Saturday, October 29, 2005

Partial server install

This morning I made a site visit to one of my clients. They are going to start using Ideal Planroom for their customers and so needed a new server installed. They got a nice Dell Poweredge dual 3.0 GHz Xeon box with a bunch of SCSI disk space. I'd been expecting to setup all the hardware today, but the tape autoloader and equipment cabinet, including the rackmount keyboard and LCD monitor, haven't arrived yet.

In the meantime, after doing my regular maintenance on their file and mail servers, we got the new Dell out of the box and temporarily hooked it up to their LAN so I could verify its hardware configuration and complete the initial Windows 2003 Server config, including installation of IIS.

The tape autoloader and cabinet are supposed to arrive Monday. Assuming they do come in, I'll go back in a week to finish the installation.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Federal Govt. Recognizes the Second Amendment as an Individual Right

Amid all the hoopla regarding the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act (S.397), passed last week by Congress and signed this week by the President, largely overlooked are the Congressional findings included in the law:

(a) Findings- Congress finds the following:

(1) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

(2) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of individuals, including those who are not members of a militia or engaged in military service or training, to keep and bear arms.

As pointed out at the Volokh Conspiracy, courts are not bound by Congressional findings when interpreting constitutional provisions, however, such findings may be influential in a particular case. This is a Good Thing, and hopefully gets us a bit closer to the time when courts routinely recognize the 2A's status as an individual right on par with free speech, etc.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

In contrast with Louisiana ...

... at least one Floriday legislator thinks that citizens should not be disarmed due to the declaration of an emergency. Found in Arfcom's General Discussion forum:


October 25, 2005 (321) 984-4848


TALLAHASSEE - Representative Mitch Needelman (R-Melbourne) today announced the filing House Bill (HB) 285 to preserve the right of citizens to lawfully possess weapons during an officially declared state of emergency.

"Recent events in the New Orleans area during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina demonstrate that citizens' right to keep and bear arms are especially important during a state of emergency," said Representative Needelman, a retired State Law Enforcement Officer. "The very basis for the Second Amendment is to empower citizens with the right to self-protection-and when is self-protection more critical than in a time of disaster?"

HB 285 clarifies the authority of the governor during a declared emergency by asserting that "nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the seizure, taking, or confiscation of
firearms that are lawfully possessed."

The New York Times reported in early September that legally possessed firearms were being confiscated from law abiding citizens, quoting the superintendent of police that "only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons." A Louisiana state statute allows the chief law enforcement officer to "regulate possession" of firearms during declared emergencies.

"HB 285 will ensure that the unconstitutional stripping of citizens' rights does not occur during emergencies in Florida," said Representative Needelman. "We have an opportunity to reassert the right to bear arms and avoid the clear violation that occurred in Louisiana."

HB 285 has been filed for consideration in the 2006 Session of the Florida Legislature. The Legislature is slated to convene on March 7, 2006.

It would be nice to see something similar at the Federal level.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Brazilians reject gun ban!

By a margin of about 64 to 36%, Brazilians have rejected a civilian disarmament scheme. Obviously something needs to be done about their violent crime, but disarming victims isn't it.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Support for Brazilian gun ban weakening

Brazil is set to hold a referendum on whether or not to ban civilian sales of guns and ammunition. As with all other civilian disarmament schemes, the purported goal is to reduce violent crime. Reports I've read over the past couple of weeks indicated that the referendum was certain to pass.

But a funny thing happened when Brazilians were able to hear both sides of the debate:

Before the referendum, support for the ban was running as high as 80 percent. But in the weeks before the referendum, both sides were granted free time to present their cases on prime-time TV, and the pro-gun lobby began to grow.

In a survey released Wednesday by Toledo & Associates, 52 percent of those questioned said they would vote against the ban, while 34 percent would support it. The poll questioned 1,947 people in 11 Brazilian state capitals on Oct. 8-15, and had a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points.

