Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Saturday, April 10, 2004

There has to be a first for everything... As I write this post, I'm sitting on the toilet. Ain't WiFi great?

First review: kind of unconfortable, balancing a laptop on one knee and typing with the remaining hand...

UPDATE: No I won't post pictures...

Thursday, April 08, 2004
Investigation into Spread of a Meme

Just found this on Blogdex: The Memespread Project: Spread this Meme!. If you have a blog, go and hava a look...

Wireless Post

Whey! I finally managed to get my home network extended with a wireless access point. If you can see this post it means I can now post from anywhere in the house...

Quite a bit of trouble it was, too: I bought a US Robotics Turbo Wireless Access Point and Router, unpacked it, plugged it in and... nothing! That's what showed up when my laptop scanned for access points, anyway. Connecting with an ethernet cable also yielded nothing: no IP address was given to my laptop by the built in DHCP server of the router.

Time to manually set an IP. I followed the instructions from the manual, set it up and then tried to connect to the web interface. Yay, it worked! But what was that? I just got a page prompting me to upload new firmware. Aargh!

Off to the USR website to get the latest firmware. Uploaded it to the router via the web interface. Bam! Router resets and is unreachable from then on. Restarting, unplugging, nothing works. Yes, resetting does, but then I just get the prompt to upload new firmware again...

Okay, time to bring this brick back to the store. At the store, no problem, we'll exchange it. But, uh oh, we're out of stock. We'll call you the moment we have your replacement.

Anyway, more than a week later the replacement arrived. After a lot of fiddling and tweaking with the settings and looking up stuff on the web I got it set up the way I want it: my LinkSys broadband router is connected to the ADSL modem, and the uplink is connected to one of the lan ports on the USR which is configured as an access point.

The result: the LinkSys does DHCP for wireless connections too, so all my machines are in the same IP range which means I can see my linux server and windows desktop as well from the laptop.

Anyway, from what I learned on the net in the mean time: don't buy the US Robotics Wireless Turbo Access Point and Router. The documentation sucks, firmware updates have been sparse and it seems a number of the shipped units have had serious problems.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004
Poor Bastards

Just saw some images on CNN of some masked Al Sadr militiamen posing for the camera, waving their kalashnikovs, shaking their RPG grenades and showing off their machine guns.

All I could think of was 'poor bastards'. They reminded me of the famous scene in the Indiana Jones movie where a bad guy is about to attack the hero with a scimitar, but before doing so he waves it fiercely above his head.

Jones, of course, just shoots him.

Exactly what is going to happen to these guys, but instead of a simple handgun they will be facing this:

Monday, April 05, 2004
Baghdad Webcam

Just found this webcam over at the Fox News site. It is a live view of Firduz square (remember, the one where Saddam's statue was toppled). Currently there is not much to see or hear as it is night and there is no audio track.

Problem or Opportunity?

I've been thinking about the recent violence in Iraq, and it seems the people at Samizdata have too: A golden opportunity in Iraq | A bit short, perhaps, but I think I agree with their analysis.

I too think that Sadr has overplayed his hand: I think his 'uprising' of militia thugs will be short-lived, just like most of the thugs, come to think of it. By starting a shooting war he has given the coalition and Iraqi forces the perfect excuse to crack down on him, hard.

If he had just kept his activities to demonstrations and hateful sermons for a while and in the mean time kept growing his 'army' he could have been a force to be reckoned with after the official handover of power on July 30th. Maybe even be a serious contender in the elections, through intimidation and the threat of violence.

Any attempt to stop him could have been labeled surpression of free speech or acts of oppression. I must confess I even felt a tinge of sympathy for his cause when one of his newspapers was shut down by the Americans. I felt this was an act of hypocrisy, coming from these self-styled defenders of democracy and free speech. He could have exploited this to the max, and he would have had every right to.

But now... I guess he is about to learn the same lesson the Taliban learned some time ago: you can call Americans all sorts of names and call down the wrath of Allah on them and they won't budge or lift a finger towards you. But act on your word and attack them, and you will be stomped *flat*. With bombs. Real big ones. No match at all for Kalashnikovs and RPG's. Not at all...