Monday, May 24, 2010

Magic Jack and Me...

I ordered Magic Jack a few months ago in order to get a cheaper rate for home-phone service. I originally had Skype but, their setup was a bit too much; if you did not want to be tethered to your computer. I heard that a person would be able to hook up a base unit with other extended phones with just one phone line. Needless to say, it worked out well; for a while.

I had (have) an old desktop that I was not using and decided to use it as a dedicated Magic Jack machine to route all of my calls through. I proceeded to put my old desktop on my existing network and access it via Remote Desktop.

One day, I decided I needed to access the old desktop Remotely while trying to setup my fax machine on the box as well. Well, low and behold, my Magic Jack was not working properly; meaning, I got a dial-tone but could not call out.

It took me a while to figure out the problem. Once I found out that in order for Magic Jack to continue working properly, I would not be able to access it Remotely while using the local resources on the box I was Remoting from. Once I changed the options to use it's own local resources, everything worked!

I'm guessing that the Magic Jack needs to use the local resources when Remoting in order to produce sound correctly.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cat5e, Routers, and Crimpers OH MY!!!

I set out to wire my home instead of continuing with wireless. With all the potential interference of the microwave and wireless phone, I wanted to stop the madness.

I started by getting some Cat5e cable from a co-worker/friend of mine. I then borrowed a crimping tool from another co-worker/friend of mine. Needless to say, this saved me a lot of money. I am grateful to Carl and Victor for the hook-up.

Once I had all of the materials, I proceeded to the attic to drill holes and run the cables. Needles to say, the crawlspace can get quite tight (I've now gotta fix a small crack in the ceiling where my foot slipped and caved it in).

To speed up this story, I will give a few of my shortcomings; in which I solved. Here is a list of things to remember when going through the process:

  • If when you plug in your network cable and there is some resistance, ensure you have crimped the RJ45 jack flush (mine wasn't flush, thus no connection)
  • When hooking up to more than one router, ensure you disable your DHCP (all except your main router)
  • If you have the money, hire someone to do it for you
I think I lost about 5 pounds while running that wire to and fro in the attic.