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Archive for December, 2006

From the Pyslent Archives

December 30th, 2006, 6:48pm by Mike


I spent a couple of hours today updating my photo webpage with sites I’d made since 1998, that were once scattered across machines at UCSD, MIT, and here. Haven’t put together any new web pages, and I have a lot of pictures that aren’t organized, that I’ll have to get to over time.
But the best thing was this set of photos that I’m sure most of you will remember. Some random night in May of 1999 (according to the time stamps on the files), when Kelvin and I kidnapped our lab’s digital camera and brought it to Mesa Apartments for an evening of TV watching. After looking at the pictures, see if you can remember any more than I could:
— Whose apartment is this? “Kelvin’s”, I think.
— What’s going on? Why is there so much food, and cake and ice cream? I don’t know when Emily or Serena’s birthdays are — is that what’s up?
Good times…

New Router

December 28th, 2006, 3:11pm by Mike

Among the new toys around the house after Christmas is a new Linksys WRT54g wireless router. Yes, that’s right, we’re the last people in the world to upgrade to 54 Mbps wireless, as our old Netgear MR814 was 802.11b only. Not too bad to set up, and seems like everything is working pretty well.
The great thing — this guy seems MUCH faster, not just on the wireless side (where I probably couldn’t really tell anyway), but on the WAN side. I haven’t done an official speed test yet, but loading up pyslent.com from inside our LAN (forcing the traffic to go out, then back in on the WAN side to the machine in our office, then back out and into my laptop) was a ton faster (on my PowerBook as well as on Joanie’s ThinkPad). I was wondering if it’s because the new router has a switch in it, but by coincidence, this article posted today on MacOSXHints gives the idea that some older routers may have some internal limitations on the WAN port’s speed. The speed bump is still there, but not as great, from work, but the internet is slower in general from behind the firewall.
One of the reasons I wanted this particular router is the ease with which you can install alternate firmware. However, I hadn’t paid too close attention to recent developments, and there’s a little conflicting information out there, some of which says that recent models (v5 and higher, mine is v6) can’t be upgraded, while on other pages on the same site, it sounds like it might be possible. The main thing I wanted to do with this firmware modding was to set up my Airport Express with the new router, and was hoping to use it in WDS mode to extend our wireless network. But since things are working well now, and our house really isn’t that big, I think I’ll hold off on that for a while.

Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2006, 8:42pm by Jake

Twas the night before Christmas, and on our website
There was no one a-posting, and comments were light
The Board was served by, Mike’s Powerbook with care
In hopes that some visitors soon would be there
Pyslent folk were scattered, not yet snug in their beds
While visions of new gadgets danced in their heads
Kelvin rooted for the Chiefs, and Jake cheered the Pats
Always glad to see a Raider season go *splat*
Out on the internet arose such a clatter
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter
Away to the iBook, turned on in a flash
I flipped open the lid and emptied the trash
Can’t tell what it is, the WiFi’s acting up
I’ll use my neighbor’s, he’ll never know something’s up
Then I just saw him, almost did not catch it.
It’s Rotiveo– the patron saint of gadgets!
Rotiveo wore Mobile Pants, size extra tall
And his clothes were vibrating, must be a phone call
Brought a load of gadgets, and even a game
And he whistled, and shouted and called sites by name
“Now eBay! Now Borders! Now Slickdeals and Target!
To Costco! To DealNews! To Best Buy and Market!”
All over the web, he searched high and searched low
To find all the stuff, now it’s ready to go!
All across the internet, Rotiveo he flew
A storm of traffic he did see in his rear view
He found the best deals, on the very best gear
It’s so cutting edge, it will still be good next year.
The net’s overflowing with really good stuff
Getting it to work might be kind of tough
With all sorts of cords and fifty kinds of plugs
(For us early adopters, we’re used to the bugs)
Rotiveo’s got just the right thing for us all
No Atari, Walkman, nor ‘lectronic pinball
It’s Roombas and TiVoes and Treos galore,
X-Box 360s, iPods, HiDef and more!
The Playstation 3 and Wii are brand spankin’ new
The BlackJack from Samsung, don’t forget the Q
Powershots, Nikons, Kodak cameras as well
All of these gadgets are really, really swell
Jake climbed the sand dune, a record twenty-four times
Mike and Joanie did something, hoping it rhymes
Brandon was enjoying his second Christmas Eve
Montana always dreaming, of food I believe
To Mike and Joanie, on the road yet again
They celebrate first, the time zone helps them
To Kelvin, Serena & Montana too,
A place in the city, unless they should move
Jake celebrates Hannukah with friends for eight nights
The dreidel they spin, the Menorah they light
So to Brandon & Derrick & Emily
Their second Christmas Eve as a family
Rotiveo sprang to Roomba (hacked year before)
And away they went, after cleaning the floor
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Happy Birthday Derrick!

