/* ----------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Minima Black Designer: Douglas Bowman URL: www.stopdesign.com Date: 26 Feb 2004 ----------------------------------------------- */ CompuDave: December 2004

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Switching to Broadband

No, not me. I did it about 4 years ago and have never looked back. My cable broadband (earthlink via Brighthouse (previously Time Warner)) rocks. Very fast.

A relative of mine just switched over to dsl on his earthlink. He waited until I got there for the Xmas Holiday to have me switch him over. Good thing. First I went around the house and installed the dsl filters on all the telephones. Seven total, seems like, a lot but when I think of my own house I guess that's not unusual nowadays. I have just as many. I'm going to refer to the DSL adapter as a dsl modem for simplicity sake. I connected the dsl modem up. No sync. I thought a moment then did a Homer. D'oh! I'd placed the dsl filter then the splitter out of the wall. It's the other way around. At least I found it quickly. DSL synced right up. Allrighty, connect the computer to the modem.

Now the fun. This is a Netopia dsl modem obviously setup with firmware specifically for earthlink. When you first open a browser it brings up a signon screen. No problem (except if anyone can explain to me why these dsl providers continue to use PPPoE I'd love to hear it). This should do it. Only it couldn't go anywhere in the browser. Now in spite of the Homer moment mentioned above, I really do know what I'm doing here.
Command prompt.
Do a ping to a known numeric ip address. Okay.
Do a telnet to a known numeric ip address. Okay.
Do an ipconfig/all.
There is the problem. DNS is listed same as the gateway. For anyone who wants to know, DNS, Domain Name Service is just that. When you try to go someplace on the internet by name, say enter cnn.com the name cnn.com has to be looked up and the numeric ip address such as is delivered back from a DNS server and your application goes there. Now most of the time this is all set up automatically by DHCP. That's dynamic host configuration protocol. Your dsl modem gets its information from the isp and your computer get its from the dsl modem (and yes there should be a router in between there and its just one more pass of these addresses but for right now it's the KISS method). Well the dsl modem has a pretty nice http based interface. That means you open you browser, put in the ip address of the modem and you get nice web pages, easy to use and navigate. There is a diagnostic page. It shows a list of all the steps the modem takes to connect with either a pass or fail. And it showed exactly what I was seeing. Everything passed until it got to the DNS lookup, the last three steps of it's signon procedure.

Under help it suggested calling a 800 help number for earthlink. What the hell, the problem was with either their servers or their dsl provided modem. I called and a very nice young lady politely told me that wasn't the number I should have called. I politely told her it was the number their equipment said to call. She politely transferred me to the right number where a recorded voice politely assured me of how important my call was but I would have to wait.
Okay I'll start being nice, the wait was short. Alex then came on the line (Alex???? I'm sure was somewhere in southern Asia). I explained what the diagnostic screen said. Alex was a drone. Started going through all the things I'd already done. He had no real technical ability. Just a script reader. I politely did most of the things he said.
Then he politely asked, "May I put you on hold for 3 minutes?".
Then he came back asked something else then asked "May I put you on hold for 3 minutes?".
This happened about 4 times. Obviously he was asking someone else questions, but to his credit it was never more than a minute or two I was on hold.
He finally came back and told me to get WinPoet software from the earthlink site or CD and that would solve the problem.
And at this point I politely told him to forget it.

Well I'm making a short story long. Truth was when they first ordered the dsl I had brought a network card and a DLink cable/dsl router over and connected it all up. The dsl wasn't ready by the time I left at Thanksgiving so I left it all there ready to go. While I was trying to get this running I'd left the router out to keep it simple stupid. So since I knew it was all running except for the DNS problem I reattached the router, dialed up earthlink and looked up the dns addresses, went back and entered the dns addresses into the router configuration and TADA!, all was well. The dsl modem still can't find the DNS but the router delivers the correct ones back to the computer and it all works. I can only imagine if a non-tech type had had to do this what a friggin nightmare it would have been.

(HA - when I spell checked this post it wanted to replace WinPoet with inept)

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Busy, but I'll get some new material up - Real soon now.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Thanks to Doc.


A few years ago I had a Yahoo! name CalGameDude.
Whenever I played (mostly Hearts or Backgammon) my name would show up as
The boards would cut it off at 10 char. I changed it but then quit playing games on Yahoo!, too addicting and they often rigged the dice in BG to keep the game close. The other problem is there are just too many rude people on those sites, either resorting to cheating or name calling. Not that I can't take it, but why bother?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Screensaver Dangers

Some people thought the Lycos screensaver that would attack spammers was a good idea. Well, maybe, but the flaws were many. Now the scum have started using a fake to spread trojans.



Virus writers have begun distributing their wares in emails that pose as Lycos's abandoned "Make love not spam" screensaver.

The fake screensaver emails contain an attachment with a RAR SFX archive that has embedded key logger Trojan inside, antivirus firm Sophos warns. Infected emails come in emails with subject lines such as "Be the first to fight spam with Lycos screen" and an attachment called "Lycos screensaver to fight spam.zip".


The best way to stop spam is just ignore it. If they weren't getting buyers they wouldn't be sending all this junk out - NEVER buy from junk e-mail.