Self Portrait


(& Stuff)

Initial Post

Last Week

Next Week


The Better Half

The Blog


Copy this link to your newsreader's subscription page


Selected tech:

Moveable Type, "Remember me" doesn't

RSS Feeds:
(1) (2) (3)

Networking "non-network" printers

"MTUs", loss of connectivity

Time Sink Adware removal

One eBay scam

Internet Storm Center (SANS)

The Time Sink

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Most Recent (Last update: 2300 9/26/2004)

Well, I'm more or less up on the Windows side of the aisle, but the boxen are still tethered to the network via Cat5. ...and that just won't do (something about cable running through the laundry room not being acceptable).

...and since ICS is such a kludge, I suspect one of the boxen is going to go wireless and I'll pull the feed from there. 'Course, I haven't worked up anything along those lines in a year or two, so it could be a bit interesting. What's that line? The one about 'from chaos comes great opportunity'?

...and yes, I'm a bit behind on email. I'll try to get caught up as soon as I can. Ummm... Like whenever there's no laundry being run <g>!

It could be an interesting week...


The weather channel: 102 not too long ago, barely breaking 70 this weekend, and yesterday on the way home one heck of a sudden wind/rain/dust storm. WT???

Clear skies to a storm cell in two miles...

Visibility on the freeway became a problem...

The freeway wasn't all that safe...

The TV news said a storm cell blew along the foothills...

Heading home...

...and it all cleared in about twenty minutes...

90s by the weekend...


I'm a little behind this week (and waaaay behind on email!), but it seems I may have whatever it was that knocked Daniel out of school Monday and Tuesday. Hmm... Hang on and we'll see how the night goes.

...and on the network swing, things are progressing apace. Shelley is up and running (and has been since the weekend). ...and she's once again working her way out from under the Overlords of Redmond! ...remember that shot a few years back of her blogging from a laptop running Mandrake (wireless, of course <g>)? Well, to swing her to where she could POP her email under SBC instead of the Worldnet dialup became an exercise in frustration Sunday (okay, I gave it only half a try <g>); so I threw Thunderbird on her machine (Win98/some sort of speed enchanced CPU/ o l d HDD's) and it stuck like glue: it grabbed all of her OE stuff, and I had her running in just a few minutes. Retraining took another couple. So, yeah, why not? I ran in Firefox PRC too!

...and how is she handling it? I'd say rather well! She's adapted to Thunderbird very nicely, and proceeded to reorganize her folders for the first time in whenever. ...and Firefox has been a non-problem. So... I'm thinking when I upgrade/replace Daniel's machine this Christmas maybe she'll get his old box? ...only as a boxen. We're thinking on it, but we haven't seen a huge need for Windows programs for her...

Not "Aunt Minnie", but close...


Just a short recap of the last few evenings... ICS on Win2k sucks as badly as ever. Red Hat Enterprise 9.1 is surprisingly boring (okay, I really didn't give it a huge chance because ... well ... because). Fedora core is a maybe, but I may just wait until Version 3 is out. ...but hey, have you seen SuSe lately?

Somewhere it's hardwired into us (geeks, that is) that OS installs should only be started in the dead of night. I suspect it's so we can greet the dawn as we finish that "one last tweak"? Maybe... I didn't have it that bad the other night, but I did rip RH-e off after less than fifteen minutes of play and tossed the SuSe DVD in the cupholder to see what I could see...

Hey, I don't want much from a distro, but I am as lazy as they come. Just give me a decent installer with decent probes and I'll be happy. I mean, I know to leave the mouse selected as a MS Intellimouse regardless of the Logitech trackball I work with, but I do want the scrolling to work and the 'chord' paste routine and lessee'... Actually, I can deal with most of the rest. ...but what I wasn't prepared for was the real decent work on the wireless!

