Easter Egg

Check out Google Moon, and be sure to zoom in all the way.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Gravatar Offline?

It appeared that gravatar was down, or otherwise broken, but it turns out they are just having DNS issues.  So while gravatar.com doesn’t work, you can still access the site via its IP address,  I’ve temporarily coded my blog to access it that way until the domain name starts working again.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

My Gravatar

WOO-HOO! I finally got a gravatar! Isn’t it precious?

Posted by Maria on 6 replies

Blasted Windows!

On the off-chance that anyone might have seen these issues, here are two as-yet-unsolved Windows XP mysteries that I’m seeing on a system I’m working on:

1. The system’s network connection is absurdly flaky.  I’m running SSH, VNC, and HTTP servers on this system, and when I’m logged in via SSH or VNC, the connection dies at least once every 5-10 minutes, sometimes as often as 2 or 3 times per minute.  When accessing the system’s web server, I get an incomplete load on maybe 1 out of 10 visits to the exact same page.  (But I’m not entirely convinced this isn’t a Verizon DSL issue, or an issue with the Westell modem+router they provide.)

2. Most systems automatically switch to StandBy mode after a period of idleness, and then stay there until you move the mouse or hit a key.  This system switches to StandBy whenever it feels like it, even when you’re actively using the keyboard and mouse.  But then it realizes right away that it’s made a terrible mistake, so the StandBy screen just flashes up for a second and then goes away.

And this Westell modem/router does the same stupid thing as the Belkin router that I returned a couple months ago: it won’t let you access a server on your network from a system on your network through the public IP address.

It’s mind-boggling how many companies can exist and make money by producing such utter crap.

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies


This weekend Kim and I visited Lake Arthur, and it was huge.  It reminded me of Lake Wallenpaupack, which my family used to visit when I was little.  I wondered how they compared in size, and from the above links (which are set to the same zoom level) you can see that Wallenpaupack is bigger, but they are comparable in size.  According to a sufficiently disreputable-looking source Lake Arthur is about six-tenths the size of Lake W.  (I don’t feel like typing the whole name out again, but can you really blame me?)

Anyway in my googlings I found this hilarious and pathetic site:

Quoting goingoutside.com:

Lake Arthur is always a pleasure to visit. Bear Run is a great local stream. Take a little trip to Swamp Run while you’re here. Brush Run is a pretty stream that is worth checking out. You get a great view from the top of Fridays Hill. Other nearby water includes Shannon Run. Don’t forget to take a nice little excursion to Cheeseman Run. Why not check out nearby Grindstone Run if you’re here at Lake Arthur. A visit to Moraine State Park rejuvenates the soul. Whites Ripple is a great place to check out while in the area. Not all the water around here is flat, Jamison Run is a stream you can visit during your stay.

Check out Black Run while you’re here at Lake Arthur. Little Yellow Creek is one of the streams around here that might be worth visiting. Hiking is a popular thing to do around Lake Arthur, Monogahela Incline is a good local trail. Take a side trip to Big Run. Getting to Taylor Run from Lake Arthur is a piece of cake. Hell Run flows through this area. From the top of Big Knob you get a great view of the surrounding area. Hogue Run is a stream that you may bump into while here. It’s always nice to visit Grant City Falls. Great hiking is available along the Fishermans Trail.

Big Run is a great place to visit. Put some time aside to spend at Spillway Falls while you’re here at Lake Arthur. There’s great hiking along the Duquesne Incline. If you’re in a climbing mood you may want to go up on Briar Hill. Muddy Creek is very near and is always a pleasure to visit. Looking for some flowing water? Try Wolf Creek.

The best part is when you go and read the Lake W page and it’s virtually identical.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply


Did this work?

Posted by Tasha Moyer on 5 replies


What it is!

Posted by kaiser on 3 replies

And Also...

Guess who’s the #1 result for the Google search lorenzo’s nazi philadelphia?  That’s right.

