Randy Rowe Consulting
122 W. Saunders Av.
Lincoln, Nebraska 68521
cell 402-450-2137


Linux, BSD
and Windows

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Hopefully as I get time, I will have a chance to add more features to this site. For now, enjoy the information that is available and please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for visiting. - Randy Rowe

The operating system(s) we love to hate! See the links to my favorite windows tools. These are the utilities that I use and recommend. Especially important is changing your browser and email client. I recommend Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. These both have an excellant feature set and the available plugins and extensions provide some very handy functionality. No matter what programs you run to help keep your computer clean from the various vermin, always remember to keep them updated. The best anti-virus software is always one step behind the latest virus. Below are printable recommendations for putting myself out of work. Each page opens in a new window so if you have pop-ups disabled you might want to enable them for this site. I promise to not use pop-ups as a method of generating revenue.

Keeping AdAwareSE up-to-date
Keeping SpyBot Search and Destroy 1.3 up to date
Keeping Spywareblaster up to date
Detailed instructions on surfing safely
Simplified steps for safe surfing

Windows Links (Please support free software authors!)
Mozilla Software to replace IE and Outlook
AVG Antivirus by Grisoft
Free AVG Antivirus by Grisoft
Ad-Aware Spyware Removal
Spybot Search & Destroy
SpywareBlaster Spyware Blocker
HiJackThis Quick Start

Hooking computers together to share information and resources is essential. Getting them to all talk nicely to one another can be tricky. As a network consultant, I can help you get your network set up properly. Securing your network is as important as getting all your machines talking to each other and the world. Backups are also essential whether your data is on a network or a single machine. There is a backup solution to match everyone's budget and ease of use requirements.

With almost as many flavors of Linux available as there are versions of Windows, this makes Linux a favorite. No matter the flavor, there are advantages to running Linux as a workstation or a server.


is the operating system of choice for an inexpensive firewall solution for your network. As their main page states, "Only one remote hole in the default install, in more than 8 years!". And they design the OS proactively secure, making it the obvious choice for a firewall/NAT box.
OpenBSD Home

FreeBSD is (IMHO) the best all around server software going. Since I feel this way, you'll find that my servers run FreeBSD. There is an abundance of reading material on the web about FreeBSD. If you'd like to see something added here, please let me know. I intend to add pages that document various installations and setups I have done, as time permits.
FreeBSD Home
FreeBSD Handbook

"How I did it" on getting my 5.3 Dell Lattitude updated (binary) to 6.3 (then 6.4) and getting wireless working (FreeBSD 6.3B and my Dell Lattitude experiences).

Install went pretty smoothly except that my CD's were not reading correctly, so I ended up using Passive FTP for the medium.

During the course of the install I received the email that 6.4B had been relesaed, so I installed the cvsup packages, updated the source, make buildkernel (using my modified kernconf which simply removed a lot of stuff I didn't need), make buildworld, make installkernel, reboot (single user), mount -a (the only step that isn't all that well documented), mergemaster -p (choose 'i' for all the new versions), make installworld, mergemaster (no -p), reboot and I'm now running 6.4B.

Following the instructions in the FreeBSD Handbook I soon had the audio working, but my big goal was to get the wireless working.

I knew that with the number of Centrino based laptops out there that I had to be missing something. I followed the steps on Intel Pro Wireless 2100/2200BG/2225BG/2915ABG drivers for *.BSD - Installing ipw under FreeBSD which covers it well but every time I ran the ifconfig line with the wepkey I got an error. Most of the issues I found with Google seemed to indicate that I wasn't using a valid key. I initially was using 'wepkey 0xXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX' but after looking around a little, I added the 1: in front of the hex value. Still no love. Leaving the KDE desktop and heading back to a plain console window gave me the clue I needed. When I entered the wepkey there, I got an error message that the wlan_wep module should be loaded. After kldload wlan_wep, I was able to ifconfig my wepkey and I was in wireless Vallhalla!

My /boot/loader.conf looks like this:


The additions to my /etc/rc.conf are:


And I have borrowed the following script from a newsgroup and (of course) modified it for my use so that it now reads:

# connection info for wireless home network
echo -n "Setting SSID and channel..."
/sbin/ifconfig ipw0 ssid my_ssid channel 6
echo "Done."

echo -n "Enabling WEP..."
ifconfig ipw0 wepmode on
echo "Done."

echo -n "Entering WEP keys..."
echo "Done."

echo -n "Bringing up ipw0..."
ifconfig ipw0 up
echo "Done."

echo -n "Connecting to DHCP server..."
killall -TERM dhclient > /dev/null
dhclient ipw0 > /dev/null
echo "Done."

And now I just copy and modify this script and I can connect to anyone's secured wireless network that is willing to share their wepkey.

By the way, FreeBSD rules as a desktop as well as a server.

As always, any questions please feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024 07:14 AM CST
Randy Rowe Consulting
122 West Saunders Ave.
Lincoln, Nebraska 68521
cell 402-450-2137
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