Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Saturday, 10 January 2009

Yesterday I watched from the sidelines while the Microsoft web servers were hammered into submission and ultimately failure as people tried to download the Windows 7 Beta. Someone found a direct link to the .iso files and some people reported that their multi-gig files just stopped partway through. I guess there were people physically deleting the iso file from webservers at that point. It was an epic fail; microsoft.com was down for a little bit, windowsteamblog.com was offline, eOpen (licensing site), MSDN and TechNet were all having problems as the deluge continued.

Lifehacker actually posted an opinion piece admonishing Microsoft for not being ready for it and while they DO have a point, I don’t think they anticipated just how many people wanted an alternative to Vista. To give them some credit, there’s a difference between 38 million Firefox 3 downloads and 2.5 million 2.4 gigabyte Windows 7 downloads.

By late last night and this morning they had things ironed out and brought more capacity/bandwidth online and re-opened the beta. (I wonder if they ate their own dog food and used some sort of Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform, or if they just used Amazon S3 or (doubtful) Google’s cloud computing platform. More likely they just upped their commitment to Akamai.

Earlier today I signed up for the beta and got my product code that’s good through August 31st, 2009.

Tonight I backed up my laptop (which has been having wireless connection issues almost since I got it) and then did a hard drive swap so as not to damage my vista installation that has all my data on it. On a side note, I picked up a 320gb, 7200RPM, 2.5” SATA notebook hard drive at NCIX on Friday for $104 after taxes. While not as cheap as 3.5” SATA drive, that’s still pretty cheap.

I fired up my laptop with the Windows 7 DVD in the drive, made a few selections (language, regional settings, keyboard layout, that sort of thing) and then it installed. It seems to have installed a little slower than the Vista beta did a couple years ago. Once it was “ready” it asked for my name, a computer name (for networking) and then asked me if I wanted to connect to a wireless network. Judging by that, it had a driver and installed it during setup. It asked me for my WPA password and that was it. It then checked with Windows Update and downloaded 68mb of updates. One of the updates it downloaded (probably the bulk of the 68mb) was the nVidia video driver for my laptop. (At the time, it was running at 1024x768) Once it downloaded and installed the video driver, the MP3 bug fix and a couple other updates, it rebooted and came up at the native 1280x800 resolution. There was one “optional” update yet to be installed, the Broadcom Ethernet adapter driver. I installed it, and then downloaded/installed the new Windows Live Essentials (including Windows Live Writer, which I’m using right now to write this up)

I opened up the Device Manager, to see if any drivers did not get installed and was shocked to see that there was only one device that didn’t have a driver installed: the biometric fingerprint reader. The good news was that it identified it as a biometric reader interface, rather than just “PCI device” or something like what probably would have happened in an earlier version of windows.

I opened up IE8 and navigated to Facebook, and then I opened a new tab and went to another page. When I was done, I clicked the close button and it asked me if I really wanted to close Internet Explorer, or did I just want to close the current tab? Nice touch.

The only annoyance I’ve found so far, is that my fan is cycling on and off constantly. I don’t know why yet, but it’s probably something simple.

There was a notification that came up, telling me I did not have antivirus software installed. Clicking the notification balloon where it said “click here to find antivirus software online” opened Internet Explorer and went to a Microsoft Security webpage that had links to AVG (woo!), Norton/Symantec and Kaspersky Labs websites. I clicked on AVG and the landing page said “Welcome Windows 7 users!” It had a link to download AVG Antivirus standalone or AVG Internet Security for 38.99 or 59.99 respectively.

I don’t know about anyone else in the position to beta test a new OS, but I sure as hell am not going to pay $60 for a security package for a beta install. Sure I can re-install it in Vista or XP if I go back to it, but what the hell. I clicked on “all products” and then over to “free trials” to get a copy of AVG Free.

So far, the only thing that hasn’t “just worked” right out-of-the-box (so to speak) is the Windows Live Call. I wasn’t sure how it worked or even really what to do with it, but when I clicked it in the start menu, it came up with an MSN messenger-like window with a telephone keypad on it and a text message saying that the service was temporarily unavailable.

