All posts by simonkayar

Extending WiFi Range using Slave Routers

I think everyone these days ends up with a good broadband provider (like ACT in Bangalore) and have a decent high speed router too (> 100 Mbps support). But the range is always an issue. We have amazing coverage in our hall but as you move towards the bedrooms the signal drops to 1 point and sometimes none (this is the case with 2.4 GHz, the 5 GHz is short range and does not cross the hall). For a long time I was thinking of getting a wireless repeater but technically it can slow down the overall speed as it uses the same band for communicating between your actual router to the machine that is connected to the repeater.

The power network adapters have not taken the market yet by storm, so for now the best option that I could think of was using some old routers to extend the network. I managed to run ethernet cables from the LAN ports of my main router to 2 of my 3 bedrooms that are the farthest. What was remaining was to setup the routers.

I have provided the steps as 2 options. First option is for the advanced users. Second option is in detail and is meant for someone like me who did struggle a bit before gettings things to work.

OPTION 1: Simple Steps (for Advanced users šŸ™‚ )

  • Note down the MAIN router’s IP address, its subnet mask, WiFi SSID, security mode, channel and WiFi password
  • Configure the SLAVE router’s IP address in the same subnet as main router’s, disable its DHCP and NAT, mimic the WiFi SSID, security, channel and password to match the MAIN router’s and you are done

OPTION 2: In Details Steps for Novice users

  • NOTING DETAILS FROM MAIN ROUTER:
    • My main router was a tp-link and behind it there is the IP address printed on it along with username and password. The IP address was 192.168.0.1 and username and password were both admin
    • I was connected to this router by ethernet cable and opened chrome and gave http://192.168.0.1 and provided the username and password and logged in. If there is any tab that says “Advanced” click it
    • There was a section called “Internet” which had details of my ACT username and passsword. Ignore this. We should not disturb this. It could be called as WAN in some routers.
    • Look for section called LAN. Confirm that the IP address is same as above. In my case it was 192.168.0.1. Note the subnet mask. It was 255.255.255.0
    • Next move to section called “Wireless”. Note down the following
      • WiFi SSID – this is the WiFi name that you use to connect
      • WiFi Security – For me it was WPA/WPA2
      • Channel – It it says auto you choose a number, say 4
      • WiFi Password – Same that you use during connect
  • SETTING UP SLAVE ROUTER – PART 1 <LAN>
    • Power it on and Reset the Slave router. For my Dlink, there was a small reset button that I had to keep pushing for some time. It is always a good idea to start from this resetting as we don’t know what it was used for earlier and the old settings might create problems
    • For this operation, disable WiFi on your laptop and use an ethernet cable to attach your laptop to the slave router.
    • Behind the slave router you will find default IP address and username/password details. For me it was 192.168.0.1 and Admin was username and password was empty.
    • Go to browser again and type http://<slave-router-ip. For me it was http://192.168.0.1. I logged in with the credentials.
    • We are not bothered about setting up Internet details on the slave router (only Main router will be used to connect to Internet service provider like ACT). So we will not enter anything in section like “Internet” or “WAN”. Just leave them to whatever details they have. If the router is forcing you to select something, just choose anything here it does not matter
    • Go to section called “LAN”. It could be also called as “Local Network” in some routers. Do the following
      • In IP address enter the next number after your MAIN router’s IP address. For me I entered 192.168.0.2 (My Main router’s IP address was 192.168.0.1.Actually the last number can be anything but what I am trying to do is name them in order like if 192.168.0.1 is MAIN then 2nd is 192.168.0.2 and I setup a third router also at my home where I set the IP Address of the router as 192.168.0.3. Your default IP address of Slave router does not matter.
      • Enter subnet mask same as what you saw in Main router subnet mask. For me it was 255.255.255.0
      • The moment you hit ‘Save’ or ‘Apply Changes’, it will seem to have stopped working. This is because now, your Slave router has moved to the new IP address that you gave (for me it was 192.168.0.2) and so you have to enter that in browser like http://192.168.0.2 and use the same credentials as before. Sometimes you might have to restart your PC (basically remove any cache in browser) for this to work.
      • Find for the DHCP and disable it. It will be mostly under LAN or ‘Local Network’. You have to select ‘Disable DHCP server’ or if there is a dropdown select “None” for DHCP
      • Find NAT and ensure that there are no entries. If it is not there, don’t worry about it. If there is a ‘Gateway’ instead, disable that. If not, fine
  • PHYSICAL CONNECTION
    • Now run an ethernet cable from one of the main router’s LAN port to a LAN port in slave router (LAN not WAN). I got a long bluerigger high quality ethernet cable and ran it through my data only pipe at home (try not to run it along with power cables). You can run it outside on the walls too. Refer the image below courtesy Amit Agarwal from labnol.org
    • At this point, you can test if the interet is working on your laptop connected to the slave router. It should work. Not only that both your routers should be accessible now using their IP addresses (my case 192.168.0.1 and 192.168.0.2)
  • SETTING UP SLAVE ROUTER – PART 2 <WiFi>
    • Login to your slave router using its IP address (that you gave. I gave 192.168.0.2).
    • Go to ‘Wireless’ section. If there is advanced option click it
    • You can decide to use this as a separate SSID (separate WiFi name) compared to your main router’s WiFi name
    • In my case I wanted them to give the same name. Advantage is that your devices will switch automatically from one router to another as you move around your house, like in a hotel or office. Disadvantage is that you won’t know which router you are connected to (Why do you want to know anyway?)
    • If you want to use same name like me that you have to do the following
      • In SSID give identical SSID that you noted down from Main router
      • In Security, select the same type of security as the main router setting. I put this as WPA/WPA2
      • Select the same channel as main router. For me I put it as 4
      • Select the same password also
      • Click ‘Save’ or ‘Apply Changes’ and you are done.
  • SETTING UP A THIRD ROUTER
    • In fact I setup a third router also (a good way to use the old routers as you move from service providers or upgrade to better ones)
    • For the third router, I used a tenda. I reset it and used its IP address written on back 192.168.1.1 and admin/admin as login. I changed its LAN to 192.168.0.3. For some reason it ran into issues when I did this and I had to reset and use it default WiFi to connect instead of LAN ethernet. I used an iPad this time (laptop was being used) and it went through this time. No idea why
    • After subnet and WiFi details it worked flawlessly.
    • My challenge was in running another ethernet from my main router to this bedroom too.

