Saturday, March 2, 2002

Ooh, the painters were at

Ooh, the painters were at the new house today. So far they have primer completed in the master bedroom, and they've done one layer of primer over the icky yellow color of the second floor.

e.p.c. posted this at 18:11 GMT on 2-Mar-2002 .

The DSL at the new

The DSL at the new house still appears to be out, but it's irrelevant until the phone re-wiring is completed. So far the first floor has been re-wired, two more to go.

e.p.c. posted this at 18:13 GMT on 2-Mar-2002 .

Sliiiiiiiiiiiinky - the world's longest

Sliiiiiiiiiiiinky - the world's longest Slinky?? -- somehow, I don't see building one of these in the new house.

e.p.c. posted this at 18:16 GMT on 2-Mar-2002 .

Monday, March 4, 2002

Wow...the weekend flew by. We

Wow...the weekend flew by. We managed to grab brunch at Noho Star on Saturday then headed up to Strand books. This was a mistake. I forgot that on the weekend, Strand books is the last place for someone who doesn't like crowds in small confined spaces. We quickly fled and walked over to check out a pet store on Greenwich, then circled back to a not-so-crowded B&N. Sunday was reserved for running donations over to Housing Works, checking out the contents of my former apartment (which are in a storage locker in Long Island City) and running coins through a Coinstar machine at the local Pathmark.

e.p.c. posted this at 10:22 GMT on 4-Mar-2002 .

Today's geek adventure was a

Today's geek adventure was a failed attempt to register my cell phone to the AT&T Wireless - AOL Instant Messenger gateway. About halfway through the process (in which 10+ SMS messages must be sent to and acknowledge by your cell phone) my phone ceased receiving messages. None. Zero. Now, about 11 hours later, all of the remaining messages have been received. Gotta say, this isn't looking like a very positive experience (you have to pre-register an AOL shortname to the service which returns with a four digit number to SMS to).

e.p.c. posted this at 23:13 GMT on 4-Mar-2002 .

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

When I checked my cell

When I checked my cell phone this morning, there were another eleven or so SMS messages from the AOL/AT&T AIM gateway.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:06 GMT on 5-Mar-2002 .

Thursday, March 7, 2002

Not much news to report

Not much news to report the last couple of days. I've been working on writing up a patent for the company (with a really tight deadline). Lisa got accepted to UIUC's library science distance learning program. We're still set to move in under a week (suppose that means I need to pack this weekend :-(.

e.p.c. posted this at 19:24 GMT on 7-Mar-2002 .

Friday, March 8, 2002

Hmm...six months ago today I

Hmm...six months ago today I was sitting at home (being a Saturday, and on sabbatical still) planning out my last week of sabbatical. The plan, then, was to spend several days taking photos throughout Manhattan. Unfortunately, that didn't pan out.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:13 GMT on 8-Mar-2002 .

Argh... (yes, that seems to

Argh... (yes, that seems to be a popular way to start my updates). There was a water leak at the new house today...from the sewer line feed to/from the street. The downstairs neighbor discovered it and it turned out to be quite trivial for the plumber to fix (I had visions of replacing 80+ year old drain pipe...and we're not even moved in yet).

e.p.c. posted this at 11:35 GMT on 8-Mar-2002 .

So I spent the morning

So I spent the morning hanging around the new house and realized that the chances of the work being completed on the first floor before we're supposed to move are slim to none. Instead we're going to move on the 18th, giving the painters & carpenters a couple more days to complete the rooms on the first floor (where we'll cram everything until the rest of the house is complete).

e.p.c. posted this at 23:31 GMT on 8-Mar-2002 .

Saturday, March 9, 2002

Yay... Lisa got accepted to

Yay... Lisa got accepted to Syracuse.

e.p.c. posted this at 18:35 GMT on 9-Mar-2002 .

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Oooh...I just received my very

Oooh...I just received my very own copy of the latest virus for MS Windows/Outlook. Hint: if you receive any mail from anyone claiming to be a security update for MS Windows, it's a virus. MS distributes "security" updates via the site.

Unfortunately, the reason I received it appears to be that an ancient email address has been resold to some spam distribution group.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:10 GMT on 10-Mar-2002 .

The leak is back...our downstairs

The leak is back...our downstairs neighbor called to say the basement is flooding again. Double argh.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:48 GMT on 10-Mar-2002 .

