Sunday, 22 August 2004

Living in the middle of nowhere has its decided advantages, but it also complicates things when it comes to technology, especially for a technology-addicted geek like myself.

For example, wireless technologies:

My Internet connectivity is a wireless broadband service from Cascade Networks, across the river and state line in Longview, Washington. Good people over there. It's the only way I can get any kind of Internet connectivity faster than dialup on poor telephone lines. The wireless service is 2.4GHz radio connectivity (WiFi) using a roof-mounted commercial antenna pointed over at Green Mountain, where the provider has a tower with its radio gear. On my end and attached to the antenna is a Cisco network radio transceiver.

Then there's the Wireless LAN I have set up here. Again, 2.4GHz WiFi, using a Linksys WRT54G with (very) custom firmware. Since no one else is anywhere close to me from a wireless network standpoint, I have also boosted the signal from 25mw to 84mw. The special firmware also lets my Universal Plug and Play devices operate the way they're supposed to, and cleans up the signal a little to reduce the clutter in the radio spectrum.

And then there's my crappy cordless phone, yet again a 2.4GHz model, DSS and all that. It's alike 4 years old though, and it plugs into a VOIP network device that connects, of course, to the Internet - over the wireless broadband device.

You can probably see where this is going. What it comes right down to is that I can't reliably make a clean phone call on the cordless phone without interfering with the wireless LAN and/or wireless broadband service. The end result is occasionally choppy phone calls (regardless of my Linksys transmit power settings, by the way) unless I am using a wired phone plugged into the VOIP device.

So, looks like it's time to pick up a new phone, and I guess I should try a 5.8GHz model, if I can find one that doesn't have an answering machine and all that extra junk I don't need or want built in, but is still a decent model.

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Sunday, 22 August 2004 19:14:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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My friend from Germany, Florian, will be making a trip over to this side of the world in September, and he'll be in Portland from September 13th to the 18th. I'm thinking of things to do and show him while he is here, and so far I have the following obvious things on my list of possibilities (he's especially interested in getting out and seeing the world around these parts).

  • Mt. St. Helens (pretty much a given)
  • Oregon Coast (probably the northern-most portion)
  • Various food joints downtown
  • Maybe some of the micro-breweries (if he's interested in that)
  • Powell's (another given, but not really an event)
  • The Gorge
  • ???

I need some help. I mean, I can easily fill up a few days with interesting/fun stuff, but I figured I would ask around. Any ideas? Anything exciting happening during that time? What do you show/do with people who come to visit?

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Sunday, 22 August 2004 14:25:44 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Today's my dad's birthday, and so before I start my regular routine of trying to call him and leaving voice-mails everywhere :-), I just wanted to put this out here where I know he'll see it:

Happy Birthday, Dad!

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Sunday, 22 August 2004 12:49:24 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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If you use MSN Messenger and want to get an alert when this site is updated, use this link to register your Microsoft Passport account for alerts:

I've also added the icon to the right nav in the syndication section.

How did I do this? Bloggers can (for the time being at least) sign up for free alerting for their readers at MessageCast. Once signed up with a Microsoft Passport account, alert subscribers will be notified via their chosen methods (Messenger, mobile device, email) when you post a new entry to your blog. The service simply checks your RSS feeds and sends an alert when it sees new items have been added.

Note that this is a free service to the blogger, and is ad-supported on the reader's end.

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Saturday, 21 August 2004 23:07:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 21 August 2004

I took two days off from work at the end of this past week, so I am now in the middle of a four-day weekend. I've done pretty much nothing. I'm just taking a break from having to be anywhere or do anything, and chillin'. It's a nice change of pace.

I watched Office Space last weekend, and in its own special way it prepped me for the past couple of days. Probably three of the top five lines of all time are in that movie.

Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be.”

I slept in a couple of times. Played with the dogs a bit more than usual. I even watched a little bit of the Olympics. Fencing is on now. I know someone who should be a real contender for that sport in the future. Met a friend for coffee. Sat on my butt. Drove to Astoria on a whim (actually just drove off on a whim and ended up there) with a friend and grabbed pizza before heading home.

So, I have no idea what I am going to do today. Basically nothing. Yeah, this is greaaaat...

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Saturday, 21 August 2004 13:29:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 19 August 2004

Last night Robert Scoble posted a commentary about a commentary on Windows XP SP2 and whether or not people should be told to upgrade to it right away. I pretty much agree with Robert that now is better than later, with an added mention that different users probably need to take different paths to deploy this service pack. Our company, for example, will complete our deployment when it will not interrupt an ongoing project. It's not the service pack that we're hesitating on, it's the time the computer will be unavailable - or performance potentially reduced - by the background installation that we'll be doing over the network.

But more interesting then the original commentary, or Robert's commentary-on-the-commentary, is the commentary-on-the-commentary-on-the-commentary: Robert's also opened up the exact can of worms in the comments on his blog that you'd expect from the "community" on this subject. But hey, I guess that's what community is all about, after all. It takes all kinds.

[yes, I know that's two Scoble posts in a row, I'll stop now :)]

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Thursday, 19 August 2004 13:44:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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