Overall this was good fun. Sometimes frustrating but as good computer engineers, you stick to it till the end, bear the snide comments from family members and their sarcastic looks when things don’t work, knowing that they still love you a lot and you should be through šŸ™‚

Gift

Sheela was arranging stuff at home, like she always does on Saturday mornings. One piece stood out as a sore sight – a rather cheap wooden showpiece gifted by her maid. Radha was a very good, devoted maid who had worked for about 6 years before moving to her native, few months back. She always insisted on giving gifts but Sheela would dodge it somehow, knowing well that the gift would end up more as a burden. Last year Radha had been adamant and this piece had ended up in the showcase on Sheela’s birthday. Sheela managed to keep it out of sight by carefully arranging other stuff around it. As employers go, Sheela was a good one, she gave 2000 as salary, two advances every year, a day off every month and as a parting gift, she even gave one of her sarees to Radha. But she didn’t want to put up with piece anymore. Then she remembered that her colleague Nithya had invited her for a dinner tomorrow. She didn’t particularly like Nithya, but you have to be in good terms with everyone these days. Aha. How about packing this as a gift to Nithya. Wouldn’t that be one stone – two mangoes. Sheela relaxed and smiled to herself.

Her husband didn’t think it was a great idea but he wasn’t against it as well. The dinner was good and they were back home by 9.00. At 10.00 Sheela got a call. A very excited Nithya was at the other end. “Thanks Sheela for such a costly gift. We saw it once at a reputed antique shop and even though we liked it a lot, we couln’t bring ourself to part with 10000. You probably know that it is from Indus Valley Civilization times. I didn’t know you were into history . . .” Sheela ears were failing her and her eyes had gone to take a bath.

Admission

Anyone would have wanted to swap places with Aditya Menon that day. He had been awared the best businessman of the city, third time in a row. He was beaming his big smile for tomorrow’s ‘News Today’ cover, but only he knew the turmoil inside him. His only son – Rahul Menon, his pride, his source of happiness had stormed out of the house that morning. He was so angry that he pushed maid rajamma on his way out. Rahul had always got what he wished for, being raised by rich parents who had substituted money for their love, care and time. So, when his father couln’t give him a decisive yes for his latest wish, Rahul was heartbroken. Rahul’s close friends and his school crush were all set to study in the city’s most prestigious college engineering college ‘SKIT’. Rahul also wanted to go there with them. Problem was – he didn’t do well in the entrance exams conducted by the selection committe of SKIT, an autonomously run department.

