gaza, A Call for Media Support

9 01 2009

Watching the news day and night has been the flagship activity of the Syrian people for the last 2 weeks. Even though there’s a certain atmosphere of disappointment, everybody knows there’s nothing they can do to make the situation any better (they can’t fight, and humanitarian aids are not getting anywhere near Gazza thanks to the Egyptian president’s utterly stupid philosophy).

And even though I’m hating the current media more and more each day, mainly because I was never pleased by watching real-time transmissions of missiles falling over people’s heads, I’m a bit glad at the same time. Because IT IS crucial -at this point in history- to use every form of media to spread the word (the true words I hope) about the Israeli massacre happening right now in Gazza.

AlJazeera is doing a great job I think, covering the events minute by minute. But even more important than that is the worldwide medias and TV channels. I gotta say, the American TV networks (according to the news broadcasts on MBC4) are doing a nicer job than that of the Iraqi war. Leaning more towards realistic facts, and a bit more unbiased than they used to be, but still, disappointingly very very far from neutrality.

Apart from TV channels, there’s also an internet war going on too. One that is fought in social networking sites & services, blogs, and video sharing services. Well, that’s a media that we can contribute to. So instead of standing still, we’re able to fight back this time, by spreading the real facts and news about this horrible war, we’ll be able to increase awareness among those blinded by their biased media networks. Which will, in turn, help boost the global pressure on Israel to stop the war immediately.

So, those of you reading this, if you have any kind of presence on the internet (i.e. Blog, Facebook, Hi5, Twitter accounts, etc…), please start pointing your readers and followers to the right direction, by providing links and references to websites and news agencies that are trying to tell the bare truth of this war. A good starting point is the links found in this blog post: Gaza and New Media Resistance.

The death toll, at the time of writing, was: 763 palestinian casualties, over 300 of them are children. It’s by far the most disgusting war I have ever seen. Let’s hope it will be the last one.





Ultrasurf

26 11 2008

Ultrasurf is a freeware proxy-bypass program, which will let you surf the net privately and freely.

It doesn’t need to be installed, as it’s only one small executable file that you can run directly from your HDD or your USB flash drive. I tried it, and it’s safe, with no spyware and adware attachments.

Download it here: http://www.ultrareach.com/

Run the program and set your proxy to: Address: localhost, Port: 9666, and you’re ready to go.

Have fun.





Enable AHCI Under Vista

17 08 2008

Finally, I have found a way to enable the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) controller driver under Windows Vista. I tried to enable it before installing Vista but couldn’t find a way to do so without using a floppy drive.

Anyway, the other day I was looking for a way to enable the NCQ (Native Command Queuing) capability of my HDDs, and stumbled upon these two articles, which present an alternative way to enabling AHCI (under XP or Vista) without the need for a format and a reinstall:

HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows XP

How to enable AHCI without reformatting Windows Vista

Now, you are surely asking if I had gained any performance improvements from AHCI. And to tell you the truth, I didn’t notice any improvement. I know it’s there, and I know some of the AHCI benefits are not noticeable at user level, but are useful for the HDDs, because AHCI enables power management routines not available under the normal IDE mode. And it enables NCQ which is helpful in extending the HDDs lifecycle, and efficiency.

Learn more about AHCI in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AHCI





Geek Contraception!

14 07 2008

Geek Contraception!!

What a wonderful term..

“The Scottish Government is investigating a cunning plan to use computer games to stop teenage girls becoming pregnant.”

That was the headline of a news article found at Fudzilla.

The news itself is best described as a joke. But the interesting part is the sub-title: “Geek Contraception”. At first, you get a good laugh at that term, but in the end, it does ring a bell of some sorts.

The term Geek is spread wide in the 21st century, almost internationally, as part of the global pop culture scene.

It is also globally agreed that Geeks are identified as “socially interactive nerds”. If you don’t know what a nerd is, imagine your classmate who was getting all the straight A’s with those thick eye glasses, and the momma’s boy uniform. All while having almost no social skills of any kind.

So, back to the geek stuff. According to Wikipedia, a geek is

“a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, gaming, etc…”

I have to mention other very important facts and definitions about geeks (also from Wikipedia):

  • A person who is interested in technology, especially computing and new media. Geeks are adept with computers, and treat the term hacker as a term of respect, but not all are hackers themselves.
  • A person who relates academic subjects to the real world outside of academic studies; for example, using multivariate calculus to determine how they should correctly optimize the dimensions of a pan to bake a cake.
  • A person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who passionately pursues skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance.
  • A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest. This definition is very broad but because many of these interests have mainstream endorsement and acceptance, the inclusion of some genres as “geeky” is heavily debated.