Monday, March 11, 2002

Such a crystal clear day.

Such a crystal clear day.

e.p.c. posted this at 07:47 GMT on 11-Mar-2002 .

And so quiet too.

And so quiet too.

e.p.c. posted this at 07:49 GMT on 11-Mar-2002 .

Thankfully, the FAA has rerouted

Thankfully, the FAA has rerouted air traffic over the city today (or we lucked out with approaches to LGA being routed over Brooklyn).

e.p.c. posted this at 08:20 GMT on 11-Mar-2002 .

Brooklyn Heights, NY 11 March

Brooklyn Heights, NY 11 March 2002 9:07 P.M.Image depicting lower Manhattan Skyline on 11 March 2002

e.p.c. posted this at 21:46 GMT on 11-Mar-2002 .

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Aaargh. C local took forever

Aaargh. C local took forever to get to midtown.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:12 GMT on 12-Mar-2002 .

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Some games aren't a

Some games aren't a good article at InfoWorld about the state of consumer software today. You thought that just because you paid money or otherwise legally obtained that software that you can use it any way you want?

e.p.c. posted this at 14:28 GMT on 13-Mar-2002 .

Caught a production of Cymbeline

Caught a production of Cymbeline at BAM tonight. The production was rather minimalist by the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre company, touring in the U.S. I thought the show was excellent, the only drawback being the somewhat painful seats at the BAM Harvey Theater.

e.p.c. posted this at 23:16 GMT on 13-Mar-2002 .

Friday, March 15, 2002

So, we're moving over to

So, we're moving over to the new house over the weekend. Packing on Sunday, moving on Monday. Today, our phone number was to be switched over to the new house (it's < 1500 feet away and served by the same CO). Only problem is that we're "served" by the local telco monopoly known as Verizon. First, one of the lines rang this morning. Since it was really early, I didn't catch which line it was (since either will ring to the phone in our bedroom). Then, later as I was getting stuff together to go to work, I noticed that line 2 was off-hook. Checking the phone I learned it was dead. On its own, this wasn't a surprise. We've long learned to expect that line to be dead any time we see a Verizon truck in the neighborhood, they seem to be incapable of making service changes without taking one or more in-production lines down. So...Lisa calls Verizon to report that line 2 is dead (we were going to shut it off some time after the move) and ask about the move of the line 1 number. Verizon promptly reconnects Line 2 and disconnects Line 1, but doesn't forward. However, that wasn't quite what we wanted as they literally disco'd the line, no forwarding on the order, nothing. Over the next several hours, Lisa called Verizon and they called her (at one point apparently admitting that they didn't know where the line was ringing as they had to ask her where she was picking up the phone).

So...tomorrow we try again since it's unclear whether our main line is working or not.

On top of this, I still cannot get Cloud9 to get the ADSL working at the new house. Suspiciously, they use Verizon as their CLEC (or whatever the term is). The box lights up, the DSL light lights up, the connect speed shows a nice 1.5 down/768 up. But no routing, no ping, nada.

e.p.c. posted this at 22:48 GMT on 15-Mar-2002 .

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Verizon, the local telco monopoly,

Verizon, the local telco monopoly, decided to stun us today with sheer incompetence. Some background: in December we bought a house three blocks from our present home and started the planning to move. Being a relatively wired couple, we made lots of inquiries to DSL providers and Verizon to ensure that we had a smooth transition. I won't go into the Cloud 9 tale here for now, but Verizon at the outset assured us that we could move our main number to the new house with absolutely no problems. No problems whatsoever. I mean, it's in the same CO. Periodic checks with Verizon (due partially to our over zealous belief we'd move in sooner) continued to confirm that moving the number would be no problem. Yesterday (Friday), through all of the calls Lisa made, not once was it raised as an issue. They couldn't keep the lines straight, but moving the number was a non-issue, after all, for the most part it's simply a software assignment on the switch.

Today? Today we call Verizon, as a followup to yesterday's adventures. This time, just for kicks, they tell us that under no circumstances would it be possible to move the number. Can't be done. Nope, no way. Well, for a "mileage charge" they might consider it. However, it's usually not done. We then began a 90 minute marathon call with a Verizon supervisor. After all, we'd been told repeatedly it'd be no problem, we'd gone off and printed out "we've moved" cards with the number on them, and frankly, were quite upset that the day before our move they suddenly "realize" (decide) it can't be done. I won't go into the details, since there weren't many other than the hold music on the help line is, well, not appealing. By the end of the day, we had both lines at the old house shut down, and moved (in theory) to the new house. No explanation of why it went from possible, to absolutely impossible, to "sure, we can have it done by 5:00".

e.p.c. posted this at 23:51 GMT on 16-Mar-2002 .

