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· Belkin Wireless G Plus Router F5D7231-4 review...more
· Belkin Wireless G Plus Router F5D7231-4 review
· The "fake" Internet
· Yahoo Directories
· Transferring lots of files from one computer to another
· Clean up your system tray
· Temporarily disable your pop-up blocker
· Fn key not showing onscreen display on a Dell laptop
· The future of the Net
· Now even the Web Portal category is gone?
· Time to defrag your computer

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Computer Blog - February 2006

Disclaimer: all of the following is purely from personal experience. TheBroadroom.Net urges you to use your own instincts, common sense, and willingness to take risks when applying any of the information below.

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Belkin Wireless G Plus Router F5D7231-4 review...more
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, February 26, 2006 at 4:44 PM (Pacific)

I looked around some more on the's possible that this router works better with DSL. I have cable Internet (Comcast) ftr.

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Belkin Wireless G Plus Router F5D7231-4 review
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, February 22, 2006 at 5:45 PM (Pacific)

Good price ($60), good performance too, but...

Before this dissolves into either of the two types of product reviews--any kind of product reviews--that dominate the Net, to whit:

1.) "Great product!"
2.) "This sucks!"

...let me list the good experiences I had with this wireless router.

1.) Good price, widely available.
2.) Super easy to set up. Even a wireless router moron could set it up...I set it up without any problem. :D
3.) The Belkin Indian call center is better than other Indian call centers. The people were actually quite friendly, knowledgeable, and easy to understand. The first telephone connection I got, got fried toward the end, but the second was perfect. If you have to call during high volume periods, you have to wait though.
4.) When the thing worked, it worked perfectly...wireless Internet throughout the house, good strong signal.

Now, here was the sole problem, but it bugged the crap out of me enough to pack everything up and return the router. This router kept dropping the Internet connection. I had to reset it every other day, at best. Sometimes every day. You'd be using the Net and suddenly there was no connection.

The first time it happened, I called the Belkin Indian call center and the guy walked me through cloning the MAC address (this is network-ese to me, bear with me). I had to press in the reset button in the back of the router, unplug the router, unplug the modem...plug in the modem, plug in the router, and change some settings online.

The second time it happened, I called again and was told to just do the second part (reset, unplug, unplug, plug, plug, change settings).

My son concluded at one point that unplugging the devices was not necessary, i.e. you could just hold in the reset button for around thirty seconds and skip to the part about changing settings.

Try this at your own risk!!!!! I assume no responsibility for you or your wireless router!!!!!

Anyhow I tried this myself and it did work. But you'll note, how many times already I'd had to reset the router.

Yep--I did check for new firmware (this is again a super easy thing to check using the online screen). There wasn't any new firmware.

Finally...the place I bought it at, has a 30-day return policy and I realized that I'd given this router enough chances. I did not want to be stuck with it, at least not until I'd tried some other brands.

I'm using a new one now, I will report back later after I see how it performs over time.

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The "fake" Internet
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, February 18, 2006 at 4:47 PM (Pacific)

Check it out:

NVIDIA Denies Seeding Forums with Hired Posters

It had to happen.

I'm not saying they did it, I'm saying the phenomenon is there. You can smell it. The difference between the old-timey bloggers and the new "bloggers"...spiffy new blogs set up to subtly promote products...the difference is there.

I went so far as to list my "credentials" for blogging on my Adult Acne Blog. I suppose I'm lucky that some of those credentials still exist...that I have an Internet trail that's still possible to follow.

Ultimately these "seeds" are going to turn Internet writing into a new animal. Either people wake up and smell the rats, or else they're doomed to sit passively in front of the laptop screen, and simply be sold things.

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Yahoo Directories
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, February 13, 2006 at 2:15 PM (Pacific)

February 13, 2006

Submitted the LP blogger section to Yahoo > Directory > Arts > Design Arts > Fashion and Beauty > Weblogs
Title: The Lipstick Page Forums Blogs
Description: Non-commercial beauty/perfume, fashion and new product releases blogs.
Security email:
Contact person: Colleen Shirazi

Submitted The Lipstick Page Forums to Yahoo > Directory > Arts > Design Arts > Fashion and Beauty > Cosmetics
Title: The Lipstick Page Forums
Description: Non-commercial beauty site features the original Lipstick Page forum plus other forums, product reviews, an image library, articles, etc.
Security email:
Contact person: Colleen Shirazi

Submitted TheBroadroom.Net to Yahoo > Directory > Society and Culture > Cultures and Groups > Women
Title: TheBroadroom.Net
Description: A site by and for women. 100% owned and operated by women since 2002.
Security email:
Contact person: Colleen Shirazi

I debated briefly as to whether to take the "green bananas" option. It's gone up to $300 per site submission btw. Well, let's wait and see, if the people who can't fork over $300 per site submission can get their (non-commercial, obviously) websites added here (since they can't on the Open Directory Project).

