Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Address and Site for The Shooters' Bar

The Shooters' Bar -- the Internet's oldest freely-available list of pro-RKBA attorneys has a new site and a complete site redesign.  Updating TSB had become a bit of a pain as the list grew.  The new site has one page per state and allows me to more easily update it using RapidWeaver, from where I can then upload the changes to the Web.

The new address is

If you maintain a page which links to the old version, please update your link.

Finally, along with the new site are some new attorney listings.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One More Network Change

Another home network change I forgot to mention in my last post is related to DNS on my home LAN.  For some time I've been using OpenDNS since their performance is consistently fast.  Last night I finally created an account with OpenDNS and implemented their DNS-based content filtering.

My impetus for this is that my daughters now have computers in their rooms.  They go to only a few sites for now but I don't want them clicking on something and going to Internet nastiness.  So, I set up custom filtering to block porn and phishing sites.

One thing that anyone considering a similar course of action is that it's only a supplement to proper adult supervision.  For one thing, they aren't foolproof.  Secondly, kids are a lot smarter than many adults give them credit for, and as they grow up with technology learn it very well.  I wouldn't be surprised to see my girls pick up networking rather easily and learn how to bypass controls I put in place. (To be honest, part of me would be pleased as punch.)

Home Network Changes

For the past few months I've been using an SMC-D3G DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway for my Internet service at home.  It's a solid box but unlike my SMC8014 DOCSIS 2.0 cable gateway, I wasn't able to get it provisioned with a static IP.  The bottleneck in my Internet access isn't the gateway so much as my WiFi LAN, so I decided to go back to the 8014 with its static IP.  Which leads me to my second change ...

Today I placed an order with Tiger Direct for an Intel 945GCLF2 barebones kit.  This is a Mini-ITX format system on which I'll be installing Linux to run as a headless web and email server.  The dual core Atom should provide more than enough horsepower for my needs, and the 2 GB of RAM will also be plenty.

To round out the box I also ordered a 320 GB Western Digital SATA drive.  I won't be installing an optical drive.  To install Linux I'll use an LG USB DVD burner I picked up last Fall from NewEgg, and I'll temporarily connect the box to a monitor and keyboard.

When looking at hardware I wanted something small, cheap, quiet and with low power consumption.  The other main contender was an MSI Wind nettop barebones system from NewEgg.  Based on experience with a similar machine I built for my MIL towards the end of 2008 it would have worked just fine.  However, but after adding 2 GB of RAM and a hard disk the combo deal at Tiger Direct was cheaper.

My intended use for the new system will be to host a couple of low traffic web sites, email, and general experimentation.  For the distro I'm leaning towards 64 bit CentOS, which from what I've read runs well on this hardware.

For security, the new machine will get assigned a routable public IP (it'll still be firewalled), while the rest of my home LAN will run on a private, RFC-1918 compliant IP space.

I haven't run a server at home for a few years, this should be fun.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Scott Heard 'Round the World

For the first time in my life, I am proud of Massachusetts.

Last night's election of Republican Scott Brown to fill the Senate seat vacated by Ted von Chappaquidick is not only a stunning rebuke to the Democratic leadership on their healthcare bill, it's a repudiation of their socialist power grab in general.

Message to Obama, Reid, and Pelosi re healthcare:

The Great Humongous

Walk away.  Just walk away.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Couple Jacket Reviews

I posted reviews of the ECWCS SPEAR fleece jacket and Marmot PreCip rain shell over on Survival and Emergency Preparedness.  Check 'em out.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Application Integration

Here's a good example of application integration:

This Sunday I'm planning to attend a shooting match at the New Holland Rifle & Pistol Club.  I entered the event in my Google Calendar, including the address.  After I saved the event I reopened it and I saw that Google Calendar had automatically pulled up a map of the location.

A minute or so later I pulled up the event in the Calendar app on my Droid, which is heavily tied-in with my Google account.  With the event open I am able to pull up the map and tap a link to get driving directions.  Additionally, the Droid has a built-in GPS and will be able to give me turn-by-turn directions.

Slick barely begins how cool this is.