Mark Tomlinson

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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Remote Thermometers

Remote Thermometers – Maverick Industries

For the inner geek in all of us outdoor cookers :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Deconstructing databases with Jim Gray | The Register

Deconstructing databases with Jim Gray | The Register

An excellent interview with Jim Gray (and if you don't know who that is...shame on you!) with a lot of good discussion on transactional processing and the future of such.

Bloggers as protected too...

TechSpot: "But a California appeals court has ruled that online writers in the US are protected by the state's shield law for reporters as well as by the 1st Amendment. This ruling means that Web reporters have the same right to protect the confidentially of their sources as other reporters do.

DUal-GPU, Single card slot

HKEPC Hardware:

"HIS Gemini GPU ES Sample
ATi Radeon RV530XT (590MHz) x 2
TXL PCI-Express Bridge Chip
Infinon -1.4ns GDDR3 (1.38Ghz/512MB/256Bit)
Single Slot Dual Fan Cooling Solution
Dual-Link DVI Output x 2
Launch Day : During Computex "

Soldier FInds (and returns) Winning Lottery Ticket - Soldier finds winning lottery ticket - May 29, 2006

A little touch of sanity in an otherwise insane world.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Imagining a day without Microsoft | InfoWorld | Column | 2006-05-23 | By Ephraim Schwartz

Imagining a day without Microsoft | InfoWorld | Column | 2006-05-23 | By Ephraim Schwartz: "If Microsoft didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it."

People (like me) from back in the early days of personal computing, totally GROK this. I wish I could mod this guy +5 for his entire post.

More wierd Florida

Boing Boing: U. Florida cops ask fiction writer for fingerprints, DNA

Gawd I love this place, in the way that only a Floridian could ;)

Something, somewhere has got to give. Freedom isn't free, nor is it inherently 'safe' and 'secure'. Get. Over. It. Learn to be free and accept the personal responsibility and accountability that entails.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Microsoft promises bright, complex virtualization future | The Register

Microsoft promises bright, complex virtualization future | The Register: "Redmond is currently in the midst of reworking its virtualization wares. It will throw out the Virtual Server product it currently sells in favor of bundling a layer of virtualization software known as a hypervisor with the Longhorn Server operating system. The move will help Microsoft compete with the likes of VMware and Xen, who have already embraced the hypervisor design."

Cockroach Controlled Mobile Robot - Garnet Hertz

Cockroach Controlled Mobile Robot - Garnet Hertz

Too strange for words, and yet... really cool.

Which leads me to ponder yet again the next steps for computer/human integration.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Consumers and Media

BuzzMachine: "On the “consumer” side, the people formerly known as viewers have taken control of what, when, and how they watch and they do it without commercials.

And of course, the networks face no end of competitors in content, as well. Rocketboom now has twice the audience of many cable news shows because the stranglehold the networks had on distribution and audience is over. The audience is on stage. Your customers are your competitors."

Gonzales: U.S. could track reporters' phone calls - Gonzales: U.S. could track reporters' phone calls - May 21, 2006: "'It can't be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity,' Gonzales said on ABC's 'This Week.'"

Indeed it CAN, and should be. The Supreme Court should fix this.

"We only have the rights we defend, as long as we are able."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Record Labels Sue XM Radio

EFF: DeepLinks

Uhh, yeah. Grokster case comes back to haunt us. Only the bad guys will suffer...yep.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Home Networking redeaux

Messing with my home network falls way down on my list of things that I want to do. Somewhere just below getting a root canal. Still yesterday was another one of those days. Where do I begin?

For the longest time after Charlie, I have been running with the DSL modem plugged into a wireless router (WRT54G--running the old Alchemy firmware from Sveasoft) which then plugged into a LinkSys 8-port switch (EZXS88W) and from there out to all the rooms. Mind you somewhere along the way my home network got complicated:

(2) TiVos
(3) PC desktops (another one in the Mame cabinet via wireless for a total of 4)
(1) XBox
(1) Xbox360
(2) PocketPCs (via wireless)
(1) work laptop (either wired or wireless)
(1) home laptop (via wireless)

Everything hardwired except as noted. This means that aside from the above mentioned network 'closet/rack' in the central location there are a couple of odd switchs in remote locations to supply multiple ports (for example an 8-port NetGear switch in John's room for the XBoxes, a TiVo and a PC). Everything had been working OK, the WRT54G was handling the routing and WAP and the 8-port switch it plugged into was simply to handle 6 homeruns from the rooms (it only has 4 ethernet ports).

Cool. Working. Goodness.

Now a few weeks back BellSouth offered to upgrade the DSL service from 3 MBPS to 6 MPPS, and charge me a dollar less to boot. Huh. Who am I to argue? Set it up sez I.

A few days go by, I check the speed, 3 MBPS. A few more days go by, same. So I call and talk with tech support and futz around only to come to the conclusion that everything looked good on their end. They offered to send a technician on-ste, but warned that if he jacked directly into the DSL modem and got 6 MBPS, I'm out 80 bucks.

So in the interest of saving the money for more important things (like Scotch whiskey) I figured I could at least do that and then blame them when it still was stuck at 3 MBPS. Naturally I had to re-remember how to connect to the Westel modem, take it out of bridged mode and then use it from the laptop (fun, fun, fun). So after doing that, I run the speed test and bam! 6MBPS. {expletive deleted}

Hmmm... So I unplg all remote connections from the WRT54G, re-reconfigure the Westel to bridged mode, reboot eveything and jack just my laptop into the router and re-run the speed test: 3 MBPS. WTF? OK, I vaguely remember enabling traffic shaping (QoS) not too far back, maybe that is capping it somehow? Turn it all off, no joy. OK, it is a router problem, but one I am not willing to deal with 'right then'. Put everything back.