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Transferring lots of files from one computer to another
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 11:01 AM (Pacific)

I saw this on a tech board I like to frequent...if you buy a new computer, what's the best way to transfer your data from the old to the new? Here is what I wrote:

There are different ways to do it. The computer makers are standardizing the ports (yay!), so any USB storage device will work from one computer to the next.

I have one of those USB external hard drives...they don't cost that much anymore, I think you can buy one for $60 or's the fastest and easiest way imo to copy lots of files. You just plug in the drive and copy over everything you want, then plug it in on the other computer and copy's pretty fast.

Now if you're moving stuff from a computer that's so old it doesn't have a USB port, that is when it gets slightly complicated. If you have a USB port then I think it's a good investment to get that external hard drive, I've found it handy overall.

I advise this over something like a memory key (too little storage space), burning CD's (this is worthwhile imo only if you already wanted CD copies of your data...a good excuse to sit down and make them), or using floppies (this you would do only if necessary, i.e. your old computer doesn't have a USB port). seems to me there are a couple of USB standards floating around, so make sure your external hard drive works with your old computer's USB port before you throw away your receipt and original packaging. (Try researching first to see "which" USB standard your clunker uses.)

Update: 2/12/2006

Apparently there is something in XP called "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard." You go to All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

I'm looking at it...very interesting...

Using the Files and Settings Transfer Wizard in Windows XP

If I understand correctly, you need to network the two computers together. There are some instructions on buying a 9-pin serial cable for joining computers not already on a network.


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Clean up your system tray
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, at 10:33 AM (Pacific)

I had already linked to this in an earlier post, then I needed to find the site again, is a separate post with the link in it. Plus I've added a link to the blogger template.

Startup Applications List

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Temporarily disable your pop-up blocker
posted by TheBroadroom.Net, at 10:31 AM (Pacific)

A neat trick. Hold down the Control key, then click on whatever it is you want to open that the pop-up blocker is suppressing.

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Fn key not showing onscreen display on a Dell laptop
posted by Colleen Shirazi, at 12:59 AM (Pacific)

Here's a bugger. Dell laptops (at least the one I looked at) are supposed to show battery status using Fn + F3, volume using Fn + PageUp or Fn + PageDown, and screen brightness using Fn plus the up or down arrow keys.

Fine...this one suddenly stopped showing the onscreen display. The volume and brightness controls still worked, but you couldn't see the horizontal bar. Of course for battery status, the horizontal bar is the thing.

What you want is Dell QuickSet. There might be an icon for it in your system tray (unless you've manually cleared it, isn't there an icon for everything there?) or else go to Start, All Programs, Dell QuickSet.

Here is where you can actually toggle the onscreen display on and off. If it shows it's on, trying toggling it off and then on.


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The future of the Net
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, February 10, 2006 at 6:47 PM (Pacific)

I dunno...I am...disgusted.

Maybe disgusted is the wrong word. I knew it was inevitable that the Internet would start out great--brilliant actually--then gradually devolve into commercialized crap. I knew that. I mean, look at cable tv. It started out around $12 a month, right? For lots and lots of channels without commercials...many of the cable channels did not have commercials in the beginning. Remember? MTV, Bravo and AMC spring to mind. Bravo used to be on only part of the day and showed mainly foreign films. MTV used to show music videos. AMC, well it is still the same only now with plenty of ads.

I have nothing against commercials per se but without regulation, the medium rapidly goes down the loo.

The Net now...used to be $10 per month. I'm not saying you can't get dialup for that now, but now you can no longer use dialup. Not if you want to get any work done.

So just as no-frills cable tv became $50 a month for you to sit and watch commercials, so did the Net become $50 a month for DSL or what have you, and there is less and less and less non-commercialized content.

I realized this afresh as I was checking the links on The Lipstick Page Forums Links Page. How many sites now even have a real links page? It used to be quite common.

Now, the only sites that email me about exchanging links are purely commercial sites (and usually mediocre ones at best). A few somewhat better sites have asked to be added to the links page, without offering a reciprocal link. It's just strange.

I used to surf around and look to find places to get my sites listed. But now such places are few and far between. Forget about the Open Directory Project. Rather than adding new sites, they're deleting sites they'd already added. Makes me wonder if a listing on the ODP is for sale and how many "green bananas" that would cost. shrugs

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Now even the Web Portal category is gone?
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, February 06, 2006 at 2:21 PM (Pacific)

Don't miss the "Suggested category":

Society > People > Women

That's the first women's category that TheBroadroom.Net was in, before it was "disappeared."

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Time to defrag your computer
posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, February 01, 2006 at 11:44 AM (Pacific)

Remember the old days? Remember edlin? Okay, I'm just kidding. I noticed today that a computer that has been used for less than three months already needs defragging.

I have nothing against defragging, I'm just saying. Apparently you need to do this more frequently than before.

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