Thursday, December 28, 2006

1800 pair cat-3 cable


Cut (planned not accidental) as part of a construction project on the U of O campus. Looks like some kind of psychedelic clown hair. Weighs several pounds per foot... This is the legacy pstn infrastructure, that's a lot of 2 wire analog phones... Really easy to expand that thing when you run out of pairs. Posted by Picasa



Adapted a means of propagation where the package is sufficiently rugged that it can survive long trips by sea with external propulsion (wind waves). Oddly enough with the advent of humans beings the coconuts have adapted and are now propagating via postal mail. Posted by Picasa

first road-trip in the civic hybrid


44.3MPG in 243 miles of mized highway secondary and city driving... Still have a quarter of my first tank of gas left. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Nintendo goes up on the list of console vendors that wants their product to be an anticonsumer walled garden...

basically the aqbility to meddle with the software on your own box... yeah sure exploits are bad, but that just demonstrates the intentions of the vendor when you have to resort to the them in order to extend the functionality of the platform.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Don't bother...

Attempting to dissasemble a sony vaio u3.... While most sony products are pretty obtuse, this thing is nuts...

Needless to say, when the disk conked out in the thing a year ago I ordered another one. I stalled out trying to get the thing apart about about the stage where if I went any further I'd break it...

Well I revisited the issue this morning and I've pretty much broken it for sure... The fact that I have a dead laptop isn't so galling (lots of dead laptops after all) as the fact that it's special (8 hour battery) which I went out of my way to purchase on a separate trip to japan is totally useless... That just blows. While the laptop was about $1000 used at the time, the battery was nearly $400.

I suppose the remainer of the usable parts could be ebayed (like the new harddisk) the jumbo battery and the power supply but it hard seems worth it.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Good article on performance managament and gaming incentive systems

T-Mobile GPRS, connecting from Windows.

Shamelessly stolen from their website since it took me forever to find.

I never had this much trouble on linux, maybe because everyone who did it there already wrote about the experience.

    Your Wireless Solution
    The T-Mobile Wireless Data Configurator will help you build a mobile data solution around a PDA or laptop you own or are thinking of purchasing.

    Setup of Nokia N-Gage QD to Laptop Windows XP using Belkin USB Bluetooth Adaptor for GPRS

    (closest I could get on their webform) I'm actually using a build-in broadcom bluetooth chipset and a nokia n91 but it works...


    Nokia N-Gage QD handset purchased through T-Mobile

    Belkin USB Bluetooth Adapter with accompanying software application

    Ensure the most recent software is properly installed from the accompanying CD or by visiting the Bluetooth section of Click on Download under the appropriate Bluetooth USB Bluetooth Adaptor. Click on the Driver for Windows XP to download, unzip, and install the correct software.

    User should be logged in as Administrator or have administrator privileges in the profile to modify system files.

    Setting up the handset

    1. On the handset, press the Menu button.
    2. Scroll to Bluetooth and press Options.
    3. Scroll to Open and press Select.
    4. Scroll to Bluetooth and press Options.
    5. Scroll to Change and press Select.
    6. Scroll to On and press OK.
    7. Scroll to My device's availability and press Select.
    8. Scroll to Change and press Select.
    9. Scroll to Shown to all, and press OK.

    Setting up the connection

    1. On the PC, double click on the My Bluetooth Places icon from the desktop.
    2. An Initial Bluetooth Configuration Wizard window will appear, click on Next to continue.
    3. In the Computer name field, type in a name for the PC. From the Computer type drop down menu, click to select Personal Computer or Laptop Computer. Click on Next.
    4. Click on Next again.
    5. Ensure Dial-up Networking is checked from the list of services. Click on Next.
    6. Once the software is installed, click on Skip.
    7. Click on Finish.
    8. Double click on the My Bluetooth Places icon from the desktop.
    9. Double click on Entire Bluetooth Neighborhood.
    10. Right click on the icon representing the handset, and click on Pair Device.
    11. Type a Bluetooth PIN Code (1234 for example) and click on OK.
    12. On the handset, when prompted for a Passcode, type the same PIN Code as entered on the PC and press OK.
    13. During the pairing process, when asked to Accept Connection, press Yes.
    14. On the PC, return to My Bluetooth Places. Right click on the icon representing the handset and click on Discover Available Services.
    15. Double click on the Dial-up networking icon to install the Bluetooth Modem.
    16. Click on Cancel and close all applications.
    17. Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel and double click on Phone and Modem Options.
    18. Click on the Modems tab. Click once on the Bluetooth Modem and click on Properties.
    19. Click on the Advanced tab. Type at+cgdcont=1,”IP”,”” in the Extra initialization commands field. ***Note: If the account is provisioned for T-Mobile VPN, then type at+cgdcont=1,"IP",""
    20. Click on OK and close all applications.

