WiFi Management for Parenting

I’ve been futzing for what feels like a year with the WiFi trying out various things. Basically, instead of the wife turning off all the WiFi and none of us having it, I’ve been playing with a few things to bring some sanity.

  1. The first approach was the wife disconnected the wifi router. That meant all of our devices were dead in the water too. No streaming devices. No laptops. Phones were using up data.
  2. Technically, I have a couple routers. One from the ISP and another I bought. So, I moved the devices to use the ISP router. However, I only want the devices on it, so I have not provided anyone else access to it. That still left the problem of the wife yanking the router all the humans are using for their phones.
  3. So, next, I replaced the router with a newer one that included a guest network feature. I built this router so that we connect to a new name and the teen connects to the old name which is the guest network. The nice thing about it was I the ability to schedule when it was available. We tried various settings to deal with different issues. For example, it doesn’t come on until 8am after the bus comes because when it was coming on at 7am, the bus would be missed a couple times a week due to watching videos while getting ready to lose track of time. We have not really settled on a shutoff time in trying to figure out what is appropriate for getting homework done while not enabling playing video games.
  4. I could manage access to the video games through router, but it is one of those things where you block one thing and the activity just moves on to the next thing. (Youtube, Netflix, etc.) So, it is a game of whack-a-mole where I want a sledgehammer.
  5. He complained about the WiFi being unstable. He described sudden extraordinarily high ping rates, a pattern of issues in the hour before cutoff, and other stuff. Part of that problem is he is in the basement while the router is a floor up, 25 feet away, with a staircase, ductwork, pipes, and stairs in the way.
  6. So, I rebuilt the guest network on an extender. Now, in theory, the WiFi router talks to the extender down the hallway. The extender sits directly overhead. It still might have to deal with some ductwork and pipes, but it should be significantly better.
  7. Also, I have Smart outlet that will turn it off when we need to cut him off. I set it on a schedule which is nicer because I can say an earlier time Sun-Thu and later Fri & Sat. Also, it can also be managed through an app which is easier than an obscure webpage URL and desktop designed web page.

Introvert Myths

Go away or I will replace you with a very small shell script.
Go away or I will replace you with a very small shell script.

This Huffington Post piece, 6 Things You Thought Wrong About Introverts is not terrible. It covers these myths about introverts.

  1. All introverts are shy — and all shy people are introverts.
  2. Introverts don’t like to be around people. (Anti-social)
  3. Introverts don’t make good leaders or public speakers.
  4. Introverts have more negative personalities. (Depression)
  5. Introverts are more intellectual or creative than extroverts.
  6. It’s easy to tell whether someone is introverted or extroverted.

I have been an introvert for as long as I can remember. Happiness to me at even age 5 was playing alone with my toys. Later it was reading, playing video games, walking, or driving while alone. I did not need anyone else. Especially as I would hold all parts of the conversation either aloud or in my head.

Using me as an exemplar of introversion is probably also a mistake. It probably contributes to people incorrectly associating several of these myths with introverts. I make it no secret I am one. Some examples… Until I grow comfortable around others, good luck getting subject-verb-object or more complex sentences out of me (#1). Avoiding others is my specialty (#2). Blogging is a method by which I short-circuit my tendency to ruminate on everything (#4).

This other article, Caring for Your Introvert, is a must read. It starts:

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

A couple decades ago, I went hermit from my friends. Rumors of my grand depression

Invention vs Sustaining

Alien Light
Alien Light

Alien 7… I mean, uh… Prometheus opened today. I am going to see it with some friends Sunday. One star or five, I would go see it. Heck, several other movies by Ridley Scott got me to buy a ticket just because of the first Alien movie.

Naturally this movie is going to take bad to a stellar level. Nevermind the original director has come home again after decades. That did not make Star Wars better.

So why is it that sequels and especially prequels tend to be so bad? After all, there is plenty of lore upon which to write a script. Hollywood pumps millions into these movies. There are plenty of good actors, writers, producers, and directors to ensure a quality movie. Make a good sequel and fans of the series will love you forever.

I wonder if creating something new is easier than sustaining something existing. With a sequel, maybe that lore becomes a weight tying the hands of the writers and directors? There are boundaries set regarding the world, the characters, and most importantly what they can or will do. The movie becomes predictable. Money does not overcome this. Being willing to break the mold does.

My next thought was maybe movie creators should take a page from comics. There are close to as many alternate versions of Spider-Man as I have years in age. When something gets old and tired, reboot it with a new universe. This does not solve the actual problem of sustaining the brand on its own.

