HP2101nw wireless print server on 64 bit Windows

I bought a HP2101nw wireless USB print server for a bargain price from an eBay seller, and I had trouble getting it working on my Windows 7 64 bit laptop.When installing the software to configure the print server, there was an error about the driver not installing correctly, and the configuration software wouldn’t recognise the print server and allow it to be configured.

When I checked the system requirements I found that the HP support page only listed 32 bit drivers for Windows XP or Windows Vista. For a while I rued not checking the system requirements more carefully before purchasing, and thought I’d done my dough.

Img_4155But with a little more perseverance I found that a 32 bit Windows operating system was required only for the initial configuration of the device (to set the WiFi network and password) and after that I was able to get connections to the print server working from other Windows based PC’s.  The steps that worked for me were:

  1. Using a Windows 7 32 bit laptop, I installed and ran the configuration software from the supplied CD, and configured the printer server with the WiFi network and password.
  2. I then downloaded the Windows 7 32 bit driver as referenced in a discussion on the HP support forum.
  3. I was then able to install this driver on the following machines and get them connecting to the wireless print server.
    1. Windows 7 64 bit
    2. Windows 7 32 bit
    3. Windows 10 32 bit


A few months after writing this blog post, the print server just stopped working, and nothing I tried would resurrect it. The purchase turned out to be a dud after all.

CNET Newsletter broken

For years I have been receiving a CNET Daily News e-mail newsletter . Despite it’s US-centric view of the world, and slight obsession with reporting on Apple stories, it has been occasionally useful in alerting me to relevant IT and tech stories I might not otherwise have seen.

Recently they updated their newsletter format to a less cluttered layout with more white space and larger images. But in my view the new layout is fundamentally broken, and this is exemplified by the image below where I’m viewing a newsletter in my e-mail client.

CNET's new and worthless newsletter layout.

CNET’s new and worthless newsletter layout.

Assuming that the intent of a newsletter is to convey new, how is CNET doing? My monitor resolution is 1920×1200, giving me 2304000 pixels. And what does CNET do with those 2.3 million pixels? They show masses of empty white space, two meaningless, generic and over-large images, and just six words of actual news content! (Or only five words if you count ‘once-unthinkable’ as a single compound word.)

And those six (five) words don’t even convey what the story is about!

There’s room for improvement here – approximately 2.3 million pixels worth of room.

Unable to download podcast

I manage a podcast feed for my church, and recently had a problem where I was unable to download episodes using the iOS Podcast app on my iPhone.  The podcast would download OK on other Android devices, and it would stream on my iPhone if I tapped the play icon, but if I selected “Download Episode” then the download would appear to happen, but then at the end a message would pop up saying “Unable to download podcast”, with a “Retry” and a “Done” button.

Googling this problem shows that other people have experienced similar issues, but no amount of unsubscribing, deleting, restarting, rebooting, or switching to airplane mode would fix the problem.

In the end I discovered that the problem was due to a misconfiguration in the XML file for the podcast feed. In the <channel> section of the XML file there is an <itunes:image> tag where you can put the URL of an image. I discovered that this tag was pointing to an invalid URL, to a server that I had used several years ago. After setting the tag to a valid URL, and refreshing the feed in the iOS podcast app, I was able to download episodes.


Mystery iPhone sliding window

IMG_3663Yesterday I started seeing a strange sliding window appear on my iPhone 5 whenever I went to compose a new message or email, or add a new contact. (See image at right.)

After much frustration and searching I eventually discovered that this is the “Window Zoom” functionality, part of the Accessibility settings, and it enables you to enlarge parts of the screen to make it easier to read.

It seems that at some time I must have accidentally enabled this feature, and once enabled a three fingered double tap (intended or accidental) will cause the sliding zoom window to show up in various places.

IMG_3664The solution was to simply disable the “Zoom” function in the Accessibility settings.


Not broken, just Lite

I was using Google Maps tonight and was getting frustrated at how broken it seemed when searching for directions – it wasn’t showing me multiple routes, or route options like avoiding tolls, or giving me the ability to change the route by dragging points on the path – features that were there previously.

It turns out that it wasn’t broken, but that somehow I’d got into “Lite mode”. Clicking on the lightning bolt icon in the bottom right corner soon restored sanity to my mapping searches.


Faux Feedback

The ABC News website recently revamped their home page layout and invited feedback from their audience …

feedback… which was overwhelmingly negative, and the moderator responds with a post basically saying that all that negative feedback is misguided, because, well the ABC is just doing what Facebook and Twitter do …

feedback2… as if Facebook and Twitter is the gold standard of Web user interface design!?!?!

What’s the point of asking for feedback if all you’re going to do is dismiss it?





NetComm NB604N modem/router and the Shellshock bug

The Shellshock bash bug has been getting a lot of press, and rightly so, as there are a large number of servers and devices potentially vulnerable, including devices such as ADSL modem/routers.  I went looking to see if my NetComm NB604N modem/router was vulnerable, but couldn’t find any official word on the matter.

With a bit of investigation myself by telnetting to the modem I established that the modem is running BusyBox with the ‘msh’ shell, not ‘bash’.

So my understanding is that the NB604N is NOT vulnerable to the Shellshock bug.