So YESTERDAY I decided it was time to go back, revisit this and get it working. After all, there was 100% speed gain waiting if I could just get it working. I knew the router was the guilty party so I had prepared by acquiring a plain-jane ethernet router (no wireless) figuring to drop that in and then switch the WRT54G into just an access point. Yes, wireless connections might be throttled to 3 MBPS, but I was willing to suffer that. So, start ripping out and replacing. I dropped in the new router (BEFSR81) tossed the 8-port switch (8-port router, no need for that). Plugged in the Westel and ran the test. Bam! 6 MBPS through the router and even at remotes. Sweet. Now to configure the WRT54G as a AP only. Seemed pretty straighforward. Disable DHCP, give it a fixed address ( and then do a little advanced routing to macke sure wireless units can find the BEFSR81 DHCP server at

This is where is got ugly. No matter how I played with it, the WRT54G wouldn't implement the routes corrrectly. Oh, it let me type them in, but when it was done the routing table was not correct. Well, the firmware in it is really, really old...I had purchased a license for the Talisman stuff from Sveasoft a while back when helping a neighbor set theirs up, what the heck. I had the 1.05 version on my laptop, I went ahead and upgraded it. Yes, I know the hardware versions have to match--they did. The router was now working, but really flakey. LAN connections came and went and the routing table STILL was not cooperating. OK, the latest Talisman releasse is 1.1g, let me download and flash that... no joy. More strangeness. At this point I decide to call the router broken.

Today I swing by CompUSA and get a straight access point (WAP54G). I picked the Linksys so that I could transfer the high gain antennas from the WRT54G (+9 db Antennas, purchased from FMADirect. Best price out there) and CompUSA over NewEgg since I NEVER have had issues with warranty returns through them. Sure they bitch and whine, but they take care of it.

Take it home, plug it in, setup the security and things are back to normal. Since it is not a router, none of the routing mess needs to be done. I'll play around with the WRT54G and see if it is truely dead or not, but ultimately this is a neater config with less parts.

God, I hope I am done with the home LAN for another year.

AMD shows off details of K8L

AMD shows off details of K8L: "The new core will support 48-bit addressing and 1GB pages."

Cool stuff.

On another note, blogging has been slow--I have been busy :)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Asus Ageia PhysX card tested

Asus Ageia PhysX card tested

I still think that this is a really neat bit of technology kit. Not sure how long the standalone card itself will be viable, there are too many opportunities for this to get merged into another place. Then again, it may simply become ubiquitous. That totally depends on how much uptake they get from developers.

Jeff Jarvis and the GOOGLE URL

BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » The Google URL: "most people don’t put in addresses, they Google to get where they’re going."

I know my family does this routinely. I never really thought about it, I am a type-in-the-url kind of guy. Yet a close watch of my son navigating the web shows that he does exactly this. Also my wife does--however that is hardly noteworthy, she is adamantly not internet aware and gets confused between the address bar and the search box, sooooo....

Skills, Jobs, Competitiveness and Innovation :: AO

Skills, Jobs, Competitiveness and Innovation :: AO: "There is no doubt that the US has been a leader in innovation over the last century, reinventing itself and its economy from time to time, most recently with the rise of the Internet in the mid-1990s. Clearly, one of the qualities that have made us innovation leaders is our talent. Talent, especially technical talent, is more important than ever, given the fast-changing, complex and unpredictable world in which we live. At the recent IBM Business Leadership Forum in Rome, Tom Friedman observed, 'We've really gone from the Industrial Age to the Information Age; what we're now in is what I would call the Talent Age. You see, when the world is flat, all the tools of collaboration and innovation are increasingly becoming commodities, distributed to more people than ever before. The only sustainable edge you have, therefore, as a country, company or an individual, is actually your human talent.' "

Thursday, May 11, 2006

We're not all fools - Bush: We're not trolling your personal life - May 11, 2006: "We are not mining or trolling through the personal lives of innocent Americans,' Bush said before leaving for a commencement address at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Biloxi."

Oh, please. It is a fishing expedition, call it that and move on. We're not all fools.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New stuff for the 360

Xbox 360 gets shedloads of limelight: "Top of the list was its new external HD DVD player for its Xbox 360 platform."

Tivo Services exploding?

BuzzMachine: "Under terms of the agreement, Brightcove and TiVo will phase in a number of content partners and new downloading capabilities for a number of possible content partners of TiVo’s going forward. The partnership will provide an automated method for almost any publisher of broadband video using Brightcove’s Internet TV services to distribute content to TiVo subscribers and monetize the distribution through advertising, subscription plans, or pay-per-view."

Note that this had already been done on a small scale with some sites.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

UberFloppy CDs

Hitachi Maxell develops optical storage technology | Digital Camera Review

Warner Bros. to Sell Movies and TV Shows on Internet

Warner Bros. to Sell Movies and TV Shows on Internet - New York Times: "'If we can convert 5, 10 or 15 percent of the illegal downloaders into consumers of our product, that is significant.'"

No shit. Given that many of the users currently doing this would gladly opt for an officially sanctioned way to do this (at a reasonable cost*) then I'd expect a lot more than that even.

[*and by reasonable I do NOT mean the cost of a first-run DVD release either.]

Monday, May 08, 2006

Munich Trip photos

marktoml - Munich Trip

More photos from Last weeks travels.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Munich Trip

While we are not back yet, here is the first set of photos.

Munich Photo Set