Archive for November, 2007

Downsizing

November 24th, 2007

Sadly, the camper didn’t make it here prior to Thanksgiving, so instead of packing things into it, we’re moving as much stuff out of the apartment as we can live without. We’ve gotten rid of 75% of the furniture and the rest will go into storage in the next week. Jenn says I need to downsize my workstation even further than this:

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Technological Advances

November 17th, 2007

It’s been a pretty good start to the weekend. We’ve managed to get rid of 5-6 bags of old clothes and a couple more computers. Jenn has been putting some of the more hobbyist related computer equipment on ebay and actually getting a fair bit of cash for some of our old toys. We still have a handful of things to list, but it’s encouraging to know we may get a little cash for things I was expecting to have to haul off for recycling.

Last night, I finally found the reason I was having so much trouble getting WDS to work between the cradlepoint 350 abnd the linksys running openwrt. Apparently, WDS support was completely broken on the cradlepoint prior to firmware 1.7. So if WDS is beating you, check your firmware version on the cradlepoint. Once the firmware was updated, WDS was pretty easy to get setup.

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One Day At A Time

November 12th, 2007

As Johnny stated, we are very busy getting ready and haven’t been able to post much. I have been working on selling my vehicle, but I am not having much luck with it. I guess that I am the last person on earth who loves a manual transmission. As soon as they hear that its a stick, the conversation ends. We are still trying to empty out the house in an ethical way. Our families have picked out everything that they want. Our friends have come over and, after some rummaging, decided on some items. We have lots of ads running on Craig’s list at the moment. I still have tons more to add. I am about to start listing on freecycle as well. We just have too much stuff. I have learned that being a pack rat is a bad thing.

We have a better idea of when the camper will arrive! It is supposed to leave Oregon on the 15th. It will come via a tractor trailer. It will probably take a couple of days for them to inspect it and do all of the dealer setup stuff. We are really hoping to have it before Thanksgiving. It would be great to be able to pack it up over the long weekend. Here’s hoping!

We have also picked out a campground to stay in for a couple of months while we get acclimated to the RV lifestyle and continue to make a living in the corporate world. We decided to spend the winter and part of the spring working at our current jobs so that we can put the money that we spent getting ready for this adventure back into our savings and sock away a few pennies more.

We have marked a few more items off of our list, but we still have lots to go. Half the fun of getting there is the journey, right?

Odds and Ends

November 6th, 2007

Well, the big day is getting closer. I still don’t have an exact delivery date from Conibear, but we expect the camper sometime in the next week or two. Meanwhile, we’ve got only three weeks left in our apartment.

We’ve canceled cable television and internet service. There’s still way more television being broadcast in the area than we really need. Quite frankly, I wish we watched even less television than we do.

For internet we’re using Sprint’s wireless data service. We have the new Novatel U727 usb modem. One of it’s big selling points is the built-in GPS. Unfortunately, the GPS is pretty lousy. Most of the time, you can’t even get it to lock onto satellites in a vehicle. Perhaps it would work better in the open air, but I rarely walk around with a laptop and actually need a GPS.

At least the internet service works pretty well. It took some fiddling with the EVDO settings and finding a good place to put the router, but we’re getting about 800kbps downstream. There is not currently an external antenna cable available for the U727. Hopefully it will take less trial and error with locations once we can permanently mount an antenna on the outside of the camper.

I’ve been very happy with the EVDO router. Its a Cradlepoint C350. It acts as a wifi hotspot and NATs the IP address that Sprint assigns. The interface is pretty intuitive and packed with a ton of features. The only real problem we’ve run into is trying to get WDS to work properly between this router and the Linksys access point we’ve been using. Since the C350 is wifi only, a fair portion of our network is currently unable to reach the internet. We’re making due with a couple of PCI wifi cards I had laying around from another project and multi-homing our workstations so we can still reach the NAS.

Switching ISPs has forced us to move along with some other things as well. The biggest one so far has been relocating our email and web toys to a domain hosting company. For the past ten years or so, I’ve run all the services for my vanity domain and Jenn has done the same with hers. Its a bit of a change letting someone else deal with all the root level things and rather frustrating when you have an issue that you could solve in five minutes if it were your box but instead have to ask someone else to look into.

We’re using Hostgator as our domain host and so far I’ve been very impressed with their customer service as they dealt with some dumb questions and some more esoteric technical issues.

The other big thing we need to deal with is our phone service. We have VOIP through our company, but we’re planning to switch to Skype. I’m still in the process of researching wifi VOIP phones. I also haven’t been overly impressed with Skype’s website interface or their customer support when we ran into some website problems. Hopefully we can resolve that issue and get set up. In the meantime, we’ll use cell phones for a bit longer.

The last bit of setup this week has been our mail forwarding service. We’re using Good Sam’s mail forwarding service. So far, it’s been a nightmare to get set up and taken far longer than I expected. If you want to use Good Sam mail forwarding service, save yourself a lot of headaches and just call them instead of trying to sign up online.

It’s been a pretty hectic time for us as we try to get all of this sorted out. There’s still a ton of things to do before we get as far as moving into the campground for a few months. As I have more time, I plan to go into a bit more in depth review of the products and services we’re using. In the meantime, if anybody is using a good wifi phone for Skype, let us know about it!