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Archive for May, 2011

30
May

On Stranger Tides…

My daughter and I caught the latest installment of Pirates Of The Caribbean, On Stranger Tides.

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In a heartbeat (not Davy Jones’s), it’s about finding the Fountain Of Youth and the reason behind doing so for the four main characters. Plus there was some other stories going on at the same time in the movie, the outcome of some were never quite explained by the movies ending.

And that’s what made it different than previous episodes. For us, it tended to water down the focus. Jack wasn’t as funny, cute or devious (his character looked toned down somewhat), Barbossa was a far more in depth character study, Angelica was annoying and BlackBeard was the stand out character we simply loved to hate. Ian McShane did a fantastic job of portraying the amoral BlackBeard and remained true to his character from start to finish.

None the less, although we enjoyed the movie, we found it significantly different than previous ones. Perhaps because it was a complete new story, not a continuation of the previous ones. The noted Gore Virbinski did not direct this time. It’s not like you can see two or three different versions from different directors and pick the best one, but not using Virbinski might have been one reason for the different feel.

Thus for us it was a good movie, but it wasn’t a great movie…

On the other side of the world…Carol and I just finished off playing Lego Pirates Of The Caribbean on the PS3 and it was a hoot watching the scenes in the movie match up with scenes from the game. Obviously the game scenes are over the top because they covered all four episodes and were expanded because, after all, it is a game. But Lego seems to be able to capture the raw essence of each of the characters, with their odd mannerisms, movements, expressions and encased in Lego’s own brand of humour.

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I’d rate the actual movie about a 6.5, and the Lego game 8…

7
May

The “Bridge”

The studio Mac Pro’s built in wireless airport can barely reach the main router (a DLINK DIR 655) in the office. In spite of the fact that it’s only about 50 feet. The walls no doubt play a large part in the signal strength..

Thus, I picked up a DLINK DAP 1522 to use as an ethernet wireless bridge. Not exactly a straight forward set up, but that might be because I’ve never set up a bridge before. After finally figuring it out, I got the DLINK DP1522 connected to my DIR 655 and I was..ah.. stumbling along. I checked the signal strength and I was getting about 44% for a blistering throughput of 38Mbps. Maybe. More like dial up…and the signal would fluctuate all over the place.

The problem? The DAP1522 doesn’t have external antennas:

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You can see the antenna wire is glued onto the u.fl connector and then it goes to a piece of metal that’s supposed to be some great antenna. Which it’s not. Very directional, very pathetic. I read that the glue is very difficult to get off. I didn’t find that at all. Came off in a second at the most (almost flaked off). So maybe DLINK changed the type of glue they used.

I found an eBay seller who sold an external antenna mod kit but unfortunately only shipped to the US and I’m north of that… However, my son had a four year old DIR 655 that just fried itself and he was throwing it out. Guess what’s on the DIR 655? That’s right. Antennas!!!!

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Took about two minutes to get the 655 part and salvage the antennas. I even got a spare…

I drilled two holes for mounting the antennas in the back of the DAP1522, put in the connectors and snapped them on the jacks on the main PCB.

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Had to cut off the two posts that have screws in them for holding the case halves together, but there are still snaps around the case that will hold it together. So no big deal.

While I wouldn’t say it looks like it’s factory installed, it was a simple and neat install.

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I connected it up to the Mac Pro in the studio and yep, it works sweet…(it’s 192.168.1.197 line):

DAP1522 Antenna Mod

Why DLINK doesn’t put antennas on these is a bit of a mystery. Maybe they want to sell more of the DAP 1555 that does have the external antennas (I think the 1555 is really a modded 655 anyway). But really the 1522 is a nice device, just needs some signal strength to it… which I now have…