One has to be willing to make a new brand. It has to be a new invention not much constrained by the original. J. J. Abrams’ Star Trek had some of the familiar elements including an old school Spock. What I liked most was the highly emotional new Spock. New boundary. (Okay, yes, I know teenage Spock in Search for Spock excepted the rule.) It might have the same name, but it must feel new.

Or… As described in the Demise of Guys, I played too many video games and have a addiction to novelty. Too many sequel movies are the same movie I have already seen.

Teeshirt Roundup

Recently, Patrick asked how many geeky teeshirts do I have? I have 17 unique shirts. (Bought multiples of a few.)

Bruce asked how many have a picture on Facebook? He had posted many of the pictures of me and most of those involve a geeky teeshirt.

Thinkgeek Shirts
got root?
got root?
/Everyone stand back/ I know regular expressions
Regex Front
You Are Dumb in binary
You Are Dumb in binary
Rays cast from this shirt travel at over 670,000,000 MPH
Rays cast from this shirt travel at over 670,000,000 MPH
Do or do not. There is no try. (in shell)
Do or do not. There is no try.
98% Chimp
98% Chimp
Reverse Engineer
Reverse Engineer
Im blogging this.
I'm blogging this.
I failed the Turing test
I failed the Turing test
Come to the dark side, we have cookies -V
Come to the dark side, we have cookies -V
There's more than one way to do it.
There's more than one way to do it.
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who dont
There are 10 types of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who dont
Threadless Shirt
Video games ruined my life. Good thing I have two extra lives.
Video games ruined my life. Good thing I have two extra lives.
Woot Shirts
Shutterbug
Shutterbug
@-@ Imperial Walker
AT-AT
Misc Other Printer Shirt
sudo Make me a sandwich
365 Days #14 2006-12-27
Blackborg
Blackborg Teeshirt
New Kids Under the Block
New Kids Under the Block

P.S. There are way too many photos of me wearing the Turing test shirt. I’m gonna have to bench it for a while.

TED Talk: Epic Wins

While I like video games and found Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter an entertaining ride, I am skeptical when people describe video games in all glowing terms. Like everything, they improve specific skills. Also people are attracted to games in which they have specific skills.

For instance, girls are said to be attracted to games which tell stories and can create their own story. This explains the female attraction to Final Fantasy series with its hours of video between minutes of play. As the stories got longer, my interest waned.

Using a game to solve the world’s problems reminds me of the Last Starfighter. If you need me to go blow up a space ship, then I’m your guy. Solving global warming is far, far down my list of interests.

ST:XP Shutting Down

Star Trek: The Experience is shutting down September First? Geeks don’t make the annual pilgrimage to pray at the alter of the captain’s chair. Maybe Vegas is too expensive. Between dropping hundreds monthly on movie tickets, DVDs, comics, and video games, spending three months rent to see ST:XP doesn’t have the right magic.

Zemanta Pixie

Obscurity Obsolescence

Along the same lines as Lacey’s Travel and Usability post, libraries are not really designed to be very usable. Well… unless you think like a librarian. Who gets a MLIS degree in order to use a library. Okay… I would… bad example.

The below article’s Digital Natives are kids who have played video games all their lives. Its reporting on a talk given at an ALA conference that librarians should redesign libraries to be friendlier to these Digital Natives (aka more like video games). The strawman argument:

When ‘Digital Natives’ Go to the Library :: Inside Higher Ed:

“The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said. The whole “gestalt” of the academic library has been set up like a church, he said, with various parts of a reading room acting like “the stations of the cross,” all leading up to the “altar of the reference desk,” where “you make supplication and if you are found worthy, you will be helped.”

This similie is warped in my experience. When I worked the reference desk, I didn’t so much bestow books upon supplicants and demonstrate how to use the tools. In essence, it was like explaining to a friend who is stuck how to play the game. I had heard of libraries in which non-library employees are not allowed access to the stacks, but I thought them rare.

Maybe instead of librarians playing more video games, students who play video games should actually use those skills when they go to the library? They can master a university library by spending a couple hours a week for a month browsing, identifying patterns, and enjoying the fruits of their efforts: interesting books. For me, “research” meant skimming all books and articles on a topic and tangents to the topic. I could spend a year absorbing knowledge in a good library. Working in the library explosed me to such an enormous wealth of knowledge free for the asking.

Instead, students typically go into a library to find a list of books or articles. They want to spend the minimum amount of effort to accomplish the goal. This certainly is not how they approach video games.