To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.
ISSN: 1527-814X Tuesday May 23, 2000

WebSkulker Newsletter
You're still the one I skulk tonight

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Easy home networking for the jr. skulker

WebSkulker has been connecting all the PC's in his house into a network for ten years, and strongly recommends that all of you jr. skulkers should do the same.  This has recently become much easier because a new technology, Home Phoneline Networking, lets you build a 10 Mbps high-speed network without needing to run Ethernet cables between rooms.  Home PNA devices connect to each other via the telephone wiring that in already running through your walls.

If you connect your PC's together, all of them will be able to access the Internet simultaneously through a single connection such as a DSL line, cable modem, or even a 56Kb modem.  You will be able to transfer files from one machine to another at a high speed, with lots of security options to control who has access to each hard drive.  You will be able to send printer output from any PC to any printer attached to any other PC.

All of these functions are built into Windows (the Internet sharing requires 98 second edition); you don't need any other software.  But in the past you would need to install an Ethernet card into each machine, and run the special Ethernet cables from each machine to a central hub.  This is very cheap and easy to do for PC's in the same room, but for PC's in different rooms across the house, in can be a problem to run the cables.

Home Phoneline Networking uses the normal Windows networking software, but instead of Ethernet cards and cables, you install Home PNA cards or USB adapters which can connect to each other for PC's in the same room, or plug into your normal telephone modular jacks to go from room to room.  (This assumes, of course, that you have phone jacks in different rooms that are extensions to the same phone number, so that there is continuous phone wiring from one room to the other.)  This does not interfere with the normal use of the phone line in any way, because the Home PNA signal is at a much higher frequency band that can coexist on the same pair of wires.

Networking and Internet sharing software is easy enough to set up for people experienced with this, but can be tricky the first time you do it.  Because home PNA technology is designed for home use, the adapters come with special software that configures the network for you automatically, so you should find these systems very easy to set up yourself.

The first link above is to a site with a lot of information about this technology, including reviews of many of the packages.  The second link is to the Intel page, and describes their Home PNA second-generation adapters trade named "AnyPoint" that can run at 10 Mbps.  The bottom of the page shows the older devices that can only connect at 1 Mbps.  Be very careful when you order this equipment that you are getting the 10 Mbps ones, because they are so much faster and not very much more expensive.  WebSkulker has no particular reason to recommend the Intel brand, but these are shipping and are inexpensive, so they would be a good choice.  The mail order store   has these in stock with free shipping and no sales tax outside of Washington.  The PCI card model is $64.98 and the USB model is $79.98.  You need one for each PC, and these can be mixed and matched any way you want.  You might put the PCI cards in desktop machines and the USB devices in notebooks, or the USB devices can be used on desktop machines so you don't have to open the case.

WebSkulker wants to thank Jr. Skulker Stuart Shostak for mentioning this, and Stuart heard about it from Uncle Brucie who has the Intel devices in his house.

Skulking inside microwave facilities

These two sites talk about the The Microwave Radio and Coaxial Cable Networks of the Bell System, including history, pictures, and virtual tours of facilities.  You jr. skulkers interested in the technical details of phone systems should check these out.

Skulking through the history of transistor radios

WebSkulker is old enough to remember battery-operated portable AM radios that used miniature tubes and bulky batteries with multiple voltages.  One day his parents brought home a tiny (in comparison), handheld, radio that used these new fangled devices called "transistors" and a tiny 9-volt battery.

The M31 Galaxy of Transistor Radios has over 350 web pages of information and pictures about transistor radios, the boxes they came in, and the various brands of batteries that powered them.

Who Wants to Be a Skulker?

Jr. Skulker Uncle Brucie told us about this page which reviews the new hit Russian TV show: Who Wants to Eat a Meal?  "Hosted by popular Russian TV personality Anatoly Ivaskevich, Who Wants To Eat A Meal? gives hungry contestants the chance to answer general-knowledge questions to win food items. Since its Oct. 26 premiere, it has quickly become the nation's most popular program, drawing even more viewers than the top-rated Let's Look At Food, in which images of food are displayed on screen."

This made WebSkulker laugh

Submitted by Jr. Skulker Ms. 1133

A cat dies and goes to heaven. God meets him at the gate and says, "you have been a good cat all these years, is there anything you desire? All you have to do is ask." "Well" the cat says, "I lived all my life on a farm and had to sleep on hardwood floors." "Say no more," says God, and instantly a fluffy pillow appears. 

A few days later, six mice are killed in a tragic accident and they go to heaven. God meets them at the gate with the same offer he made to the cat. "All our life," the mice say, "we've had to run. Cats, dogs and women with brooms have chased us. If we had roller skates, we wouldn't have to run anymore." God says he can take care of it, and instantly, each mouse is fitted with a beautiful pair of skates. 

A week later God checks in on the cat, which is asleep on his pillow. God gently nudges him awake and asks, "How are you doing? Are you happy here?" "Never been happier," says the cat, stretching and yawning. "And those meals on wheels you've been sending over are great!"


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