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Anyone using a Chromebook?
Old 04-11-2015, 07:59 PM   #61
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Anyone using a Chromebook?

My printer made this terrible noise in the middle of printing out tax things a couple of days ago. I could tell the paper feed had had enough. Good time for that kind of malfunction

I went to Best Buy and replaced it with a new "cloud-ready" printer (HP 5660, not expensive at all).

The Chromebook picked it up perfectly. I'd tested that with my old printer and it wasn't ready out-of-the-box.

I wasn't printing tax stuff from the Chromebook but it's good to know it now can print.

The other thing I bought during that trip to the store was a Logitech wireless mouse that works great with the Chromebook. The touchpad is fine but for longer work I prefer a mouse.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:35 PM   #62
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There's one thing regarding setting up VNC software I forgot to mention. It was important for my situation, which may not be common. There was another thread recently about remote desktop solutions, but that thread was labeled Mac, this one Chromebook, so either-or. The issue is machine-independent.

I happen to have a separate DSL modem / router-wireless configuration. I went to DSL because my cable provider's (Comcast) ability to keep the connection alive was just unacceptable/awful. DSL has been far more reliable, at least where I live.

I didn't notice this until I tried opening ports like you have to for VNC software to work properly. Most other typical activities (web browsing/email, etc) just worked with the units in their default mode.

But as I understand it, the problem arose as to who (between the DSL modem and router) "owned" the external IP address visible to the world, the one assigned by your ISP. All the stuff "behind" has its own, local IP address following "private" internet standards.

Without the change, the router/firewall was given a private address (192.168.x.x, I think) and port forwarding did not apply to traffic trying to enter. The DSL modem, as far as I could tell (it's manufactured by Westell, sold by AT&T), didn't support that kind of port forwarding. I gather most DSL setups integrate the modem and router, so maybe it's not an issue but it was for me.

The solution was to set the modem into "bridged mode" (you do that through its management web interface, and it complains before it lets you do it), after which the modem just says "OK, I'm out of this, I just pass things through" and then the router gets ownership of the external IP address and will forward ports as directed. It took some work to find this out but everything worked as expected afterwards.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
There's one thing regarding setting up VNC software I forgot to mention. ...
Take all this with a grain of salt, I'm rather klutzy with networks, but -

Another thing I recall from trying to set up VNC - if your computers are wireless, they can be assigned internal IP addresses from the router dynamically. It might be 192.168.1.3 one time, turn something off and back on, and it might get 192.168.1.4 the next time. The computer trying to get in will not know about this re-assignment.

My solution was to manually assign a static IP tied to that computer's MAC - Media Access Control, not 'Apple Mac' - (done through the router web interface). That keeps the path the same through any re-boots of anything on the network.


Since then I switched to TeamViewer (not an option on a Chromebook, I take it), and that made everything super easy. Their server in the middle is able to respond to each computer and act as a middleman (at least, that's how I think it works), and I didn't need to fiddle with any router settings.

-ERD50
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Anyone using a Chromebook?
Old 05-04-2015, 05:38 PM   #64
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Anyone using a Chromebook?

That sounds right, ERD50, although different from what I was talking about (getting the external Internet address assigned to the router, not stuck at the modem).

My PC is directly connected (not wireless), but is still subject to dynamic address assignment by the router.

The D-link calls it "DHCP reservations", but it means the same thing: don't mess with this one - always give it 192.168.0.100 (and not to anyone else). It pretties it up with the name I originally gave the PC, but it's really the hardware address. That is important to get the port forwarding sent to the right place (the one running the VNC server).
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:36 PM   #65
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One more thing about this and then hopefully I'll have spilled all the beans I have regarding setting up VNC. This one may be very specific to the make/model of router you have. I have a D-Link DIR-655.

Once I got things working as they should: internal/LAN (local area network) and external/WAN (wide area network, i.e. Internet), I was able to successfully establish LAN connections within my network (at home), but I could not connect from the LAN by using the WAN address. Going over to the coffee shop or somewhere with free wi-fi worked fine, so I could access from pretty much anywhere. But the router wouldn't "talk back to itself", which I believe is referred to as "loopback".

Still, it's nice to have everything work every way if possible although I didn't really require it. But typing it out all here lately made me look into it a little more.

I'd used the "Port Forwarding" administrative tab for the router (by the way, if you've never checked into that web page you might give it a try; if nothing else, it makes you wonder "who in the world THINKS of all this stuff?").

There was also a mysterious tab called "Virtual Servers" that I'd just left alone although it looked a lot like port forwarding. I switched the VNC server port opening from "Port Forwarding" to "Virtual Servers" and that did the trick. I could connect from outside or inside using the external (Internet) address assigned by the ISP. That can change because I don't run a steelyman.biz website or anything like that, but not frequently so I go with whatever the address happens to be in between restarts of the router.

I think (but am not sure, maybe one of the many people who know way more about this kind of stuff than I do can correct) that the difference lies in the way specific ports are handled by the router. Something listed in the "Virtual Server" tab has sole access to its given ports. Other machines within the LAN do not receive any traffic through that port.

But there are so many possible ports, in the end it doesn't matter to me at all.
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Old 05-07-2015, 01:52 PM   #66
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yeah I didn't try too hard to set up VNC access back home to my computer.

Instead I installed Chrome Remote Desktop.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:16 PM   #67
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Loopback typically refers to the specific address 127.0.0.1, which is in the tcp/ip software of a device ( not the hardware ). You use it to test the software functions. For example you can ping 127.0.0.1 even if your cable/wifi is not connected.

TCP/IP services (ftp, telnet, http, smtp, etc ) run on standard ports. Here is a port listing List of TCP and UDP port numbers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I use to use VNC a lot but not much anymore. Mainly because you have to open ports on your router/firewall which can expose your LAN to the internet. Tools like logmein, teamviewer, gotomypc might be safer and easier for most. I used it a lot in windows workgroups where many of the PCs may not support RDP.

Most people do not have static IP addresses which is generally needed to provide access from the internet. One way around this is to use DDNS ( Dynamic DNS ). It monitors your IP and associtates with a name ( like myhomePC.org ) when your ISP changes your IP, DDNS updates your domain with the new IP address.

And for a chromebook google has their own remote desktop service.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:59 PM   #68
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That's helpful clarification/information (and correction of my misunderstanding of the term "loopback"!), thanks.

I'm glad to have things set up now and don't expect to actually need ports open often so I'm OK with having that way to occasionally (typically, while on vacation) remotely access an older Windows PC. Actually, I first learned about RealVNC in a PC environment at work, too.

More and more, I just use things like the iTouch and Chromebook as-is for day-to-day stuff. One day, I will finally shoot that PC and put it out of my misery.
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #69
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The last thing I did when setting up my new computing environment was to get RealVNC configured correctly. I have moved from DSL to cable Internet (Comcast broke records for "awful" in my old location so I switched to DSL there). The router/firewall setup was much more of a breeze for the cable modem/router combination than DSL, but it was educational to go through the detective work for the DSL setup (you never know, a friend may run into the same situation).

The speed is noticeably different - what's not to like?
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