D-Link SharePort new release 1.10 and DIR-655 1.30 Firmware

Update 16th January 2010: 1.33b01NA has been released.

Update 20th August 2009: All users having issues with SharePort, check out this post for the latest information.

Update 1: The 1.30 firmware now has a beta tag and is available at: ftp://ftp.dlink.com/Gateway/dir655/Firmware/dir655_firmware_130_beta.zip. Before downloading please read below as this firmware isn’t like the others:

Update 2: Firmware 1.31 is available from the D-Link website now, you can get it here.

Update 3: Beta firmware 1.32NA is available now, it fixes a SharePort issue, read about it and download here.

Update 4: Firmware 1.32NA FINAL is available now, read about it and download here.

Update 5: D-Link has released a new beta firmware for the DIR-655 here, it ONLY fixes *a* SharePort issue.

It appears that D-Link have updated the firmware of the DIR-655 router to v1.30, however it has been pulled from their servers just after release, if it becomes available again it should be at ftp://ftp.dlink.com/Gateway/dir655/Firmware/dir655_firmware_130.zip which is the link they had before it was pulled. The most likely reason for pulling the release is due to that fact that it cannot be downgraded once it is installed, coupled with the fact that it removed wireless B support makes it a bit of a gamble.

According to a D-Link forum admin:

The 1.30 Firmware has been taken down from the support site. It may do a little too much at once.
Removing 802.11b is not a bad thing for most people.
Conditions that make a firmware unable to be downgraded are not always avoidable.
Distributing a firmware that removed 802.11b and also will not allow the end-user to downgrade said firmware, could result in customer service or RMA issues neither the customer, seller, or manufacture desire.

Granted from what I have seen, people are reading the release notes and the warnings about the firmware, but I am looking to be on the safe side as the user base with access to the code made change (not read).

It may go back up because the benefits to the majority are to great, but for now we just need too take a closer look at the release.

It is available to download on some sites and people who have installed it are finding it to be a good release, but I urge people not to try it just yet as D-Link may put a new version out soon that can be downgraded or has wireless B support.

Change Log:
Fix DHCP server issue.
Modify the turn from “Network USB” to “Shareport” in the option of “My USB Type is:”
Add Advanced DNS Service feature.
Add SecureSpot 2.0
Remove the 3G from GUI
Fix LLTD wrong icon in Vista.
Fix reboot issue when connecting to Internet
Add Graphical authentication to log-in page.
Removed 802.11b
This firmware can not downgraded to previous versions.
Guest Zone disable SharePort support (USB spec v1.05)
New SharePort support PC/Mac (Requires Utility Installed on PC or Mac to work)
Router time is not reset when factory reset.
Fix schedule end time error.

SharePort 1.10 for PC and now 1.01 for Mac OSX was released at the same time, the PC version has a lower version number than the previous 1.14 release but it is most likely a newer version.
Update: This appears to only work with the above 1.30 firmware.

You can get it here for: Windows OSX

The Australian Next Broadband Network – Part 2 – NBN Terminated!

It appears that the government have terminated their NBN in favor of creating their own Fibre To The Home (FTTH) 100mb wholesale service, this is a very interesting decision for them to make however as we know the governments of the world are seeking infrastructure builds in order to keep jobs up in the tough economy so it’s not that unexpected.

Their reasons for closing the NBN process was stated as “none of the national proposals offered value for money” and they also note that “The Panel noted the rapid deterioration of the global economy had a significant impact on the process”.

The skeptical side of me however can’t help but think, now that the government is in control who is going to make sure they carry out on their promises? They don’t seem to want to listen to anyone in the industry at the moment and on that note could this be something to do with their plans for an Internet Filter? A company created by the government that is on their side and offering the best connection money can buy? Will later governments just sell it off down the track anyway?

Source: DBCDE

Speedtest.net Redesign

Speedtest.net is a valuable tool for checking that everything is working correctly on your internet connection, while the same test can be done manually it’s much more convenient to have it all come from one place.

Recently they redesigned their website with a lighter style, I think it works well, aside from the main design not much has changed regarding the interaction.

It still suffers from the odd anomaly
It still suffers from the odd anomaly

The Australian Next Broadband Network – Part 1 – Telstra out

If you have been watching/listening/reading the Australian news lately you may have noticed that Telstra has now decided to threaten the government with an $80 billion compensation claim due to the costs of letting whoever winds the Australian Next Broadband Network bid access to their infrastructure. This comes after Telstra attempted to bullshit the government and try to change the rules of the bidding process, getting kicked out of it in the process and that comes after over a year of threats to the government regarding, to put it in simple terms ‘get their own way’.

