The personal site of Grahame Murray

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May 2018
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Vantage Voyage [Gadgets]
So I finally ordered Vonage. I’d been flirting with the idea for over a year. But I kept rationalizing myself out of it, and continued to spend around $60 a month for crappy old Bell South. Russ had some issues with his service a while ago, mostly when uploading really huge files. As I don’t do that, and after hearing glowing reviews from friends at work who switched, I decided it was time. It really couldn’t have been simpler. I signed up, they shipped me a box, I followed the simple instructions, and it all worked. The only slow part is having my old phone transferred to this new service, which supposedly takes about 20 days. But aside from that delay, it rawks! Audio quality is the same, and I consider myself to have sensitive and discerning ears. There is ever so slightly more background noise/hiss, but I was already dealing with that because of my cordless phone. And the issue of wall-power dependency is solved by my computer’s UPS (although I only get about an hour of backup juice). If I ever have an extended power outage, chances are good the phone lines are down as well. And besides, I have my cell phone. Check out this link to explore and signup. You and I will both get a free month of service.
Nokia 3650 [Gadgets]
I just received my [[amazon:B00009ADFH Nokia 3650]] today, which replaces my year old Nokia 8390. I liked the 8390, but the 3650 kicks its azz! Bluetooth, 4k+ color display, Symban OS, camera with video capture, and tons of other cool sheaht make this phone really nice. I think this will really give my Palm Pilot a run for its money. It isn’t as customizable and there isn’t as much software out there for it, but I might look into how to develop for it, and the convenience factor is high. I’m stoked. *grin* I plan on also buying the [[amazon:B00006B7DB D-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter]] and [[amazon:B00006Z95D Jabra Bluetooth Headset]] if Amazon can asure me they won’t ship the non-working headset. I’m looking forward to having my computer sense my presence, that is just too damn cool!
Linksys WRT54G Server [Gadgets]
I bought a [[amazon:B00007KDVI Linksys Wireless-G and 4-port DSL Router]] from Amazon last week and it is doing a great job. The purchase was somewhat silly as I own no wireless products. But I plan to get started soon, like networking my Tivo wirelessly and perhaps getting a laptop. The main reason I bought it was to replace my dedicated and always-on Linux PC as my NAT router. And for that, it is doing a superb job. What is ironic, is that is turns out that it too runs Linux, though it is of the embedded variety (ie in firmware). And I think that is WAY cool. Through a bug in their administrative interface and a few scripts, I can access a private telnetd, a public httpd, snort, vi, and other useful tools. Granted it is only a 125 Mhz MIPS processor and 16 Megs of RAM, but it can do some useful stuff. I can do live packet introspection with snort, spray syslog events at an internal PC, or mount an NFS share on the device (hello private mp3 server!). What’s even cooler, or not as your case may be, is that it only writes to the (temporary) ramdisk of the device. Simply power-cycle the device and it will be back to its normal self. Of course, if you come to rely on the extra services this distribution provides, reinstalling after every reset could be tedious and cumbersome. Anyway, go get your copy of this slick little Linux distro.

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