HAL-PC Monthly eBulletin - June 2006

Welcome to the June edition of the HAL-PC monthly member eBulletin. If you wish to stop receiving these bulletins, send an email to e-bulletin-off@hal-pc.org. This month: Protect Your PC, Events, Movie Night, Class Listing, Board of Directors Election, Magazine.



Wireless networks add convenience to your home computing experience, but without basic security procedures they also make your information vulnerable to outsiders who do NOT wish you well. Here are some simple steps that will help you secure your wireless network.

Encryption - Turn on WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and set it to the highest level that your AP (Access Point) supports. If your router doesn't have key generator built-in then there are some handy sites that can be found with Google that can generate a key for you. Make sure you write the hex code down and keep it in a safe place, because you will have to have it to set up your other computers. WARNING: 64bit WEP is eaisly cracked, so go with 128bit if your hardware supports it. Either one is, at least, a good deterrent for the moochers.

SSID - Change the default SSID (Service Set IDentifier) assigned to your AP. People know that if it says "default" then the person that set it up probably didn't bother securing anything else. Some APs even allow you to turn off SSID broadcasting. This is one of the most important features you could look for when shopping for a router. What they can't see won't tempt them.

Filtering - Enable MAC Filtering! This will prevent anyone from accessing your network without you manually adding their address to the list (this includes your own computers). In order to find out what the MAC address of your computer's wireless card is, you will need to, with Windows at least, open a DOS prompt and type "ipconfig /all | more" and look for the Physical Address (something like 0E-23-80-43-E3-D4). There may be more than one ethernet device listed if you have a modem (HINT: The PPP Adapter is a dialup modem, NOT the ethernet card) or Firewire (The 1394 adaptor). You may be fortunate enough to have a router that can provide you with a list of associated clients that you can choose from. Read the manual that came with the router for more information on how to make use of this feature since they are all different.

Password - Change the default password for your AP! Anyone can look up the default on a site like CIRT.net. Don't forget to write it down and put it in a safe place (like on a Post-It under your keyboard or taped to the bottom of the router).

Save Info For Future Reference - Write down pertinent information and tape it to the bottom of your router - for example:
Router IP -
Username - admin
Password - pAsswOrd
SSID - MyPrivateWLAN
channel - 10
Wep key 128bit HEX


Wednesday, May 31 -- 7:00 - 9:00 pm: S P Y W A R E! How to Protect Yourself from Adware and Spyware

Saturday, June 3 -- 1:00 - 3:30 pm: DVD Backups for Everyone

Saturday, June 10 -- 9:00 am: Welcome to SQL Express

Friday, June 23-- 6:30 pm: HAL-PC Movie Night - Secondhand Lions

Saturday, July 15 -- 10:00 am: Wireless Networking


Popcorn bag

Join us for our monthly movie night for a family favorite, Secondhand Lions, starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall and Haley Joel Osmet on the big screen, a door prize, and board games. Refreshments will be available. Join the fun!

June Classes - HAL-PC Headquarters

Map To Facility

Starting June 6
eBay: Secrets to Successful Selling
Instructor: Marie Jones

Starting June 14
Introduction to MS Office
Instructor: Bear Jones

Starting June 20
Quickbooks Level 1
Instructor: Marie Jones Check the Class Calendar for the latest additions to the schedule


The annual election of HAL-PC's Board of Directors will be held in June. Online voting will be held from June 1 - 3:00 pm June 17. On-site voting at HAL-PC Headquarters will be on June 17 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Full details of the electoral process are available on the HAL website.


Look for the HAL-PC Magazine online.

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