Even IE8 seems pretty responsive. Firefox 3 has been getting on my nerves lately. Facebook, Canadian Tire, Rogers and VanCity Savings websites constantly gave me problems with connection reset and other “page cannot be displayed” type errors. If it wasn’t for AdBlock Plus, I would probably have switched back to IE7 by now.

Tomorrow I’ll install Office 2007 Small Business and use Windows Live Sync to copy my pictures, videos, data and downloads back onto this installation and start “using” it for real and contributing feedback to the beta team.

Update: I downloaded and installed i8kfangui which originally was written to control the fans on the Dell Inspiron 8000. It works with the XPS m1330 and Windows 7 (as well as Vista 32-bit) and my fans are silent now until temperature thresholds are reached at which point they kick in until the temp is back below the threshold.

Another thing I just noticed is that IE8 will not run the "rich" text editor on my blog, so if there's any funky formatting, it's because I'm doing this update and manually inserting HTML tags into it :)

UPDATE 2: Clicking around the "Action center", I found the "Check for solutions to problem reports" and clicked it for grins. To my surprise, it popped up a Yellow notification saying "Solve a problem with your Fingerprint Reader" A new driver is available for your Fingerprint Reader. Go online to install this update. I clicked the Problem Response Button and it brought up an explanation and a link to UPEK, the manufacturer of the hardware. I clicked the link and it took me to a page titled "UPEK biometric software for Windows 7 - Preview version (32bit) Well holy crap! I'm downloading it now.

Saturday, 10 January 2009 21:34:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Tech | Microsoft | Wireless#
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
I think it was today. Maybe it was yesterday, I'm not quite sure. The timing is good, however since I have a new affliction that I wanted to look up. I was up a little late last night and when I got up this morning my gluteus maximuses (how the hell do you pluralize gluteus maximus anyway) were a little sore.

My Wii arrived last night and I hooked it up to that sweet, sweet HP 65" DLP tv in the living room and gave it a whirl. Mario Kart, Wii Sports and Wii play. Suddenly it all made sense! Wii bowling! Taking that step as if I were actually tossing a bowling ball down the lane IS A LUNGE! I only bowled one game to try it out, so ten frames. One strike means I actually only bowled 19 virtual balls... so I suppose that works out to 1 set of 19 reps... and I can barely climb the stairs at work today.


This morning I see the Google Health link and click over there, thinking I can search on health-related things, like having a sore butt. I went to www.google.com/health and in the search box typed "Wii butt" and didn't get any hits. At least not any SFW hits, that's for sure.

Matty & Co. are coming over after work tonight to play a little. This is the Wii that I received as a free gift back in December. It finally arrived in Miami on May 16th and I had someone who was travelling home from a business trip pick it up and mule it down for me. I connected it up and did the updates and connected it to my Wifi access point, so if you want to play Mario Kart online with me, or just connect and have my Mii show up in your games somewhere (when I get around to making one) then drop me a line and I'll add you to my WiiConnect24 address book. I think... I haven't really messed with it too much yet, but i think that's possible.

And note to any prospective Wii owners in the Cayman Islands: Make sure you check United States for residence, or NOTHING ONLINE WORKS. You just get a message (for Cayman Islands) saying "There is nothing for you here. We hope you understand." First thing I'm doing tonight when I get home is try to change that to the US and hope they aren't looking up IP addresses to determine country like Xbox Live does, or I'll be screwed for a few months until I relocate back to Vancouver.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008 11:54:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Cayman | Fitness | Gaming | Wireless#
Friday, 09 May 2008
As long as I can remember, I've been looking for a way to watch tv on the go.
Three years ago I installed a Slingbox at my parents house in Vancouver and then connect to it and stream their tv channels to me down here in Cayman, or on my laptop in a hotel room when I'm on the road (of course, I make sure to check in to a hotel that has free high-speed internet) :) it works pretty good. The main reason I did it was to watch Canucks games, and it works OK for that... My parents' upstream speed is just 512kbps and I find I can get about 489kbps fairly consistently. The lower the bandwidth, the slower the refresh and the blockier the video gets. Not ideal for watching something fast like hockey, but watchable. Upgrading them to the 'extreme' cable modem speed would double their upstream to 1024kbps for $10 month more. I always meant to do that, but never got around to it. Now that I'm moving back to Vancouver it's kind of a moot point. The only drawback is that it's "live" tv. if I wanted to record or time-shift anything, I'd have to buy, set up and configure a TiVo at their house. Slingbox supports a TiVo right down to the remote, but it's another expense and another device to manage.

