23 June 2013

Miss playing DOS games?

It's been a while since I've sat with my first computer (Still in parents loft) and played some DOS games, on my old 486 I'd disabled Windows booting from the autoexec.bat script as many of my games launched direct from the DOS CLI itself.

So be it The Chaos Engine, Lemmings, Volfied or Space Quest I do miss sitting playing these games with the keyboard from time to time, the good news is that today these games are easy and free to find and play from any system that you have.

Firstly let me introduce DOSBox, a free DOS emulator.  Exactly what it says on the tin, will emulate DOS the beauty however is it's compatible on Mac and various Linux flavors also.  When launched you'll mount a folder on your system (IE - "DOS" in your Windows 7 Documents) as your C:\ drive, dump any of your old DOS games and applications in here and execute them using the familiar commands that have been carved into your head forever.

Now if you are in a position similar to myself, your current generation system won't have a floppy drive in it and you'll not been keen on fishing out all your old floppy discs to find your old games.  Good news, most of our old games are now classed as "Abandonware" - the games are so old that you can download them and use without charge.

The games when downloaded are just like you'd already have them stored on your floppys up the loft, drop and drag them into your DOS folder and enjoy them just like you did previously.

Two recommended sites for Abandonware are http://www.myabandonware.com/ and http://www.abandonia.com/

17 June 2013

Schedule Network/Internet Access Sky Broadband Router

I was asked recently by one of my followers if I could provide them with some support restricting Internet access to a device via their Sky Broadband wireless router. I helped them with this and agreed that I'd create a short guide showing how to do this.  A video is shown at the bottom of the post that covers this.


Using the steps below, we will set a "Static IP" for the device and create a schedule so the Internet access is only blocked at a certain time. If you run into trouble, I'd recommend giving Sky a call - you may also contact me directly but I can't promise to respond.

  1. Start by accessing the control page of the router. Open your web browser and head to - you will be asked to log in, the default credentials are admin and sky. If you haven't done so already, I'd recommend changing the password once logged in.

  2. Once logged in, select the Attached Devices option and look for the device you'd like to apply this control to. Take a note of the IP Address and the MAC Address.

  3. Next, select the Advanced option then LAN IP Setup. Select the Add option.

  4. Enter the details previously recorded for the device. The rules we enforce will be applied to the device via its IP Address, the Sky router may assign a different IP Address to the device each time it connects, but now as we have set up the Static IP we can be sure that this device will have the same IP each time and the rules will always be effective.


Okay, now we know that the device will have the same IP address we can set up a schedule for the block to take effect from - follow the instructions below to set the schedule.

  1. Select the Security option then the Schedule option.

  2. This page is simple enough, first select the days you want the schedule to work followed by the start and end times in the boxes at the bottom. The time should be entered in 24-hour format.

  3. Once happy with times, select Apply.

Now, the last action is to create a firewall rule to block all ports for the device (By Static IP) on the times scheduled - here we go...

  1. Still within Security, select Firewall Rules.

  2. Under the Outbound Services, select Add.

  3. Service should be set for Any (ALL).

  4. Action should be set for BLOCK by schedule.

  5. LAN Users should be set to Single address.

  6. In the Start box, enter the IP we assigned to the device.

  7. Click Apply.

At this point you are done, if you wish to change the scheduling this can be done as desired without toggling the Static IP or the Firewall Rule.  A video guide for this post is shown below.