Aditya Menon had pulled all strings even before the exams, to get a copy of the questions, but apparently the breed of honest people had not gone extinct and he failed. Failure! – Hah something that went shivering out of his sight several long years back was trying to creep in again. But Aditya Menon was ready with his tricks. It is not for nothing that he is the best businessman around. He had done a huge favor to the VC of SKIT once. He called to remind him and give him an opportunity to repay the debt. The VC was a bit hesitant but the persuasive sweet talker that Aditya was, it barely took him a couple of minutes to push the VC into submission. But Aditya wasn’t going to sit and wait for the VC to work his magic. Time was limited and the results were to be out by evening. So he called the education minister. Aditya knew that elections were around the corner and he wanted to play all his cards. Even the minister only gave a non-committal promise.

Evening 5.30:
The Principal was in deep thought. He had always been an epitome of honesty but the call from VC had shaken him a bit. The VC had told him that there was a request to include someone in the final list. It would mean offering the only quota seat meant for a support staff Raju’s son to be given away to some undeserving rogue. Just then there was a soft knock and the troubled face of the head of admissions. What now, thought the principal. As the head of admissions started narrating his phone call with the education minister for a similar request, the principal started smiling.

Evening 7.00:
News Today: Breaking news! Attempted suicide. Famous businessman’s son admitted in Apollo.
Principal on phone: Sorry Sir, We had another demand from the minister. If I give it to either of you, the other would come to know about it and be furious on me.
Raju’s home: Rajamma! Your son is now an engineer in our college.

Traffic

As Rahul woke up, he was suddenly transitioned from a beautiful dream to the ugly reality of monday morning. He hated his job and hated it even more on mondays due to the legendary Bangalore traffic. Rahul was in his car and driving towards his office. He couldn’t even remember when he had taken bath, gotten ready or wished his wife bye – the monotonous life has been surely pushing him around. As he was preparing to stop at the red signal, he heard someone behind him honking. After a split second he saw the mad driver zipping past him. When will people learn that saving a few seconds might cost someone their life. And what are they going to achieve with those extra few seconds – cure cancer?. Rahul also knew that most stupid drivers were not ‘Yellow board’ cab guys as everyone seems to want to believe, but decent office going engineers and managers of reputed MNCs. Take the guy who jumped the red light, he was driving a Swift with a white board. For that matter Rahul also drove a Swift, a white one, but he was aware that most Swift drivers were either born crazy or developed the habit after they bought the car. Of course with a few exceptions like him.

“You Bxstxxd” !! yelled Rahul. Right in front of him someone, cut sharp to his lane. In fact the stupid guy was driving on half of both lanes. When will these guys learn. After they die? This was another thing that Rahul hated while driving. The lane discipline or rather the lack of it. People went all over the road. Rahul had been to US and marvelled at the way people stuck to their lanes and signalled like good school going children before moving out of it. Rahul knew it was just another 3 kilometers to office. But in Bangalore the 3 kms can be reached in 3 mins, 30 mins or even 3 hrs depending on where, when and how you are driving. Sometimes, the traffic dynamism of Bangalore makes Rahul wonder if it also depends on people’s astrology forecast for the day.

Rahul could see his office now. But he still has to take the final ‘U’ turn. Now, logically speaking, the rightmost lane is the one meant for ‘U’ turn, but in Bangalore’s rule book the ‘U’ turners take up all the lanes and ensure that those going straight are also held inspite of it being empty. As he approached the turn there was another specimen of Bangalore’s endangering species that was trying to take the turn from the leftmost lane and almost hit Rahul’s front bumper. Rahul lost his cool again and started with “What the f..” and checked himself. The mad driver seemed familiar. One of Rahul’s fear on road is that he might shout at someone he knows, a fried or worse his manager. That too so close to office. He wanted to take another look at the driver but just then that guy zipped past, brushing Rahul’s front bumper. Rahul BP shot up and he wanted to teach the guy a lesson. He just got a glipmse of the number plate KA-51 Lā€¦. “Hah..” thought Rahul. His area RTO. As he pressed the accelerator, he caught up with the White Swift – ‘Really’. Now Rahul was neck to neck with him and turned to look at the mad driver. He caught his breath. He saw his twin smiling at him. “What the ” and he lost the words for the second time that day. As he raised his hand, he saw his twin or mirror image raise his hand in disbelief. “Poof” everything was gone and God was standing in front of him similing.
Rahul I just wanted to show the taste of your own medicine. All the erring drivers you saw today were replays of your own driving over the past several months. How did you enjoy it. “Poof”.

