Pages: 1 ... 52 53 54 55 57 59 60 61 62 ... 141


  07:12:55 am, by The Dreamer   , 226 words  
Categories: General, VoIP, Networking, Home, AT&T DSL, Broadband

Woohoo. I have faster DSL service now

This morning I woke to find my DSL modem reporting a speed of 1984/512. Reran the spectrum analysis tool at DSLreports. I shows a theoretical 35xx/818....wonder if I could've really gotten the 6.0/768 tier to at least get the much higher upsteam speed. It would've only been $5 more per month. (The tiers were 1.5/384, 3.0/512, 6.0/768 and the prices were $25/$30/$35).

I graph the SN margin/Line Attenuation along with up/down speed from the modem in I see that my SN margin has dropped quite a bit, and Line Attenuation has gone up a little. So I see it started shifting gears around 5:20am.

Using the speed tool, I still can't get the reported speed. But, there is a proportional improvement. But, latency has dropped quite significantly. Better than cable now. Well under 100ms.

Don't know when the current DHCP leases expire, but I reconfigured DHCP to tell my Broadvoice VoIP service to use DSL as its gateway now. Wonder if there's anything else I want shift around....


Full story »


  07:43:35 am, by The Dreamer   , 816 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone, VoIP, Cox HSI, AT&T DSL, Broadband

Ordered DSL Upgrade

Back when I first moved here, I wanted to get DSL.... they offered 3 tiers (that I knew of...) 1.5/384, 3.0/512, 6.0/768. Of course, I wanted the top one. But, they said for my area they could only offer me the lowest. But, it was better than dialup (and, I was using AT&T BusinessNet service, at the time). So, I pursued getting Cox HSI at first....because I wanted cable TV more than I wanted a landline. But, I was having trouble getting Cox at the time (though I have it now). So, I did order the DSL.

But, once I did get it...they locked me at 768/384 (for a week I did get 1.5/384, but then there was a storm and service became slow and unreliable...I called in for service and the phone tech. said nothing was wrong at their end, must be my side. During that trouble shooting they lowered locked me at 768k down. Moments before the field tech. showed up service started working again. He said something about replacing a line card or something just before coming over....I tried to get the 768k lock removed, but I couldn't convince anybody by email or phone that they had done this....and kept saying that I should get 1.5 and that it must be my line)....and efforts to upgrade weren't available. Even though DSLreports technician report tool said I could do ~2.0M down (and 690k for up).

More recently there had been upgrades in my area...and technician report had been reporting that I could get better downstream rates. Suggesting the next tier could be fully achieved. This mornings quick check say 3.1M.

So, once again I was browsing the AT&T site to see if I could order an upgrade in my speed. And, this time they showed offers of the 3.0/512 and 6.0/768 upgrade options. I wasn't that daring...I ordered the 3.0/512 tier.

Wonder how long the upgrade will take, and whether it'll mean that I can finally do VoIP over DSL (it works good now over Cox). But, the for consistency in speed and reliability...DSL has been the winner.

Full story »


  07:18:53 am, by The Dreamer   , 550 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Amazon Kindle

Screwed over by TD Ameritrade or Macrovision?

Not sure who did it, but I'm mad :##

A long time ago, when I owned the REB1200 eBook Reader from Gemstar....I bought stock in this company called Gemstar. Which then merging with TV Guide and among other things came crashing down. They also eventually got out of the eBook Reader business. Probably because they charge the list price of a hardcover book for the electronic version. And, you can't share the electronic version at all, where as the printed version you got something physical that could be (or at least I could show off on my bookshelf [where I never have people over], and then many years later try to donate to my local library.) Worse was the magazine subscriptions on eBook. Even though they had all the same paid full price, as opposed to the substantially lower news stand or print subscription price for these.

And, then the plan that Barnes & Noble would be the online seller of content and the wide selection of titles not happening, just made things worse. There was pretty much very little out there for it, and there was no supported way of adding your own content to it. Plus I could get a laptop for less than what I paid for it now.

Part of them held out though...because I thought the Gemstar eBook Reader and TV Guide combination might be a good thing....though they never offered TV Guide as a publication for the eBook Reader, and even if they did...they would probably have charged some price 100x more than newsstand price or something.

I really haven't looked at e-book devices much since...though the Kindle seems neat, but I'd have to research it more before I decide if I want to use it to launch myself back into reading books again (that is other than technical work-related books, where I want the physical book for reference and office collaboration, etc.) But, being probably gives them the edge over other e-book devices. If it had looked cooler, I'd probably have taken a closer look right away &#59;D

Anyhoo....along comes Macrovision to acquire Gemstar. It is fast becoming not the company that I had original become a shareholder in. I had hung on this long because my cost basis for the company was about 11.50 a share, and I was in some kind of hope that I could at least get out even.