Posted by Anthony on 10 replies

Grab Bag, Part Deux

SBC is now offering high-speed DSL internet service for just $15 per month.  That’s merely a third (or a half in some cases) of the cost of most broadband internet service, and less than most dial-up internet service for that matter.  Unfortunately it looks like it isn’t yet available in PA, but hopefully this drastic move by SBC will force the hand of other ISPs and cause similar price cuts.

I’m now living without the Fox News Channel, which means I can’t watch the O’Reilly Factor.  But one of the best parts of the show is the Talking Points Memo, and it turns out that you can watch that segment (and only that one) online for free.  Just visit this page, click any episode, and on the resulting page you’ll see a "video" link under the T-Points section.

Is it me, or has Crest discontinued the Icy Mint Striped flavor of their toothpaste?  It’s still listed on their website but I haven’t been able to find it in 5 different stores for the past month.  Fearing the worst, I’ve tried some other flavors -- Cool Peppermint, Fresh Mint, and Minty Fresh Striped -- but they all might as well be called SuckyMint compared to Icy Mint Striped.

In more better news, I saw one of these guys the other week:

posted image

It’s a Hitachi EX1800 Large Excavator.  I think it’s the biggest construction vehicle I’ve ever seen.  The photo doesn’t even come close to conveying the gigantic size of this machine.  Here’s one with a man in it for scale:

posted image

That’s a little better but still doesn’t really let you appreciate how huge it is.  But the brochure for the current version of that model gives some numbers: it’s nearly three stories tall (not counting the arm); the bottom of the thing is over six and a half feet tall, i.e. you could walk upright underneath it no problem; and the scoop holds between 300 and 400 cubic feet of material, depending on whether it’s the backhoe or the loading-shovel version.

(show full-size image viewer)

Posted by Anthony on reply

That's Wack, Yo

Apparently I’m currently #2 on google for the query quotes against wack people.  The fact that someone actually searched for that is hilarious.  If I had a motto or a middle name, that would be it.  Anthony "quotes against wack people" DiSante.

Posted by Anthony on reply

Cute Little Kittens

No, really.

Posted by Anthony on reply


I saw a Segway in person for the first time in my life today.  A guy was riding it and he was flying.  He went from the sidewalk down the little ramp to the street and across an intersection without slowing down at all.  It was pretty funny but also looked really fun and cool.

And it looks like Adelphia has relented a little on their upload cap.  As long as I’ve been a customer of their cable internet service, it’s been capped at 256 kilobits/sec (32 kiloBytes/sec), which is pretty pitiful.  But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed (in disbelief) that my tx-meter showed I was transmitting at around 100KB/s.  Today I transferred a 350MB file and sure enough, it took 57 minutes for an average of 102KB/s.

This is good news since I tend to transfer files a lot, and whenever I’m at work I have a VNC window viewing my home desktop, and I’m also often streaming music from my home system to listen at work.  At the old 32KB/s the music skipped a lot and the remote desktop window was really slow.

Update 20050517: either there’s a problem with my connection, or they changed their minds about this.  My connection is now limited to 50KB/s upload -- still better than the old 32, but only by about 50%, whereas the old new speed of 100KB/s was a 200% improvement.  Hrmph.

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies

Google Gets Cooler; Microsoft... Is Still Everywhere

Google bought the mapping company Keyhole last year, and now Google Maps can show you aerial satellite photography of whatever location you’re mapping.  As if Google Maps wasn’t cool enough already!

Google also recently added support for natural-language search queries (like the one I just posted about).  But according to the article:

Quoting internetnews.com:

Google Q&A has strengths and weaknesses, Norvig admitted. ... For example, asking, "What is the population of India?" returns rock-solid results in the form of links to Web sites that answer the question.

On the other hand, the top result for the question, "What is the capital of France?" was "Investment Capital and Banking in France."

... But the queries don’t have to be full sentences. The system identifies both query words, such as "who" or "what," and fact-type terms such as capital, director, population. "To find out who directed "Finding Nemo," you don’t have to put in the ’who is,’" he explained.

I think this is more marketing hype than anything "new" from Google.  Their existing search already ignored common words (like "is") anyway; I don’t see how this new "natural language" support is fundamentally different.

