Using T-Mobile Cellspot Safely

The T-Mobile Cellspot is a miniature Cell Tower for your home. If your cell service is bad at your home or other location and you are a T-Moble customer, they will “Give” you a Cellspot to use with a “Return Fee” in case you don’t eventually return it to them.

I don’t know for sure, but I think it uses the same protocols as the “Real” cell towers employed by T-Moble. The reason that I am guessing this is because the device requires “Open Ports”, which is a problem for most modern routers. Modern Routers do not “Open Ports” but rather use “Port Forwarding”. Here is the support page for the CellSpot. Notice the list of UDP ports that are required to be open.

“Open Ports:” mean that the firewall does nothing with traffic on those ports. The traffic passes directly onto the LAN – local area network. Modern routers do not support “Opening Ports”. Instead they support “Port Forwarding”.

“Port Forwarding” which modern routers provide, establishes a relationship between one or more LAN addresses and arriving packets with certain port numbers. This allows the router to know that the incoming packets are to be “forwarded” to the desired devices. This is not necessarily secure. And certainly “Open Ports” is not secure, since it allows attackers on the WAN – wide area network – to get up to any kind of mischief in attacking your home network.

And at this point your eyes are probably glazing over. Rather than showing your how to set up Port Forwarding on your router, or struggling with your ISP to do that, which they will probably refuse to do. Xfinity has no way to “Open Ports” in their router for you, apparently. This article provides another way to use the Cellspot.

In the following discussion I’m using Xfinity as an example of an ISP. The same discussion and requirements will apply regardless of your “Broadband” provider, whether it’s Cable, DSL or Fiber. Click on images below for a larger view and click on the X at the top right to close the image.

Continue reading “Using T-Mobile Cellspot Safely”

Buy or Build New Computer?

So, what if you need to purchase a new computer today?

Let’s assume you are of modest means and modest needs. Not a gaming system. Just something to use the web, and documents.

Requirements:

Modern CPU – Intel or AMD. Core i-5 or better. Released in last two years.

  • 32GB Memory – More than minimum since we want this system to last a few years.
  • 1TB of Storage. Solid State Disk for system. Only an SSD of 1TB, or a smaller SSD and a HD if necessary to bring total to 1 TB.
  • No graphics Card. Use a processor with Graphics built in since we are saving money and are not “Gaming”.
  • DVD not required but nice. DVD media have been replaced by “Thumb Drives” these days.
  • Modern connection for a monitor. Display Port or HDMI.
  • Hard Wired Ethernet cable. Adding WiFi is ok, but Hard Cable is a requirement.
  • A Real Power Supply. Not a Brick like a Laptop.
  • Expandable if that does not cause too much in higher prices.

Let’s see what we can find.

Continue reading “Buy or Build New Computer?”

Griffon and Marid Mounts

These mounts are quite easy to get. Just about 3 weeks doing Ananta Beast Tribe Quests after finishing Stormblood. These quests take about 10-15 minutes each day, except for the special quests when you Rank up. Only one of the quests is at all challenging. There is a solo duty along the way that requires some care in the battle. The first mount available is the Marid Elephant.

And then at Bloodsworn you can get the Griffon.

Of course there are other Bird mounts in the game, but personally, I like the griffon. The Lanner [Falcon] mounts are nice and usually have glowing effects, but they are “birds” and so run on two legs, which is a little jarring on the ground. The griffon runs on four legs and so has a smoother ride on the ground.

I suggest you complete Stormblood and get flight in Gyr Abania before starting these quests, then just leave your character at the Peering Stones crystal to do the quests each day. The terrain is much easier to traverse on flying mounts, so waiting until you can fly in this zone will save a lot of time.

May you walk in the light of the Crystal.
:ww

Some Recent Hints

Here are some recent hints for Final Fantasy XIV.

Get a Cheap Mount on the Market Board

Recently some mounts have shown up on the Market Board. The Stag Antelope and the Doe Antelope.

The Doe mount is pretty cheap. Maybe this is a limited time event. So maybe you should hurry. The Ishgard event that rewards scrip has been going on for a long time. So maybe you need to get your Doe mount soon.

Check your market board, I’ve seen prices as low as 1000 gil, but other worlds show prices in the 17K gil range. So check and maybe use Wandering to get a better price. Anything at 2000 gil or less sounds like a bargain to me.

Mount Quickly Using Hot Keys

Maybe this is obvious. But you might want to use a Hot Bar to allow you to quickly use the mount of your choice. I have several mounts that I sometimes choose. For speed of mounting I typically bind the middle mouse [M3] button to a tool bar, like the Right Most button of the second Tool Bar. But I wanted a system so I could easily choose a water, land, flying, or a mount for more than one person. In Guild Wars 2 where choosing the right mount is more important, the hot keys are on the num pad. So I set that up in FFXIV too.

