Net Travel

Getting logged into Hotel Internet with Vista & IE 7

When Paula and I were trying to get logged into Courtyard’s Internet connection on Saturday we couldn’t get connected, the browser just spun it’s wheels then gave us a “page cannot be displayed” message.  The behavior was the same on both my laptop and Paula’s. 

The typical experience signing onto a commercial network is turn on your computer, open a web browser, request a page and you are magically redirected to a sign-in/sign-up page.  The redirect works in some cases (the Westin most recently) and not in others (Marriott).  For some reason some implementations work with Vista and some don’t.  I asked the hotel tech support to log me on from their end but then played with Paula’s computer to try to get hers logged in.

The solution ended up being fairly simple, I turned off protected mode in IE, logged into the hotel Internet, then turned protected mode back on again.

I suppose if you’re stuck in a hotel right now unable to log onto the hotel network you can’t read this.  Ah, the irony.


Feeling a lot less congested today

Speed test two

I spoke to BT today and they had me re-run the speed test.  It’s way better than it was a little over two weeks ago (2543 kb/s vs. 649 kb/s).  I still have no idea if it was contention, line noise or what. I suppose I now know who to call if the issue comes back (and that they’re responsive).

Design Net

Web 2.0 illustrated and explained

Web 2.0 isn’t a technology, it’s a concept: enhance the software (programs) with wetware (humans). WikiPedia, YouTube, Flickr and the like are thriving because the users are part of the equation; creating, editing, organizing and managing the content.

Michael Wesch, a professor of cultural anthropology at KSU created a fantastic video which artfully illustrates Web 2.0.  It’s a fantastic romp through today’s digital landscape… but I’ll warn today’s TV generation… some reading is required.

 Via information aesthetics


I’m doing the math… and I think I’m getting short-changed

My DSL speed seems like it’s been going downhill, so I ran a speed test.

The rate I should be getting? 3072 kbp/s download, 384 kbp/s upload.  Now I have to sit on hold.  What a great way to spend the weekend.

Before you ask, I tried multiple tests on servers in Ireland, England and the US.  Reported download speed ranged from 175 kbps to 972 kpbs (upload was consistently around 300 kbps). 

“All of our agents are currently on calls.  Please hold and your call will be answered in rotation.”  GAH!

Net Video Games

A long way from home


Moving from California to a… well… less warm island can make one long for sunnier climates, Mexican food and definitely makes one miss their friends.  Thank goodness for cheap calls via VOIP, friends with blogs and the wonder that is Xbox live.  Last weekend we had a great time playing a very long-distance game of Ghost Recon. Ah… technology… ain’t it grand?


My favorite podcast

There is a whole mess of entertaining podcasts out there and one can spend hours finding entertaining ones. I have a list of my top podcasts but there definitely is one that sits at the top of my list. But before I go on, I’ll give a brief explanation of what a podcast is.

A podcast is a lot like a radio show you can listen to whenever you choose. Technically it’s little more than a blog post with an audio file attached, but the combination of software and hardware out there has made it very easy to get into subscribing to a large number of progarams. A huge benefit of blogging software is it provides a simple mechanism to an author to publish their work and for readers, a simple mechanism to know when there is new work to be found (last time I talked about blog reading software or “RSS Readers” was 2004 , I think I’ll need to share my findings on that later). But I digress, for more details I point you to Wikipedia for a detailed description.

Back to my original point, my absolute favorite podcast. If you are a regular listener of NPR on the weekends you may have had the occasion to listen “Wait wait… don’t tell me!”. It’s a news quiz with a panel made up of a rotating cast of humorists, authors and comedians. Think of it as one part daily show, one part Ben Stein and four parts high-larious. The absolute best way to get a feeling for it is to listen to the show (which you can do with or without being a podcasting geek). Recently they put out a “best of” show which is a great way to get an introduction to the flavor. Just go to the show page for July 8th, 2006 and click the “listen to the whole show” link. One bit of advice: when it asks you what media player you want to use, don’t select Real Player, it’s evil (and I don’t say that just because Microsoft makes the other choice, I say it because I honestly think the Real Player is crap).

For those of you who use an RSS reader or a Podcast aggregator to download programs automatically, be sure to check out the rest of NPR’s podcasts, they have a lot of quality programming available.

