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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Apple stores are awesome

Such a nice environment to hang out in, roomy well lit, and lots of free advice from Apple employees and customers. I just asked someone from Canada if they needed an iPhone, the store is out and got some great advice about ZiPhone, a 2 click crack for the iPhone. Maybe now I can sell my N95 and put the chip in it.  Not that I really need or want any cellphones, like to play more with Skype and other messengers.

Soon they are going to offer a summer camp for kids 6 and up.

affe manco ubuntu 8.04 non supporta skype..

So I try to install Skype on Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 and find that when someone calls me the sound don't work, oh no, that sucks. I was trying to install Drupal 5 on it last night, more on that once I have time to finish the install. I need a classified system somewhat like CraigsList and this was the best way I could think of.

The LA Drupal group gets a good crowd, 34 attended. Chris has a good pace too and interesting topics. The first Speaker Mark talking about the Xprize foundation Drupal website, how he moved the website to Drupal, templates he created and how he managed 5 sites with one Drupal install.

Sam talked about installing Drupal, yea, I needed that, there were 10 Drupal newbies in the room :)

Only bummer was the internet access. TrainingRoom worked just fine as a WEP 012..9 but hmmm:

My traceroute [v0.72]

siderean-laptop ( Tue Apr 29 19:12:49 2008

Keys: Help Display mode Restart statistics Order of fields quit

Packets Pings

Host Loss% Snt Last Avg Best Wrst StDev

1. 0.0% 5 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.0 0.0

2. ???

Not plugged in I guess.

I was playing with Drupal for a new client that called out of the blue on Sunday night from my Skype listing, first one that I get from that source.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bruma, MTA WiFi

We went house hunting a week ago in Holly Gen, really nice area good schools, close to work, the owner is motivated, but we are not, waiting it out, ready to make an offer way below asking, but the real estate agent thinks it would be an insult. So I can only share where I could live if we were made of money and didn't care that the market is falling.

I watched a very interesting movie on MojoHD called Burma, about a woman who lost her family, was in Burma during the student demonstrations and became an out law there, fleeing to Thailand just barely making it. Going to the website I watched the Circuit, cool program, weekly, but when is it actually on TV? Maybe it is still sometime in the future and they are only creating the neat commercials and not a program, anyhow this guy has my dream job, or maybe Rabbs, I bet he would be even more annoying then D:Pak.

Grr... this stupid video object is 440 pixels wide, wider then template, 410px, I am using for the blog, couldn't resize it either, any suggestions? No, I don't want to widen the template for this one video. I guess that wide screen is the problem, 4:3 would have worked just fine at that height, anyhow I see how doing web pages can be very time consuming.

The MTA was trying to get WiFi on the San Fernando orange line but didn't find a provider. This could be an opportunity, although the providers said that the demographic wasn't interesting to them. Hmm... I bet you if we could get used laptops to those people, they would definitely be interested in surfing while commuting. You might even be able to get some people to leave their cars at home for the opportunity to surf while commuting. I know that I might drive more if I could get access, the trick I guess is that it is probably a bit expensive to try this out. The only coverage that I can image will get the test going would be to test this with $60/month Spring internet, then retransmit that for free on WiFi on the bus, can't be that expensive, now that will be slow and could mostly be a test, to see if demand builds, then you would have to figure on a better way to deliver that is both cheaper and faster.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I am trying to sell an iPhone new in the box for $399, no tax, but no takers yet either. I was hoping to get it cheaper, so I could resell it at a nice profit, but darn, no takers yet. Meanwhile I found this really cool blender company that will blend anything to tell them too, someone asked then to blend an iPhone and they did. The pulverized a working iPhone and filmed it, wow.

Today I went to China town for lunch again. Was pretty good, same place I ate with Eric months ago, strange thing my family Skypes me from Hamburg, he was sitting there. Small world, wonder how long it will be this small with jet fuel going up every day. Oil at US$119 is bound to cut down on travel.

Stephen told me that if someone calls his teenage daughter once after 10PM, that caller ID will never again work for his house. Interesting, very radical idea, wonder if I will have to resort to that kind of strong measures someday.


