December 02, 2011

My little Tablet problem

My Thrive had a problem - no, not the earlier one with the cracked screen, but a different sort of a problem.

About an year ago, I set up an inexpensive Terabyte RAID accessible on our home wireless network - a free cloud if you please. All my photos are on said cloud, and I had hoped to use my new Thrive to actually browse through and check my photos out in style. Part of the reason to get a tablet, was to consume my own media.

Here is where standards were supposed to help. My router was technically capable of sharing the Terabyte via either HTTP, FTP or most importantly SMB (essentially Windows Share). And my Tablet was supposed to be able to browse via SMB. But, try as I might, I just did not seem to work.

ASTRO File Manager
AndSMB Samba Client

I tried all the usual suspects ASTRO File Manager, AndSMB Samba Client, File Manager HD and ES File Manager. All of which had rave reviews, all talking about successful connections to other Windows machines.

File Manager HD
ES File Explorer

But none of them seemed to work. Out of character for me - I created new accounts on two Thrive Forums, to ask for help - no luck there either.

After three days of frustration, I began to realize something. Maybe the problem was not with the Thrive at all. Maybe, the problem was with the router, that was just unable to play nice with all SMB clients, including that on the Thrive.

Luckily, here is where my obsession for freedom began to pay off. My router is a Netgear 3500L. It is about the closest to a poster child for open hackable routers, that one can buy. A fact that Netgear actually advertises on the flier for the router itself. So I figured I'd flash my router, and hopefully make the newer version of SMB play nice with my Tablet.

Whether that worked is another story, but the moral of the current post is this - having freedom is awesome. It opens up possibilities and opportunities. It makes you focus on answers, not problems. And it is green too - who knows, I could have been tempted to buy a new router and chuck this one out, instead of trying to fix it.

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