December 24th, 2006, 5:43pm by Jake

Happy Birthday Derrick! Hope you’re having a fun-filled and happy day today.
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South Park Christmas lights

December 16th, 2006, 10:06pm by Kelvin

I’m trying out the tips that Mike recommended to take this picture of some neighborhood Christmas lights. The “tungsten” setting resulted in this bluish tint, which I’m not sure I liked.

The “before” shot is at Flickr… definitely more blurry.

Samsung Blackjack vs Motorola Q

December 16th, 2006, 2:50am by Kelvin

Saw this foto on Flickr. Damn Spint and their manipulative business practices! They are forcing me to stay with them, but the Blackjack is just so much sleeker! At least the Sprint version of the Q will be black, according to the rumors.

A few more comparison shots here, and a comparison matrix from phonescoop (I included the venerable Treo as a common frame of reference).

Rocket Launch Report

December 15th, 2006, 12:44pm by Jake

Going fast
The sky was mostly clear, but there was a persistent haze yesterday as the Delta II rocket, featuring 9 GEM-40 solid rocket motors, successfully launched the NRO L-21 satellite. It was exciting listening to the countdown and watching the LOX boil off as ignition approach. About 30 other people gathered at the base’s weather station to witness the launch, and as noted earlier, a sound system was set up which broadcast the last hour or so preceding the launch. The fireball was quite evident even several miles away, although I initially thought it was odd that we couldn’t hear it. I figured out that problem about 2 seconds before the sound wave hit us. This was the same spot that Derrick, Montana, & a few Aerospace friends drove to to hang out before getting steak. No steak this time, but I did get a really good sandwich at a cafe. So after nearly 5 years (!) in the industry, I finally watched my first rocket launch from less than 100 miles away. You can see more of the photos on Flickr, or better photos at Spaceflight Now. More news about the launch from around the web.

BlackJack

December 14th, 2006, 5:37pm by Kelvin

I decided to try out the black jack on cingular. Bottom line, i love the phone, but it's not worth switching carriers for. The motorola q should be showing up on sprint in the near future. I guess
i'll have to make do with that.

Rocket Launch redux

December 14th, 2006, 3:28pm by Jake


Rocket Launch redux

Almost 4 years later, i’m back at Vandeberg AFB. Too bad neither Derrick nor Montana could make it this time. Launch is set for 1 PST, and based upon the audio feed we have, all signs point to go. It’s a little bit breezy and hazy, but weather looks like it will be ok as long as the winds don’t kick up. Check Spaceflightnow.com for the live play-by-play.

Over 4 Years!

December 13th, 2006, 8:28pm by Jake

It just occurred to me that Pyslent: The Board recently reached its four-year anniversary. Wow, the time flies by. I remember when there were no RSS feed, no recent comments feature, no category archives and no pictures, videos or audio. Now, 1160 posts and 4431 comments later and probably close to 10 readers, it’s a whole new place. Thanks to everyone for making it such a vibrant community.


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