In other tech news, Microsoft’s approach to Windows system security may be changing (which can only mean "improving" at this point) when the next version is released in a year or so.  One huge problem with the current design is the fact that, although Windows supports the concept of different levels of user privileges:

Quoting pcworld.com:

...90 percent of Windows software can’t be installed without administrator access to Windows, [and] 70 percent won’t run properly unless the user is an administrator.

The whole point of having restricted user-level accounts is that you don’t want your users to be able to break critical parts of the system -- even when "your users" just means "you."  You don’t want to use the powerful administrator account for your day-to-day activities, because 1) even if you’re good with computers, you could accidentally delete something crucial, and 2) you run lots of programs written by other people and companies, so you don’t want to give them access to critical parts of the system either.

But as the above quote shows, it’s simply not practical to run Windows with a user-level account, because like so many things in Windows, this security feature was hacked on as an afterthought and doesn’t really work yet.  Until it gets fixed, we’ll continue to be plagued by myriad viruses and otherwise-malicious programs that hijack Windows systems and then modify the system to prevent the user from removing them.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

The NOs Have It

This is really funny.  Make sure to click the "Next" link at the bottom -- they only get better.

No banners.

No pop-up ads.

No pop-under ads.

No flash ads.

No email solicitation.

No free-plus-shipping.

No accounting scandals.

No fat cats.

No corporate jets.

No friends and family.

No Steve Ballmer monkey dance.

No annoying SBC partnership

No Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies

No shooting the target to win a prize

No "Earn $107.00 Daily, Part-Time... Even While You Sleep!"

No missing classmates from other countries.

No running around the pool.

No gratuitous use of exclamation marks!

No goofy guy singing the name of the site.



Posted by Anthony on reply

And Speaking of Domain Names...

I’ve been meaning to post about this for about 6 months now, but somehow never think about it when I’m at my computer.  I have 50 Gmail invites, so if you’d like a free email account @gmail.com with ~unlimited space, just ask.  Because let’s be honest, Google is much cooler than Microsoft, and @gmail is much cooler than @hotmail.

Theoretically this shouldn’t matter for long, because eventually Google will open up Gmail to new sign-ups from the general public... but until they do, the only way to get an account is from someone else who already has one.  My guess is that this has nothing to do with being "beta" or a "preview release" or anything like that, but rather is a test by Google to see how many degrees of separation there are between their employees and everyone else on the planet to whom these Gmail-invites eventually filter.  Well, that, and to create more demand for their product through the artificial scarcity, just as the DeBeers cartel regulates the worldwide diamond trade to make diamonds artificially valuable.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

In Search of the Perfect Domain Name

One of the hardest parts of making a website is coming up with a good domain name (AKA address).  Or rather, it’s not hard to come up with a good one, but it’s very likely that whatever you come up with has already been registered by somebody else.

I’ve been pretty happy with "nodivisions.com," even though it’s a tad long and may be tricky for some people to spell.  Those two issues aren’t really a big deal for me though because most of my visitors come from Google or from links on other websites, where you don’t need to manually type in the address.

My home computer has always been named stop.dyndns.org, which I think is really good (among *.dyndns.org names) because the part that I got to choose ("stop") is so short and easy to remember.  But this address doesn’t need to be remembered or typed by anyone except me, so again those issues don’t matter that much.  Still, lately I’ve wanted to give it a new name -- one that isn’t tied to dyndns.org, one that’s a top-level name instead of a subdomain.

Well, last night I came up with one that’s awesome and available: antio.net.  (It’s pronounced "ANT ee oh" or "AN tee oh.")  Scoring a 5-letter domain name is virtually unheard-of, especially one that has any meaning or relevance, and that is pronounceable too.  As you can see, the dot-com version has been registered by one of those stupid domain-squatting companies, and they’re selling it for $700, on top of the normal $10 yearly fee.  (Normally, domain names have no cost other than the yearly fee.)

