Spoonbills and RAM Sticks . . .

The tide was out this morning so I got some more bird shots right out in front of the rig. I also saw our Roseate Spoonbills, but they flew off before I could get the camera.

I’m always amazed at the wildlife we see in this area.

GB Birds 1

GB Birds 2

GB Birds 3

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On another note I decided to try a better antenna for the Wi-Fi here in the park. The USB Wi-Fi adapter that I use for my desktop in the rig just has one of those 5” stubby antennas, and I wanted to see if I could increase the 2 bars of signal I normally get.

So I picked up one of these Hawking HiGain Wi-Fi Antenna at Fry’s. It’s a little over 12 inches tall and comes with wall mounts if you need them. In my case I just hang it from my crankup TV antenna handle and connect it to my USB card using the supplied 5 ft cable.

Hawking Antenna

Since this antenna is very directional I wanted to have some way to aim it easily. With a little Googling I found inSSIDer, a free program that does it all.

inSSIDer

The instantaneous graph at the bottom lets me turn the Wi-Fi antenna for the strongest signal.

And it does make a difference. I went from two bars to four bars, and occasionally, five bars on my signals. Between the new antenna and the free software, I may now be able to use the Wi-Fi signal at more parks when my Verizon Air Card is marginal.

The program also shows me the type of encryption used and the max speed of each Access Point, and even the manufacturer of the hardware. A really useful program.

Today was busy but not complicated. Leaving the rig about noon, I only went three places. My first stop was Fry’s Electronics to exchange the 4 – 2 GB RAM sticks for 2 – 4 GB sticks to finish upgrading the client’s two new computers.

Then it was on to the client’s office where I installed the new RAM, and then started setting up and configuring the second computer. I’ll probably come back this weekend and install the computers and the new wireless router and get them online.

My last stop was the client’s house that I’ve been fighting the AT&T problem. As I wrote yesterday, AT&T make the Static to Dynamic IP switchover yesterday, so all I had to do was setup their new wireless router and check everything out. I also installed a number of Microsoft updates that were needed, and after one last check, I headed home.

Jan had said we were going to have the leftover fajita beef nachos from Tuesday night at Monterey’s Little Mexico, so I decided we needed some Chicken Tortilla Soup and Queso & Chips to go with it. So I called ahead to Monterey’s and had it ready for me to pick up as I went by.

It made for a very delicious supper.

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Thought for the Day:

“Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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2 Responses

  1. Nick Russel sent me to your blog for help on extending the range I can pull in a WiFi signal from. I need a recomendation on what to buy to get max range possible for my tablet. Will inssider work on my Sam-sung Galaxy 10.1 Tablet computer?

  2. John,

    First off, inSSIDer is a Windows program so it will not run on your Android-powered Galaxy Tablet.

    The problem is going to be getting a stronger signal into your tablet. Like most laptops, your Galaxy probably has no way to connect an antenna to the internal WiFi card.

    My first thought would be a USB WiFi card like I used on my desktop. The Galaxy has a USB adapter available for it, but I don’t know if it would handle the WiFi card of not.

    I can think of several ways to do it, but probably more money than you would want to spend.

    Let me do some research and get back with you.

    Greg

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