I find the 3rd definition to be the one closest to how I think about geeks. In fact, it’s the reason why I respect geeks, in contrary to the commonly used geek-rejection social behavior.

I know I’m a geek too (been called once by a former employer), & I fit perfectly into all the mentioned definitions. So, I’m aware that my opinion may be a bit biased. However, I feel it’s necessary to clear a few points out.

The most important fact that people usually tend to forget about, is the relativity between a geek and a certain society or culture. It is mentioned above (point 3) that geeks are put out of the “mainstream social acceptance”. It’s necessary for us to ask about the real definition of the term “mainstream social acceptance”, and how it affects the socially-common point of view towards geeks. If you ask about the other point of view here, you’ll find that geeks see other people also as “out of the social acceptance of the geek culture”, even if they -geeks- form a social minority. So, who’s right, and who’s wrong?! Does being counted as a mainstream person means that you’re exhibiting the right social behavior? Or is it because you’re a minority you think that you are definitely superior?!?

People also forget about the mutual relationship between these 2 social groups. When applying the definition of a geek to pre-popculture history you’d find that all the scientists, mathematicians, and physicists of the past are identified as geeks. So, it’s quite obvious that it’s mutual. Society NEEDS geeky people, and those geeks are left useless without the society they live in.

But imagine what happens when we try to merge both together! What would happen if geeks are put back into the “mainstream social acceptance”?? Wouldn’t that bring bigger benefits for both sides?? Wouldn’t it wipe the term geek from existence??

Let’s take into consideration that families usually panic when they find a family member exhibiting some of the geek behaviors. Most of those families try to change that member’s behavior in order to bring him/her away from a “disaster”. Only because geeks are not socially accepted!? Isn’t that a bit silly?!?

I think we should encourage the geek behavior, AND also work harder to eliminate the cement wall between geeks and society. That way, we can get a lot more benefit from geeks, AND most importantly, we’d also give geeks their social lives back, eliminating the imaginary geek disease.

So, going back to that article by Fudzilla, I’d say that the so called “geek contraception” is working well right now.. But it’s no laughing matter. I’d rather find ways to resolve this issue rather than crack jokes about it.

It requires a solution because you can’t make people love science and technology if you’re constantly reminding them of the “geek disease”. And that will hold us all back.

Oh, and girls, if you’re reading this please don’t get it wrong! I’m a nice man, give me a chance to prove myself! I’m not so geeky after all!! ;p





Some Good (And Bad) News!

12 07 2008

Okay, so I know this is a very old cliche, but whatever…

Let’s start with the good news first:

After lots of efforts (and long nights), I’ve finally managed to get my computer back in business after changing my mobo and CPU. I ran into some problems trying to get my SATA HDDs to run in AHCI mode, and sadly, I failed, miserably!! For some unknown reason, neither Vista nor XP would install when I changed the BIOS settings to AHCI. So, anyway, after 10 (maybe more) unsuccessful attempts I gave up, and got both OSs installed in dual-boot configuration using the good old normal IDE mode:

– Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 for my everyday PC use.

– Windows XP SP3 for gaming purposes only.

And now, my new beloved CPU, the almighty Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 is sitting tight and cool in a brand new Gigabyte EP35-DS3R. No complaints whatsoever! It’s one super amazing piece of hardware. PC is literally flying right now. I decided to re-finish Crysis for the 4th time just to enjoy the smell of burning silicon!!! That game really stresses everything! And that’s exactly where you could see the Quad stretching its legs.

So, the bad news is, DirectX 11 is coming with Windows 7. Which practically means a new wave of DX11-compatible hardware. Which also brings the sad news to those who own a DX10 card, like me: start looking for a DX11 replacement card!!!! WTF?!@#?!@#?$!@#$^@#$. I bought my DX10 card less than a year ago!!!!!!

It’s really facsinating how companies work together to make you replace your brand new VGA card just to get some new features!! Don’t you guys love it when nVidia & ATI start bragging about how important it is to get a new DX11 VGA?!?!?!

Whatever. I’m glad I got my PC working again. And so begins the long process to get everything set up the way I like it all over again……

Note: obviously you guys have a clue as to where I’ve been in the last 2 weeks, don’t you?!?! Sorry anyways…