"Most of the media supported the ban, so before the television spots, nobody gave it much thought, but when the pro-gun lobby got equal time the opinion really shifted," said Jessica Galeria, who researches gun violence for the Viva Rio think tank. "They were smart, using images of Nelson Mandela, Tiananmen Square and the Berlin Wall to link owning a gun with freedom."

The media greatly influences public opinion. If the media presents only a certain point of view then it is easy to sway public opinion in a desired direction. But force the media to let the marketplace of ideas flourish, and the end result may be quite different.

A liberal-dominated media wont to present only its own editorial opinion as unbiased news has cursed the US for decades. Thankfully, the Internet has changed this for the better. Yes, the 'net is full of filth, but the low barriers to entry enable all viewpoints to be heard, even those that mainstream media dislikes.

This is a perfect example of why communications monopolies and censorship -- by the government or corporations -- are bad.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Gun day

The weather today was crummy -- rainy and chilly. With outdoor activities off the agenda, I found myself at Surplus City this afternoon.

I've been considering giving the FAL platform another try, and wound up getting a new Century R1A1 FAL. The parkerzing job looks nice, it was clean inside, and the barrel appears to be new after running a couple of patches through the bore. I'm not sure if the thing on the muzzle is a brake or a flash suppressor, but I think it's the latter. It's no-ban style, i.e., it has the recesses to allow bayonet mounting. The cocking handle is obviously a used part and shows some wear. The lower reciever is originally from a full-auto rifle, and the selector will rotate all the way forward to the auto position, although of course the rifle will only shoot semiauto. There's a grenade launcher site mounted over the gas port adjustment. It came with two magazines, so I'll need to pick up some more. Luckily, FAL mags are cheap. The furniture is US-made. The butt is pretty conventional for a FAL, while the plastic handguards are styled after the steel handguard on the STG-58 FAL variant. One thing I find annoying is that Century doesn't put a sling swivel on the butt, so until I do so there's no way to attach a sling to the rifle. In any event, I hope to get it to the range before Thanksgiving.

I wasn't the only one to pick up a new toy today. My brother Josh went to Seneca Arms in Green Lane, and found a beautiful Smith & Wesson Model 19-3 made in 1974. It's still in the original box, with all the papers, including the protective wax paper that the gun shipped wrapped in. It had the merest trace of a turn ring on the cylinder. The gun looks new, even though it's 31 years old. It was so nice that if I'd bought it, it would be a safe queen. He also bought a box of Federal .38 Special 158 grain Nyclad HPs, which I convinced him to not shoot, as they are discontinued and will be a collector's item.

Since the Model 19 is his and not mine, after dinner Josh, my dad and I hit the indoor range at the Lower Providence Rod & Gun Club. The Smith shoots. He shot a 6 round group that could be covered with a half-dollar. Josh also had his Springfield M1911, which he's still working out extractor issues with, and a Browning BuckMark.

Dad brought his S&W Model 625. This is a recent production gun with the built-in lock and the frame mounted firing pin. The action has slicked up a lot since he got it (it was atrocious at first), but it'll never get to the level of Josh's or my 625s, which are older models with lighter hammer springs.

I brought my Springfield M1911 Loaded and Browning High Power Practical. Ammo was Sellier & Bellot FMJ in both .45 ACP and 9mm. I've had good results with S&B, up until tonight. The High Power ran fine, but the Springfiled kept choking on the S&B. It's extremely reliable with Winchester White Box and Federal American Eagle, but I experienced several failures to eject with the S&B .45 tonight. Several times, extracted cases became jammed in the magazine's feed lips, with two different mags. At the end of the night I had a single .45 round, which I fired after loading it directly into the chamber without a mag in the gun. It ejected downward, through the magazine well, which was simply bizzare. S&B .45 from the same lot has run just fine in my Ruger P90 and IIRC, my Marlin Camp .45. I think I'm going to standardize on WWB or FAE .45 in the future, though.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Different views on S.397 Part 4

Finally, from The Firearms Coalition:

From The Firearms Coalition:

The House of Representatives today passed the Protection of Lawful
Commerce in Arms Act with amendments added by the Senate to require
trigger locks be sold with all guns sold by dealers (current law
requires trigger locks be sold only with new guns). The bill also
redefines armor-piercing ammunition in a manner that amounts to no
substantial change, and calls for a study by the Attorney General of
performance standards of body armor and ammunition. Such standards
already exist (that's where the vest classifications, Type II, Type IIA
and so on come from).