I've been filling in the blanks with torrents anyway. Widescreen HD streams (although they're shrunk and compressed, they still look better than regular TV) and then watching on my laptop or desktop took the place of watching stuff on TV on someone else's schedule.

Last year when I picked up an Xbox360 and then did the fall update to support XviD, we started using that to stream the tv shows over the network to the TV. Wireless just didn't have the balls to do it though, so I went with a pair of Linksys powerline ethernet devices which promise up to 480mbps throughput. Using Windows Media Connect, it worked great. The only problem that remained was watching this sweet, widescreen, pseudo-HD videos on a shitty 21" TV (at least it has component input) with a nasty overscan.

Not anymore... just after lunch today I took a swing by my US freight/mail forwarder and picked up a new bulb for the tv we got our grubby little mitts on. Tonight, we dine in HELL! OK maybe not... but tonight we watch on an HP 65" DLP HDTV! SO THAT problem is solved, that just leaves.... mobile watching.

When I picked up a PSP a couple years back I had visions of watching tv via WiFi dancing in my head. It never materialized. Sony released the Location Free TV which had a PSP client, but it was $200, and then the client for the PSP was another $30, and then the inevitable nail in the coffin was of course no one knows what the IR codes are for the WestStar custom tv boxes. If you have a learning remote, you can program it to control your WestStar box, but that's it. I went so far as to use PSPVideo9 to automatically convert and sync every video that came down to the PSP, but with a 1gb Memory Stick it filled up pretty quick. I was hoping to be able to watch a show or two on my lunch break the next day, but it never worked very well. Consequently, due to my impending departure in august, I'm selling my PSP. The details are at the previous link on eCay Trade, the free classified ad website down here.

Last year I picked up an iPod Touch and stopped using the PSP for watching video on the plane. Yes, I'm on planes enough that this was something that needed to be addressed. It's an hour and five minutes from Grand Cayman to Miami, which is about 45 minutes of time when you're allowed to use your electronic devices. As it turns out, a 60 minute tv show minus it's commercials is about 42 minutes. Coincidence??? I now had 16 times the amount of storage that I had on the PSP in a device a lot smaller and with an almost comparably sized screen. The iPod's screen is way crisper than the PSPs somewhow, even though it's .1" smaller and slightly less resolution (I think).

It turned out I still had the same issues though, I had to plan ahead and convert videos using Videora's Ipod Touch converter which takes practically real-time to convert from xvid avi to an iPod compatible MP4. As of today, that's no longer a problem. Today I read an article on Lifehacker called OrbLive Streams Live TV to your iPhone or iPod Touch. Excuse me? JACKPOT!

I clicked over to Orb's How-To page and gave it a quick once-over. It seemed easy enough, install the streaming server on your computer and then whatever clients you choose can stream your data (videos, tv tuner, webcam, photos, documents, games, music and even youtube and other online video sites) including the Xbox360, PS3, Wii, Sansa and the iPod and iPhone. They went a step further in that if you have a jailbroken iPhone or iPod you can download a native app to connect to the server rather than a web-browser based interface. Slick.

I used Remote Desktop on my lunch break to log in to my computer at home and download the server. I installed it and created a username in about five minutes and pointed it at my Incoming folder.