Sunday, March 17, 2002

It's Moving Day!. The movers

It's Moving Day!. The movers are here already. Actually, properly today is packing day, tomorrow is moving day.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:06 GMT on 17-Mar-2002 .

A packing day update... The

A packing day update...

The living room and kitchen are now packed (for the most part) and the movers are taking a lunch break. The LAN is dissassembled (except for one cable & the hub). The iMac is packed.

And, it wouldn't be an update without another Verizon story. The movers arrived around 9:00. Around 9:30 guys from Verizon ring the buzzer and ask to be let in. They're here to fix the problem with Line 2. We tell them "oh, well, see, Line 2 was dead Friday, however it's since been moved to the other house." They are a tad perplexed since they just tested the line and it worked fine, of course, it's not wired to our house anymore (or routed). We haven't gone over to the new house yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the two lines which were working last night at 5:00 are now, again, not working. Or maybe answering to different numbers.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:41 GMT on 17-Mar-2002 .

Monday, March 18, 2002

Now it's moving day. I'm

Now it's moving day. I'm now at house (1) with the movers who are busily carting boxes downstairs to take over to house (2). On one hand it seems kind of silly, we're moving a total of four blocks (I tend to say three but it's three one direction and one in another direction). But, I have no desire to trundle the stuff down and then back up the flights of stairs. Or deal with parking.

e.p.c. posted this at 09:15 GMT on 18-Mar-2002 .

The movers are still moving...

The movers are still moving... Have most of the apartment loaded in the truck, a few odds and ends and some boxes remain.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:59 GMT on 18-Mar-2002 .

The easy part of the

The easy part of the move is done. After nearly nine hours, probably 100 boxes, packing tape, movers blankets, and a good deal of rain (we like rain in NYC these days), it's done. Now, the hard part: where does everything go? This would be a tad easier if the construction were complete, but it's not. The only room ready is the bedroom, everything else has a nice layer of dust and in most cases primer paint.

e.p.c. posted this at 18:52 GMT on 18-Mar-2002 .

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Spent the night in the

Spent the night in the new house (after two nights at the W Union Square...highly recommended if you're ever in Manhattan). Got the DSL working finally. Appears that Verizon was the source of the problem (no surprise), not Cloud9.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:31 GMT on 20-Mar-2002 .

Argh. On the plus side,

Argh. On the plus side, the ADSL is indeed working, and I managed to get the wifi gateway running as well (which is absolutely necessary since none of the Cat-5e is terminated yet). On the minus side...our painter called me at work to tell that water was leaking into the kitchen area. It's actually just in front of the kitchen, right under the door to the deck on the upper floor. There wasn't much water, however there's no telling where the water is actually coming in or where it's flowing it, it just conveniently found the place where the electricians had to punch a hole to drip through.

e.p.c. posted this at 18:01 GMT on 20-Mar-2002 .

From the weird WiFi files

From the weird WiFi files department... Linksys 802.11 PC Card in my company issued Thinkpad T21 gets excellent signal but can't for the life of it get an IP address from the LinkSys AP across the room (maybe 3 metres at most). Same card, in a Thinkpad X21, connects fine.

e.p.c. posted this at 23:01 GMT on 20-Mar-2002 .

Thursday, March 21, 2002

So today Time Warner upgraded

So today Time Warner upgraded us to "digital cable"...this to make up for not getting the DirectTV dish installed (and that we may not have enough clearance to get the DirectTV signal). Well, I'm not impressed. There's many mpeg artifacts in the Time Warner feed, moreso than I've ever seen in the DirectTV feed (an artifact is a weird image glitch due to compressing and decompressing the video signal). We'd see them occasionally on the DirectTV feed, usually in windy weather. However, in 30 minutes of watching various channels tonight, we saw them everywhere. I even checked on a TV w/o a Tivo installed to make sure it wasn't the Tivo interacting poorly with the cable feed. Net: planning on hooking up the DirectTv dish this weekend.

e.p.c. posted this at 21:10 GMT on 21-Mar-2002 .

