Mecklenburg-Lower Pomerania

Trip to German Baltic Coast

I hope to travel on a holiday along the german baltic coast sometime. I shall use my trusty ‘Rough Guide to Germany’ as my first and last reference book.

Locality & Map

Courtesy of Google Maps

View Larger Map

I’d like to visit

  • Schwerin
  • Bad Doberan
  • Rostock/Warnemunde and
  • Rugen Island, where Binz seems a good place to stay.


This area is very busy in the summer and also very dramatic in the winter. I need to decide. I don’t need to travel in the school holidays anymore.


The Guardian and Observer say

Wikipedia has an entry on Prora, the site of the Observer article.

At Heiligendamm [wikipedia], some of the villas which date back to Imperial Germany have been taken over by the Kempinski chain but that’s probably more than I’ll want to pay.

Dell Studio 15 Laptop

I bought a Dell Studio 15 from PC World in August. It runs Vista.

Norton Anti-Virus

I bought and installed Norton Anti-Virus. I didn’t renew when the subscribtion ran out


I downloaded

  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird
  • Opera
  • Pidgin, I downloaded this from the My experience with versions post v 2.0.1 are quite poor, so this is not installed, but I must ensure v2.0.1 is on the machine. I am advised by a Vista user that this experience is also the case on Vista.

Microsoft Office

I installed Microsoft Office Student Edition 2003. (Do I need Star/Open Office, or the ODF). I tried to run Office Update from the Microsoft site and got the ‘You are not using a sufficiently up to date version of IE n.b. this is Vista.’. I think I fixed this by amending the firewall rules, and using IE, not Firefox. Doh!.


In order to move the files from one machine to another, I needed to establish a LAN connection behind the home appliance firewall.

The interface is different and finding the buttons was a complete crock. I am not sure how we fixed this. The XP boxes could see the new Studio 15’s exports, and I connected to it. The next time I looked the ‘connect to network disk’ button was on the ‘My computer’ dialogue box, and it could see all the exporting computers, although I still can’t browse the disks and printers. It may have been tuning the firewall rules that did this.

I found these resources

both specific to Vista and from The reality is that I don’t know how we fixed this, and since we can’t browse the devices, its still not fixed.

Week Two problems

The Fan has kicked in, the back lite switches are not working and even some keyboard buttons need to be pressed really hard.

Dell Forums seems to recognise the problem. It might need a BIOS upgrade, also I will need to document how to use the power economy control panel applet.

So the problem is defined as

  • Fan exceedingly noisey
  • back lite keys don’t work
  • intermittent failure on the keyboard
  • mouse touchpad doesn’t seem to work

I couldn’t find someone on the support team chat, so rang them. He downloaded new copies of the general utilities, touchpad driver, intel chipset and the BIOS.The drivers are on the front support page after one types on the Service Tag. He installed them and rebooted. Everything seems fine. The fan is quiet and everything seems to be working.I was told that there is no Firmware Upgrade solution at Dell.  I ,(well, Dell Support), installed new BIOS today. V A05. (20 Sep 2008)

I believe the computer fell into a bad state after a windows upgrade download.

Sound Quality

This is a bit poor for a Laptop advertised as a multi-media lifestyle machine.

I need to see if there are any better drivers, or if this is as good as it gets

Hardware Repairs

I took this to Disking after a Keyboard/Pinot Grigio interface scenario. They charged £69 quid + parts for the repair, which since both the computer and its parts were no longer supplied by Dell and they got everything they needed, this was a result. In particular, at the time, Dell’s replacements were very ugly, we were please to have the machine repaired. NB Damage through spillage is accidental damage and not derangement. This means it should be covered by most household insurance policies.


Only marginally an FRPG, more a hack & slash.

Diablo II

The second version, Diablo’s back with multi-player fun. It offers a LAN connect over tcp/ip and a WAN connect via their server hosted worlds. Some of these were hacked in 2001, according to “The Register”.

This is now quite an old game, and it seems there are patches to be obtained. See the Diablo 2 Patch page. Alternatively, playing on their network automatically patches the game. Since I have two machines, I had only played Diablo Online on one of them, so the the other needed to be patched, which I did by downloading the patch and installing.

Playing on a Lan

Name Services

Open Tech Support .net says it doesn’t like dhcp. The desktops should not be dhcp clients. Oops they are! The Alienware seems to have been meddled with while away. I have used Windows to install a fixed ip address. I have ensured that I use the correct local addresses, it hangs while waiting to join. Now I need to try the internet address.

Do we need two disks?

According to Cheap Ass Gamer one should make a spawn copy. This works for LAN games, but not for connection to the Blizzard Server.

Network Appliance

This can muck things up. See the Diablo II networking site at, which has a good intro on the problems with of proxy servers. I have taken his advice and have enabled enabled port forwarding from my public internet address to the games host on ports 4000 an 6112-6119, TCP & UDP. Still not enough.

Apply the Patch

I needed the Version 1.12a patch to be applied to one of the games and that works fine. See the patch site above.

Keywords/Tags: “Diablo 2” LAN multiplayer home configure howto network

Dave, 23 May 2009.

I and Ben reconfigured the firewall and re-connected a game. The alienware acts as the host, and the dell joins the game using the public ip address as the connection address. Friends from outside the internet also managed to join the game, but couldn’t create a character because they didn’t have the expansion pack.

Dave, 23 May 2009.

It seems that the ‘guest’ can be a dhcp client. A truly remote system using dhcp for its address and gateway connected to a game host on our LAN today. We used Diablo II, without the expansion pack as the game platform on the Dell. The guest uses a different ISP to us and a different home hub technology. The guest was connected to its home hub using a wired connection. I repointed the firewall rules to the Dell.In order to get back to the previous configuration and play multiplayer on the LAN I may need to reinstall the expansion pack on the Dell. I should test if the expansion pack is available to other users. If so, then the firewall rules need to be repointed at the proposed game host. Otherwise the Expansion pack needs to be reinstalled.