8 years old

Feb 16, 2006 / 0 comments

Last Saturday was the annual Earthlings dinner. We get very funny looks from the restaurant staff when we explain that we're celebrating the birthday of a domain. It's a good opportunity to see lots of people I don't see often enough though; sometimes it's hard to keep in touch with people.

Actually, on that subject, there are a whole bunch of people I don't keep in touch with at all well. Mostly those who don't really do email and I don't really do the phone. I probably need to ring people more often; I used to be very good at running up my parents' phone bill. It's a bit hard to know what to say to people I haven't had any contact in years with. "Er, hi, please condense your entire life since we were at school and spoke regularly into a few minutes of conversation". And no one is near Norwich, so it's not like I can easily go and have coffee/beer with them. Meh. I've started having a regular dinner with people back home at Christmas, which helps a bit. And Burly's pretty good at telling me what people are up to.

So, if you know me, and feel we don't see/speak to each other enough, sorry. If you think you see too much of me then tough. :P

WTF is the point of SSL mailing list archives?

Feb 9, 2006 / 0 comments

Why are more and more mailing list archives put behind https URLs with self signed certs? What exactly are they securing? What does it achieve other than pissing people off who have to accept the cert just in order to see a mailing list post? GNUCash is the one I happened to hit today, but it seems to be a not infrequent thing.

Friday fun with consumer routers

Feb 3, 2006 / 0 comments

I'm such a funster. It's Friday night and I've spent it fighting with consumer routers in an attempt to get my home setup sorted out a bit. And I've made some progress, but it's taken a while.

My old setup was an Asus WL-500g with a USB Speedtouch attached. This was running a hacked up version of Oleg's firmware, with kernel 2.4.20 (ewwwww) and the userland Speedtouch pppoa3 driver. It's been up 253 days as I type, which is quite impressive IMO.

The plan was to get something else doing the same job so that I could try and get more up to date firmware on the Asus (probably OpenWRT) and give it to my parents as a wireless access point / print server.

First try was my Netgear DG834G. Unfortunately the ADSL interface on it doesn't want to sync to the line for any length of time. I don't really want to faff with it at present, so I gave up on that. I do want to try and get this sorted, as it has a native ADSL interface, but the AR7Port appears to have stagnated a bit.

Next was the Netgear WGT634U. I'd built an OpenWRT image for this and tried to flash it earlier in the week, but messed it up and bricked the router. So opened it up, hooked a serial console up and managed to restore it easily enough. A little bit of frobbing and I had it recognising the Speedtouch. Result. This has a 2.6.15.1 kernel, which means in kernel driver goodness and nice and up to date. Plus OpenWRT makes it easy to add various nicities like radvd and dnsmasq. I'm currently using this solution and will keep an eye on it over the weekend before reinstalling the Asus.

Of course my home network has become simplified a bit by the fact I no longer factor the NTL connection into it. That's always just been a backup thing since getting ADSL from Black Cat (mmmm, IPv6 goodness) and I've decided to finally ditch it soon. However I might want to add a modem to the WGT634U at some point - probably using a USB serial dongle I guess, as I don't think the internal ports do hardware flow control. That's a battle for another day though.

I also managed to get rid of a whole load of computer junk that was working but unused, thanks to Norfolk FreeCycle. Kathy will be pleased when she comes back from London tomorrow. :)

Never underestimate the power of a good scrub

Jan 31, 2006 / 0 comments

My keyboard has been getting progressively more awkward to type on, especially the A key (used extensively for screen). I had a spare, so I swapped it in today. Except it didn't feel right. My old keyboard was a Dell that's about 15 years old now; I think I picked it up for about £3 from Bull Electrical. The new one was an el cheapo eBuyer. So I decided to give the Dell another chance, and set about dismantling it. Very mucky. I shoved all the keys in the washing up bowl and dusted the rest of the mechanism as best I could. A few hours later, the keys are dry and the keyboard is back in action. I think I'll need to do some investigating of a better spare however.

I'm becoming a wedding bore

Jan 29, 2006 / 0 comments

Kathy and I went out for dinner last night at Tootsies with Becca, Dave, Eli, J, Kaz and Will. It was a good night (even if the girls beat us at Cranium), but I found myself having to stop talking about weddings - I could see J and Kaz starting to glaze over early in the evening. This a frightening event. Is this how people become baby bores?

Anyway. Kathy and I managed to look at a couple of potential venues yesterday and have another one arranged for next Sunday, and a few more to ring this week to hopefully see next weekend. It's all still very scary.

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