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Archive for February, 2007

Crash on the Waterfront

Posted by pete on 25th February 2007

Today, I did a double feature of movies Lis didn’t want to see. The early show was Crash. I really enjoyed this movie. It was amazing how easily and believably these characters could slip into racial stereotypes, both in believing and being them. Nobody was spared. Yet, at the same time, all the characters were believable and, mostly likable. I especially liked Michael Peña as Daniel. Another flick to send back to NetFlix now.

The late show was On the Waterfront. This movie felt a bit dated and simplistic to me. The acting was mostly good, but a lot of actors were given cliched parts and could only do so much with them. Everything just felt too neat and tidy. The romance felt forced unlikely. Come on, Edie was all torn up about her brother just being killed, but, “Hey, he looks cute…” Edie makes one critical comment to Father Barry, then he suddenly decides to take up social activism? I don’t know. Maybe in the context of its contemporaries, On the Waterfront was a great movie, but now… to me it’s only eh. Still, I was glad the TiVo picked it up and that I had the chance to watch it. I am also sure that Lis won’t be upset with me for having deleted it.

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CYA Security

Posted by pete on 22nd February 2007

Here is another good post by Bruce Schneier on why we continue to poor so much good money into broken security and why those broken systems continue to persist. It makes complete sense to me: it’s not stupidity, it’s lack of… backbone and there’s no incentive for public officials to do otherwise.

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Server Work

Posted by pete on 21st February 2007

Our server will be down on Sunday, Feb 25th, from 10am EST to around 6pm. It might be up earlier. How early depends on how you define “up.”

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A-Peel-Ing

Posted by pete on 17th February 2007

I’ve been looking for this application for so long and I never knew it. Peel rocks! I love having browser-based feed readers, but there were just some feeds that I only read on my MBP, because that’s where I keep my music. Now, I can keep my music feeds in Peel and other feeds in Google Reader. Plus, Peel makes it a bit easier getting those juicy MP3 into iTunes, adding them directly as I download them. It’s still a beta release and will cost $15 when it’s officially open, but, man oh man, this is good stuff. I’d pay for it now if I had the chance.

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EXTREME Networking

Posted by pete on 11th February 2007

The other day I was over at the Apple Store picking up a replacement power support for Lisa’s MBP. (I have no idea how she managed to fray this one, what with the mag-safe and all, but she did….) Anyway, while there, I saw the Airport Extreme and, well, it was too powerful.

The next day, I plugged it into our home network. It’s a pretty nifty little box. Nicely designed and packaged. I’ve never worked with one of Apple’s Airport base stations, so setup was a complete mystery to me. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t sure how difficult it’d be to do. I’ve already to a Linksys WRT54GS v2 running OpenWRT. This is my main gateway device and sits connected to our cable modem. I still wanted the WRT to serve as our non-802.11n AP and do all the normal stuff it’s been doing, but I wanted to be able to connect to the Airport Extreme with all 802.11n devices, such as my MBP and the soon-to-arrive Apple TV. In other words, I wanted it to run in bridge mode, with WPA2 PSK encryption, MAC filtering, and no beaconing.

While in the process of trying to set up the Airport Extreme, I messed up the WRT. It seems that I missed the recent release announcement, so when I updated the packages on it, things got all hinky and the wireless part stopped working. Luckily, I had the Extreme, so I quickly replicated the WRT’s wireless settings and Lisa was back online wirelessly. I waited until she was done, then went about applying the appropriate updates to the WRT. After it was back online, I, once again set the Extreme up the way I originally wanted it.

Of course, this is when I notice that the Airport Extreme has support for profiles. Had I known ahead of time, I could have put our default config in one profile and a “mimic the WRT” config in another and switch them back and forth. Easy-peasy.

Overall, I’m very happy with the Airport Extreme. It’s a nice, flexible base station. I don’t think its flexibility comes anywhere near that of the WRT54GS running OpenWRT, but as a stock base station, it’s the ginchy-ist and in the not-too-distant future, I can see us adding an external USB hard drive for easy backups.

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