Then on my iPod I went to the installer app, updated the sources list and then from Multimedia selected OrbLive. It downloaded the 1.8mb package and then installed it and restarted. After that I had a new OrbLive icon on my screen. I clicked it, entered my username and password as I had set up on my server and... it connected! I clicked Video, and then Folders and there it was: E:\Incoming-BT I clicked that and it brought up a list of the videos in that folder! Slick! I clicked on jPod S01E10 and after a few seconds of Connecting... and Buffering... there it was! it was streaming the video from my computer, over the internet to my iPod via Wifi! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEET! Everton and I then went to get a bite to eat at Cimboco and where we were sitting was within range of one of the C&W Hotspots of which I now have a working username and password. I tried streaming from there and while it worked, it was kinda chunky and stopped to buffer a lot. It was kind of like trying to watch ANYTHING on Real Player (buffering...) I switched to Photos and clicked through the stack of photos to some baby pictures of my brothers and I that Steve had going on a loop at the guestbook table at his wedding. Nice.

If I had a TV tuner and an input going into my computer I could stream Live TV to my Ipod or watch recorded TV in addition to everything else! In addition to the cool-as-shit iPod/iPhone app, the web interface is pretty cool, too. It looks like MediaMonkey and allows you to stream anything you've set to stream to another computer via the web interface, which then invokes your default players when you click play on something. And for some reason it's all free? It would be worth it at TWICE the price!

Friday, 09 May 2008 13:34:51 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Gadgets | Gaming | Wireless | WWW#
Saturday, 02 February 2008
Nothing sucks quite as hard as having to move... I suppose the blessing in Cayman is that 99% of rentals are furnished so you don't have to rent a truck and move all that heavy shit around. Still, all that packing and unpacking is a pain in the arse.
Saturday, 02 February 2008 15:36:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Movies | Scooter | Tech | Gadgets | Gaming | Microsoft | Wireless#
Sunday, 18 November 2007
I realized that the biggest gripe I had was the memory size; 16gb. Then I realized that I had been making do with 1gb on the PSP, and had even stopped carrying the PSP with me on the plane because it was getting too be too much to carry around. The only plus for the PSP was that it also played games, but I haven't used it for that in over a year.
Sunday, 18 November 2007 13:14:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Gadgets | Wireless | WWW#
It turns out that I'm being actively blocked from downloading any content from XBL Marketplace because my IP address identifies me as residing outside of the US and A. That's right, region coding. "This content is intended for US residents only".
Sunday, 18 November 2007 12:43:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Tech | Gadgets | Gaming | Microsoft | Wireless#
Tuesday, 12 December 2006
He asked me if I wanted to put it on my account instead. Wha? Sure, ok. (that way it comes out of my account AFTER payday this month!) Next he asked me how many months I wanted to spread it across? "You can do that?" I blurted? "yes, you can pay for it on one, two or three billing cycles".
Tuesday, 12 December 2006 18:35:58 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Gadgets | Wireless#
Saturday, 09 December 2006
I started my search right here locally on Cable & Wireless' website. I'd looked at their lineup a few times, but didn't like anything they carried. I don't particularly like Nokias, and I loathe the Motorola OS (including the dogshit OS and UI on the RAZR) so I immediately discounted them.
Saturday, 09 December 2006 19:24:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Gadgets | Wireless#
Wednesday, 19 April 2006
For reasons unknown to me at this time, I've decided to start messing with my Linksys Routers again. I've posted before about it, about my trials and tribulations (mostly tribulations) about getting it to work. Getting WDS to work, trying to link an entire apartment building with Sveasoft's Alchemy and Talisman firmware, replacing the default rubber duckies on the main router with some higher gain antennas and then, when I thought I had everything set up and everyone in the complex was happy with their internet access, I'd realize that the VoIP would drop calls, or Xbox Live wouldn't work very well at all and we'd get our asses handed to us (faster than normal) in Halo 2.

Once that was all out of the way, then it was the Prismiq's turn to squawk. The Prismiq also only supported WEP and not WPA or WPA2 encryption, so my encryption was only WEP. I've given up on the Prismiq now, it's sitting on the floor behind the TV, unplugged. The SVideo and L-R audio cables that were plugged into it are sitting there looking lonely, but I plug my laptop into them now when I want to watch stuff on a bigger-than-12.1" screen. With that out of the way I can now move up to WPA encryption.

