Archive for December, 2003

Extreme Closeup!

Sean bought the Canon Digital Rebel a couple of months ago, and has been taking some good pictures with it. He just got a new lens with macro functionality, as well as a diopter kit for image magnification. He has a review of the new equipment, which includes some great pictures. What a camera. He also has other camera stuff, and I’m sure he’ll be adding more.

The 80 minute 45?

Verbatim has a cool new CD-R product available – Digital Vinyl:

Image of Digital Vinyl CR-R

It’s a CD-R disc that’s made to look like a vinyl record… complete with grooves. Of course, I think they should have left some room on the ‘label’ (painted, not paper) for a description of the contents.


We’re visiting family this week, and staying with my parents. Much to my delight, they recently got DSL service from AT&T. Being a good son, I gave my Dad a router for Christmas (he has some spare PCs he wants to network, plus a work laptop). Being me, I made it a 802.11g wireless router.

Last night, we hooked it all up. Of course, I managed to make it much more difficult than it needed to be. I have a cable modem at home, which creates a direct connection to the web, and then acts as a DHCP server to my PC (well, to my router). The DSL modem also acts as a DHCP server, but does not make a direct internet connection. Instead, it connects over PPPoE, which requires a user name and password. The username was visible in a dialog box, but (of course) not the password. I asked Dad for the password. He didn’t know it. Didn’t remember having one. Didn’t even recognize the user name. It seems that the AT&T software automatically logs in upon startup.

So, we looked through all of his documentation. Tried guessing the password. Searched the support website. Uninstalled and reinstalled the software. All to no avail. And then I tried something I should have tried an hour before… In the AT&T software setup is a checkbox “I am using a router to connect to AT&T“. I checked it. And Lo, a textbox appeared with the username and password I would need to feed my router to enable a PPPoE connection from the router. It worked, and my Powerbook was once again online.

All was now right in the world. Yeah, right. I could get my mail, but I could not send it. Via either of the SMTP servers I normally use. Upon further investigation, it seems that AT&T blocks port 25 (they use an alternate port for their servers), and that you must request to have the port unblocked. After you’ve been a customer for 30 days. What a crock.

We requested the port be unblocked via the WebChat interface (PhoneDrone? We’ve got Webdrones!), and after a brief but unpleasant Spanish Inquisition (Bloodtype?), I was promised the port would be unblocked, within 15 minutes.

That was an hour ago. I’m still gagged.

Update: After trying again (and failing) several hours later, I had inspiration to try having the router log out and log back in to the PPPoE connection. Now, everything is working.

New Toys

Santa brought me some new toys! Well, my wife and children did, at any rate. Here are the goodies for my Powerbook:

  • Powermate from Griffin Technologies. I have the aluminum model. Just about the coolest USB device I’ve ever seen. I’ve got it configured to act like a mouse scroll wheel, which is wonderful when reading long web pages. In iMovie, it acts as a shuttle control. The only issue I’ve had is that the light doesn’t work after a reboot unless I unplug/replug it, or reset it in System Prefs. I appear to have the latest driver. I’ve emailed support, I’ll post more here when they respond.
  • Firewire Harddrive from LaCie. 160gb, “Design by F.A. Porsche” model (whatever… but it is slick looking. There will be several more posts about this one.
  • DVD Burner, also from LaCie (D2 design). Haven’t played with this one yet. I recently got a new MiniDV camcorder (which I’ve been meaning to blog), which neccessitated this. It has analog in, so one of my first projects will be to import all my old analog Hi8 stuff (now you see why I wanted the Firewire HD), and burn it to DVD for archival purposes.

I received other gifts as well… most especially, another wonderful Christmas with my family.

Merry Christmas to All…

… and to all a safe and blessed day.