Vonage & RDC: Happy Together

As some of you may remember, I helped set up Aaron’s Vonage telephone service a year & a half ago. He did eventually get it running throughout his house as the second line, and it’s been working fine ever since. Although he still has yet to make the switch to a Mac, he’s had Windows Remote Desktop running on his new XP machine in-house for the past year or so. Well, thanks in part to the flat world, he’s getting a new office and will be working remotely quite often. His plan is to still use his laptop as a client for the home machine, so we needed to set up port forwarding to use it remotely. The complicating factor was that the Vonage box sits between the cable modem & the router, so it’s not as easy as just forwarding port 3389 to the desktop and being done. Instead, I had to dig up the manual for the Vonage box so I could figure it out. As suggested here, we set up the router to be the DMZ box from the Vonage box, meaning that all ports except the Vonage ones are forwarded to the router. Then I set up the router to forward RDC connections to the desktop, as described here. Finally, I set up a dynamic dns account. Only thing left to do is to get a good DynDNS.org client to run on his PC. Any suggestions? Also, with that ancient Linksys router, is there a way to pmake sure it always assigns the same local IP address to his desktop in case the router or computer reboots? It assigned a new one to the desktop at some point during the set-up & troubleshooting.

| Posted in Home Tech | 8 Comments »

Another Bay Bridge Photo

Thought i'd share the view from the game today. Great day to be out!



Have you ever felt that your 15″ LCD TV just didn’t allow you to express yourself enough? While wandering around downtown SF, I stumbled upon what might be the dumbest business idea ever. These guys, HannSpree, offer LCD TVs with a variety of bezels and case designs… they claim to have over 100 designs. And they have a massive downtown storefront in which to display them… as large as the Apple store.
Some examples of their products after the jump.

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| Posted in Home Tech | 2 Comments »

Question Of Time

The last time I was at ShorelineAmphitheater was to see Depeche Mode about 7 years ago. Unlike New Order, they've only gotten better :-) I'll try to send you guys some multimedia clips.



Since Mike just made the 1000 post to Pyslent, I’d like to take a moment to commemorate the first 1000 posts and get us started on our way to #2000. We’ve come a long way since #1 On December 4, 2002. It’s been almost 2 years since #500. Over the last 3+ years, we’ve had 1000 posts from the 4 Pyslent founders, as well as 3651 comments from the 4 of us and many others, including Joanie, Emily, Serena, Lance, Al, Won, M. Peterson, Mimi, the Flemish guy, a few random relatives and probably a couple more people who I’ve forgot. I haven’t checked that stats lately, but we undoubtedly have 10s of readers, regular or occasional, and posts or comments from all around the world.
Thanks to everyone, especially Mike, for making Pyslent such an interesting place and I’m sure it will keep getting better with time.

| Posted in Site News | 1 Comment »


I’ve never been that much of a video gamer, at least not since I had an Atari 2600 back in the day (the lone exception being playing Metal Gear Solid on Kelvin’s PS2). But if you follow the tech news, you’ve probably heard of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (or MMORPGs), in which thousands of people log on at once and interact with each other and a virtual world as characters — and increasingly, there are connections back to the real world. I was recently introduced to World of Warcraft, by Blizzard, which claims to have 5 million players. Read on for my impressions after a week of the game (peppered throughout with some screenshots from the online screenshot gallery — I haven’t seen any of this stuff yet!)

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Series 2.5 TiVo

Apparently the rumors of the dual-tuner analog TiVo were for real, as the guys at Engadget and PVRBlog have been using the new models for a couple weeks. Sounds as if they work just like a regular DTiVo. no cable card, and it can only control 1 cable box, which means you need analog cable to actually use both tuners- 1 analog/rf and & 1 digital box or 2 analog/rf. About 4 years late, sounds like a good option for a fair number of people. Might also explain the pre-lawsuit run-up in TIVO’s stock price. Too bad they don’t offer lifetime service any more.

| Posted in Home Tech | No Comments »

Google Calendar

From the lack of posts about it, I’m guessing that the underwhelming feeling I get thinking about Google Calendar is shared by us all. I mean, it sounds great, but it’s a calendar. Here are my thoughts on the matter, after having read a little about it:
— It’s nicely done, as are most things that Google puts out. Lots of AJAXy goodness. As long as you have a compatible browser.
— Maybe it’s the sort of sites I read every day, but most of what I’ve read is nerds trying to figure out how to sync their already-trusted calendar system with Google Calendar (e.g., 1, 2). I’m not convinced that there’s any advantage to be gained in doing this. It’s not like any of us are lacking a mobile version of our electronic calendar, or use public internet terminals too often.
— The key cool new feature is that the calendars are so easily shareable, and can be made writeable by lots of people. The second thing has been around in Yahoo Calendar for a long time. The sharing thing is kinda cool — you can subscribe to other people’s calendars, much as you can with iCal. Oh, and there’s one other cool feature — the 5AM e-mail with your day’s agenda.
— Google’s office suite is coming along nicely — they now have a web-based, platform-independent word processor (Writely), desktop search, e-mail/calendar, and I’m sure much more in the pipeline. Decent summary here.
— For some reason, I’m a little more leary about giving Google access to my calendar than to my e-mail. I’m not sure why that is — maybe it’s that e-mail feels more “virtual,” but my calendar is all about where I am when, and with whom.
Any of you tried it out? Is there anything that could be interesting about using this? Should we be setting up some sort of shared calendar RIGHT NOW?!?! What would go there?

| Posted in Web Sites | 3 Comments »

Yahoo! Mail Gets With The Times

As a longtime user of Yahoo! Mail, I’ve been anxiously waiting for Yahoo! to add the type of dynamic features that have long been available on GMail. Today, I waas finally given the oppurtunity to try out the “Beta” version of the new Yahoo! Mail. Looks like a huge improvement so far. Rich text editing in Mozilla browsers, a tabbed interface, and much more responsive than the old Yahoo! Mail. They’ve been slowly rolling out the dynamic Yahoo! Mail for over a year, so it might not be available to everyone yet. But give it a try if you can and you’re a Yahoo! Mail user. I use POP clients 90% of the time, but at least this makes Yahoo! Mail a much more useful & viable option. The biggest downside is it doesn’t work with Safari, and Camino is unsupported but works fine.

| Posted in Web Sites | 1 Comment »

Great Seats at Fenway

My parents are in town this weekend — primarily for the Boston Marathon, but also to visit us, see the sights, and do some of our favorite Boston things like eat at Oleana and Basta Pasta, going to Minute Man National Park — and going to a Sox game at Fenway Park! My dad and I headed over there about an hour before game time, and chatted with a couple of scalpers who wanted $80 each for bleacher seats (that are usually $23). Since it was a beautiful day on a holiday weekend, the first home weekend of the year, and with lots of tourists in town, we were not in a postion to follow the rules, so we kept walking, and finally decided to get in the couple-hundred person long line at Gate C to try to actually buy real tickets to the game (it turns out that there are some tickets released before just about every game). By the time we got in line, the only tickets left were Pavilion Box seats, in a brand-new section of the stadium, basically AT first base and all the way up (the green section 7, row D). So we had a GREAT view of the game — unfortunately, the game itself wasn’t so great, as the Sox lost to the Mariners 3-0.
In the photo above (click for larger), Manny is batting with Papi on first base (can you believe they’re holding him on? Think he’s gonna steal?). Here are a couple more pictures (1, 2, 3, 4). Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera, so these are Treo-photos.