I'd also like to get the VPN endpoint set up so that when I wander into a random hotspot and connect to the big 'ole Internet, I can tunnel through to here and then go out from my router,keeping all my info that's transmitted to the public AP encrypted. QoS is also important, for the Packet8 phone and the Xbox, as well as making sure that any torrents that happen to be coming down don't choke out web surfing or emailing.

After using Sveasoft firmware for nearly a year, I'm switching to DD-WRT. It does everything I want it to, and has better documentation. One of the biggest sources of frustration was getting answers from the Sveasoft forum. If you had good search-fu you could find where someone else had already asked the same question you had, but more often than not, it was not answered by anyone, or answered by someone saying "it's been answered already. use the search function" and lots of messages from Sveasoft saying "it'll be fixed in the next version." "But when is that?" 'soon.' I still have the binaries I downloaded for my routers from Sveasoft, so I can always go back if I need to, but for now Im switching to DD-WRT. If you don't see me online for a few days, you'll know why :)
Wednesday, 19 April 2006 19:01:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Tech | Linux | Wireless#
Saturday, 25 February 2006
Notes on installing the Slingbox Media Player
Saturday, 25 February 2006 10:30:03 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Tech | Gadgets | Wireless | WWW | Travel#
Saturday, 17 September 2005
long technical post about my media streaming stuff. skip if this sorta thing gives you headaches
Saturday, 17 September 2005 08:43:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Tech | Gadgets | Wireless#
Thursday, 08 September 2005
Local TV & Gov't documentary about last year's Hurricane Ivan and it's effects in the Cayman Islands.
Thursday, 08 September 2005 04:04:38 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [3] | Cayman | Hurricane | Tech | Wireless#
Tuesday, 07 June 2005

Well it took me, what? Six months? something like that anyway. I finally got a config working that's linked up all the units in my apt building to share an internet connection. Here's some things I found out along the process:

Linksys' firmware does not support WDS very well. A WAP54G will function well as a repeater to another WAP54G or a WRT54G, but a second WAP54G will not function properly when it's a repeater pointed at another repeater.

Sveasoft's Talisman firmware (as of the time of this writing) was still too buggy to run reliably. It locked up the router and required a hard-reset about once a day. If that once a day happened while I was at work, I was stuck without my resources at home until I could get home and power-cycle it. That also meant that anyone who was trying to use the internet connection was out of luck, too.

Sveasoft's Freya firmware for the WAP54G causes a lot of WAp54s to just die during upgrade. Fortunately, I was able to rescue mine and bring it back to life. Their forums are very convoluted. Lots of questions, and no answers, and lots of questions with stale answers. Every now and then I'd find a question similar to what I was looking for, and the only reference was to “search on these terms, there's tons of topics about it already” but really there aren't.

There's no way to tell that you're actually using the Freya firmware, other than noticing that the firmware revision number is LESS than what it was when you took it out of the box, and there's an extra option under advanced settings that allows telnet access. There's no mention of WDS within the web config pages or the help files at all. I assume that when you put it into repeater mode, that's WDS, and went with that. Sveasoft has been talking about a Talisman Micro edition for the WAP54, and to “just wait for that to come out” but those messages saying “soon come” go back as far as January of 2004, and continue to this day.

Linksys' WRE54G is a piece of shit. The WRT54G is their wireless/wired router and is rock-solid. The WAP54G is an AP-only version of the WRT54G and runs a stripped-down version of the WRT's firmware on less memory. The WRE54G is a stripped down version of the WAP54G with one little antenna and no ethernet port. The theory of it works well, but in practice, it's dinky little antenna was not powerful enough to replace another WAP54 (which has dual antennas and an ethernet port for configuring/AP client mode). It's also more expensive than even a WRT54G is.

Linksys' support in India is hit-and-miss. The first time through the guy really had no clue about networking or even the products he was supposed to be supporting. He asked me to plug in the WRE54G via it's wired port and configure it that way, when that POS doesnt HAVE a wired port. When I said that, suddenly there was technical difficulties and the chat session was dropped. The second time through, last Friday night, I chatted with another tech for over an hour. She was the one who told me that pointing a repeater at another repeater was not supported and had me power-cycle everything at the end, breaking my connection and disconnecting me from the chat session. She said she was going to send me a different (older probably) firmware to try, but that never appeared, just the transcript of the chat session.