Well, Macrovision offered to acquire Gemstar stock at either 0.2548 shares of their stock (MVSN) for Gemstar stock (GMST), or $6.35 in cash.

I received a letter from TD Ameritrade saying that (by the time I received it) I needed to call them within the next two days to make my election...for either cash or stock for my 50 shares.

I elected for cash. Which would've meant that I should've received $6.35x50 - $30 (reorg fee) = $287.50 for my stock.

What TD Ameritrade did instead was they converted my 50 shares of GMST to some other less quantity of stock 28.651 shares, and sold that at 6.35. Result $6.35x28.651 - $30 = $151.93

That is $135.57 less than what I had agreed to.


Full story »


  05:28:14 pm, by The Dreamer   , 304 words  
Categories: General, Stuff, Travel, Appliances

Tilley Hat Update


Last summer (sometime after returning from my brother's wedding, having failed to make a trip into an actual Tilley store during the trip....due to US Airways screwing things up, in multiple ways)....I ordered my first Tilley Hat.

I got the LTM8 -- Nylamtium with Mesh, eventually I was finding that I was wearing this hat all the time. Which caused a problem because it made it hard to keep it washed, and the sweat staining was getting to be a problem/concern.

So, I blogged that maybe I would get a second Tilley Hat to solve this problem.

After I got my new washer and dryer...I was able to wash it thoroughly enough to get the sweat staining....

Then earlier this year, I pulled the trigger and bought the TH4 - Hemp Mocha. Now this has become my favorite Tilley Hat. And, the problem of not being able to wash it regularly....that problem went away when I got the new washer and dryer. Mainly the new washer.

The old washer near the end of its life, and the worn bearings and other parts were kind of noisy. Noisy enough that I had to go out to do laundry. Wonder what my neighbors thought of that.

But, the new washer is nice a quiet, and I still find myself watching it work than doing anything else while it is going. This means that I don't need a Tilley Hat on my head while one is being washed. So, I didn't really need a second Tilley Hat, but then I wouldn't have found my new favorite Tilley Hat.

Plus I get more compliments about this hat than the other one. :D

I wonder if I'd consider getting a Tilley Winter Hat or two for the other part of the season....


  10:20:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 550 words  
Categories: Time Warner/Cox Cable, Hardware, Software, Computer, BOINC, Storage, Cox HSI, Ubuntu

Upgraded to Hardy Heron

Of course, I'm talking about my Ubuntu server (well, maybe not obvious....except that I'm not known for doing upgrades).

I had debated waiting for Hardy Heron's release before building this Linux server. Except that I had bought the box back in December, and delaying was preventing was delaying all that BOINC work that I've been doing.

There's other stuff I want to or have thought of doing with this server, but don't know where I actually stand on doing those sorts of things. If I had it to do over again, I don't think I would've gotten this box (it was knee-jerk response to replacing a dead server, which I was later able to resurrect...negating the ordeal of recreating things). OTOH, I probably would've continued on with buying something else....and I'm not sure if I would've been that happy with that purchase. Of course, it has delayed that purchase....and it may become too late to get it. Though perhaps Windows XP will continue to still be available after June 30th, and I'll make that one last upgrade in that department.

Anyways...other than taking much longer than expected to upgrade....either the upgrade servers are still badly hammered, or Cox is throttling me. Cox seems to be sluggish in general today. The download speed was dismal. And, then hidden in the terminal you don't see my default, it was asking if I wanted to proceed with the upgrade after everything had been downloaded.

Annoying enough when doing 'sudo apt-get upgrade', even more so here....because I wasn't expecting that I had to wait and interact (with a hidden screen) in the upgrade. Later there were dialogs that popped up on stuff that wanted input, mainly to decide if stuff I had configured in Gutsy could be unconfigured in the resulting upgrade to Hardy. Umm, I configured those services so that I could use them....

Finally it was took forever to boot while it did fs checks on /home and /MMCVideo, but then everything looked fine.

Well, not totally. lm-sensors was changed, so I had to reconfigure that, and I'm not sure but the core temperatures seem to be higher now. The default is FireFox 3.0 beta....and all my extensions and themes got disabled. I've been avoiding upgrading to FireFox 3.0 on my other machines for this reason. Though people say that the new version is faster, and the memory leak is fixed, and some of the hanging/crashing problems on Mac OS X seem to be gone. But, I want it to work the way I've customized it....

So, I changed my shortcut to launch firefox-2 instead and reverted things.

Now other than network lag, which I hope will clear up on its own....the only main thing that doesn't seem to work in the update is vmware. Which probably just means I need to rebuild the kernel stuff again (or see if there's some hardy specific details to making that work). Not really a big deal though, since I never got around to running anything in vmware. It was on my list of things to try, but now I need more disk on this box.