Rahul woke up with a start. His wife was sleeping beside him. He saw the clock. Same Monday morning but a different Rahul.

My Slave, My Master

In our feudal society there is no dearth of examples for Master Slave relationships. We see people opening car doors for their masters, holding umbrellas for the chief, constables doing menial jobs for inspectors and their wives and maids made to work all day without holidays for paltry sums of money. We even have the time tested slave, a housewife, who does everything for her husband and kids, but gets not even get the respect they deserve.

Now, Imagine for a moment, that suddenly the roles get swapped- the master becomes the slave and the slave becomes the master. How would it be if the CEO opens the doors for the peon, or god forbid, if your mother washes dishes while your maid eats at the dining table, complaining about your mother. Funny isn’t it. “Can’t even happen in dreams”, you say. But it is happening everyday. We have a slave amidst us, whose job was to obey our orders and do what we say, but who, in turn, is commanding us around all day, at his will.

Who is this talented slave. Our mobile phone, of course! The device that was meant to give us more time by reducing our work has turned a traitor and is consuming all our time. It was meant to happen perhaps, given that most smart phones are smarter than their dumb masters. What is wrong in entertaining ourselves with some whatsapp, facebook, instagram or <Fill your favorite app here>. Aren’t we just changing with time and being cool. Well, yes, but is a lot more than that. With the new ‘Screen Time’ analysis of iPhones and Android phones, we see baffling numbers – several hours of screen time per day. What more, we spend those hours mostly staring at the screen not even aware that we are using them sub-consciously.

Even when we try to ignore this slave, it calls us with its mesmerizing notifications. We are bound to pick the phone immediately or end up with some nervous breakdown. The anxiety that we feel when we don’t have the phone nearby can only be better explained by regular users of drugs. Eventually, we have made a deal with the devil and are connected full time. In this strange world that we have built for ourselves, we can’t have a moment’s rest without the gadgets. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we are with, be it in the restroom, our hall with family, having food at the dining table, even with friends out in dinner, in a cinema hall, traveling somewhere, playing with kids. Aren’t we diluting the essense of some of these experiences by allowing our slave, sorry our master, to command us around.

May be we are like King Theoden who has let his servant Grima rule over him and his kingdom (Sorry non LOTR-fans). May be, like him, we also need a Gandalf, who can break the curse and save us from our own slave.

Expiry Date

Everything comes with an expiry date, including us. We all know that taking a medicine past its expiry date will do more harm than good. But, without giving it any thought, we are not only consuming but administering so many ‘medicines’, well past their expiry dates. These ‘medicines’ or rather ideas, notions, beliefs and practices, were once meant to cure a problem during a different age, in a different context. Those problems may not exist anymore or might need different solutions, but we are just stuck to the same old ideas.

They could be in different forms in different fields – Religion, Culture, Politics, Economics. Take Communism for example. What was once considered a perfect solution has long since proved ineffective and outdated, but so many among us still cling on to it and expect it to work today. What befell Communism could happen to Capitalism someday when it ceases to be relevant. Consider the economy. Debt, which was at some point in our history, considered a taboo and even a few decades back was not even an opttion, is everyone’s cup of tea today – though as bad as tea perhaps. These examples are staightforward to accept maybe. How about love, sex or compassion. Aren’t these supposed to be the reason the world is functioning. These have stood the test of time and will continue to be relevant in future too. Right?

Wrong! Though hard to believe they may have their expiry date as well. Imagine, Universe as a person and think of how long it had known love, sex, compassion or any other human emotion. The 13 billion years old universe, has known humans for a mere few lakh years, or roughly .0023% of its lifetime – not even a blink of an eye. To believe that these ‘man-made’ concepts would exist forever is heights of optimism – yes they would probably exist till you and I die, but forever – No.