So now, when I’m at work or at someone else’s house and want to connect to my home system (to view my home desktop, check email and IMs, access files, etc), I’ll be connecting to antio.net instead of stop.dyndns.org.  I like this new name so much, I’m even considering renaming my website to it; but that’s a much more drastic move, with implications for my Google rankings among other things, so for now that won’t happen.

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply


I just got an email from someone named Phil in France, who found my Linux notes helpful and offered me "felicitations."  That’s fun :)

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies

Eponym Update

I recently added a couple of cool features to Eponym.  In addition to supporting DynDNS.org hostnames, it now supports your own domain names through ZoneEdit.com’s dynamic DNS service.  So now you can use Eponym to help run yourdomain.com on your home computer, instead of having to use yoursubdomain.dyndns.org (though that is still supported too).

Secondly, it will now send you an email whenever your IP address changes, and whenever there’s a problem updating your hostname(s).

If you’re running any kind of server on your home system and you’d like a static hostname (whether you.dyndns.org or yourowndomain.com) to go with it, check out Eponym.

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies

Capitalism at its best


The recipe for toby stew is hilarious!

Posted by Rolly on 4 replies

Belkin Technical Support is Neither

[Note: this is the record of my attempts to get Belkin to fix a massive flaw in the design of their "routers."  The bottom line is that they refused to even acknowledge the flaw, and the result is that computers on the LAN side of a Belkin router can’t access servers on the LAN using the router’s public IP address or hostname.  Because of this, and Belkin’s refusal to acknowledge, let alone fix, the problem, I must strongly discourage anyone from purchasing a Belkin router.]

I can’t stand tech support.  It wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t all thoroughly clueless, but they are.



I just bought an F5D72304 router, and I’m having a problem with it.

I’ve got a few computers on the LAN-side of the router that are running services (http, ssh, etc).  From any computer on the internet outside of my LAN, I can access those services without problems.  But any computer inside my F5D72304’s LAN cannot access those services, whether on other systems in the LAN or on itself, through my public IP address.  If I use the computers’ LAN IPs then it works OK, but not if I use the public IP.

Let me use some numbers to make it more clear:

My public IP is x.y.1.194
Belkin router’s private LAN IP is
Computer lanbox-1 is IP
Computer lanbox-2 is IP
Computer lanbox-2 is running http on port 89
Computer remotebox is elsewhere on the internet

These connections work OK:

  remotebox -> x.y.1.194:89 (http over external IP)
  lanbox-1 -> (http over internal IP)
  lanbox-2 -> (http over internal IP)

But these connections do NOT work:

  lanbox-1 -> x.y.1.194:89 (http over external IP)
  lanbox-2 -> x.y.1.194:89 (http over external IP)

I’ve tried putting lanbox-2 (my http server) in the DMZ, but that didn’t change anything.  I’ve tried different ports than 89, still no success. I’ve looked around the router config but didn’t see anything that would fix this.  I have another router (an older D-Link model) configured exactly the same as the new Belkin (i.e. LAN is 172.19.5.* and forwarding port 89 to and it doesn’t have this problem.

Please help!

Anthony DiSante


Hi Anthony,

Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

We understand that you are not able to access the services with the Wan IP from your network.

Anthony, There is a feature called NAT is present in the router. If you are trying to acess the router setup page from the external computer.  When the router see the WAN IP from the external network then it can perform natting that is it will change the public IP address of the external network computer in to  the prvate IP address range, which helps you to view the services. But with in the intenal network natting is not possible since the internal network already has the private IP address. That is why you are not able to use the wan IP to view the services in internal network.

Hope this information helps.


[some person]
Belkin Technical Support.



Thanks for your reply.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the behavior I am experiencing is the correct behavior?  You are saying that it’s correct that I cannot access services on my LAN from a system on my LAN using the public IP address?

If so, then that is a flaw in the design of your router.  I have used a half-dozen routers from various manufacturers and none of them exhibit this behavior.  When I use the router’s firewall to forward port X to box-2 on the LAN, that means "when a packet arrives at the WAN interface for port X, pass it through to box-2 on the LAN interface."  The source of the packet is irrelevant; all the router needs to know is that it arrived at the external interface, and that I’ve configured a firewall rule that explains how to handle that situation.

