Monday, March 31, 2003

Another little WebSTAR tip and/or bug: in the Realms section and the User section under Web Server in the Admin software, Realms with names longer than 13 characters seem to offer no security whatsoever. Once you hit that limit, it's all gone. Amazing security breach.
I needed to make a field in FileMaker Pro such that data, once entered, cannot be changed. I thought the way to do this would have been through the use of the Validation section of the field options in Define Fields, but I couldn't make that work (although I'm fairly sure I did that once before - if anyone has a clue, please email me).

Anyway, I bounced this one off my friend Rand, another FileMaker consultant, and he had the answer - going a very different way:

You take the field out of the tab order and make it a button. When the user clicks the button, the script decides whether or not to allow entry into the field, based on it being empty or not.

Works just fine, but I'd like to do it as a tab-able field. So if anyone has the answer through validation, please email me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Quick tip for anyone using WebSTAR 4.x and the Formmail plug-in: I was having a problem today with my form submission that goes to my pager. The problem? You must capitalize "Body" for the form, as in " textarea name="Body" ". Small detail, but it wont send the Body without it.

Note also for those using Blogger - I tried to type that textarea in with html brackets around it - Blogger went really strange. All I could do was go into safemode to get rolling again.

Friday, March 21, 2003

OK - war begins. We go skiing. Has ever a war not affected the homefront more than this time? People are prostesting, and filling up the cars, but really that's about it.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Quick FileMaker Pro tip: I wanted to have a large text field with essentially two columns of data on a printout. This data needed to be a concatenation of data from other sources, so just using related fields wouldn't do the trick. But the data had to line up.

So I stuffed tab characters into the data field as I was building it (Ctrl-Tab (Windows) or Option-Tab (Mac OS)) and then when I put the field on the layout, I chose Text Format -> Paragraph -> Tabs and set the tab as a 2 inch left tab - enough for my data. Works pretty well - I've never seen that used quite that way before.

Hope someone finds this helpful!

Monday, March 17, 2003

I gotta learn more about better blog templates - anyone have some good links? Email me.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

My Alias prediction: Arvin turns out to be Sydney's biological father.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

AirPort Extreme Bridging

So I had a client who wanted to use his laptop and a printer in his newly-converted garage-office. His iMac was going to remain in his house, and the cable modem connection was already in the house; we looked at moving it, but decided it wasn’t worth the trouble of re-wiring, if we could just do a wireless bridge.

First, we got a NetGear wireless bridge that NetGear told me would do the trick. Their tech support is usually good, but they failed here. This is a bridge for one device only, not a network, and it only is configurable via PC.

So then we went the route of two AirPort Extremes. We got the $200 models – didn’t need the modems or the antennas.

Setup hardware-wise was fairly straightforward. I plugged the cable modem and the iMac directly into the first base station in the house. Then I plugged the other base station into the printer in the garage-office. The laptop out there would connect via wireless.

First problem: my Titanium G4 only runs Mac OS 9. I know, I should load OS X, but my drive died recently, I started the rebuild from scratch, and I haven’t had time yet. Plus, OS 9 is just so much faster . . . Anyway, the software to configure the new AirPort Extreme Base Stations ONLY works with OS X. You can use the wireless network from an OS 9 machine (and I’m fairly sure from a PC also – just like the older AirPorts) but you can’t configure it from OS 9. I dug around online and couldn’t find anything to indicate that there was OS 9 software anywhere. This works pretty well with Apple’s idea that now only OS X exists – that as of Jan.1, everyone switched over.

So I used my client’s laptop to configure the base stations. Not too big a deal, just annoying.

Next problem: both base stations were set to use DHCP and both had similar names, so figuring out which was which for the configuration was a little annoying. I should have just powered up one at a time, but I didn’t. The good part is that the networks each call themselves something like “Apple Network1234” where 1234 is the last four digits of the wireless MAC address of the base station. That’s important to know.

The rest was pretty straightforward. I set the first one to grab an IP from the cable modem (remembering to power the cable modem down for a few minutes and then restart it – they don’t like for you to just switch client MAC addresses on them). Then I set the first one to accept the second one for WDS – and I need the wireless MAC address for that.

In the second base station, I turned off DHCP. Then I set it’s Internet connection to AirPort WDS and entered the wireless MAC address of the first base station.

I put passwords on both. I set each to bridge to Ethernet. And that was it!

AppleTalk and IP both act like one big network. Any device requesting DHCP from anywhere (wireless or wired) can get an address from the first base station. Any AppleTalk device just needs to be set appropriately for itself; both base stations then bridge the wireless to the wired (as always) and also to each other. And due to the 54 MB speed, the network is pretty snappy.
A few days ago, I set up a bridged AirPort Extreme network. I'll post all the details soon, but it works very, very well. I have one AirPort plugged into a hub to a cable modem and it acts as the router for the ethernet clients there. I have another AirPort Extreme hooked up about 150 feet away, and it serves the network to both wireless and ethernet clients there - making one seamless network for both IP and AppleTalk.

The only kicker is that, while you can use OS 9 to get online, you need OS X to setup the AirPorts.

More soon!

Friday, March 14, 2003

Just found that me and my TiVo Upgrade Business got mentioned over in ZDnet - thanks David!
OK - the first post here. Fascinating, I know. More to come once I get this all figured out.

Meantime, more info here.