Archive for December, 2006


Friday, December 15th, 2006

Well, the problem with my internet, that I Ranted and Grred and in general was a daily thorn in Cox’s side about, is now resolved.

The resolution isn’t due to anything Cox did.. it’s due to a relay on my UPS.

I had noticed that my UPS often made clicking noises, but I hadn’t really thought much of it until I got a isolation transformer to try and solve a hum problem in my nearfield monitors. It happened to have a voltmeter on the front, and I happened to leave it plugged in long after it was determined that it didn’t solve the hum problem. And I noticed that every click corrisponded to a 15 volt dip in the line voltage that only lasted a tenth of a second or so, and was followed by a 15 volt spike. (or so)

At some point today, I got annoyed enough about this (because each line voltage dip also made a slight humming noise in my new monitors) that I gave the power company a call. I kind of figured they’d blow me off, since they are after all delivering power to me, but no.. they promised they’d send a tech out tonight.

I had to go out to go shopping, but when I got back, the power to the house had clearly been interrupted, and it no longer fluctuates at all.

And, mysteriously, my internet connection no longer has 900ms ping times to the default gateway, and is now capable of moving many megabits with aboslutely no trouble at all.

Could these two things be connected? Well, consider this – the cable modem does NOT have a switchmode power supply, and any common mode noise getting into the cable modem’s power might very well find its way out the RF jack..

I feel really bad that I harrassed Cox so mercilessly. Although – any of their techs that came out could have stuck a voltmeter on the line and seen the noise in question. But, it is probably generally true that their problems don’t turn out to be power-supply related, so I really can’t blame them for not being able to diagnose this one.


Friday, December 15th, 2006

Sometimes I think I should break my journal up into three or four little journellets, so that people could just subscribe to the ones that were aligned with the topics they were interested in.

Topics my journal breaks down into neatly:

1) Religion/metaphysics
2) Weird devices I am building/studying
3) Computer science related thoughts
4) “my life” stuff..
5) Music

Maybe there’s a easy way to do this sort of thing through the LJ interface? Hmmm.. might be that new field at the bottom marked tags?

Yaaay OceanLab!

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

I found another Oceanlab song I’ve never heard.

I love them so much..

Can anyone suggest any other groups that are similar to OceanLab?


Thursday, December 14th, 2006

There’s a new Emmit Swimming album!

I can’t wait to get my claws on it. I’m thinking about buying it via iTunes…


Thursday, December 14th, 2006

God, if you’re reading this and Christianity really was the best you could do in authoring a religion, then I’m really sorry that I can’t agree with it. Feel free to put yourself in my shoes for a few milliseconds to figure out why.

And, if you’re going to condemn me to eternal suffering for disagreeing with you, then shame on you..


Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Okay. I’ve come to terms with it. Religion was written to control us, by people who were not superior to us. It takes advantage of several inherent weaknesses in our instinct-set.. (humans don’t have very good security on what we believe, or even what DNA fragments we’ll copy.. I guess we were written before uberparanoia was necessary.)

I can now hate Christianity in peace. (Which doesn’t mean that I hate all, or even any, Christians. I just hate the informational virus that nearly drove me mad and brought much negative emotion into my life. I think that’s a reasonable thing to do.)

The sad thing is it was almost good. If Jesus could have had the nerve to disavow what had gone before as not a sample of the behavior of a superior life form..

.. then they just would have edited his words out when they wrote the book anyway.

I don’t know who this ‘they” is. Presumably they were good men acting for the best of reasons – I mean, aren’t we all? 😉 – but nonetheless ..

So, the next challenge is, given the lack of a bible, how do I write one? I suppose everyone really has to author their own sooner or later.

I’ve started by trying to isolate what root concepts strike me as good and bad. Perhaps I should be starting by rejecting the concept of good and bad altogeather, but I can’t do so because it’s inherently in my nature to see rightness in some things and wrongness in others.

Mental issues?

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Today I was talking with a coworker about security, and how to properly treat credit card numbers and systems, and I felt a bit of that old adreniline rush – the feeling you get when you first get in, or first get a tricky bit of code to run..

Damn it, I AM a white hat. Why does the idea of digitally breaking and entering give me such a rush? Clearly I don’t do it any more, clearly I won’t ever do it again except with the explicit permission of the owners of the systems involved. And yet.. the other day I had fantasies of taking over the cable network.

What is wrong with me?


Monday, December 4th, 2006

As most of you know, I have a long standing hate/hate relationship with TV.

However, because Kayti likes it, and because there’s only one TV station that can be received with a antenna in our neck of the woods, I subscribed to Cox digital cable. (It was $7 more than basic analog, and offered perks such as HDTV programming.. they upsold me nicely)

It also comes with plain old analog cable, so I cabled up Kayti’s TV set to it and mostly forgot it.. the box with the HDTV/digital tuner has just been sitting in the living room with five million other boxes.

Until tonight – when circumstances made it desirable to be able to record cable while away. I unpacked the HDTV tuner and cabled it up to my PC via a USB HDTV tuner widget, and turned it on.. and..

Holy COW that’s a lot of channels.

I spotted about six movies I might like to watch in the first page of the program guide. Even the public access channel was running something interesting.. footage of a blues concert at Fashon Island..

My hatred of TV kind of got kicked in the teeth. Granted, there are still all those annoying commercials – but, in the age of the DVR, no one needs to actually *watch* those.. (why do you *think* I hooked it up to my computer? ;-))

Now if only I could figure out what channel MTV is on..


Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Yaay my IP troubles might be over..


Troubleshooting continues..

Friday, December 1st, 2006

I tried replacing teh splitter with a uber-wide-bandwidth-low-loss model. No improvement.

I tried setting up QoS to limit outgoing rate to 500kbit/sec. No improvement.

I tried putting the modem in the flow from the fan. Noticable improvement.

Now I’m trying filling a pan with ice and setting it on top of the modem.. no improvement yet, but .. ahh.. yes.. there we go.. 25 ms ping times as long as the modem is kept iced.

No packet loss either..

later update: oops. Problem recurs. Just takes a while longer to do so.

Now I’m trying modem on extremely low line voltage.. (100v)

seems to doing better..

Cox is supposed to send someone out here tomorrow @ 1p. Problem happens quickly enough that I’m guessing I can get him to wait the ten minutes or so it usually takes for ping times to go to hell in a handbasket.