Sol Trujillo - Telstra CEO, without his hands in the air surprisingly
Sol Trujillo – Telstra CEO, without his hands in the air

Telstra is the only company that I have seen in the past few years act like a 5 year old child, Telstra must get everything that they wish otherwise they throw a tantrum, every time they do this they get shot down, mainly because of their ridiculous demands, but mostly because they just want to play by their own rules, now I don’t doubt that this works sometimes in business, but you sure as hell don’t act that way to the government, especially not one that had been fighting for the past 12 years against the previous government who let Telstra do anything they wanted.

It comes as no surprise that if I was a shareholder in the company I would be appalled. Telstra lost $12 Billion worth of shares due to being kicked out of the bidding process, the bidding process the government set up, it’s a formal bid that a multi-billion dollar business puts in to build a huge infrastructure project in this country, they made a mockery out of it. Even the local fish and chip shop knows that if they put in a formal bid such as this they should plan months ahead and make sure they had everything organised, instead Telstra strolled in and just assumed that they would get it because they are Telstra, it just doesn’t work that way and I cannot believe the board were stupid enough to think a risk like that would work, I hope that the shareholders do something about this because there is no way that they can spin this into something good.

Dodgy business practices aside, there are now 3 consortiums left in the bidding process: Optus, Axia and Acacia, out of those 3 my bet is on Optus, but if it was my choice, keep in mind I only know what they are proposing, not the details of whether they could do what they say, I would pick Axia. Now they are not an Australian company, which automatically gets a large amount of Xenophobic comments from those that would rather pick a dodgy Australian company over a competent Canadian company that actually know what they are doing.

Axia are proposing instead of building the FTTN (Fibre to the Node) network that the others including Telstra were planning on building and everybody really just assumed was the only network allowed to be built, they are instead proposing to build a FTTH (Fibre to the Home) or FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) as it is sometimes called network for metropolitan and some regional areas, introducing a mixture of equivalent wireless and fibre for other harder to reach areas. This is next generation technology, well rather, it is current generation technology however it’s the best we have, which is even better, the truth of the matter is, Fibre to the Node is the same technology we currently have, just in a slightly faster package and available to slightly more people, the clear type of network that we need to be able to actually say next generation broadband network is a fully fibre network.

FTTN is great, but it doesn’t stop my ADSL (or VDSL) connection going down due to water ingress and a whole host of other problems, fibre is not foolproof either but it certainly has less problems as long as it gets looked after properly. Pricing wise Axia believe that they can give it to us, or rather, give it to ISPs wholesale for much cheaper than is currently available with ADSL, that isn’t just a good thing now, but with the economic future uncertain people don’t want to be paying large amounts for their internet connection while they are trying to deal with arguably more important products and services.

No matter who wins the bid, it certainly will be a good thing for this country in general, I just hope that Telstra don’t get back into the bid through some more threatening and devious behaviour, perhaps they should try doing something a little more by the book next time they bid for something like the other companies that had no problem following the rules.

D-Link DIR-655 Router and SharePoint/SharePort

Update 16th January 2010: 1.33b01NA has been released.

Update 2nd November 2009: All users having issues with SharePort, check out this post for the latest information.

Update: Make sure you read the comments below to find out anything new about this feature, many bugs has been fixed since the original release, as of August 2009 Firmware 1.32NA FINAL is the latest firmware, read about it and download it here.

I have owned a D-Link DIR-655 router for the past year and it is by far the best router that I have ever used, although I did pay $150 more than what I have paid for a router before, so I’ve gotten what I have paid for.

Starting with the version 1.21 Beta 04 of the DIR-655 firmware there is now SharePoint functionality available. SharePoint as the media and other sites partially call it or SharePort as it is called everywhere else including the software itself is a way for D-Link products to share a USB device over the LAN, i’m going to try to not confuse you any further so I will refer to it only as SharePort from now on.

SharePort is an interesting feature that I actually wanted to be able to do a few years ago, by sharing USB devices from a computer so they can be used on another PC as if the device was actually plugged into your PC. D-Link have finally brought this technology to life in a limited fashion with SharePort.

Continue reading D-Link DIR-655 Router and SharePoint/SharePort