Friday, March 22, 2002

As possibly one of my

As possibly one of my more stupid moves, I registered tonight. CBDTPA is the acronym for the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act, introduced as S.2048 this week by Senator Hollings. I recommend looking through Declan McCullagh's Politech for some relevant links about this bill. (update: would help if I pasted the URL in. The URL is

e.p.c. posted this at 21:53 GMT on 22-Mar-2002 .

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Time Warner Cable of NYC

Time Warner Cable of NYC upgraded us to Digital Cable on Thursday. Thursday night we had cable channels, but no broadcast channels. Friday night we had broadcast channels (and NY1) but no cable channels. Tonight, still no cable channels. Oh, but it's better. There's no cable only channels on our unit downstairs. Our unit in the kitchen gets all channels (I think we have extended basic so we're supposed to get 60 or so channels, you know, five home shopping channels, six non-english channels, and the occasional interesting channel). The kitchen unit gets all channels, however the cable only channels look like crap, there's no other way to describe them. The picture has terrible MPEG decoder artifacts and the audio is consistently off.

Time Warner has offered to send someone by on Friday the 29th. I figure that should be ok, we'll have the DirectTV hooked up again the cable guy can pick up two of the cable boxes (we'll keep one to get NY1).

e.p.c. posted this at 19:49 GMT on 23-Mar-2002 .

Monday, March 25, 2002

Spent the day doing more

Spent the day doing more unpacking, cleaning & scrubbing the grills on the stove and oven. Caught Robin Williams at BAM followed by a brief exposure to the Oscars at Cori & Josh's Oscar party. The rest of the evening was spent in a desperate attempt to find Lisa's missing cellphone. Apparently it's 1) on silent mode and 2) set to forward calls to the home line after four rings so it's not exactly easy to find. By the end of the night, not only had we not found her phone, we also realized that one of the home wireless phones is missing. This would all make sense if we lost them during the move, but we've lost both after being in the apartment for a week!

e.p.c. posted this at 00:49 GMT on 25-Mar-2002 .

Oh, and the Time Warner

Oh, and the Time Warner Digital Cable is still screwed up. Near as I can tell, we have two separate cable feeds, with the bedroom getting a basic channels feed (that randomly switches to a "bigger" feed) and the kitchen getting the larger common feed. DirectTv should be able to have the install completed Friday.

e.p.c. posted this at 00:54 GMT on 25-Mar-2002 .

Today the painters cleared out

Today the painters cleared out temporarily so that we can hose seder on Wednesday night. The construction guys managed to rebuild a temporary wall which had been removed so we could move furniture in. Oddly, a drawer from the kitchen disappeared. All I can figure is that the construction guys took it to try to match the wood for the support they're building for one of the cabinets (the cabinets are suspended from the ceiling and, well, don't look too sturdy, the support is only 4 inches and it's rea of the counter we'd never use anyway).

The cable still doesn't work. DirectTv will be shipping us a new multi-satellite dish this week but it appears to take 5-8 days to get the installation scheduled. I'd try but I have no inclination to figure the declination of the satellite, or to try to figure out how to mount the dish on the roof.

The closing on the Cranberry St apartment is tomorrow. Lisa and I will do final walkthroughs tonight (I suspect the fridge still has stuff in it).

e.p.c. posted this at 19:25 GMT on 25-Mar-2002 .

Ooh...TWC just called to confirm

Ooh...TWC just called to confirm our 'cable appointment' for Friday between 8 and noon. Suppose this means I need to disconnect the Tivo since that seems to throw them from their scripted routine.

e.p.c. posted this at 19:45 GMT on 25-Mar-2002 .

The only downside to keeping

The only downside to keeping the same phone numbers as at our old place is that we continue to get the same wrong-number calls.

e.p.c. posted this at 19:48 GMT on 25-Mar-2002 .

Hmm...not sure which tweak it

Hmm...not sure which tweak it was, but the wireless is now working quite well. The AP is on the second floor of the house. I'm sitting in the den on the fourth floor and still have connectivity (poor, but good enough to do general networking things). Wouldn't try downloading anything of major size, but surfing is quite responsive.

e.p.c. posted this at 21:56 GMT on 25-Mar-2002 .

