Tuesday, 13 May 2008
An artist named BLU has created what can only be described as an amazinly interesting and fun short film using stop-action animation and walls on public buildings. Check out more information about the film at the artist's BLUBLU.ORG web site.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Found via Jeff Atwood on Twitter - thanks!

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Movies | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 13 May 2008 08:39:49 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 12 May 2008
In June I'll be attending the Microsoft TechEd IT Pro week in Orlando. the TechEd conference has been reworked into a two-week event this year, much like they have done in Europe in the past. The first week is focused on developers and the second week on IT professionals.

I'll be working that secpnd week with my RunAs Radio podcast co-host, Richard Campbell. We're going to be running some panel events and speaker contests as well as putting together some new shows.

If you're there, please drop by and say hello!

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Random Stuff | Tech
Monday, 12 May 2008 21:03:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 26 April 2008

I'm pulling my hair out (what I have left, anyhow) trying to find a good home/home office wireless router that includes all the features I need. Granted, I'm a bit of a power user, but I'm honestly a bit surprised I can't find what I want out there somewhere. You'd think someone would build it. My list of features and performance requirements includes:

  • Gigabit WAN and LAN ports - and needs to have four LAN ports
  • VPN capability that I can use cross-platform - an SSL VPN might be the best option, but whatever works well and lets me connect with Windows, Mac, etc. is what really matters to me
  • Working, reliable and effective QOS - routers I have used in the past have either been terrible or mediocre at properly shaping and allocating traffic for VoIP and other services
  • Reliable and full-featured administrative capabilities in firmware
  • Quiet, reliable hardware
  • IPv6 support
  • Wireless-N

Until recently, I have been using a D-Link DIR-625 router, which has been stable and reliable. But it's a 100-megabit device and the QOS is marginal for VoIP traffic in my experience. Plus the firmware has not been updated recently and there is no VPN capability. It's rock-solid at what it does, though. I've only had to reset it a couple times since I have had it.

I've looked at the D-Link DIR-655 router, which is their currently-touted gigabit version of the 625 model. It's still on my list possible solutions, but with no VPN it doesn't meet all my needs, and D-Link doesn't seem to have one that includes all the features.

Yesterday I picked up a VPN router with gigabit and QOS made by Linksys, the WRVS4400N. It's not cheap and honestly I'm not sure why I allowed myself to buy a Linksys product after all the headaches I have had with them before. The net result of the past 12 hours of use is that I'm going to return it today. Between the slow reboots required with every other change I make and the lack of capabilities in the software (and some stuff that just doesn't work), it's already frustrating me. D-Link has seriously spoiled me in the Admin interface/firmware capabilities department, even without releasing any updates. Add to that the high-pitched whine the Linksys router makes and the heat it generates when plugged in and there's just no way. The whine is pretty awful, and gives me a serious headache within minutes if I am near it. Back to the store it goes.

So, I am left without a solution that meets all my needs. I may just have to pick up the D-Link DIR-655 and live without VPN and then find a separate VPN solution, but I don't want to if I don't have to. Any ideas anyone? Is there an option out there that will meet my needs and expectations?

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IT Security | Tech
Saturday, 26 April 2008 13:36:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, 24 April 2008
Last week I wrote about an issue in VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Air. Well, looks like VMWare has released an update in v1.1.2 with enhanced MacBook Air and Time Machine support.
VMware Fusion 1.1.2 addresses two MacBook Air-related problems. Previously, MacBook Air users would encounter a crash if a virtual CD/DVD drive was connected to the virtual machine but a CD/DVD drive was not connected to the MacBook Air. This update fixes this issue.  Also, this latest VMware Fusion update adds the ability to burn CD/DVDs with the MacBook Air’s USB Superdrive.
The new release also includes compatibility with Time Machine, Chinese localization, and a slew of other fixes for USB devices and other stuff. I have been using Fusion quite a bit lately to run multiple VMs on OS-X at the same time (namely a Linux custom machine and Windows Server 2003). The multiprocessor support is really nice and running Windows apps in Unity mode on the Mac desktop is still pretty amazing to me.

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Apple | Tech
Thursday, 24 April 2008 16:23:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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If you haven't seen the Tech-Recipies site yet, you should check it out. Nice compact, useful and interesting posts about how to do useful and cool things. I found it via my Twitter account feed. I'm finding lots of good stuff via Twitter these days.

I just finished reading a post at Tech-Recipies that describes how to use QuickTime Pro to remove the dead space often seen in videos that are letterboxed or have the side curtain bars (pillars). Essentially you use a simple image mask to define and remove the extra space, nice and simple.

Check out the tutorial at this link, or watch the hi-res screencast here.

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Thursday, 24 April 2008 10:41:07 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 18 April 2008
IPv6 has been around for something on the order of 15 years, yet it has yet to see widespread adoption. It was recently enabled on Internet core DNS infrastructure, and had been adopted in some network like those operated by certain mobile carriers. The current IP addressing and allocation scheme, dubbed IPv4, will eventually run out of IP addresses. There's been a sort of boy-called-wolf debate over whether we're really going to allocate the entire IPv4 address space anytime soon or not. But eventually we'll run out - some say in 2010.

Sean Siler, Program Manager responsible for IPv6, joined Richard Campbell and me for a RunAs Radio show. Sean really knows his stuff and did a terrific job of describing IPv6, comparing it to IPv4, and other useful information.

IPv6 enables a lot more than just additional addresses, though. Sean discusses what's the same, what's different and what's new (hint: IPSEC and multicasting everywhere). He also offers a great analogy to describe the enormous size of the IPv6 address space. It's mind-boggling, really.

If you don't understand or know much about IPv6, this interview is a great place to start learning, and you truly need to be doing so if you do network design or other work in your job. The change is significant, but not impossible - so go listen to the show and get learning!

Other resources:

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IT Security | RunAs Radio | Tech
Friday, 18 April 2008 10:06:20 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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