In the end, I had to buy another WRT54G. I “upgraded” both WRT54s to Sveasoft's Alchemy firmware and set them up as with a WDS link. I then configured the one WAP54 as a repeater to the far side of the WDS link, and it works. The two WRTs have their radio power turned up to 84mw (from 28mw) and the WRT in my apt has replacement high-gain antennas on it as well. It all works now, finally.

I'll get around to an updated Visio drawing and post it up later on.

Tuesday, 07 June 2005 06:27:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Wireless | Linux#
Wednesday, 11 May 2005
...or how I learned a lot more about Linksys internal workings than I ever thought I'd want to.
Wednesday, 11 May 2005 16:57:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Linux | Wireless | Gadgets#
Sunday, 06 February 2005

I picked up the Linksys Wireless Network Expander G last week and gave it a quick setup the other night that didn't work. It was late, and I didnt feel like monkeying with it, so I put it aside and left it for this weekend. That didn't help til now, as we did a network reconfig at work Friday night and that took us til about 12:15... AM. I could hardly see when I drove home I was so tired. Five hours later I got a support call. (sigh). I showed up back at work at 12:30 and it took us til 6:30 that night to get everything finished. It's all done and pretty now.

On the way home, I stopped and picked up a few groceries, and some Honey Garlic Chicken at Canton (mmmm comfort food) I ate my chinese and watched $imdb(Dirty Dancing) on DVD. I probably would have fallen asleep and stayed on the couch til about now, except that somehow I got enough energy up to meet John & Matty down at Aqua Beach. Little Bucket showed up and we had to take turns holding her up. The poor thing weighs 90lbs and had a bunch of drinks into her. She was SO DRUNK that we signalled the bartenders that she was cut off, so everytime she ordered a round of shots, she got coke in a shot glass and we all got Jagermeister and she didn't even notice (until today when she called to say she was alive and I told her we fed her Coke)

So this morning I slept in. Bliss. I went and picked up the wheels from my old car and stacked them in the living room (quite stylish.... not) and I hope to shift them this week. That left me about five hours to get the network expander set up and installed two doors down before the Super Bowl starts. Our cable is still out, but we do get 4 or 5 channels now. Thankfully, FOX and Comedy Central are two of them. When I rolled out of the sack at 10:30, there was already a Super Bowl pre-pre-pre-pre-game show on. Ridiculous.

Anyway, on to the network. I plugged in and hard-reset the Network Expander (isn't that kind of a dumb name? You'd think they would have called it an extender or something...) and ran the setup wizard again, after disabling the firewall on my laptop. It still didn't work. I reset it and disabled WEP and tried it again. Nothing. I tried the auto-configuration button on the side. Nothing.

I disconnected myself from the network and associated with the Expander's SSID and gave myself an IP address on it's subnet. I was able to see/get to it's Admin page and make some changes, but I couldn't get it to associate itself with my main wireless router. Next stop was to Linksys Support Knowledge Base and all of the support pages I found had to do with minimum requirements of your WAP54g and WRT54g firmwares. Not very helpful.

Next stop was MSN search (through the MSN toolbar/desktop search on my other machine.. Google Desktop Search on this machine so I can compare them) and I turned up an article on Tom's Networking showing how to manually set up the Linksys WRE54G. It included one vital piece of information that Linksys' support page and the user's guide failed to mention (and I failed to notice on the admin page): a field to enter in the MAC address of your router.

I filled in the WLAN MAC address of my WRT54G and tried it out. Nothing. I tried the LAN MAC address of the router. Nothing. I tried the WAN MAC address and still nothing. I re-set it back to the WLAN MAC address and this time it worked. The link light on the expander stayed red (it's supposed to be blue when it's connected) but I was able to ping my router while associated to the expander. Then, I turned WEP encryption back on on the router, then on the expander and then re-connected to the expander and here I am, live on the internet writing this. The link light is still red, but hey, it's working, so Im not going to mess with it now that it's working.