Friday, March 29, 2002

Hollings Goes for Tech's Throat,

Hollings Goes for Tech's Throat, and Your Rights [Dan Gillmor's eJournal]

e.p.c. posted this at 08:02 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Howling Mad Over Hollings' Bill.

Howling Mad Over Hollings' Bill. Millions of people have networked their stereos, computers and television sets to take relaxation to a new level, but a proposed law could make those networks useless. By Brad King. [Wired News]

e.p.c. posted this at 08:03 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Working from home today (ok,

Working from home today (ok, technically I'm off for the holiday), waiting for the Time Warner Cable folks to come by and fix the problem with the cable. DirectTV can't do the install until the 8th so we still need cable working (if only for NY1). It's been a busy week, the house looked like a disaster as recent as Tuesday morning but we were ready to host Seder Wednesday night. I think we'll spend the weekend recovering and looking for the remaining "immediate" items we need (somewhere there's a box with all of the cables for the TV/receiver setup). Next weekend we're off to Boston to pick up Frisket, our 8 week old golden retriever.

e.p.c. posted this at 08:43 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Oh, and in my own

Oh, and in my own small contribution to fighting the stupidity that is the CBDTPA, I've decided to cease buying any CDs or DVDs. The MPAA, RIAA and various corporations backing them have essentially made it untenable for me to continue buying their products. They seem to forget that the very people they are targetting are their customers. Hello?

e.p.c. posted this at 09:28 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Argh. Time Warner Cable has

Argh. Time Warner Cable has earned a place in my eternal enmity list. After staying home all morning and answering the door repeatedly for other deliveries (so I know that the buzzer works), and seeing no sign of the TWC service tech, I called their customer service line. Their response: the tech came and left because there was no one at home. So...either, the tech did not come to this house, or the tech came to the house and went to the entrance for the lower apartment, or the tech came to the house and went to the right door, but pressed the wrong buzzer (not the one next to Kamm/Costello), or the tech just didn't come at all. Given this is the second or third time in two months that we've been given the "we came to the house but no one was home" excuse, I'm tending to believe the tech never made it to the neighborhood, ran late, or otherwise decided to blow us off.

So...we're cancelling one of the cable services, dropping the other down to basic, and waiting patiently for the DirectTV installation on the 8th. Did I mention that the DirectTv installation date was picked at our convenience?

e.p.c. posted this at 11:08 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Yahoo! appears to have cut

Yahoo! appears to have cut off POP access today...I thought it was going to occur mid-April. While I like Yahoo! and have even paid for some of their other services, the POP thing was kind of silly since they didn't bundle it with, for example, the 25Mb mail account option.

e.p.c. posted this at 11:11 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Thinking about redesigning my personal

Thinking about redesigning my personal site. Suggestions are welcome.

e.p.c. posted this at 13:23 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Ok...that was weird. A post

Ok...that was weird. A post I edited last week became a new post today when I categorized it...not sure that's the way this is supposed to work.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:43 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 . seems to be a seems to be a good place consolidating content about the CBDTPA.

e.p.c. posted this at 14:45 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

After looking all day, I

After looking all day, I still can't find the one critical box that's still missing...the TV/Receiver/DVD cable and remote control box. I know that as soon as I hand over my credit card at J&R the box will magically reappear.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:19 GMT on 29-Mar-2002 .

Sunday, March 31, 2002

So, I managed to find

So, I managed to find enough cables to get the TV working again. I also figured out the source of the problem with the cable. Basically, the installer just dropped off the digital cable boxes and confirmed that digital service had been turned on for the house. What he didn't do was to swap out the existing analog splitters for digital splitters. I figured this out simply by eliminating the splitter from the line. Suddenly voila, the remaining feed worked well.

e.p.c. posted this at 15:35 GMT on 31-Mar-2002 .

The FAA has a site

The FAA has a site I found through the article Concerns Mount Over Exposure To Radiation on Airline Flights at WSJ Online. You know, I used to like flying but this gives me pause...the worst flights appear to be ones over the North Pole or North Atlantic.

e.p.c. posted this at 16:35 GMT on 31-Mar-2002 .

Thousands in Manhattan Needed Therapy

Thousands in Manhattan Needed Therapy After Attack, Study Finds... duh!

e.p.c. posted this at 16:43 GMT on 31-Mar-2002 .

Slightly acerbic and eccentric dog walker who masquerades as a web developer and occasional CTO.

Spent five years running the technology side of the circus known as

More about me here.