This is definitely worthy of a firmware upgrade, but in the meantime I’ll have to remove the F5D72304 from my network and put my old D-Link router in its place.

-Anthony DiSante


Hi Anthony,

Thank you for contacting Belkin Technical Support.

Anthony, we understand that you are not able to access services in your LAN using WAN IP address.

Belkin routers are enabled with NAT feature. This will not allow you to access the services locally by using the WAN IP address.

When you are trying to access the services from your LAN using the WAN IP address, the request goes upto the router then redirect the request internally in your LAN. The resolution happens in the router itself, hence the request doesnot go the internet and redirect to the router since it is a NAT enabled router.

The same thing happens with all the routers with NAT feature.

We hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you require any further assistance. We’ll be glad to help you.


[a different person]
Belkin Technical Support



> Belkin routers are enabled with NAT feature.

So is every router I’ve ever used.  NAT is the whole point of using a router in a home network, since it allows you to have multiple computers on a private network connected to the public internet, with the router translating the addresses.  This feature is not unique to Belkin routers.

> This will not allow you to access the
> services locally by using the WAN IP
> address. ... The same thing happens with
> all the routers with NAT feature.

That is simply not true.  Every router I’ve ever used has allowed me to access services on my LAN via the WAN IP.  I have two other routers right next to me that I’ve been testing to make sure of it -- the Belkin is the only one that exhibits this error.

-Anthony DiSante

Me, again:


> the request goes upto the router then
> redirect the request internally in your
> LAN.  The resolution happens in the router
> itself, hence the request doesnot go the
> internet and redirect to the router

That’s exactly the problem.  When a packet arrives at the WAN interface, it DOES "go [to] the internet" because the WAN IP is an internet IP.  So the router should treat it like any other packet arriving at the WAN interface; it doesn’t matter where the packet came from (LAN or remote system), what matters is that I sent it to the WAN interface.

-Anthony DiSante

ARGH.  How can you work tech support for a company’s router products and NOT KNOW WHAT A ROUTER IS SUPPOSED TO DO?

And it REALLY bugs me how a different person replies to the email every time when you email a company’s tech support.  Each successive person ostensibly reads the earlier conversation, but then just says the exact same thing.  That makes me so mad.  I emailed Dell a couple months ago, asking if I could get a laptop without Windows installed, and therefore without having to pay the $200 Microsoft tax. There were about ten -- TEN -- exchanges where I said "why is it Dell’s policy to force a particular operating system on the customer?" and the Dell rep said "it is Dell’s policy to force Windows XP on the customer" (essentially).  Each time it was a different person, each time I asked "WHY??!?", and each time the response just restated the fact that it IS the case without addressing WHY.

And as if ALL THAT weren’t enough, the tech support responses are always replete with typos and misspellings.

Posted by Anthony on 13 replies


Posted by Rolly on 1 reply

Baby got ..... Bible?

So a buddy of  mine sends me this link.  I became very scared.  I don’t know what to think.  It seems the guy know’s of moshing but is unable to do it with people half his size.  Anthony, I need you to tell me if this is good or bad.  If I feel slight nausea should I turn it off or go with the flow?

Posted by kaiser on 2 replies

Creep Records

My friend Mike is working on a documentary for Creep Records, and he’s got some videos online.  Creep is the home of Dutchland Diesel, one of my favorite bands, who holy cow have updated their website for the first time in literally 4 years.  (Well, they might have updated it a while ago; I haven’t been checking recently since it had been inertial for so long.)

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply

Merger Mania

So, Sprint buys Nextel, SBC buys AT&T, and now Verizon buys MCI, all in the space of two months.  Will all this movement in the telecom sector mean that I’ll finally be able to get an internet connection that isn’t castrated in the upstream bandwidth department?

Somehow I doubt it.

Posted by Anthony on 9 replies

Two Words

Posted by Anthony on 1 reply
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