Archive for the 'PGDC' Category


Saturday, March 25th, 2006

I finally spent the Fry’s gift certificate Wendy gave me for my birthday. I bought a new PC case, one that’s supposed to be ultra-quiet. I spent most of the night taking stuff out of the old case, and installing it in the new one. I have everything moved over except the DVD recorder. It [...]

Open WiFi: a Simple Risk Analysis

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Should you close and secure your WiFi access point (wireless Internet), or should you leave it open for all to use under a “good neighbor” policy? That’s the question that has been hashed about repeatedly in recent weeks over on the TechBlog. Today Dwight points us to an editorial that the Houston Chronicle has picked [...]


Friday, March 10th, 2006

The second heat sink + fan that I ordered is now on its way to the house. This is a result of Episode 182, a tragic accident involving a spinning fan and an errant thumb. I had quite a time finding the first heat sink + fan, as I wrote in Open Comments Friday at [...]

Episode 182, In Which Our Hero Does Something Amazingly Stupid

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

The big plan this weekend was to reinstall Windows XP and all my applications onto a new, larger hard drive. The drive is an 80 GB Western Digital that came out of my linux file server when I migrated it to SATA disks last year. Previously, I had used an 18 GB SCSI-160 disk as [...]

Knocking Holes in the Walls

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

When we were building Pine Gulch, I came over in the evenings and ran Cat5e ethernet cables through most of the house. It would, I figured, be easier to wire the house while it was still just a frame than to wait until it had been built, even if I had to run extra cable [...]

Whither Vista?

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

Evil Dwight reports that Microsoft Vista isn’t exactly compelling, but notes that the upgrade process should go easier than XP Service Pack 2. Like Dwight, I don’t upgrade because the wipe-and-reload method is always cleaner, if more work.
Well, Microsoft is trying to make Vista compelling by terminating XP Home support at the end of this [...]

Voicemail and Blinkenlights: Just Too Cool…

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

Now that our phone number has been transferred over to our Vonage service, I have hooked up our set of three Uniden DCT646 cordless telephones to the Vonage system. These phones have a little red LED that blinks furiously when the phone is ringing. I never much understood the point of having a light that [...]

Vonage Goes Live

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

Last month I signed us up for Vonage VOIP telephone service. At the same time, I applied to have our telephone number changed over to Vonage. They told me it would take twenty days, but it only took fifteen. Today incoming phone calls began rining through Vonage, and not through our SBC land line.
Those of [...]

Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Worm

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005

My girls frequently ask why I won’t allow them to install an Instant Messaging client on our home PCs. It’s because they’re an infection vector for various nasty computer diseases like worms, viruses, and trojan horses. Here’s the story of a worm making the rounds disguised as a message from Santa: Santa IM worm hits [...]

A Strange Problem

Wednesday, December 21st, 2005

I have emailed Jay Lee at the Houston Chronicle with the following unusual problem:
Here’s a Christmas challenge for you. I have a peculiar problem with my computer. I have my own theories about what’s going on, but I’m not much of a Windows guru, so I’ll defer to more experienced Windows users.
Every now and then [...]


Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

We have finally signed up for VOIP, also known as “Internet phone”. We’ve gone with Vonage, and have signed up for their $15 package, which gets us unlimited local calling and 500 minutes per month of long distance. That’s far more long distance than we usually need, but that means that we may be calling [...]

New Server Software

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

I sat down the other night and made a list of the major software packages my home server uses to provide services to the network. I was surprised at the length of the list. Previously this list existed only in my head; I guess some things just have to be written down to be appreciated.
The [...]