    Making the connection

    1. On the PC, double click on the My Bluetooth Places icon from the desktop.
    2. Double click on Entire Bluetooth Neighborhood.
    3. Right click on the icon representing the handset and click on Connect Dial-up networking.
    4. On the handset, when prompted to Accept Connection, press Yes.
    5. On the PC, ensure the User name and Password fields are blank.
    6. In the Dial field, type *99#
    7. Click on Dial.

    You will now be connected to the T-Mobile GPRS service.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

The new phone!


4GB IBM microdrive
A whole bunch of ram
mp3 player
gsm 900 1800 1900 umts 2100 bluetooth wifi
167grams Posted by Picasa


  Posted by Picasa


  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

200 Switches representing ~16000 ethernet ports...

Just arrived... Plan is to have them turned around headed for african universities in a couple weeks.
  Posted by Picasa

New Laptop

Originally uploaded by joelja.

1.66ghz core duo
2GB of ram
120GB drive
radeon x1400 with 128MB
802.11a/b/g and bluetooth 2.0

Friday, August 04, 2006

Well ok... (pager)

maybe virtual dimension will be better:

The overall windows experience. Week 2 on the new box.

This is a the first time I've used a windows machine as my primary box in a long time, (we have one for gaming at home, and I have a mostly unused desktop at work...

There's a couple things that are nice:

  1. Suspend and resume works, though this laptop has 2GB of ram and it suspends really slowly.

  2. It's nice to have media on all websites play back for a change.

  3. More open-source software seems to have been ported to windows and works well. GIMP, gnu dia, GAIM, slypheed, clamav etc.

  4. bluetooth is easy to setup, but it doen't really work all that well which is slightly disapointing. linux and bluez is rather harder but it's rock solid once you get it working.

Some things are not so good though...

  1. You still have to restart way too often... Either because you've installed some piece of software or a driver that requires it or because for whatever reason some piece of software generally part of the UI has become unstable.

  2. Sometimes software just mysteriously fails to install, or after installing doesn't work. There's muc more diagnostics for this in linux systems then there is in windows boxen. When you uninstall someting on a rpm package mangement based system you can be pretty sure it's all gone. that's way more ambiguous on windows.

  3. The initial load on this acer was horrible... some things I had no trouble installing on the Dell, Just refused to work properly (windowblinds). The system came with software to backup the image on the disk, but didn't come with installation media. reinstalling the os using an oem disk and the key on the bottom of the laptop solved that for the most part except some if the acer provided drivers (ati catalyst control panel) refused to properly install. not all the software (the cd burning stuff or the dvd player) were avaialble for download. norton antivirus which came bundled with it is junk and is now gone.

  4. Drivers for some of my older usb hardware (usb serial adapter) are now rather hard to find... these things for the most part just work on linux.

  5. Does somebody make a virtual window manger/pager for windows that doesn't crash, lose windows, end up with the same window on multiple pages unitentionally and fits someplace in the start-bar? cool-desk had lots of promise but it has all those problems. The windows powertools one install but now appear not to work (that problem again) and I remeber not liking it anyway. it's shouldn't be that hard a problem to solve.

Parallels for windows, revisted...

Has actually ended up being fairly unusable for me...

The fc5 instance routinely stops responding to me during normal use. Initially I thought this has something to do with the xserver but it happens if I start a vnc server then point the windows vnc-client at that over the virtual network interface as well.

Virtualization does not survive the windows suspend and resume cycle. Normally if you suspend the parallels vm on it's own it will resume properly after you wake, or in fact after you restart the laptop, but if you leave it running, it'll fail when the machine resumes either that or you may get a BSOD.

VMware player would happily survive a suspend and resume cycle on linux (at least with a freebsd guest). Though suspend and resume for the linux laptop (the dell inspiron 6000) wasn't all that reliable to begin with.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dirty boy, redux.