A side note... my ctrl key on my laptop seems to have stopped working. :$

Sunday, 06 February 2005 10:34:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Wireless#
Wednesday, 02 February 2005

Holy cow. I think my home network is more complicated than the network at work! I drew it out in Visio last night and used jpgs instead of shapes for my network devices, so it's a bit sloppy, but it gives you an idea of what level of hell my network is from.

 

Network.jpg (84.01 KB)
Wednesday, 02 February 2005 09:39:22 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [1] | Wireless#
Monday, 31 January 2005
This is a particularly geeky post. Lots of terms in there you may or may not know. If it's over your head, don't worry about it. Next post will be more xbox-live and less configuration :)
Monday, 31 January 2005 07:13:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Wireless | Gaming#
Monday, 06 September 2004
The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Mark Minasi's free powerpoint slideshow (PDF) boiling down all 1000+ pages of MS Documents on XP SP2 to about 60 or so slides.
Monday, 06 September 2004 13:14:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Links | Wireless | Microsoft#
Thursday, 08 July 2004
If you are using 802.11 wireless and are pissed off that it doesnt quite reach to your favorite room in the house, read on...
Thursday, 08 July 2004 08:29:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Links | Wireless#
Wednesday, 30 June 2004
This is just so I have a link to point to from the Buy & Sell Listing at www.trader.ky
Wednesday, 30 June 2004 20:29:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Wireless#
Monday, 21 June 2004
Got my pigs all in a line now... read on for the solution.
Monday, 21 June 2004 17:35:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Microsoft | Wireless#
I wouldnt say that my network is overly complex... but for a wireless network in an apartment, it actually is pretty complex...
Monday, 21 June 2004 12:12:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Wireless#
Thursday, 03 June 2004

Well this week has been a bit overwhelming. Im going from managing one server locally and four remotely via a DSL VPN link to sitting next to a rack with nine servers in it (and one more should arrive this weekend). They're running everything from NT4 to Server 2003, and one Virtual Server running 2003. Exchange, SMS, SUS, Exchange, SQL 2000, ISA, Firewalls, Scriptlogic, Citrix MetaFrame and that's not incuding the custom apps for accounting and the big Revenue Generator program. We've got DSL, Frame Relay, C&W's infamous "direct connect", wireless point-to-point and a whole 19“ rack full of patch panels, switches and routers. Plus close to 200 desktops and terminal emulation programs. Im trying to spend a few hours a day just trying to get a handle on the naming conventions, and who does what (as far as the servers go) and where it is.

I'll tell you one thing though. It sure is a nice change to be respected at your job. So far, I've brought two innovations to the table (besides my haircut, thanks Rich :p ) One are those 3Com Intellijack switches to cut down on cabling, and the other is the Zyxel B-4000 Wireless hotspot-in-a-box. That's the same one I set up for the Seaview Hotel & Dive Resort a couple weeks ago to give them in-room internet and wireless access in the lobby, dining room, restaurant and bar. It works great (albeit I had to add in an outdoor omni-directional antenna from Little Bucket at Kirk's ISS to boost the signal enough to penetrate the walls into the rooms) and the setup is DIRT easy. I was up and running in about 5 mins. It has built in authentication, accounting, a thermal slip printer for handing out usernames and passwords, and it's as simple to use as pushing the big green button on the printer to generate a 1-hour username and password.

I brought it up today, as I did during my interview, and they said “We were waiting for you to come onboard before rolling it out.” We ordered it a few minutes later. A couple weeks ago, trying to do anything innovative would have been met with a big fat slap in the face. It just goes to show you the difference a little vision in management can make. It's not just that they can't see the forest for the trees, but they can't see the trees for the bark. Everybody knows what happens when you go running in the woods without looking where you're going... you end up running smack into a tree and knocking yourself out or worse.

We can only hope.

Thursday, 03 June 2004 19:30:19 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Wireless#
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