Some of our friends worked very hard against passage of the bill because
they considered the amendments cause for killing the bill. We disagree.
While we don't like the amendments, the bill is a net gain for gun owners.

This is a case where, as my late, lamented father Neal Knox used to say,
"the perfect is the enemy of the good." It is only the most recent
example the other side adapting while the pro-gun side has remained stuck.
The time has come to take a couple of pages from the
anti-rights crowd's playbook:

· Work for strategic incremental changes

It isn't hard to spot cases where the other side has grabbed small
victories. Amendments to the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act provide only one
example. But the important incremental changes are strategic such as
separating gun rights from other civil rights by banning gun
ownership for certain misdemeanors.

There are many opportunities for the pro-rights side to make incremental
changes going the other way. Some could be truly far-reaching.

One example is a clean-up of the "sporting purposes" language of the 1968
Gun Control Act. According current law, the only justification for
civilian ownership of a firearm is if it is "particularly suitable for
sporting purposes." Maybe it's time for Federal law to recognize the
legitimacy of armed self defense. It would certainly make an
interesting debate.

· In politics there is no fourth quarter

Once a bill is passed there is nothing to prevent going back for another
bite at the apple. The other side did it in 1986 when they attached a
machine gun ban to the McClure-Volkmer Gun Owner Protection Act, the first
time in American history that any firearm had been banned.

No rule says if we've passed one bill that we can't pass another, or that
we can't take back next session what we lost in this one.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. The game, God willing, is
never over.
Of the different views presented, The Firearms Coalition's most closely match my own. I don't like the mandatory inclusion of trigger locks with all guns sold. In many cases, trigger locks are more dangerous to the gun owner than an unlocked gun. But, this bill as a whole is an incremental step in the right direction. We have slowly been winning back our rights on the national level. We can't expect to get them all back at once, and I regard the trigger lock thing as a temporary sop, something we can come back to next year and rid ourselves of.

Different views on S.397 Part 3

Next up, CCRKBA:


BELLEVUE, WA – Passage today by the House of Representatives of S. 397 was hailed by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) as an important tort reform accomplishment that will put an end to junk lawsuits against the firearms industry.

"This important legislation will stop the anti-gunners cold in their attempts to bankrupt firearms manufacturers, distributors and retailers," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. "It closes an important loophole through which extremist gun grabbers have been trying to use the courts to crush gun ownership in this country, when they could not get Congress or state legislatures to do their bidding."

"This common sense legislation," added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, "is long overdue. It sends a clear signal to the anti-gun lobby that mainstream America has had enough of their attempts to have their political agenda forced on us all by the courts.

"In the past six years, since the first lawsuit was filed by the City of New Orleans," Waldron recalled, "tens of millions of dollars have been spent by the industry defending against these harassment legal actions. That's money that could have been spent on research and development, and safety education efforts."

Noting that none of the dozens of municipal lawsuits so far filed has ultimately prevailed, Gottlieb stated, "It was obvious from the outset that these lawsuits were designed more for generating headlines than helping crime victims. Yet agenda-driven politicians, supported by the anti-gun lobby, kept going to court, and the reason is now clear. They wanted to break American firearms manufacturers, not for the public benefit, but because they simply hate guns. They hate the people who make them, and especially the people who own them.

"For too many years," Gottlieb concluded, "the small, but very shrill gun control lobby has pushed legislation to take our gun rights, and used an all-too-cooperative media to distort the truth about gun owners and the Second Amendment. When that didn't work, they resorted to the courts and a handful of mercenary, politically-motivated attorneys, all in an attempt to destroy a fundamental civil right by financially devastating a perfectly legal industry. Their extremism has been dealt a serious blow, and in the process, an important step toward legal reform has been taken, and American gun owners should thank every member of Congress who voted for this measure."