Yep, that HDD that was failing bit the dust on a power failure Tuesday; the UPS ran out of juice and that was that (yeah, yeah, maybe the UPS stuff is Good Enough now). ...and rather than just replace the HDD, I tossed a PCI to PCMCIA card into the Shuttle and figured I'd play later. Ummm.... Well. It seems SuSe liked that lashup even better than the on-board NIC because she jumped all over that as the default setup. If I hadn't had WEP enabled on the router I suspect I'd have been pulling the automatic update off the net on the reboot!

Yeah, not bad. ...but there is a kicker: for all the auto-config, I am fighting the encryption settings. I have some forum work to do, but it's just a matter of time. ...and as to the rest? Well, it looks good enough to play with for a while.

I mean, after homework and all that...


I ended up staying home yesterday; the malaise was just a bit too much to even pretend I'd be able to get anything done at work. ...and considering I ended up sleeping almost the entire afternoon? Yeah, a good decision.

I did run an update to SuSe from one of the mirrors (using the Chicago one; the two on the west coast saturated too easily for my liking). There was quite a lot to download, but things progressed well enough. I'd say things went a bit better than the last time I ran Red Hat's update (no recent experience) and certainly the process was on par with Synaptic.

...and as soon as I get my brain back, I need to deal with the WEP issue; it has to be one of those silly little things I'm just not seeing, but it's blocking me from bringing the Shuttle back up as my primary workstation...

Ah, well, the weekend's here...


Well now! I can finally report some success on the network side of things. Whew... I'm not finished, but the Shuttle is up and connected to the Net via the wireless link. ...and under Fedora Core 2!

I'll backtrack a little... SuSe gave me one clue as I ran through the permutations of the settings for WEP and such: I'd opened the access point up to 'no encryption' but hadn't killed WEP on the Shuttle. ...only I could connect! WT??? I mean, I was checking things at the config file level and it was all correct there, but that little bit told me that WEP wasn't being enabled. Okay, time to back up a notch...

So I threw RedHat Enterprise on again. Plain vanilla. ...and dinked around with the wireless settings (why? Because I knew Red Hat better). ...and this time I had my reward from Red Hat from their more verbose dialog: the Set command wasn't able to complete. ...almost as though it was unsupported. Hmm....

So... Well, I'm deranged anyway... Yeah, I tore RH off the box and threw Fedora Core 2 at it (hey, Cecil's been having a decent time with it, and his needs are much more critical than mine...). Better; the same error message... So, I swapped the cards; the 'known good' from the Win2k box went into the Shuttle's PCMCIA slot and the 'bad' one (same model and brand, Orinoco chipset) went to the Win2k box. ...which promptly connected with WEP enabled. ...and the Shuttle showed the same error. Darn. ...and I didn't want to go to a wrapper.

So I went looking for cards in the junk boxes. ...and I found a Linksys version from whenever. Hey, that's good because the recent ones flat don't work according to the forums, but I was betting mine was old enough to use the older chipset and drivers. Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle, alias this and monkey with that. ...and I really, really should have just reinstalled Fedora Core, but I'd been playing while I had the encryption loosened and I'd downloaded and installed apt for Fedora. ...and Synaptic. ...and updates. ...and Firefox and Screem and gftp and, and, and... Well. Darn...

...and it worked. Yeah, it was the card all along; the drivers couldn't force it into WEP mode. ...and the same drivers worked fine on the Linksys card; I know, 'cause I lied and told the system it was the same card. Bad Dan, lying to a boxen <g>... But hey, things are working. I mean, this post is being edited in Screem after being downloaded in gftp. So, yeah, so far, so good...

I think I need that 'day of rest'...


Day of rest? You thought maybe? Not even...

...but several areas both inside and outside are much cleaner (or at least 'neater') than they have been, although the garage took a bit of a hit. No matter; once the weather cools some it will be easier to work out there...

Catch you next week...

The Conjuror
Click image for larger version

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

Subscribe the Timesink in Amphetadesk!  Automatically subscribe to this domain in Radio UserLand.  Thanks for visiting!  Certain works on this site are covered by a Creative Commons License
All content Copyright 1999->2004 Daniel C. Bowman. Most rights reserved.