THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 256 May 5 - 11, 2003
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 4,000 - 7,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here.
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May 5, 2003
At WINHEC and it is column time. I will try to get something up in the evening, but I don't promise much.
In the press room. No wireless in the press room, but the fast Internet Ethernet works fine. One day there will be wireless everywhere.
Looking forward to Microsoft and Opteron. In town this week are also conferences on wireless, and Small Fuel Cells. I'll get to both. Full week.
And the net just died in the Press Room. Dead! Dead I tell you! The horror. Interesting that the Microsoft techies here know all kinds of machines, and know what they are doing, but the net is dead...
Bad switch provided by the Convention Center. All is well now. Microsoft tech troops did well. Attaboy.
And all the giveway OS disks are for Opteron and Athlon 64: that is as of this morning.
May 6, 2003
I have had enough weirdness to last me the week, and the week is just starting.
Column due tomorrow. I am on by wireless but it was odd getting here. I learned more about configurations that I care to.
And Ws_ftp can delete whole directories without a trace, although I am not sure how it does that. Using a pen for a mouse can lead to things you didn't intend. Beware. [There is a box you can check that says it will not delete non-empty directories. That didn't work. Don't know why.]
I am really in love with the tablet now. If you get one be sure to get to the HP/COMPAQ web site and get the new Operating System improvement code for Windows MP. It is more than noticeably faster. Wonderful!!
Now I have to get back to work but this has been a productive hour getting the wireless net fixed up, learning something about smtp authorizations, and generally discovering some new wrinkles about living on the road.
May 7, 2003
Column is due on the wire tonight and it will get off on time. I won't have all the WinHEC knowledge in it, but it ought to be pretty good.
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
'James Siddall jr' on 5/7/2003 10:45 AM
554 Service unavailable; [126.96.36.199] blocked using relays.osirusoft.com, reason:  send-safe, see http://spews.org/ask.cgi?S1062
I don't know what that means, but I had to go to dialup through earthlink to send mail. Others here have no problem sending mail. But mail.jerrypournelle.com gets that treatment. ALL the mail I send gets that whether it is to one or many recipients. If I go to dialup through mail.earthlink.net that doesn't happen.
It's probably my fault, not the people who run jerrypournelle.com for me, but I sure do not know what to do now. Somehow I manage to have mail service that won't work through the Microsoft Press Room ethernet connection using Outlook. Ain't computers wonderful?
I probably need some kind of ISP mail service that just lets me send stuff through press room ethernet connections. Others in the press room are having no problems. FTP I have no problem with. Internet Explorer I am having no problem with. Maybe I need an msn account? I am very confused here. The worst of it is I suspect I once knew all this and lost it, and that's really frightening.
For all those who wrote to me: 188.8.131.52] has nothing whatever to do with me. It's apparently the address Bell South assigned to the Microsoft Press room. Why my "from" is being translated to that before it gets to my ISP -- it is my own ISP that is rejecting my mail -- I do not know. The chap next to me is getting to his mail server without that indignity, and he's using Outlook just as I am. Robert Thompson is sure it's Outlook's fault, and perhaps so, but I don't see how. Meanwhile I can only send mail when I connect to a dialup service. If I send it any other way I am killed by spam protectors, who have not been able to protect me from about 200 advertisements for viagra and enlargement of my anatomy today.
I have solved the problem and filed the column, and I'll have more to say on this another time. It's rather interesting.
I solved the problem by dropping the Ethernet and using the telephone to connect dialup to Earthlink. That worked, but it was a bit slow. I could have used Earthlink web mail to send == that worked fine == but I have never put my address book in that, and some of the places the column has to go have names that are hard for me to remember. I could of course write them down. Or transfer them to that address book, and one day I guess I will do that.
I still wonder why the Microsoft Press Room is considered spam, and about the usefulness of blocking someone from sending single messages. I can understand a spam blocking system that says no you may not send 100 messages, or 1,000, or 10,000; but I think few spammers do their work one message at a time. Perhaps I have missed something.