Different views on S.397 Part 2

Here's the NRA-ILA's press release:

Historic Victory For NRA
U.S. House Of Representatives Passes
The "Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act"

(Fairfax, VA) - Today the United States House of Representatives passed the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" (S. 397) by a bipartisan vote of 283-144. The legislation now moves to President Bush's desk for his expected signature.

Commenting on the passage of this landmark legislation, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said, "This is an historic victory for the NRA. Freedom, truth and justice prevailed, and today S. 397 is one step closer to becoming the law of the land. No other industry is forced to defend themselves when a violent criminal they do not know, have never met and cannot control, misuses a legal non-defective product. American firearms manufacturers will now receive the same fair treatment."

The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" seeks to end predatory and baseless lawsuits initiated nationwide by the gun control lobby. These lawsuits sought to bankrupt a lawful, highly regulated industry by holding the manufacturers and retailers responsible for the unforeseeable acts of criminals. S. 397 passed the Senate in late July with a bipartisan vote of 65-31.

Joining LaPierre in commenting on this victory, NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox added, "Our judicial system has been exploited for politics and Congress put a stop to that. Passage of the 'Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act' would not have been possible without the support of the 257 House co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. We appreciate the tireless efforts of Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Rick Boucher and the Republican members of House leadership who worked to move the bill in this chamber.

"We are a safer country today because Congress passed this critical legislation and acted to save American icons like Remington, Ruger, Winchester and Smith & Wesson from politically motivated lawsuits. Our men and women in uniform abroad and at home now will not have to rely on France, China or Germany to supply their firearms," Cox added.

During Senate debate earlier this year, the Pentagon stated its concern over the consequences if the American firearms industry was litigated into extinction. The Department of Defense stated that it "strongly supports" S. 397 citing, "that passage of S. 397 would help safeguard our national security by limiting unnecessary lawsuits against an industry that plays a critical role in meeting the procurement needs of our men and women in uniform."

"I would like to thank our members who played a pivotal role in making this bill a reality. Together, we have saved the American firearms industry and protected the sanctity of the Second Amendment," concluded LaPierre.

National Rifle Association of America
Institute for Legislative Action

Different views on S.397 Part 1

You may have heard the Congress has finally passed a law to protect firearms manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits. E.g., once bush signs the bill, people will no longer be able to sue gun makers in Federal court for damages caused by criminal misuse of their products. E.g., Joe gets murdered with a Ruger handgun, and Joe's wife sues Ruger for damages, even though the Ruger pistol was sold in accordance with all laws. This is akin to Joe's wife suing General Motors for wrongful death after he got run over by a drunk in a Chevy.

Passage of S.397 was not without discord amongst the ranks of gunnies. For example, GOA wanted the bill killed because it includes a section requiring that trigger locks be sold with all guns, and another section concerning armor piercing ammunition.

I'm going to post press releases from three pro-RKBA groups to show their varying takes on S.397's passage. First, from GOA:

While gun control passes in the House, GOA expresses a big THANK YOU
to all of its members and activists who waged a lone battle of
-- And you can be encouraged that your calls made a HUGE difference
in one area

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"The anti-gun provisions in S. 397 would probably be stripped out in
the House if all the gun groups were working together with GOA." --
Rep. Ron Paul, Sept. 15, 2005

It's a shame really.

Rep. Ron Paul is totally correct. Working united, we could have
encouraged the House leadership to bring up a CLEAN bill.

H.R. 800, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, garnered
well over 250 cosponsors and would have passed the House easily if
the leadership had brought up this bill rather than its Senate
counterpart, S. 397.

Unfortunately, GOA was the ONLY national group that was not calling
for passage of the Senate bill, which contained new gun control. And
likewise, GOA was the ONLY national group that was pressing for
passage of the clean bill, H.R. 800.

The House today passed S. 397 and sent it to the President. Because
he has promised to sign this legislation, it is all the more tragic
that House and Senate leaders refused to send him a clean bill.


As we have mentioned before, S. 397 imposes a mandatory "gun tax" by
forcing every gun buyer to purchase a trigger lock and takes us to
the verge of mandatory trigger lock usage.