Originally uploaded by joelja.

dumpster full of closed cell foam.


Originally uploaded by joelja.

Is that box big enough...

Don't try assembling a chatsworth megaframe in your office.

I'm a dirty boy...

Originally uploaded by joelja.

Who knew I had enough cardboard in my office to fill an entire dumpster?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Easy come, easy go...

Slackers broke into the car on a public street in broad daylight in front of witnesses and took:

mobile-edge backpack
dell insprion 6000
dell latitude d620 (in my possession for 4 days)
two power dell bricks
pelican m-1 led flashlight
nokia bluetooth keyboard

part of my soul

Monday, July 17, 2006

Playinging with Parallels

So, my initial approach was to install it on the new windows box so that I could run an instance of fedora core 5 on top of it. The default mode for networking appears to be to bridge parallel's private network interface which is shared with the virutal machines to one of of your network interfaces. For some reason the guest could not in fact see the dhcp response even though running tcpdump reveleaed that packets from the external interface were making it to the internal network... It is possbile that this has something to do with the windows firewall. I disabled it for testing purposes and it didn't appear to make a difference.

My quick and dirty solution was simply to enable internet connection sharing and treat the Parallels network as though it were the internal private network . Notwithstanding the joys of nat, that's probably saner anyway because static ip's can now be enabled on each of the guests and they can still talk to the outside world... Not sure what to do about IPV6 at this point.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Saturday, July 01, 2006

mirror with freebsd geom...

I was sort of wondring how to do this so a tutorial is kind of nice.

I'm sure that I will shortly be doing this on 2 drive 1u servers to keep the costs down.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Portland airport portal

Actually bothers to tell you which ap you're on:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

banging on freebsd ports

Got a local ports/distfiles repository you've been filling up?

Do the following:


doing a similar thing with packages you can do by setting the enviornment variable:


Monday, June 12, 2006


Saturday, June 10, 2006

My response on the pc recycling by donating issue.

With regards to obsolete computers being precieved as useful in the third world, there are generally a few problems with that.

First, machines no longer useful in the western world are in general expected to run the same software that they're no longer useful for when donated to some pc recycling project in say Mozambique. Most of of the software will be pirated but that isn't want this message is about.

Second... Computer hardware (especially laptops) doesn't age gracefully. disks die, powersupplies fail, fans on heatsinks fail, crt's wear out. machines fill up with dust etc... A PC that's marginal in an airconditioned office on conditioned power, is likely to be useless with unstable power and 35c weather.

Third. eventually this stuff has to be discarded. New machines have gradually contained lower quanties of heavy metals toxic plastics, toxic battery formulations... At this point one probably wouldn't feel to bad about landfilling an RHOS (reduction of hazardous substances) compliant pc whereas most 486 and pentium class machines (with the exception of some ibm and fujitsu machines that were designed for certain markets) are classified as toxic waste once they're parted out. These machines are hard to recycle responsibly even in the United States.

So what to do?

If you donate, send new machines, the lifespan of their utility will be much longer. New machines are less toxic than old ones, RHOS machines are even less so. Send LCDs not CRT's, yean non-RHOS lcd's contain heavy metals, but a lot less than CRT's...

A lot of people see donating old hardware as a philanthropic activity and it certainly can be, but in many cases it's just people dumping their waste in the third world. That's just evading responsiblity back home and it doesn't do the recipients of the "aid" any good.

Open Laptop Per Child, some thoughts...

There's a sea-change about how we think about computers in schools in here someplace even in places where these aren't actually going to be deployed (like the United States)...

Some of it's going on, on the web already (freeform colaborative environments) but that stuff just get's filtered at the borders of schools. Lab machines and classroom machines get locked down and run obsolete proprietery software. So computers in schools aren't really the source of inovation and potentially new pedagogy that they once were, they're just a requirement for the educational process.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

living in 100 square feet

This is a public housing project in hongkong...

How to get that AP density up in a room with 900 wireless users in it.

Originally uploaded by joelja.

We had to get something like 13 radio's to cover this room with something like 900 occupants for the ietf plenary...

Back Again...

Two whole weeks gone by... Oddly enough there wasn't that much to say while I was in Kenya doing the AFNOG workshops.