Last week I scheduled a family SkypeCast, no one attended, even I was late, but today they all call me from Hamburg, really cool, unfortunately they don't have a camera, but took some pictures, that download on Skype very slowly. I was listening to the story of Bill Clinton in Kenya, a little boy who hopes to be president someday. When I get a Skype call, I answer and write back I don't have a mic, well, move the laptop to the other room plug into the base, plug a mic in of course it drops the connection because the base turns off the WiFi as it moves to a wired connection, oh well.

This morning I was dreaming, well half awake of a movie in book for with illustrations and text and the sound on the radio so that kids can learn how to read and learn how to do so with the sound on the radio. I have been hearing on 60 minutes of a kid that learned how to read with 17 months, just figured it out and started reading boxes. The parents both linguists, were delighted, but claim they didn't teach their daughter to read, that she figured it out.

Maybe this could be an application for the OLPC as well. I was also thinking that this laptop could be 2 laptops, you pay for 2 and get 1 when the child is small, then as the child grows, you ship the first laptop to the next child and give them a slightly bigger one. built in recycling. Kind of like give one get one that we already did.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring cleaning

Spring cleaning has swept us, all, my t-shirts that I worked so hard are in bags, and the wife wants them gone, geez, what will I wear, not those shirts she put in the closet, that is for sure, maybe I will order some really disgusting geek clothing, lol. Tomorrow I loose my office to a visitor. I guess I will have to turn on the wifi again. I found some strange happenings, so switched it off. Was talking to LJ about a neighborhood Meraki network, or even if he wants to be part of Charles' LA wifi. After all using the neighbors WiFi routers is something he already does, I suggested that Skype is one of the killer apps, and he turned me on to unlimited long distance to 34 countries for 9.95/month* Unlimited is limited to 10kmin/month, seems reasonable, they are protecting themselves from calling card creators.

I have to read up on DNS, research how to create a network that allows redundancy and maybe wire 2 routers and 2 cards on each server, not that I know that our servers even have 2 ethernet cards. Something I have to think about, I also found an interesting site that talked about a heartbeat between 2 servers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

AOL Web meetup

I am at the offices of AOL second floor in Beverly Hills at a groovy Web App meetup. After the pizza and drinks we went into 4 talks, the first was rather boring about a firewall that can examine the contents of the stream to figure out who is hostile and who to let in.

The second was very funny about Google App Engine, and some of the limitations that it has. Promising, but still not quite all it can be. The big tables are somewhat limited, not SQL but GQL, anyhow it is free for the time being and programmable in Python, so try it out, interesting stuff.

The 3rd talk about Frankie a very well put together presentation about a way to do Facebook apps. He showed sudo gem install frankie and that is it :) Thumbfight is an application they developed and it looks slightly like our own Frenemies.

4) Amazon EC2 easy setup, fast scaling, not long term commitment, fast, reliable, scalable... given by the Thumbfight people as well.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I am watching the Colbert Report and his the word segment is pretty cool, you have someone talking and someone writing things on the screen. We could have lots of fun with that at LiLAX or UUASC meetings. Maybe if we get an IRC channel going during a meeting the audience can write stuff up on the screen while the speaker is talking, could be interesting. Or even if someone transcribes what the speaker is saying live, it would get our meetings a broader audience. Something to think about.

Today we have competing meetings LAMPsig is about FLEX and there is a Microsoft Irvine meeting about MS SQL. Hmmm, probably not worth the drive to Irvine.

Yesterday I get another call off my YouTube video about me doing Asterisk, VoIP consulting. It is a startup that wants me to architect a system to do 20 outgoing calls per second. I am rather excited about the startup and the idea of doing some Asterisk programming. I will probably ask for help from Solomon and Charles but this could be interesting, I had a good talk with the coCEO.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy happy joy joy

the market is finally up, big, wow what a week. Cramer is ranting about how you have to sell a big rally, so I guess time to take profits. My 5 biggest holdings: BRK CAT AAPL BIDU GE all preformed well. I feel like I am diversified too. Although 2 might be very close to each other, who cares, I have a good basis in the Schwab 1000 as well which makes a broad investment in stocks.