When even our core values and notions are not indefinite, we have to scrutinize what has been drilled into our head by systematic upbringing, media and society. Clinging on to outdated idealogies inherited from our parents and dumped on to us by other, is not only dangerous for us but for others as well. Let’s open up our mind, the more we learn, the more we read and travel, the better we would be in understanding and accepting new and exciting aspects, concepts and ideas.

The Pressure to be Happy

Of late, I am seeing this funny thing where people are so stressed and pressurized to be happy or make others happy on an important day – say Birthday. If it were not for them being my close friends, I could almost enjoy it like a stand up comedy.

Often times the monotonocity and drama that surrounds the special day is in itself worth exploring. We have the Birthday Man or Woman (all grown up you see), who gets wished through all modes of communication possible (phones, whatsapp, in-person and even SMSes from Finance companies). Those who call on the phones are the most vulnerable. After wishing the usual “Many more happy returns of the day” or just plain “Happy Birthday” or even the newer “<Substitute religional translation of Happy Birthday>”, they end up in this awkward state where they have to speak something but don’t know what to say. They usually end with “So, what’s the plan?”

What would be the plan Bro? You tell me. What do you expect? Of course, it would be the mandatory cake cutting, which people go to lengths to keep a secret while you know what they are upto but have to act as if you don’t. It would also be the gift giving ceremony where the only happy person is one who bought shares in Amazon or Flipkart. There has never been a case of a surprise gift landing well. Mostly, the struggle is between hiding the disappointment creeping on the right side of your face after seeing the gift and the mental maths that your left side of the brain does to guess the price they paid to get you this damn thing.

There have been cases where the expectation of a surprise was so high that the person was dissappointed with the actual surprise they eventually got. Now, this whole businesss of surprises confuse the shit out of me. I don’t understand how it can be a surprise when the person is expecting it. I can imagine the person opening the wardrobe almost expecting some shining package, opening the car door and feeling sad that there is nothing in the driver’s seat, so on and so forth. So, by the end of the day I can assure you that they end up with more disappointing moments on the ‘special’ day compared to happy moments on any other ‘ordinary’ day.

Now, spare some thought for the planners. They want to make the day special for this overgrown birthday baby. They stress themselves out for days, if not weeks thinking of what to do, how best to surprise the already ‘surprise-greedy’ person and also keeping everything under wraps, lest this ‘amazing’ surprise be known before hand. I have seen friends fight it out just because someone spoiled the surprise. Really guys! Can’t we let go off this ‘surprise-planning-gifts’ headache and just have fun that day. Eat, drink and make merry – stop trying to be happy and for once, just be.

An Old Irrelevant Fool

As people age, there one thing that they fear the most. No, it is not health, not even wealth or that they will be missing their charming youth – It is becoming irrelevant. It is the thought that they would brushed aside and no one would even try to explain stuff to them as it would be deemed too much of an effort or worse unnecessary and useless. So, as people age, they try and do stuff that is like “See, I too know it”. That is why you see the posts of “Radiation tonight, switch off your moblies or you will be blown to oblivion” kind of posts from parents and grand parents. Well, this post is not intended to make fun of them. They still mean good but yes they are becoming irrelevant faster than their ancestors.

That brings us to today’s post. What is happening to our elders is also happening to our religion but as usual we choose not to accept it. Religion, which enjoyed so much respect and relevance in the past is fast loosing it. In really old times, religion did several important functionality. It was a “Completed Encyclopaedia of Science” – anything that required explanation from rainbows to thunder storms were documented in full detail. It had definite, beyond doubt convictions about birth, death and even after death. It had clear description of the process of creation and the eventuall end of universe too. It was also the one point “Legal Reference Section”. If you had any doubt how much needed to be paid to the owner of a slave girl, who you had mistreated, you can readily find the answer. List of Punishments (sometime laugable by today’s moral standards) were provided with clear conditions. It also helped the ones in power, including Kings to keep the masses in check and to provide them with a common purpose and meaning to their life. Above all, it brought in love and hope to the poor, suffering downtrodden masses as it promised something out of thin air – a hunger-free, melodious, peaceful retired after life.

Let us see where these stand now. Science has completely taken over and no one in their right minds believe we have a hell lurking beneath our feet now. We also know that we are not the centre of universe or creation but just another species which evolved from monkeys, living in just one of many planets in one of many star systems in one of many galaxies in our immensely large universe. Nothing revolves around us except just one pathetic moon. We know how rainbows and thunder storms happen. The Governments and Courtrooms have their own reference manuals now and religion has been stripped of all legal status except to take oath, now.