Net Sites

Get Fuzzy Unofficial RSS feed

Many thanks to Patrick for pointing me to the unofficial Get Fuzzy feed.  I can now get my daily dose delivered right to my desk.


Idle Life Net Tech


Well, it’s been a long time (10 years) with Network Solutions but I’ve finally gotten off my lazy butt and moved my domains over to GoDaddy.  The primary reason was to get away from paying $35 a year per domain and bring it down to closer to ten bucks a year.  A little effort to save a little money.

There will be only one casualty in the transfer: the history.  There isn’t much documented in the Network Solutions registration but I always enjoyed being able to go look at the whois record for and find the registration date.  I guess I’ll have to turn to this blog entry to reminisce from now on. – Record created on 27-Jul-1995

Along with this date I might as well record the story behind the registration.

Before working at Microsoft I had a job at a small “start-up” (it wasn’t starting, so I use the term “start-up” loosely) named ResNova Software, Inc.  ResNova’s primary product was a BBS which, among other things, had functionality to aggregate Usenet newsgroups.  Back then there was far less garbage in the newsgroups but there was, strangely enough, a large number of posting from some “John Doe” fellow with the address  Being the curious sort I decided to investigate who owned… turns out no one did.  Being the mischievous sort I decided to register it (domain names were free back then… I’m also the cheap sort).  I used to periodically check the account and respond to the occasional “are you real?” or “test” e-mail messages (and they were occasional).  The account was also useful when I was a test lead on Outlook Express and Entourage for the Macintosh, lots of spam to throw at the product.  Sadly, I can no longer play celebrity as is overrun with e-mail.  Surprisingly the bulk of the mail is no longer spam, it’s bounce messages from all the test mail, junk mail and virus mail purporting to be from can receive around 250 bounce messages per minute (my previous ISP threatened to kick me off his servers because just the mail connection attempts to were melting his servers, there weren’t even any accounts set up).

Today is mainly a traffic generator for my blog.  People show up randomly looking for either the U.S. Department of Energy (which was but is now but still didn’t register, genius!) the Doe Fund ( and, at one time, the Canadian Department of Environment (which used to be but appears to be no longer, it’s moved on, it’s an ex-site…*).  Just for grins I let my online life flow into the real world, my Volvo station wagon has the custom plate “doe com” (if you came here because I cut you off on the freeway, I honestly apologize… it had nothing to do with you, I’m just impatient and meant no offense).

The info above covers just about everything, but it doesn’t answer the most frequently asked question: “Is for sale?”  The answer is, “yes”, of course, everything has its price.  Each time I’m asked I sit down and seriously consider selling the domain name.  I don’t, after all, have a mail server set up, I don’t use the domain name as the identity of my web site and even the traffic it generates is nothing but a cost to me.  Why not sell?  Turns out I’m very sentimental and really don’t want to sell it, but because everything has to have a price I’ve set the price at an $3 Million to cover legal fees, taxes and, of course, pain and suffering for the loss.  I figure that amount is suitably ridiculous to drive off almost all buyers and if someone does come along willing to pony up the ridiculous fee (heck, it’s a three-letter, easy to spell .com domain) I’ll take the money, give half to Uncle Sam, buy something really nice for my wife and put the rest in the bank for retirement.

Oh, I’ll spend a little on my car too, I need new tires for my Volvo… they don’t seem to last for some reason.  Must be something wrong with the car.

* Much love and many apologies to John Cleese

Note from Reeves to Reeves: Before moving the WhoIs showed “ – Record created on 10-May-2002”.  I know the domain is older than that but I’ll have to do some research to find out when I first registered it.

Net Weird

Monday media

A couple of e-mails slowed my progress on work this am…

A random vacation from reality sent by Ellie:

1) Go to
2) Go to “watch this movie”, click on “without subtitles”
3) Enjoy the Romanian beats

A fascinating bit of science fiction sent around by Aditya:

In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline…

Microsoft Net Security Weird

I couldn’t resist

New Tech News World article: Microsoft and Pfizer Team Up Against Viagra Spammers

C’mon, what happened to the good old days of clever headlines?  How about:

“Unwanted advances from Viagra spammers turn off Microsoft and Pfizer”
“Microsoft and Pfizer work to hold down Viagra Spammers”

I’m sure you can do better than that, give me your best headline, click the comment link.

Related story: EarthLink, Microsoft, Pfizer File Barrage of Spam Suits