Was looking for a better anti-virus today, someone wanted to renew Norton in the office, nah, didn't like that idea, Peter suggested McAfee, and PCMag seems to agree as number 2, but the article is 1 year old. Didn't get much work done today however was able to take a nap :) This morning my phone wasn't working, no lines, turned out to be the STUN server for voipuser had died.

Pete Nagerian was going on about the N96 on Fast Money, hmmm... I am interested in reading more about it. But again hurried out the door for food.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Creative DECT Skype phone

I have this Creative DECT Skype phone without a driver that is keeping me in Windows. I think it is a very neat device, but I can't for the life of me find drivers for Linux.

Yesterday I played with Fring, a very cool IM on the N95, I was able to make Skype calls and do IM with a number of networks. Then I walked away from the WiFi access point, the program crashed, and I haven't been able to make it work since. I suspect that the code for multiple access points is the problem. When I have time I want to report this as I rather like the app, they have one for iPhone as well, but you have to crack the phone.Using my N95 for email has gotten easier with the use of a blue tooth keyboard. Not that the screen helps still a bit small for email.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

expensive cellphones

I now own 2 expensive cellphones, yet have no carrier for either of them, one has a borrowed SIM in it, the N95, great little phone, but hard to use, the other iPhone 8Gig is new in the box, I haven't paid if off yet, still will pay off, but am thinking that I will simply resell it, not sure I want to get into a 2 year embrace with ATT. Then there is the old Nokia and the old LG 330 which both have service, ahh... I have a VoIP phone and a land line as well, too many ways to get in touch with me, email Skype Yahoo messanger. But the iPhone does have a seductive quality to it, would go will with an Air, I am dreaming, that is really expensive.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


So I go to the library over the weekend and find lots of stocks in the IBD in squares, bullish, I want to put them in BullSpot to keep track and yet I got to get split DNS done, the delema.

Debugging Linux Applications

Jim Shewmaker gave a quick and cool intro into gdb, showing some tools that help like file, objdump, and strings. He recommended Levin's book "Linkers & Loaders" to anyone who wanted more. There was a very funny moment at the end of the meeting when Dave tried to erase the white board. The eraser didn't do a thing, so he goes and takes out the permanent marker for behind the board and wonders why someone would choose that as a place to put it. Lucky that someone erased it very painfully by using the erasable marker as a solvent.

I counted 18 in attendance and we had 3 tables filled at the Pilsner room in the after meeting. I got some good input about split DNS and views which I will be applying today, if nothing else preempts it. I have been doing monitoring from home because our internal DNS server doesn't know about all internet servers we have, funny thing, broken, been so for years. I will be using forwarders so that the external DNS is authoritative for the internet visible servers, while the internal DNS isn't available for the world to use. This should save me time in the future and get rid of those past midnight monitoring sessions I have had to do. Sometimes it is really great to be able to ask a simple question that saves you hours of research, I don't do DNS that often, don't want to read the whole RFC right now, although it might not be a bad idea to do it, after all there might be more gems in there. But wait, there are a few DNS related RFCs:
* RFC 882 Concepts and Facilities (Deprecated by RFC 1034)
* RFC 883 Domain Names: Implementation specification (Deprecated by RFC 1035)
* RFC 920 Specified original TLDs: .arpa, .com, .edu, .org, .gov, .mil and two-character country codes
* RFC 1032 Domain administrators guide
* RFC 1033 Domain administrators operations guide
* RFC 1034 Domain Names - Concepts and Facilities.
* RFC 1035 Domain Names - Implementation and Specification
* RFC 1101 DNS Encodings of Network Names and Other Types
* RFC 1123 Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Application and Support
* RFC 1183 New DNS RR Definitions
* RFC 1706 DNS NSAP Resource Records
* RFC 1876 Location Information in the DNS (LOC)
* RFC 1886 DNS Extensions to support IP version 6
* RFC 1912 Common DNS Operational and Configuration Errors
* RFC 1995 Incremental Zone Transfer in DNS
* RFC 1996 A Mechanism for Prompt Notification of Zone Changes (DNS NOTIFY)
* RFC 2136 Dynamic Updates in the domain name system (DNS UPDATE)
* RFC 2181 Clarifications to the DNS Specification
* RFC 2182 Selection and Operation of Secondary DNS Servers
* RFC 2308 Negative Caching of DNS Queries (DNS NCACHE)
* RFC 2317 Classless IN-ADDR.ARPA delegation
* RFC 2671 Extension Mechanisms for DNS (EDNS0)
* RFC 2672 Non-Terminal DNS Name Redirection (DNAME record)
* RFC 2782 A DNS RR for specifying the location of services (DNS SRV)
* RFC 2845 Secret Key Transaction Authentication for DNS (TSIG)
* RFC 2874 DNS Extensions to Support IPv6 Address Aggregation and Renumbering
* RFC 3403 Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) (NAPTR records)
* RFC 3696 Application Techniques for Checking and Transformation of Names
* RFC 4398 Storing Certificates in the Domain Name System
* RFC 4408 Sender Policy Framework (SPF) (SPF records)
Oy... no, having someone point you in the right direction is invaluable.