I use some Tool Bars to the right of the screen. Notice Tool Bars 10, 9, 8 at the bottom right. I bind the Num Pad to these keys. You cannot bind Enter on the Num Pad, because that’s the same key as the normal Enter key, and you need that to open the Chat Window. Notice the little symbols in the tool bar that indicate they are bound to the keypad. So I can choose among the Multi-player Whale mounts, the Ray mount for use under water and the Lanner mounts for flying. Where I can’t fly yet I can easily use a land mount. While all the mounts can fly, of course, I like a Terrestrial mount when I’m not flying and a Ray when I’m swimming.

I ran into an issue with an error message when I tried to bind Enter on the numpad. The issue is that the game requires binding three of the keys. You can find the ones that are required in the System section. But if you unset the Num Lock setting for the keypad, then you’ll be able to bind the keys to the tool bars.

You might like to do this. I first used a similar scheme in Guild Wars 2 where the different mounts behave differently and the choice of mounts is really more important, but I’m liking it here in FFXIV too.

May you walk in the light of the Crystal.
:ww

Protect Your Eyes From the Sand

While doing some events in a Sand Storm in Dry Top, I was opening some Buried Lost Chests, I found an Adventurer’s Spectacles. When I looked them up I found that they can be used to craft a better looking Adventurer’s Mantle. I was afraid I would have to grind more chests in Sand Storms or pay a lot of gold to get them, but nope. They are cheap on the Market Board.

As you can see, a set of 3 Specs, and Scarfs doesn’t really cost that much. I guess the drop rate is pretty high from the chests. Also there are the pictures of the Light and Heavy versions. They all look the same actually. These parts are all dye-able.

So you can craft the mantles if you have Tailor, Leatherworker, or Armorsmith at about level 400. Follow the links in the Wiki for crafting instructions and use Discovery for the Recipes.

:ww

Amaro Mount Achieved

I have the Amaro mount, at long last. I started the long climb for the Amaro mount right after I got Skyscale in GW2 back in January 2021. To review, to get the Amaro, you need to level 17 jobs of War and Magic up to level 80. Not including BLU mage. It took about Eight Months. Much Much longer than the few weeks that it took to get the Guild Wars 2 Skyscale Mount.

Another thing to note is that Mounts in FFXIV are “Per Character” except for a few mounts purchased from the Store. So to have this mount on the rest of my 10 or so Alts, I would have to do the Eight Months work on each of them. Not going to happen any time soon. The last few weeks, I’ve been playing a lot of Guild Wars 2 while I logged in once per day to do Pixie quests and one run of the Main Scenario Roulette.

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Ghost Ship in the Cursed Shore

There was an old forum post, but the ship looks different and I don’t see the disturbed water in this post.

Old GW2 Forum Post

Not sure what’s going on. The ship stays around for a few seconds and then disappears, but appears later. Not sure the schedule or how long it really lasts.

Here’s a segment of video I took of the ship:

Ship is at 3:30 in this video

:ww

Mounts in Different Games

I recently ran across a Youtube video where someone was complaining about the long effort to get a Griffon in Guild Wars 2. Griffon is the first flying mount in GW2. I won’t link the video as I’m sure he’s moved on and is now struggling with the many times longer process to get a Skyscale mount. I starting working on getting Skyscale in November 2020 and finally got it in January 2021.

As we know, different MMOs have different requirements for the use of Mounts. Let’s review:

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Linux Mint Broken on VirtualBox

I updated Linux Mint 20.1 this morning on VirtualBox.

Update: Apparently this is about two weeks old, but not fixed as of 17 Aug 2021. Here’s a LM Forum post. I tried the work around to disable 3D and that works.

And this is what the menus look like now:

Rebooting does not fix anything. It is permanently stuck like this. Completely unusable / unfixable of course.

I’ve been using Linux Mint on VirtualBox for years and specifically LM 20.x for as long as it has been available. Sometimes there are minor problems, but this completely breaks LM on VB.

Reinstall From Scratch?

I created a new VM and reinstalled LM 20.2 on the latest VirtualBox. It worked fine as installed, but with the first update, it went back to the same problem. Here are the details:

After the clean install of LM20.2 on a new VBox on the latest VBox on a Windows 10 host the Linux Mint appears to work properly. After the guest updates – latest with latest install of VirtualBOX – everything is fine. Apparently. But the update completely trashes the graphics. I have no idea what caused it.. Maybe kernel, maybe something else. But I have work to do so I’m not going to diagnose it further. I’m just not going to update until I can confirm that this problem is fixed.

Here are the updates that LM 20.2 did after the install.

So apparently the only recourse I have is to REINSTALL THE WHOLE THING FROM SCRATCH AGAIN. and then NOT UPDATE IT.

Please do some QA on VirtualBOX before you SHIP an update.

Thanks
:ww