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Archive for April, 2008

Netgear DG834PN is off-the-wall

April 15, 2008 2 comments

I woke up the other morning to find my DG834G v1 down, and flashing all it’s lights together at me (Netgear response: “Thank you for your contact. My name is Clueless, and I will be your CSA for this particular instant in time. Does not compute.“)

Since it’s at least 4 years old, has always had a few other problems (Does not reliably send its firewall events via Syslog without crashing, and can’t handle WPA-PSK or anything other than WEP without freezing within a day), I thought it was time to replace it. With what, though? My main criteria were:

  • Must have decent wireless
  • Must have ADSL modem built-in
  • Must look good
  • Must wall-mount

So I got the DG834PN.

Except… thanks to some gaps in my research, I found the DG834PN doesn’t wall mount after all. They’ve taken the mounting holes off. Bummer.

OK – so I’ve got that to solve… I will wall mount it, but it may involve some drilling or blu-tack. For that reason, I might see if any of the newer Netgear boxes offer more.
In the meantime, some quick stats. I just quickly tried copying a 705Mb file over wireless, from my IBM Thinkpad T60p with built-in (ie. non-RangeMAX) wireless, in the same room, 4m away – and ran each test twice. The average speeds were:

  • On DG834G using WEP-128 bit : 7 min 10 secs
  • On DG834PN using WPA-PSK:     4 min 50 secs

So… approx a 30% improvement.

So – I might keep it. We’ll see

Categories: Uncategorized

Still no Sign of Spykee

April 8, 2008 Leave a comment

I shall name him.... The Meccano Spykee, Spyke, or Skype (if you typo it, like I do), promised mid-2007, is still a distant speck on the horizon… Play.com have an estimated release of 30/07/08 – and they probably meant 31/07, but forgot July has 31 days.

Anyway, I digress. If you’ve been eagerly awaiting this robot for the past year or so, then Meccano are able to help… with the Spykee Micro!

True, you can’t control it from the Internet, WiFi, Spyke, auto-recharge it… or anything else, really… but on the upside, it is only £19.99, and available from next week from Play.com (promise!).

Or, you can wait for the real thing.

For a lot longer.

Ryanair Online Website goes down / Flight gets Cancelled

April 1, 2008 Leave a comment

You hate us, but still you fly with us. Ha ha ha!

I’m not sure if anyone noticed last weekend, but Ryanair’s website went, as The Register would call it, “titsup“. Trying to book a flight from anywhere, to anywhere, resulted in a quote of 0.00p. Anyone trying to take advantage and actually continuing with the booking, got an error code.

Ryanair, as everyone knows, is the world’s least favourite airline. Aside from safety concerns (in which, to be fair, they’re perhaps not as bad as they could be), they can often take pleasure in customer distress as the only perk in an otherwise hideous job.

In my own recent experience, they suddenly told the 35 people coming to our wedding in Italy this May, that their return flight was no longer running, and they must book an alternative flight, or apply for a refund. “Imagine my surprise” when I saw that the cancelled flight was still available to book! Imagine my greater surprise, when Customer Services happily ‘changed’ my cancelled flight, from the 2105, to the very same 2105, without batting an eyelid!

Theories abound as to why this is. Perhaps they wanted to chuck people off the flight in order to resell the seats at a higher price (but the seat prices haven’t changed). Perhaps they cancelled the flight, and then re-scheduled it for the same time? Or perhaps it was just a symptom of their system falling over.

However, since this is Ryanair, no-one will be getting an email with a correction. None of us will be able to speak to a manager, or even someone who cares, to get all 35 people’s flights changed back to the original times. Instead, we’ve had to ask every single person to phone Ryanair, and request that they ‘change’ their flights to the original time. And with only 1 in 5 calls getting through (at best) due to Ryanair‘s blatantly obstructive call system, it’s taking at anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours for each person to make the change.

There’s no alternative airline at the destinations/times we need, so we don’t have a choice. But you might. So: Don’t fly Ryanair. For your sake. For our sake. For your unborn children’s sake. Please!