September 04, 2006
The Long Weekend
Thursday evening I brought home an Xbox 360 and Dead Rising. I played for maybe half an hour or an hour, then tried hooking it up to my network. Simple summary: it doesn't like my network. There's nothing wrong with the ethernet cable; I can use it to hook my laptop up to the router and see the Internet, no problem.
Thinking the problem might be imcompatible firmware / old hardware, I hooked the 360 directly up to the router. I only got slightly further before hitting a wall. On Friday I bought a new router for hardwired network experiments, and the 360 wireless adapter to see if that would work. Friday was spent mostly powering down and up all the hardware in various configurations. The final verdict is that for the time being, I can get the 360 online using the wireless adapter, but not any combo of hardware ethernet. Next Saturday I'm gonna haul the 360 and the router over to Tom's to see if my hardware (in any combination) will work on his network. If not, I'll conclude that the ethernet port on the 360 is defective and take it back. Otherwise, I'll just stick with the wireless adapter.
So to summarize, mostly for my own fault memory:
- The ethernet cable is fine. I can use it to connect my laptop to the internet through the Linksys BEFSR41 V4 router (with what is apparently the most recent firmware, 1.04.05) with no magic settings.
- Hook the Xbox 360 up to the router, and it reports that the router is "Disconnected", though I can use my desktop computer to access the Internet when it is hooked up to the same router.
- Hook the 360 up directly to the DSL modem (Fujitsu Speedport R14) and I get a connected message, but obtaining an IP address "Failed". I think this is due to the fact that Verizon identifies the router by MAC address, and needs around eight hours of idle line to reset, so it was unwilling to give the 360 an IP address.
- Switching over to the wireless router, which plugs into the USB port, not the ethernet port, I am able to connect to Xbox Live immediately. Speeds are about what I'd expect for my connection type (tested by downloading both the Prey Demo [1.17 GB] and the Condemned Demo [~500MB]).
Friday wasn't spent entirely noodling with my network. I took a lunch break and went to see Crank, the new Jason Statham movie. It's really over the top. Definitely not something I'd recommend seeing with the parents.
I expected that I'd spend Saturday playing Dead Rising and maybe fiddling with the network, but that plan was shot down when one of Renee's friends sent her an online message asking her if she was going to be at Kumoricon. This is an anime convention held in Portland, small by the standards I've gotten used to over the years of attending Anime Expo. I had not planned on going, never have. I chose not to mention it to Renee, as I really didn't want to go. So she got this message and immediately hit me with "can we go, can we go?!?!?"
I told her I'd already blown my allowance for the next three months on my new toys, but she offered to pay her own way with birthday/Christmas money. "Still doesn't pay my way in" I said, but she decided that she'd try to sweet-talk Mom into finding money in the household budget. Since Jean works on Saturday, it was decided that Renee and I would do a single day badge at the convention, and there went my Saturday.
We drove up and got in line around 9:30am, and 2.5 hours later we got our badges. Renee complained the entire time we were in line. I told her "welcome to an authentic anime convention activity." I ran into Chris Arneson, and he said that the Friday night pre-registration line was just as bad. Four people running the registration table, 1800 pre-regs. Seems they are even more disorganized than Anime Expo staff.
The first thing we did on entering was to visit the Dealer's Room. It was tiny compared to Anime Expo, but Renee managed to blow her entire remaining cash in the space of ten minutes (when we went to lunch and I paid for it out of the funds Jean allotted, she said "if there's any money left, we can go back to the Dealer's Room!" I nixed that in a hurry).
We saw the anime music video (AMV) contest, and Renee was just tickled. She especially liked that she got to vote for best videos in various categories. We did a lot of walking around the convention, checking out the costumes. Renee is now convinced that she needs a costume for next year (that's right, next year, I'm committed already). Especially as she met her friends Elaine and Bleu, both dressed to the nines. Bleu was a not-too-elaborate Loli-goth (at twelve years old) and Elaine was some primary-color character I didn't recognize. I didn't see an adult within 50 feet of them any time we ran into them. And they're twelve. Renee better not get any ideas on that count...
Our last activity was to check out a panel. The Kumoricon program was printed out in tiny print in a 2" square booklet, so I had trouble making out what was happening where. But I spotted a panel called "So you want to be a cos-player?" Since Renee was talking about needing a costume for next year (Sakura from Tsubasa -- the older, more romantic version of this character) I suggested we check it out. We stood at the back and listened for half an hour as the young woman up front talked about the various issues in hiding her bosoms so she could pretend to be a boy character. It was only then that I discovered that the name of the panel was "So you want to be a Cross-player?" Fortunately, Renee took the info in stride, deciding that it would help her to play an older and more mature Sakura as well.
We finally went home, and Renee was bubbling and buzzing for the rest of the evening. A more loving child you never met. She thanked me dozens of times for taking her, and she thanked Jean for finding the funding to support the trip.
Sunday was mostly chores, lotsa laundry.
Today, we went to the Japanese Garden. I took scads of pictures, but most of them are uninteresting, out of focus or repetitive. I'll try to cull a few and post them soon. The trip itself was a lot of fun. So now it's off to bed, and back to work tomorrow.
Oh, and Renee is heading to her first day of school on Wednesday. It'll be just a orientation day, but it's a new school, so she's pretty nervous, though she tries not to show it. Fingers crossed!
Posted by dpwakefield at September 4, 2006 10:05 PM
I used to be begged repeatedly for my own children to go. So I made a rule that they could attend when they didn't have to be tethered to me. Thus next year I will have my full contingent at Sakura Con.
My daughter, too, is convinced she must go in costume. I fear it will be something from Naruto.
Sounds like your daughter had lots of fun! :D Welcome to the club.
Posted by: Lisa at September 5, 2006 08:06 PM
I made a rule that they could attend when they didn't have to be tethered to me.
So how old will they be next year? I'm just really uncomfortable letting Renee, who will be 12 next year, run around in a crowd of one or two thousand strangers without me in sight of her.
Posted by: Don Wakefield at September 6, 2006 07:35 AM