Anyway it is midnight, I have to get up early to hear Peter Glaskowsky talk about the future of microprocessor chips, and I'm exhausted.
[The problem was solved at my ISP; they were doing filtering in the wrong order, so that it dumped me before I could authenticate. They fixed that at Mazin/Rocket. The generic problem of Spam On Road remains, and I'll have more on that later.]
May 8, 2003
The mail problem got solved, and I can send mail from the Press Room, and did for part of the day. It was a hectic day but it's over and I can get a good night's sleep before I catch a rather early airplane tomorrow.
It has been a long week and I didn't get done all the things I had hoped to accomplish, but it was worth coming. Now to get home and get some writing done.
With the new code morphing software most of my problems with the Compaq Tablet PC went away. Outlook is still a bit of a pig but it is with any CPU chip. And I find I can use the Tablet PC keyboard quite well for production work, and that's all to the good.
I haven't kept up on news so I don't know much about the world, but I assume it is still there.
May 9, 2003
Home. Tons of mail. Much of it spam of course. It is time to think hard about what to do about spam. Seriously. I am told that there are about 100 spammers who account for 80% of the spam. Their names are known. Their addresses are known. They have declared themselves our enemies. Why is there no way to treat them as such?
The trip was pleasant, and I even got some work done in flight. But I am far behind...
The scammers are at it again, faking mail from Ebay and Paypals that ask for all kinds of identity details. I don't expect any of my readers will be taken in, but warn your friends. They can steal your identity.
DO NOT GIVE YOUR FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL DATA to anyone on the web in response to email of any kind whatever. But you knew that.
Go have a look.
And to avoid SARS, click here.
May 10, 2003
I am starting a new set of pages on Topics of interest. The first one will be on Spam and what to do about it. I will try to put everything on the subject into that page, so that it isn't scattered across mail.
Second Topic: What do we wish our machines would do that they don't do now?
I came across the following:
"Mr. Blair's Times supervisors and Maryland professors emphasize that
he earned an internship at The Times because of glowing
recommendations and a remarkable work history, not because he is
black. The Times offered him a slot in an internship program that was
then being used in large part to help the paper diversify its
Does this strike anyone else as odd?
the Ayatollah Khomeini sums up the duty of all Moslem men to conquer
the infidel because "every part of a non-Moslem is impure in the same
way as are excrement, urine, dog, and wine. Islam does not allow peace
between a Moslem and an infidel."
Which may or may not be revealing or relevant.
May 11 2003
The Lakers won. And it was a good day for Roberta.
The boys gave me a TiVo for Christmas, but the TV it was intended for resides in the back bedroom that used to be the boys' room and is now a combination guest room and TV room; and while we have a telephone there, the telephone is part of my TIE system, and there's no primary phone line. I never ran Ethernet into that room, and Ethernet over AC lines hasn't worked. I finally got a telephone line into there.
TiVo won't hook up unless it can be connected to either a telephone line or the Internet. And you have to activate it, but you can't do that on telephone at night. If you do it on the Internet, it seems to take it hours to learn you have done it.
Meanwhile it Just Doesn't Work, in that the channel you ask for is not the one displayed. I'm told all that will be fixed and it will eventually work. I hope so. Clearly a number of people have managed to get their working. Why mine won't work properly I don't know. Alex is back there trying to teach it that 007 is channel 7, and so forth, and I presume it has to learn that some time. But I have Adelphia cable service so perhaps it won't. Nothing else is simple other than that they want lots of money.
Dan tells me that TiVo is notorious for taking several hours to initialize, but eventually It Just Works. Have faith. So I will.
The thing is that I've been invited to a screening of The Matrix Reloaded on Tuesday night at the Academy theater, and I also want to see the season finale of NYPD Blue (yeah, I know, but Roberta and I do watch that show). With luck TiVo will record the show for me...
And a bogus security warning that's going around.
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