Anyhow UUASC has another Monday pizza meeting, no doubt a good place to go drink beer and eat, there is usually a salad too, and if you really are not fat enough, you can get the all you can eat lasagna, all at reasonable prices.

So next Saturday Microsoft has an SQL event in Irvine or LampSig has Flex. Too many opportunities to learn something, or in the case of the MS get a sales pitch.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hot Sunday

I keep wanting to get out of the house, but finally getting a bit of an ocean breeze, it is a hot Sunday, my desk thermometer shows 31c, could be worst, 2 years ago in Beijing it was more like 41c, yikes. I guess I don't feel like I am doing anything that interesting, filed taxes, been cleaning up getting ready for the new additions to the family and working, yes boring work, monitoring, changing tapes and the infrequent DNS change and some support, as I said boring work. Before on Sunday's we used to work on Infris box, those were the days. But that guy is up north at LUGradio for the weekend so I am pretty sure I have my day to myself. Hot and dry, maybe time to checkout the library.

This morning I was playing with uStream since yesterday's LiLAX SkypeCast didn't go over as well as I had hoped. Some think it is bad to use Skype on Linux, but I like the way it works and the sound quality was very good we had a great talk about Linux Home Automation.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

I am also testing uStream.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Seems like I am billing more lately for paying projects and this blogging thing is very much a second tier activity, given that my all time income for this website is 32.7 and that I can't cash in until I have 100 I will keep doing this until a check materializes, but for all you bloggers out there, you have to love doing this in order to do it because the paycheck isn't enough to keep you motivated. Unless of course you get really good at this, I am sure that the top sites make real money. I also keep looking around the apartment for things I can get rid of. Today I found these to great lectures that Morgan bought, From Yao to Mao:5000 years of Chinese History from the Teaching Company, the idea is that you learn collage courses outside or collage, Alos have the History of Science, which I remember was really good to listen to on the way to Las Vegas.

I keep wanting to do a test with one of the top 10 alternative sites to adsense. But I guess it is something that will happen on another blog.

My blog becomes often a place for me to bookmark some of the pages I want to close in my browser, and perhaps come back to someday, meanwhile today I share with you that I saw someone talking on CBNC about TIPS and it intrigued me. They are inflation protection in that they gain value with inflation and loose it with deflation. Interesting concept. So this guy was betting on inflation.

Then I spent a few hours turning all the furniture around in the bedroom and cleaning, boy now I am tiered and my back sure hurts. But I guess that new bed fits in. Not much space here, but I thought that the way to do this would be to use air space. Almost like divide the room vertically into 2. That little mattress on the floor to be up over the bed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


The topic will be Service Oriented Architecture - Today and Beyond by guest David Chou from Microsoft Corporation. So I decided to go and see what MS had to offer, after all this meeting is very close to me, might as well.

Started out with a high level overview of the Service Oriented Architecture, neutral and with all the competitors mentioned. After the break the slides with the MS products came out. I am not sure this was terribly interesting, but was kind of a neat thing as to where we can take the web in the future. David is an architect at MS and I guess that shows.