Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bluetooth working

After fighting with my old bluetooth dongle for a whole night I bought a new one. It arrived today, and I got it all setup and working with my palm tonight.

Windows XP make it pretty simple to set up networking across a bluetooth serial link, just add a bluetooth com port, and set up an incoming connection from that com port.

I was hoping that it may work in the living room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, but it seems that it is the Palm that is the problem, not the dongle.

Well, at least I can read the tech news at brekkie time without having to synch my palm:)

New PC for kitchen ordered

The PC in the kitchen is a bigger hit than I could have hoped for, always on because of the low power consumption, online banking and weather just one click away, its a CD player and internet radio / mp3 player etc etc...

Anyhow, it is clear that it just isn't powerful enough, so I've ordered a PIII 733 to replace it. Hopefully it will be almost as quiet, but much more powerful - we'll wait and see....

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Kitchen PC

I had intended to install a small PC in the kitchen as soon as my ADSL was installed. So I ordered a 12" TFT screen second hand from eBay, as soon as my ADSL was working [12-Sep]

I am using an old PC for proof of concept in this case, a AMD K6-2-500 CPU, etc, etc, and it is a big hit with SWMBO!!!

So much of a hit in fact that she considered authorising a £200 spend on an ITX based computer. Wow. But I didn't do it, I think I will try to stick with the machine I have, its a bit slow, but seems to be working well at the minute

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

ADSL Faceplate installed

My ADSL Faceplate arrived today, and I just finished getting it installed. Now ADSL and all extensions are working 100% :)

The router reports an impressive Signal to noise ratio of 8.5, and a Loop Attenuation of 69.5dB

But at least it works :)

I got the router re-routed into the attic, and made my old 10Mbit hub redundant, so now we have a proper network in the house

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

ADSL Router working

Well, that was more tricky than I had hoped...

I spent a long time working with different versions of firmware for the router, it wouldn't pick up the ADSL signal at all without *all* the phones unplugged. It came with version 2.5.3UK which didn't pick up the ADSL at all.

I had to fight for some time with the firmware upgrade process, before I eventually admitted defeat and read the manual.

I installed version 2.5.2 which came on the CD with an auto-installer, and this picked up the signal.

I noticed in the manual that it stated that you should plug the ADSL router directly into the main socket, without using the filter. So I filtered the phone, and plugged the router directly, and it all worked!

Just need to get the extensions working now.... the saga continues.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Router Ordered

So now that the ADSL is working its time to buy a router. After the usual in-depth research I managed to find out that the Draytek Vigor 2600Plus is the one most people seem to recommend for poor quality lines.

It has some firmware updates for people with poor quality lines.

Friday, September 17, 2004

YAPC::Europe - Day 3

The final day - and just when I was beginning to get used to it :(

Oh well - another day of good talks, and meeting interesting people. I had lunch with the two guys who headed up the development for The Register - that was interesting.

Throughout the conference I met lots of interesting people, guys from France, USA, Switzerland, England, and many others. I have to say that the people were overall friendly, although not one of the Belfast crowd spoke to me voulentarily :(

ADSL Working!!!

Unbelievably I came home this evening, and found that the ADSL LED was on constantly!!!

The service is working - web pages at a sensible speed. However, there is still a bit of a problem - I've had to disconnect all my extensions, or the ADSL doesnt work.

But at least that part time ADSL!!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

YAPC::Europe - Day 2

Back for another days learning, some good talks today. I love the lightening talks - 10 5 minute talks in a row, some excellent information shared.

Lunch today was in Robinsons, and with noe American and a guy from Switzerland.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Well it was the first day of YAPC::Europe today, and that was quite an experience .

I was supposed to go with a couple of others from work, but other commitments meant that they had to stay at work. There were a wide and diverse array of people there, all shapes and sizes :)

The day started a little slowly for my liking, but when we got into the talks I knew that my time would be well spent.

Today I had lunch with two Americans which was very interesting, one of the worked for a medical insurance company, and he explained the way the medical system works over there, and that amazed me.... $1000 for a trip to casualty

ADSL latest....

Called support today on my mobile on the way into work, but they aid they needed to run a "line check" and I would need to be at my computer for the test.

I called back when I got home, and told them the update - all hardware working on one line, and all hardware giving the same result on my line :(

The guy on the tech support said he couldnt esculate an error 619 to BT, but I wasnt going to let this guy off the phone without some progress. They suggested that I talk to Microsoft support about what the problem was with my PC(s)

I evenually mentioned that I had noticed the bytes tx counting up, and bytes rx remaining at zero, also loss of signal, loss of frame, and errored seconds on my line. The errored seconds seemed to illuminate something in his mind, and he spoke to a supervisor, and got it esculated to BT. We'll wait and see....

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

ADSL Today?

So its nice to get notification that your ADSL will work by 6:30, but the question is - will it?

The answer : NO. Hardly a surprise (although it would have been nice)

So on the phone to pipex support - half an hour waiting, talked to some guy who told me error 619 was a bit weird, but said it looked like my modem was broken. He suggested trying it at a friends house. So I did, and it worked, and so I called them back.

This time they told me it must be my computer. (what, both of them?) So, off to friends house, and borrowed his laptop. Surprise, surprise all the hardware works at his house, and produces the 619 error at my house. By this time it was too late to call the helpdesk, so I had to wait.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Mournes walking in the rain....

Well we went for another mountain walk today. A bad turnout, just the three of us. We went up the pot as usual, and followed the smugglers path, finishing with a nice walk through Tullymore Forest

It rained heavily almost the entire time we were up there. It was 11.9 miles, and I tell you, I was sore when I got home.

See some pics here

Monday, September 06, 2004

BT Gives us a chance!

From today BT will be accepting applications for ADSL from anyone in the UK, regardless of their line length. So at7.4 km I've waited for this day...pipex, here I come!!!

[more information]