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Windows networking follies and DirecTV

Last night I encountered something damned peculiar on my home network. For some strange odd reason any computer on my network that has wireless connectivity ceased to "see" workgroups or even NetBIOS names. When using the net view command from the prompt, the error that appears is System error 6118 has occurred. The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available. Okaaaay...

I tried everything to get the NetBIOS names to work again. I enabled NetBIOS over TCP/IP, tried static IP's over DHCP, disabled all ICF stuff and so on. No luck.

I finally came across a web page that said something to the effect of "By the way, if you're on wireless, NetBIOS names may not be broadcasted." Ah-ha. My solution was to make up an LMHOSTS file with the line:

192.168.35.xyz servername #pre

"xyz" is replaced by the IP I use on the network and "servername" is replaced by the name I put for the box. I then go to the WINS section of the Advanced TCP/IP settings and hit the button for Import LMHOSTS and that did the trick.

The interesting part is that I was able to run it without this workaround for almost three weeks... and then NetBIOS over wireless TCP/IP suddenly stops working? Weird. This gives me more of an incentive to run a Linux domain controller - and it is possible. More on that later.

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DirecTV got installed today. I like it. It's cool because I haven't had any television programming (other than watching DVD's) to speak of for a while now. My only complaint is that if you're feeding the signal through S-Video you can sometimes see what I can best describe as "artifacts". It's probably only seen by people like me with widescreen tv's that look really closely. 😉

It's good to have tv again.

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