Now that I'm back though a bunch of things are running throuhg my head. New workshop Materials, maybe some more docuementation, I'd love to do a writeup of how to turn fedora into an industrial strength mailserver, I'd like to expand the radius presentation that I did. There's other things of course. Some small fraction of these ideas will come to fruition if history is any guide.

This struck me this morning:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cat Hunting...

Lucy turned me on to trailerpark boys...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Where the money went...

It's not like the world is buying fewer cars... so why do US automakers seem to be sucking it up so hard. Could be because their competitors are doing land office business.

Something to grind on for another 12 months...

I'm certain that this will face massive dealer revolt. I would think the dealer margin on an s500 >= retail price of bottom of the line diesel

Monday, April 24, 2006

What's a Smart go for?

About $27,000 (this is the zap dealer in kirkland)

That's the 700cc turbo model which is the only one they import. (which
gets just north 40mpg highway)

The same model in the UK (smart passion which is the high trim line) is 8230GBP which is $14,721 at current exchange rates. In canada the only engine available is the 800cc cdi diesel (40HP), in the base model, it start's at $16,700cad or $14,703 US. That model gets ~3.7l/100km or in the neighborhood of 60mpg.

So zap has someone mananged to deliver the smart for somewhere in the neighborhood of the average sticker price of the prius which seems a little excessive if you ask me...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lest people forget about chechnya

russian snipers hunting down chechnyian "terrorists"

Facism takes many forms...

Theater siege...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hacking on your bash prompt

It's been a while since I did this so I'm writing it down in my external brain so that I can find it again:

prompt is store in the value PS1 so:

echo $PS1

gets you the current state, on recent redhat/fedora it appears to be:

[\u@\h \W]\$

which looks like:

[joelja@twin ~]$

The part of the bash manpage that talks about prompting says:

When executing interactively, bash displays the primary prompt PS1 when
it is ready to read a command, and the secondary prompt PS2 when it
needs more input to complete a command. Bash allows these prompt
strings to be customized by inserting a number of backslash-escaped
special characters that are decoded as follows:
\a an ASCII bell character (07)
\d the date in "Weekday Month Date" format (e.g., "Tue May
the format is passed to strftime(3) and the result is
inserted into the prompt string; an empty format results
in a locale-specific time representation. The braces are
\e an ASCII escape character (033)
\h the hostname up to the first ‘.’
\H the hostname
\j the number of jobs currently managed by the shell
\l the basename of the shell’s terminal device name
\n newline
\r carriage return
\s the name of the shell, the basename of $0 (the portion
following the final slash)
\t the current time in 24-hour HH:MM:SS format
\T the current time in 12-hour HH:MM:SS format
\@ the current time in 12-hour am/pm format
\A the current time in 24-hour HH:MM format
\u the username of the current user
\v the version of bash (e.g., 2.00)
\V the release of bash, version + patch level (e.g., 2.00.0)
\w the current working directory, with $HOME abbreviated
with a tilde
\W the basename of the current working directory, with $HOME
abbreviated with a tilde
\! the history number of this command
\# the command number of this command
\$ if the effective UID is 0, a #, otherwise a $
\nnn the character corresponding to the octal number nnn
\\ a backslash
\[ begin a sequence of non-printing characters, which could
be used to embed a terminal control sequence into the
\] end a sequence of non-printing characters

I ended up using something slgihtly less visually busy, basically setting PS1 to:

export PS1="\u@\h \w \$"

in my .bashrc...

gets me a prompt that looks like:

joelja@darkwing ~ $

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Graphics card shopping...

Hm... either:

asus 6800gt



Seem to been in the strickly mid-range...

products are positioned about $40 apart so the next step up appears to be:

asus 7900gt

after that things get silly.

not sure what kemp did but it was probably in the 7900 range.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sunday, March 26, 2006

fit pricing...

As hans pointed out, we can blame weak dollar policy for the fact that an entry level auto is essentially 15k. Then there's still the question of mileage. Why aren't the 1.0l or 1.3l engines available?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

build an smt reflow oven...

restraunt health code violations

The Savoy Truffle eugene oregon - Serving cold previously Cooked pork is a pretty horrible food service gaffe in my book. Also the potato torte was cold, and the meatballs taste like they came from a bag.

Can't say I can recomend it.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

people do the strangest things to the sims 2

Friday, March 03, 2006

Mines Bigger

24" lcd panel vs 21" crt