The bill provides immunity (from lawsuits) for those who use trigger
locks, but there is no such immunity for gun owners who keep a
firearm available for self-defense WITHOUT a trigger lock.

The push towards trigger locks may very well follow the push for
mandatory seat belts and motorcycle helmets. And if our country ever
takes that next step -- and straps every gun owner with
California-style lock-up-your-safety legislation -- then we will need
to remember this day as the day that laid the foundation.

Mary Carpenter certainly will. She is the grandmother who has had to
live with the fact that two of her grandchildren were killed in 2000,
because no one in the house could get to the family weapons to
protect themselves against the pitchfork wielding thug.

People in the home had been trained with firearms and knew how to use
them. But the guns were locked up in compliance with California
state law. Gun owners can go to
on the GOA website to view the public safety ad -- produced by Gun
Owners Foundation -- which features Mary Carpenter and her tragic

Another amendment which passed as part of S. 397 would give impetus
to adopting a "penetration standard" for armor piercing bullets by
commissioning a Justice Department study of the issue. If a
"penetration standard" were adopted, a gun-adverse administration
could probably use it to ban virtually all ammunition.

The Senate passed its gun control-laden version as Congress was
getting ready to go out for their summer recess. At that time, Rep.
Marilyn Musgrave's office had promised to mobilize pro-gun members in
the House to oppose the Senate version, by asking them to join her in
approaching the leadership in favor of H.R. 800. A Musgrave-led
effort such as this would have made it much more likely that the
House bill would have been considered. Unfortunately, Rep. Musgrave
decided to do nothing, and the voices that were demanding S.397 --
gun locks and all -- carried the day.

You can see how your Representative voted by going to on the House of Representative's


GOA is glad that Congress has passed legislation that is intended to
stop predatory law suits designed to destroy the gun industry. That
much is very good, and GOA supports that 100%. GOA hopes that the law accomplishes what its sponsors intended.

Also, GOA would be remiss if we failed to mention that there is at
least one "silver lining" in this entire ordeal. Don't forget that
your hard work KILLED the Feinstein semi-auto ban this past summer.

Remember several months ago when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wanted
to offer a renewal of the semi-auto ban to S. 397? Gun Owners of
America asked Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to use whatever means
possible to block her anti-gun amendments.

Well, that request fell upon deaf ears. So we asked you to lobby
him, since his office had been incorrectly asserting this strategy
couldn't be done. (Some in his staff were even claiming there was no
Senate rule allowing the majority party to block bad amendments.)

But after GOA members and activists like you applied the heat, Frist
took another look. He then used parliamentary rules to "fill the
amendment tree," which is exactly what we asked him to do. "Filling
the amendment tree" is a technical term which explains how the
majority party can offer amendments in such a way as to block the
minority party from offering other amendments.

Democrats were beside themselves. On the floor of the Senate, Harry
Reid (D-NV) complained about the strategy Frist had employed:

"I have nothing in my memory that [Sen. Frist] has ever done this
before; that is, immediately going to a bill and FILLING THE TREE SO
NO OTHER AMENDMENTS CAN BE OFFERED. [Emphasis added.] I have never,
ever known him to do this. It is so unusual. It is not in keeping
with how he has done business here during his tenure as majority
leader. While filling the tree is within the rules, it is done very
rarely. And again, I am surprised that Senator Frist did this."
(Congressional Record, July 27, 2005, pp. S9104-5)

You guys achieved this significant victory! You guys were
responsible for making the sure the Feinstein ban was never offered
on the floor of the Senate. You guys deserve the credit.

It was just so unfortunate that, after achieving this great victory,
Frist blinked. He could have blocked EVERY SINGLE anti-gun
amendment, but he allowed two to be offered, namely, the trigger lock
amendment and the armor-piercing study.

So take heart... your hard work did accomplish much. You convinced
Frist to block Feinstein's ban in the first place. And that was no
small undertaking.


Some have faulted GOA for remaining "no compromise" throughout this
battle. They claim that by sticking to our guns, we were endangering
the chance to pass this legislation that might have the effect of
protecting gun makers.

