Get the best out your router

Recently I listened to a podcast about the samba project, which contained an intesting critism of the SMB2 protocol in vista (Floss Weekly:Jeremy Allison of Samba). The story went that Microsoft has made the protocol worse to try and create networking issues for non-microsoft machines. The additional traffic that it generates does nothing for the user, causing needless waste in resources.

The conversation also talked about how the GPL has forced companies to be more open than they would have once been. This reminds me off the story of the Linksys WRT54G Router.

iPod Video Resetting

My iPod has recently taken to resetting when I try to play some of my recently downloaded podcasts. When I attempt to play then it seems to crash, rebooting. I see the apple logo, but I don't hear anything of the podcast. I have discovered that if I turn off the Eq feature then all is well. This only happens on certain tracks, and is always at the beginning. It makes me wonder if there is a bad frame or two on the front that causes the equaliser to break.

There's something to look at later.


The Perils of TCP

I've recently been working in an environment supporting legacy webservices. What has surprised me here and elsewhere is how much or a black art TCP is. Seasoned system admins don't always know the weaknesses in the protocol, and often developers don't realise.

Send delays on small packets


Songbird sings your tunes

If you have an iPod, or are into your music you should see Songbird. This player based on some of the same code as firefox could be the bloggers choice for discovering new music. It is already backed by venture capital and is still in alpha: but already feels polished.

Get Songbird


Getting Rid of your Old PC

Faced with talk of identity theft what are you going to do with that old PC in your front room that nobody wants? Perhaps the answer is charity... donate it to Computer Aid.


Napster reinvented

Napster is taking on Apple. It has a new subscription model which makes it much cheaper to fill up your iPod. By paying every month you can download many tracks. In the US, and perhaps in the UK they even give you a basic MP3 player to get you started.


The Story of Vanilla

Vanilla is often used to refer to the normal, like vanilla ice-cream. Recently I bought some natural vanilla flavouring. Fresh vanilla can be quite expensive, so I have some essence. It has a little bit of history on the bottle: vanilla, it turns out, isn't really that common.

Vanilla, the most popular flavour in the world, originated in Mexico. Brought to Europe about 1520 by the explorer cortez, it was first only used in conjunction with cacao beans in a drink called Chocolati. Since 1602 it has been enjoyed as a flavour by itself.

Grown mainly in Madagascar and Indonesia the vanilla bean or pod is the only edible fruit bearing orchid. Each flower, open only one day a year, must be pollinated to produce a pod which requires a labour intensive 3-6 month curing process designed to develop full flavour. About five pounds of harvested pods produce only one pound of cured pods.


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