Aimless Ramblings from a Blithering Lunatic . . .

Just another Microsoft MVPs site

Month: May 2004

Finally broadband for everyone?

And no, I’m not talking about satellite  (eww!)


BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) is currently being tested by a few different companies in a few different locations.  The largest provider (Current Communications) has BPL available to over 16,000 households in the Cincinnati area, and plan to make it available to another 50,000 by the end of the year.


Now, I love my cable connection – but the one big advantage BPL has over cable or DSL is symetric speeds of up to 3 Mbps . . .  yep, you read that right – 3 Megabits per second SYMETRIC . . .   WOW!   And the BPL modem plugs into any regular power outlet . . .


http://equipped.msn.com/article.aspx?aid=4


So my next question – if they can give us 3 MBPS internet access over power lines, when are we going to get home/office networking over power lines?  I can see it now – combination NIC / Power Supplies that just have an extra plug to connect to the motherboard for the network connection . . .   Ok, maybe not -afteralll, it would be hell trying to separate your public network from your private network . . .   :^)

Oh stormy night . . .

Saturday night we had some severe weather come through the heartland.  Several tornados, strong winds, hail, torrential rain, etc.  (We usually get storms like these a few times each year . . . )  I had gone out to dinner with family, and was at my aunt & uncle’s when the hardest stuff hit.  When the rain let up enough so that you could actually see (around 10pm), I headed home.  My house is up in the bluffs and sits on a side hill.  It was built in 1940, and the garage is in the basement on the uphill side, so I have a 5′ retaining wall on each side of the driveway.  Yeah, I know it’s weird – but I didn’t build it . . .   As I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that the driveway was flooded – about a foot deep against the garage door, and it was still raining really good.  This has happened to me before – so I knew that something was obviously blocking the drain in the driveway.  I waded over to the drain, cleared some debris (sticks, leaves, etc.) and let the driveway drain.  No problem . . .


Then I opened the garage door . . .


. . . and water came rushing OUT of my basement.  Apparently the seal on my garage door needs replaced – the pressure of the water against the door broke the seal and ran into the garage.  Also, the drain in the garage apparently needed cleaned, and had sand & silt in the bottom which severely slowed the drain.  So the garage drain couldn’t keep up and I ended up with 6” of water in my basement.  Happy happy joy joy!!


My basement is partially finished – my laundry room & office are down there.  Luckily, I got sick of my basement carpet a while ago and ripped it all out, leaving bare cement floor until I found something I liked . . . so that was a big improvement with the whole clean-up process.  Of course I was getting ready to do laundry, and had all of my laundry sorted (on the floor – of course!) – so it was absolutely soaked, and the dirty water stained a few items – luckily nothing too drastic.  As for my office, the biggest casualty was my Action Pack (Oh No!!) that I had left open on the floor earlier that afternoon.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to clean the CDs so they’re usable, but the binder & other materials are pretty much junk.  (Anyone know who I need to contact at MS to get a replacement :^)  ? )  Luckily all of my machines are far enough off the floor that they stayed dry.  However, one power bar was on the floor – which happened to be the power bar that my multifunction unit & server were plugged in to.  I killed the power to the basement right away (but believe it or not, the server & mfu were still on & running even with the power bar under water!)  Once the garage drain was cleaned and the water drained, I made sure everything was unplugged before turning the power back on so I could have lights.  Then came the fun of sucking up the water that was left, starting to do all of the laundry that now desperately needed done and scubbing the entire floor . . .   In the aftermath, the server was a little tempermental when I brought it back online Sunday afternoon, but in the end it came up just fine and has been running great all week.  My mfu didn’t want to turn on – but I could still hear some water in it’s power box, so I left it alone and haven’t touched it since.  Maybe I should check it tonight and see if it has dried out and will actually turn on . . .


I finally got to bed around 3 am and was back up by 8 Sunday morning.  I finished putting the basement back together, and did a few more loads of laundry.  Since I had emptied the garage to aid in the clean up process, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for a little home improvement project I’d wanted to do . . . So while I sorted through everything I had cleaned out of the garage & took a lot of stuff to the garbage, I also thoroughly cleaned & prepped the garage floor, then painted it with RustOleum Epoxy Shield garage floor coating.  (http://www.rustoleum.com/Product.asp?frm_product_id=56&SBL=1&dds=5)  I have to say that the floor turned out GREAT!  The only problem is that since the floor looks so good now, it makes the walls look shitty – so I’m going to have to paint the garage sometime soon . . .  I never cease to be amazed at by ability to make more work for myself . . .  :^)


So, that was my excitement for the weekend . . . You’ve just gotta love weather in the midwest  :^)


 

So, an indecent MVP called . . .

Ok, so my fellow SBS MVP (and twin depending on who you ask) Nick Whittome (www.nte.ie) and I have been working on a project together, and have been trying to get a phone call arranged for about 10 days.  Consider that we are both busier than hell with our own businesses and customers to handle, and we’re dealing with a six hour time difference, and it’s pretty tough to find a mutual time where we can converse.


So Thursday afternoon I’m running a little late with my afternoon appt.  I get back to the office, and Steve (one of my partners) tells me that Nick just called about 10 minutes earlier. 


“Nick?  As in SBS MVP from Ireland – Nick?”


“Yeah.  He said he was heading to the UK and that he was naked, so he’d try to call sometime this weekend.”


Yep – you read that right.  Naked.  NAKED!  I’m standing there still making sure I heard what I heard, and trying to get a very unpleasant mental image out of my mind.  Looks like my therapist is getting a new BMW . . . or two . . .  ;^)


NAKED.  What the hell???


So I’m still standing in the office, looking at Steve who appears a little disturbed by the whole thing . . . After what felt like an eternity, even though it was only seconds, I realized what had just happened.


“Maybe he said ‘knackered’ . . . ?”


There are two primary words in Nick’s vocabulary:  bloody & knackered.  He can’t go three sentences without using either one.  It just doesn’t happen.  Of course, Steve has never met Nick or even talked to him before, so he hadn’t been exposed to Irish slang, then throw in Nick’s accent and a phone, and it isn’t a stretch to see how Steve heard ‘knackered’ as ‘naked’ . . .


Nick and I finally got a phone call this afternoon – but we weren’t able to discuss the project.  I relayed this story to him via IM, and he picked up a phone and called me immediately.  When I answered the phone, all I heard was him laughing hysterically and saying “that’s . . . . the . . . . funniest . . . . bloody . . . . thing . . . . I’ve . . . . ever . . . . heard . . . .  NAKED!”


I’m still laughing . . . this made my week.  Nick naked on his way to the UK . . . And who said the SBS MVPs weren’t a bunch of wild & crazy guys (& gals)?!?