Yearly Archives: 2010

On Comcast Internet

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Two quick points about Comcast High Speed Internet (HSI):

Thoughts on very large monitors

1 minute, 50 seconds

Now, we all know that I have a little problem with wanting lots of monitors. It should come as no surprise that I LOVE high pixels per inch (PPI) screens. In fact, when ever I see a new laptop with a 24″ inch screen (1920 x 1400) crammed into at 17″, I day dream of a getting such a beast in standalone form for my desktop.

With that in mind, I’ve been keeping a close eye to the large monitor offerings. Of course the defacto large monitor was the first 30″ for consumers, Apples Cinema display. However, at $1800, it’s not really for most consumers unless you’re like our friend over at Omnipotent who has one 30″ and two 24″ from back when the 30″ was a lot more than $1800. More recently Apple has come out with the the 27″ iMac running at 2560 x 1440. This is a very sweet LED backlit display with a video input, “27-inch models also support input from external DisplayPort sources (adapters sold separately).” – Apple. Since it’s such a sweet display, some folks are considering it a really nice $1600 display that happens to come with a free computer.

The poor man’s Apple monitor has always been Dell. If you look closely at my desk at work, you’ll see they’re all old school Dell 2405FPWs. When Apple’s 24″ was something like $800 (no reference easily found in google), Dell’s was something like $400. At my office back in aught five, the original founders were sporting 30″ Apples, but soon, every one had a 24″ Dell. We’ve now standardized on more or less the Dell ST2410 for most folks at $260. This one is not adjustable height and has so so contrast. Some folks may get the much nicer Dell UltraSharp U2410 for $600 which is a far superior monitor to the ST2410 and it’s ilk. Super fancy folks (aka a few designers and engineers) get the Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP-HC for $1400. Note, all these prices are much less than Apples.

Really the point of this post is that Dell today announced the UltraSharp U2711 for $1100. This is a 27″ monitor with the sweet, high PPI resolution of 2560 x 1440. I suspect it is not as nice as Apple’s iMac display because it’s not LED. However, at $500 less than the iMac, it’s much more affordable. No, not quite in the range of most consumers, but both the 27″ iMac and the U2711 Dell suggest there’s a higher PPI trend which will lead to lower cost, higher PPI monitors which is all I want.

Fixed theme, WP updated, more WP hacks

0 minutes, 32 seconds

Back when I fixed this blog’s instance of wordpress, I broke the theme. Today I fixed it. W00T! Sadly, this is because I found even more instances of a hacked wordpressery. This was based on the remv.php hacks. I can not stress enough how important it is to keep your software up to date. Go subscribe to the wordpress release feed if you need to. Just stay up to date.

While finding the instances of remv, I took a peek at it. It’s actually pretty neat! If you have LAMP stack handy and are interested, here’s a copy. Enjoy!

Update: Here’s the home page of PHPRemoteView (aka remv.php) translated from russian. Checkout the rockin windows 95 style windows!

This is not an iPad

0 minutes, 48 seconds

At work some one has an old Newton. They’re trying to get it to turn on so they can take it on BART and pretend it’s an iPad. The whole thing got me thinking: not only do I remember the Newton, I had one! Any more, I’m trying to limit the crap in my life, instead of increase the amount. After trying unsuccessfully to sell it on craigslist in 2004, I gave the ol’ guy away to Dan Vine who at time was running the totally awesome iCapture. Back then I did a boat load of cross browser testing using iCapture. When I offered it to Dan as a token of appreciation, he jumped at the chance. Check out Dan’s ieCapture which has taken of the place of iCapture.

So, I guess let’s chalk this post as a big fat rambling, but here’s the photos I took to sell my newton. You know that 16gb micro sd card that came with your phone? Check out the 1MB card that’s the size of a PC Card!

Photos from around the Bay

0 minutes, 14 seconds

Thought these aren’t the best photos, please enjoy shots of:

Keep those passwords safe

1 minute, 52 seconds

A problem with online security is that there’s no standards for passwords. You may come up with the silly simple single password you use for all site. This works well, until you encounter a site that wants one that is, say, 2 characters longer than the one you use. What then? Or, maybe you’re a bit better and use a scheme where you “encrypt” the domain name into your password. Again, this works fine until a site forces you to break this scheme, and then you’re shit out of luck. The net result is that you either A) have extremely simple passwords or B) forget the passwords often or C) write them down next to your computer.

In case you didn’t think so, options A, B and C suck. Don’t do it. Be smart and be safe.

The way to do this involves some pain in the ass security, which I’ve said before different levels are acceptable. I feel that protecting your passwords are critical, so I’m willing to accept a somewhat higher PITA level. My PITA of choice for passwords is KeePass. Being an open source project (W00T!), some of the execution of the user interface is left to the developer, so you may find some ports are better than others. However, the vanilla OS X and Windows flavors I use at work and home respectively, simply rock. The Android port I use is the icing on the cake. I can download a copy of my password file and have all my passwords on the go.

KeePass, much like TrueCrypt, has really thought about how to store passwords. Here’s a list of some of the great features:

  • generate a secure password based a given site’s rules (8+ letters, 1+ number etc.)
  • hot keys to quickly copy username and password
  • android version puts the username in alert menu so you can easily copy and paste it into a web form
  • encrypt notes for extra info like security question you also won’t remember and wrote down next to your password
  • ported to just about every platform, including iphone and android

The net result of this is that you never forget a password, you use secure passwords and no one can get at your passwords. This is secure and this is how you should do it! For the forward thinking, store your password file on a USB cary with you or, if you’re like me, you’ll put it on your dropbox account, and then you can seamlessly use it on all your computers. Doubly handy!

The Massive Compost Tower

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