Geek City: Virus, Firewalls, SliMP3, Wireless, MTU, blah blah

Aargh. Had to restore many files after nasty ‘ROX.A’ virus attack – caught in time, but many system files gone. Real problem was re-installing the ‘stuff’ that made my home network work, albeit more safely this time, plus the wireless connection to my SliMP3 infinite jukebox (that I raved about in an earlier blog entry).

Fortunately I knew where to look for some of the weirder things. Tip 1 is that to do a firmware update on the SliMP3 in a wireless environment, you have to do it differently, as some helpful guy commented in Yahoo! Groups : slimp3-users Messages : Message 7301 of 7518: “used IP address of Slim and MAC of WET11 and firmware updates just fine.”

Tip 2 is that an unbelievable side-effect of running some Virtual Private Network software (Cisco VPN) is to change a deep-down-and-dirty setting without telling you… the MTU, or Maximum Transmission Units, that affects packet size and is critical for streaming media. I found this hot tip in Slim Devices : Support : FAQ: “When my SLIMP3 plays a song, it sounds chirpy, like the song is being fast-forwarded and skips. What could cause this?
There is probably a problem with the MTU setting for your network interface. VPN clients such as the Cisco VPN client utility may change your machine’s MTU setting from the default. This causes the fast-stuttering on the SLIMP3. “

I also had to re-install the domestic network, mixing Windows 2000 and Windows XP machines. Did I really want to re-learn about subnet masks, DHCP and all that stuff??? Aargh. The setup was by no means automatic. And this time I’ve installed a proper firewall. But the combination of Home LAN + Win2K + WinXP + Firewall + Anti-virus + SliMP3 + Belkin Wireless Access Point + Linksys WET11 Wireless Bridge… well, now that I’ve calmed down, let’s just say that there are some interactions among various combinations that make some standard pieces of advice contradictory.

Who needs this level of hassle? OK, well, I asked for it, I guess… and of course the net gives me tons of great answers to problems I wouldn’t have had in the first place if I didn’t have all this technology!

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