Wednesday, 27 December 2006

I just realized something interesting. This year I had a completely non-techie Christmas. Of the gifts I received, only one was even remotely computer related (but hey, no need to go cold-turkey, right?). I think that's kind of cool. Plus this Christmas was a good one once again, spent at home with friends.

My friend Cory (who appears to have started blogging for Christmas, heh) points out that the act of giving is a good one to practice. I agree.

Of course, receiving is quite fun as well, and I received some very thoughtful gifts this year. Perhaps my favorite (it's hard to choose you know) is a painting that Cory made for me to hang in my office. It's based on a painting by Peter Pongratz from Austria - we saw a bunch of his (rather interesting and crazy) art at the Belvedere museum in Vienna a couple months ago in a display called Sweet Home Vienna. Cory took the Pongratz-style phrases in the painting and replaced them with Office Space lines. Heh. Pongratz and Office Space are a lot alike.

An analog Christmas. Nice.

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Wednesday, 27 December 2006 14:02:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 25 December 2006
People who have noticed the site's been unavailable recently will understand why I'm making some changes here. While DNS propogation completes the availability of the site may be a little whacky, since you might be bounced between two servers for a little while. Not much I can do about that, but it will all be better very soon. I've moved this site to a dedicated host server, since the traffic and web server hits are too much for the shared hosting environment it's been on up 'til this point.

Sorry for the mess.

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Monday, 25 December 2006 23:38:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 23 December 2006

I've pretty much had enough. The WRT54G has proven to be a fun router to play with, but I've bricked a few of them over the past couple years, and the one I have now is less than optimal. It drops wireless connections fairly regularly. I can try upgrading the Talisman firmware to the latest (I am running 1.0.5 and there have been two releases since), but I'm not convinced it's a software issue really.

So, the question is: Which wireless router is best for me? I'll do some research of my own, of course, but I know some of you smart people will let me know what your experiences are.

Here's a bit off the old Stuff-I-Need list as it relates to the router:

  • I use Vonage for phone service. For the past year I have had the Vonage terminal adapter sitting on the Internet, and the wireless router plugs into the TA's LAN port.
  • I'd like to be able to define QoS for a variety of apps, network destinations and service types.
  • Security security security. It must have a good firewall and the ability to DMZ properly.
  • Geekiness geekiness geekiness. Plus points for ability to configure and tweak a lot.

Any ideas out there? I'm off to do some research. This will be my Christmas present to myself, if and when I decide to do the replacement. I have a week off from work to catch up on life and things at home, so this is on my list (not at the top, priority-wise, but it's on there).

Starting point: This Buffalo router looks pretty good.

UPDATE: I tried upgrading to the latest Talisman/SveaSoft firmware, but problems persisted and in fact even got worse. DHCP completely failed and . I removed the router from the network, hooked up to the Vonage TA directly, connected to, and downloaded the latest factory firmware. Once I managed to get that installed, everything seems to be back up and running and looks stable at first glance. But the Linksys firmware, although greatly improved since I last looked at the Linksys factory stuff, doesn't have the same great options. But I'll let this run for a while and see if it's more stable. Fingers crossed. I still want to replace this thing. Thanks for the emails and comments so far. Any more ideas to consider?

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Saturday, 23 December 2006 09:46:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 22 December 2006

Effective immediately and as of today, Microsoft has extended the warranty period for the Xbox 360 console to one full year. And those of us who bought one in the past get the benefits of the new warranty period, too - not just new purchasers.

On top of that, if you paid for any repairs in the first year of ownership, you'll be getting a reimbursement check. Wow, not how's that for a good deal eh?

From the Xbox web site:

Effective today (December 22), the one year warranty is now the standard for all Xbox 360 consoles. Customers that experience hardware issues with their Xbox 360 within one year of purchase will have their consoles repaired at no cost. Moreover, the new warranty policy is retroactive, so consumers that may have already paid for out-of-warranty Xbox 360 repair within one year of the console's purchase will be eligible for reimbursement of their console repair charges.


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Friday, 22 December 2006 23:26:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 18 December 2006

Yesterday a friend of mine got the same initial reaction out of me that you'll probably have when you read this. But seriously, give it a chance. Weird food combinations can be, umm, interesting.

Take a jar of Claussen Kosher Dill Sandwich Slices, and a carton of Tropicana Pure Premium Grovestand orange juice (that's the lots-o-pulp version). Pour yourself a glass of OJ.

Eat one sandwich-slice of pickle right out of the jar. Use your fingers it's better that way.

Drink some orange juice.

Eat, drink, repeat.

And don't knock it 'til you've tried it. I was surprised.

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Monday, 18 December 2006 20:57:33 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 16 December 2006

This one has to be the scariest, and in my mind one of the funniest, Christmas carols ever recorded. True, Cartman's rendition is pretty special, but when it comes to O' Holy Night, nobody's got this dude beat.

Be sure to listen all the way through. Right when you think it can't get anny better (worse?), the song goes to a whole new level.

And don't drink milk while listening to this. You have been warned.

Click the button to play the music:

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Saturday, 16 December 2006 18:27:16 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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