First, please realize that this underestimates YOUR collective power.
This ignores the power of the grassroots. Remember, GOA was also
told that blocking the Feinstein ban couldn't be done through
parliamentary procedures. But together, we convinced the Senate
Majority Leader to think differently, and we accomplished a
tremendous feat together. Don't ever underestimate the strength of
the gun rights community working together as one!

Second, as a pragmatic matter, the desire to compromise ignores one
simple fact: we could have EASILY won this battle to pass a clean
bill! Consider:

* A filibuster-proof majority of Senators had cosponsored S. 397

* A super majority of Representatives had cosponsored H.R. 800 -- a
bill which contained NO TRIGGER LOCKS in it.

* The President had said he would sign a bill, even if it had NO

Add to this the fact that the bills passed both houses of Congress by
HUGE majorities (65-31 in the Senate, and 283-144 in the House).

So why couldn't we insist on a bill that had no trigger locks? What
was the problem? Why couldn’t we stare down the anti-gunners and
just say, "We're going to pass a clean bill because you don't have
the votes to stop us."

Winston Churchill once said that, "If you will not fight for right
when you can easily win without blood shed, if you will not fight
when your victory is sure and not too costly, you may come to the
moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and
only a precarious chance of survival."

Early on, we had the upper hand. GOA was insisting on a clean bill.
Why do some think that was too much to ask?

The answer is quite simply this: the spirit of Neville Chamberlain
lives on, from one generation to the next. Some people just always
seem to have the desire to placate the other side, even when they've
got the muscle to get things done right.

Winston Churchill didn't buy it, and neither should we. Speaking to
the failings of appeasement, Churchill said, "An appeaser is one who
feeds a crocodile -- hoping it will eat him last."

Well, at GOA, we don't appease. We prefer to shoot the crocodile.

Again, thanks to all of you who worked so hard and stood with us.
Your efforts have not been in vain.



"Actually, the organization that does a better job of [keeping me
informed] is Gun Owners of America. I'm on their mailing list, and
we know when something pops up and we're informed as to what's going
on so we can write our emails and make phone calls to our respective
representatives." -- C-SPAN caller from Pensacola, Florida (October
20, 2005)

We are always glad when we hear our members say they find our alerts
worthwhile. GOA is here to keep you informed. And so, if you've
never officially joined GOA, please consider becoming a member by
signing up at or call

You can become a GOA member and help protect the Second Amendment
with a contribution of $20 a year -- or a mere 5 cents a day!
I'll follow up with posts from The Firearms Coalition, NRA-ILA, and CCRKBA.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Been awhile

I hadn't realized that it's been so long since my last post. Here's an update.

Saturday I hauled Gondor over to my parents' house and set it up for them. Aside from cleaning off all of Judith's files, I installed the hard drive from their old PC as D:\, thereby moving over their files. I setup D:\ as their data drive, leaving C:\ for Windows and their apps.

Other hardware I migrated over from their old PC included 2 Inland USB 2.0 PCI adapter cards, giving them 6 USB ports, and a 256 meg DIMM, bumping the box up to 768 megs of RAM total.

Since Gondor is built around commodity parts, e.g., standard ATX format mobo, 3.5" IDE disks, etc., it'll be easy for me to upgrade it when the time comes. But given my folks' needs, I suspect the old box will server them well for a few more years.

I tried to setup my old Linksys NAT router as a firewall for them, but something must've happened to it while it sat in my office for the past year or so. It didn't want to talk to the 3Com NIC in Gondor, so I trashed it. I have one more spare router to try, otherwise I'll have them pick up a new Netgear.

Saturday night Judith and I went out to the Lucky Dog Saloon in Whitemarsh for dinner, sans kids. My MIL volunteered to babysit and we took advantage. The ribs at the Lucky Dog are outstanding. I tried a pint of Arrogant Bastard Ale while we were waiting to be seated, but I found it too hoppy for my taste. The Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout I had with dinner, on the other hand, was outstanding.