I heard 8.04 was going to have support for PM SATA, wonder if that's true and if the PCIe PM SATA card that is in the box will now work, etc.


  07:22:38 pm, by The Dreamer   , 350 words  
Categories: General, Software

Made some performance tweaks....

The site seems to be getting slower and slower. Plus I think dreamhost is somewhat slower than my other shared hosts....though others have been slower. Not sure where the bottleneck is, and I don't have a feel of what kind of resources the site uses don't know if moving to VPS would help or not. And, whether to move the site or the mysql, or both.

But, I did some reading of things to try.

I cut down the number of posts that are displayed on each 10, from 15. That seemed to help. I also used this as time to clean out my link roll....which also helped.

Then I turned on debug to see what was going on in the page render. Discovered the weather widget plugin consumed almost half a second. So, I axed that. Using the weatherpixie image is probably the faster way to provide that.

I suppose if I was really concerned, there'd be more stuff to hack out...but this seems to have made enough of a difference.

Later the problem where page seems to completely renders and is stuck spinning at the end, had reappeared....I concluded that its the code that I was using for the twitter feed, so I changed it out for the official code from And, so far that's working.

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  07:30:00 am, by The Dreamer   , 109 words  
Categories: Software

Upgraded to b2evolution 2.4.2


Just as I decided that the end had neared, and I was about to turn in for the night. I popped over to the b2evolution site, only to see that they had just released 2.4.2.

Well, it wasn't a big change...the only collisions were the customizations I had made to the 'custom' skin. I suppose if I was going to do it right, I'd have made my own copy under a different name. But, don't feel like doing that. It was a minor enough change.

There were no collisions between what I had changed and what was new in 2.4.2, so it was a straight merge.

Now experiment with more plugins. |-|


  11:49:06 pm, by The Dreamer   , 195 words  
Categories: Software

email to b2evolution

Once again some quick PHP hacking to get this to work:


--- getmail.php.dist    Sun Apr 27 23:40:39 2008
+++ getmail.php    Sun Apr 27 23:43:40 2008
@@ -18,+18,@@
 require_once dirname(__FILE__).'/../conf/_config.php';
 require_once $inc_path.'';
+require_once $inc_path.'items/model/_itemlist.class.php';
 if( !$Settings->get('eblog_enabled') )
@@ -200,+201,10 @@
                         $ddate_U mktime($ddate_H$ddate_i$ddate_s$ddate_m$ddate_d$ddate_Y);
+                        $ddate_U $ddate_U 3600;
+                        $ar localtime($ddate_U,true);
+                        if ($ar['tm_isdst']) { $ddate_U 3600; }
+                        $ddate_U $ddate_U date('Z');
                         $post_date date('Y-m-d H:i:s'$ddate_U);
@@ -368,+373,@@
-        timer_stop($output_debugging_info);
+        #timer_stop($output_debugging_info);

The first and last diff, I had to find from browsing the forums, the last bit I took from my 0.9.2 hacked make the time stamp valid. The 2 * 3600, is hard coding the time offset between local time and server time....

What isn't present in the diff, is that I don't use usename:password or subject prefix....I simply trust that email coming a certain addresses correspond to a given user. So, far it has worked.

  07:07:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 329 words  
Categories: General, Software

Welcome to my new blog location


You may have gone to, and ended up here. But, you are in the right place. :wave:

I had been meaning to upgrade the blog software for a long time, the old site was running 0.9.2 of b2evolution. Which I had extensively modified its PHP code to introduce a variety of customizations. Both appearance and back office hacks. Particular in dealing with spam.

Not sure if the new version does spam as good as I had it before, but they are up to version 2.4.1 now and there are some neat things that it can do that I've been wanting to try.

When my old host (before dreamhost) decided to become unreliable (without explanation), I wasn't ready to do the work of I restored the blog onto dreamhost and went on my way. But, then dreamhost got unreliable...and I started thinking that maybe I should look at moving once again. While browsing around on, I found that was available...and having some promo codes to try out...I went ahead and registered it. I used GB1.

Full story »


  07:55:10 pm, by The Dreamer   , 709 words  
Categories: ReplayTV, Home Theatre, Software, WiFi


I mentioned that my URC-6131 was failing...the main annoyance was the PVR Menu button. It was getting harder and harder to get into the Replay Menu on my ReplayTVs.

I searched around online to try to find a new URC-6131 (forgetting at first that it needs to be modded to do JP1 reprogramming). But, no luck. I decided I would take a chance try the 6131n. Found it in numerous places.

But, as I was looking at whether to buy or bid....I saw an auction listing that mentioned that the 6131n for sale had been modded for JP1 programming. Oh ya....the 6131 that I had was modded for JP1...that means I should be bidding on this one.

I marked it for future bid....

Full story »

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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