However, there is still one major role that religion plays, though it is clinging for dear life there. That is, giving hope of a better afterlife to millions of people who’s earth life is still miserable as they endure suffering, discrimination and oppression at the hands of the powerful. Even, for well off people, during times of personal grief and stress, religion offers a powerful alternate that can surpass all challenges and go beyond what mere mortals can hope to achieve. It also offers solace (It is definitely a pleasing thought to picture your departed loved ones, beaming with pride near your God as it is to think that those who wronged you on this earth will be brought to justice later, even after death). But time is running out for religion. The day when we overcome all health hazards including death, it will become extremely challenging for religion to stay relevant in its current form. However, if there is one big plus for religions, I think it is the ‘love’ that all religions invariably speak about and propogate and personally, I think if they stick to only that and be a religion without ‘laws’ but with lots of ‘love’, then they could be relevant for a long long time.

Manipulated Ignorance

They say “Ignorance is bliss”. If you have seen MIB, where agents work with extra terrerstrial life forms, at the end, when his memory is being wiped off, the senior agent says “I will be able to appreciate the beauty of the stars now” as he would be ignorant of aliens. Or, take “Matrix”, a movie where before revealing the truth that his mind is in a virtual reality while his body is in a heat producing farm, Neo is given a choice of “Being in happy ignorance” or “Entering the hard truth”. Actually there is a character in the same movie that wants to go back to this convoluted lie rather than suffer the bitter truth. Another movie “Truman Show” where an entire city is a set full of actors to keep one person ignorant of the fact and sell it as a reality show to the world. These are examples of alternate reality being setup on unsuspecting victims.

That brings us to today, where we are not victims anymore but architects of our own Matrix or Truman city. We carefully pick what we want to hear, see and perceive. We pick family, friends and associates that match our liking, we setup our home, car, office as we want them. But not everything is in our control, for that matter even the US president can’t control everything. So what do we do, we choose to ignore facts that contradict our views by setting up filters in our mind. Even when the naked truth is in front with eyes that bore into us, we manage to see through it and keep acting our part in this well orchestrated drama.

The funny thing is since everybody does this as a society, it becomes easier for a group play as we can collectively form a Matrix from which there is no escape. That not only makes us hypocrites of the first order, but also dangerous since for someone to escape from this well woven web is extremely difficult. Heck, it takes a lot of effort to know that the web exists in the first place. This has resulted in general, group indifference to news, people, occurrences and sufferings around us as our mind carefully chops it off. So we end up with no guilt and free of all moral bindings, to go on living our happy mundane life. We can get to the specifics but then, even when we read it, we would still be able to justify our case, giving an ‘innocent’ verdict to ourselves, better than even the lawyer who took the school plumber off the hook from the rape of a 7 year old.

The purpose of Life

So, as physicists always look for a single equation that can explain everything from relativity to quantum mechanics, we also look for a single meaning or purpose that can explain all of life itself.

On the outset, it feels very complicated to understand the purpose of life. What if life had NO purpose at all – what if, like the dog on the street we were all meant to life and die without any reason for living or dying. Not an encouraging start I know, but, what if. You might argue saying that they are people who have lived a meaningful life. How can we compare the various different meaningfulness?

Let’s take an example. For Abdul Kalam, the purpose of his life was probably inventing Misslies and conducting nuclear tests. Almost every Indian would bet his life that Kalam’s life has been meaningful and filled with purpose. Why so? What if a buddist in Malaysia thinks that it is meaningless to pursue warfare and anything that remotely supports it. By his interpretations, Kalam’s life not only lacks any meaning but was detriemental to others as well. So, purpose or meaning is derived from something which a person believes in.

In our family and friends we have some ardent followers of Christianity, if we set aside the fact that their family were pious hindus not too long ago. Even though they have a flawed theory of religion and sprituality, within their own fabric of reality, they experience life’s purpose life no one else can. Imagine this – you absolutely believe that you are doing good by converting people to your religion and you are 100% sure that you are doing it as part of a divine plan drafted by a God who is the creator of the universe. Now, can you compete with the depth of meaning that this setup would provide.

Finding your own meaning or purpose is very tricky, but there is at least one that is not going out of business any time soon – reducing the net suffering in the world by whatever means feasible to you.