Much of yesterday afternoon was wasted while I twiddle my thumbs, waiting for Pep Boys to install a new battery in my truck. Starting the Expedtion yesterday morning, it sounded like it was having a hard time turning over. Later, when I went to Pep Boys, it barely started. Apparently the battery was leaking around the negative terminal. So, for $79 I got a new Energizer with a 24 month free replacement warranty installed. The truck starts right up now.

This morning at work I tried yet another config on the SMC switches in my lab. I'm trying to get SMC's "private VLAN" feature working but as soon as I activate it, I lose IP connectivity to the box. I'm working with SMC on this but beginning to lose patience.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A lazy day

I'm having a lazy day today. We're getting the dregs of Tropical Storm Tammy so it's expected to rain all day, and I don't feel like doing anything especially productive.

Last night my MIL took the girls so that Judith and I could rearrange the computers. We decided to have her start using Bagend and move her computer desk into my office, which gives us a lot more room in our den. I felt this was feasible since most of my home computing is done on my iBook with my feet propped up in the living room, and she uses my old Compaq laptop from be a lot. Before agreeing to this, I made it clear that the amount of girly foo foo shit that she had on the desk when it was in the den was going to be severely limited after the move. I want to control the decor in one room of the house.

First, I created a separate user account for her on Bagend, then move her data and bookmarks over from Gondor.

After that, I cleaned out a lot of stuff from my office and moved my old, smaller computer desk and a book case out of the way. We then put her desk in, along with some of her stuff. The new desk has a hutch on either side, so we each have one. We're using her desk chair which is a major improvement over the old POS I was using.

My book case, which was custom built for my grandparents around 1950, got moved up to the dining room. Once I figure exactly where to put it I'll fill it up.

Since Bagend has both USB and parallel ports, I connected both my Samsung ML1710 laser printer and J.'s HP DeskJet 694C, in case we need to print something in color. I may do some rearranging so that I can connect my Epson flatbed scanner and leave it there, but may need to pick up a longer parallel cable.

I've been debating what to do with Gondor. I could use it as a test box. With a P3/733 and 512 MB of RAM it's still quite usable. But we're trying to get rid of some of the clutter, so I think I'll clean it up a bit and give it to my parents. They have a Compaq with a P3/667 and 384 MB RAM, so this'll be a noticeable improvement. I can scarf a 256 meg DIMM from their old PC and add it to Gondor, so XP will run even better for the light usage they task their PC with.

Sounds like a plan.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

IPv6 Training

Today I was over in our Mt. Laurel, NJ office for the first of two day's worth of IPv6 training.

IPv4, what is currently used for the vast majority of IP networks, including the Internet, has a 32 bit address space. The latest projections are that with the increasing demand for IP addresses due to ever increasing Internet usage and stuff like 3G and 4G phones, the IPv4 space will be exhausted somewhere in the 2008 - 2011 time frame.

In contrast, IPv6 has a 128 bit address space, making it several orders of magnitude larger than IPv4. It also includes better built-in security and improvements in routing and automatic address configuration.

Sun Microsystems maintains some web pages with information to get you started on learning about IPv6.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A full weekend

We had a full weekend around here.

Yesterday morning I visited a client to clean up and secure one of his three PCs. I got one of them a couple of weeks ago and will probably go back to do the third in a couple of weeks.

After I got home from there, I hit Lowe's and picked up a shower curtain rod for the master bathroom, got that hung, and did a little touch up on the walls. There were a couple spots that needed to be patched after I painted and failed to remove the masking tape before the paint dried. (Duh.) I hit them with some drywall mud and now need to reprime and paint a few spots. But I got to break in the new shower. w00t!

Last night we had friends who we hadn't seen for a few years over for dinner. I barbecued boneless chicken breasts, and I have to say, I have that down pat. They were damn tasty.

This morning I visited another client who just moved and needed her home network rebuilt. While there I did the normal "fluff & buff," i.e., replaced an outdated install of Panda AV with AVG Free, installed Spybot Search & Destroy and AdAware, and an antispyware hosts file. This was on her desktop and laptop, so it took awhile.