Time Line 2000
page edited: Friday, October 16, 2009

Technical News and Views from a hole in the ground: 2000

April, July, August, September, October, November, December: Time Line Base

April 8th. Happy birthday yesterday to Sarah, my first born. Erm, how old? 29, I think.

Quite frankly, you don't have to read further down this journal into the past to realise that I'm OS agnostic. Having said that, I agree with Jerry Pournelle: why blame Microsoft, or Bill, for putting a computer on every person's desk and in his home? 

Would you even have the Internet access you have now if it weren't for Windows? And, as has been mentioned elsewhere, isn't there one country that wouldn't just love to have Microsoft come over to live? With ASP and the bandwidth growth, why would presence in the USA matter? 

After all, haven't the big boys taught us by taking our well-paid jobs to lower paid areas that no one has to be anywhere in particular. Microsoft would certainly not lack for workers if it transported itself to an equable clime, cheaper housing, better culture, and lots of fairies. Eire would be perfect. So would Costa Rica, or Victoria (either Australia or Canada), or Andorra. All they have is intellectual capital, and they have been using India and Russia and all points in between to help them out. Oh, why not move to China and be done with it.

Good grief, it's April and I still haven't installed Windows 2000. Well, after I upgraded all the computers memory chips to what W2k needs, I then found out that my NICs aren't on the HCL. Rats. After buying all those books to study Active Directory, Upgrading from Windows NT4, Samba, Internet Core Protocols, ad nauseam. But, I have been playing with Linux. What fun. 

Three times on one machine I installed Corel Linux. Twice I tried to install RedHat 6.1. Then I visited the RedHat site and found out why it wouldn't work. Still doesn't because somehow the integrated IBM video chip on this old, refurbished 133MHZ Pentium, with USB ports no less, screws up the boot up process. Corel Linux installs like a charm. But it uses the Debian base which does not include easy installation of the common RPM files, such as that on my IBM DB2 CD, which I wanted to play with. And then, there's how to use SCSI discs, etc. Did not realise that the disk space would be amalgamated in the user's eyes. Not too good, in my view, compared with familiar, old Windows!!! But, the ability to pull down updates of most of what came on the Corel CD from ftp at Corel and from the Debian site is really cool.

April 18th. Microsoft guilty? Linux stocks in free fall, although Nasdaq resurgence today. Cisco, Oracle doing fine still. So, is it the temporary end of the silly season for IPOs? Probably not. Time enough to study this week, with work slackening off a little, and the family away. Need fun with Java? Not happy with Netscape 6 beta?  Then go to http://sodaplay.com for fun with wire forms. Samsung bringing out 0.13 micron based 1.6GHZ chips for their Alpha boxes. And, if you want another good Linux box, buy from Penguin Computing.

April 21st. Work is slow, so I obtained a Hewlett-Packard 712/60 PA-RISC machine. This will eventually run Puffin Linux, as my skills grow. They had better since this machine, with its 19inch multi-sync monitor, just begs to be used. Bought it, made a shelf for it, put it there and thought, "well, push the power buttons and let's see . . . ". Monitor came on with glorious colour. Turned round and there, on the Netgear switch, under port no. 7, a light to tell me the integrated network port was alive, at 10Mbps. Good stuff, now to have an OS installed onto its 2.14Gig SCSI-2 Seagate hard drive. And to find a floppy drive to install in this pizza box.

July 5th. Work is different now that I am a Project Trainer for the company. However, I have had real problems with a Linksys BEFSR41 DSL/Cable Router. It has support, of a very weak kind, for PPPoE. In the past, I have been subjected to many script kiddie attacks on the DSL line provided by Bell Sympatico. Have had the router replaced because it simply stopped working. Now I have the new one it is apparent that the software used in the ROM needs work. It is not stable. This is a shame, because the idea is a good one. A four port switch, 10-100BaseT, with another port to the WAN, or whatever you want.

 

Still don't have the HP box up and running. It now has a PC floppy drive, but no HP-UX so far. That is what it needs, together with an external SCSI CD-ROM before I have it working. Money.

July 9th. Well, well, the latest Linksys firmware, 1.30, at last seems stable. Other than having to reboot because suddenly no programmes would appear from a minimised position, the connection has not dropped in two days. Will have to disseminate that information. And, the NetGear NICs drivers ARE on the Windows 2000 CD. Now to install Win2k and Active Directory. AD is needed for Exchange 2000 to operate, in particular. 

August 9th. Well, well, the latest Linksys firmware won't work. See my review on an archived page at http://SympaticoUsers.org. This site is no longer functional, sadly. There is also a discussion page or two related to my review that indicates my experiences were not singular. 

What now? Took the damn thing back. They will test it at their store and then decide what to do. I believe that this is an object released before its time. Will probably obtain a Netgear RT314 Gateway Router as a replacement. 

Have also received a letter accepting me as a member of the Microsoft Advisory Panel, if only a junior rank. We'll see what that leads to. Job at my work is now known as Call Centre Trainer. Glory, me!

September 30th Pierre Elliott Trudeau lies in state in Ottawa, followed by a passage by train to Montréal to be afforded a state funeral and a private burial.

September 30th With my Call Centre Trainer status, my Team Leader  &/or Senior Technical Advisor in reserve status, my slow recovery from the personal disasters that have recently occurred (wife and child have left: I am suffering from double depression, in this case dysthymia and chronic cyclical depression, and am now on permanent medication, Celexa), everything remains in flux. Jobs, or lack of, and moving to Ottawa, with attendant loss of savings, etc., did not help. Work does depend on one's abilities to maintain one's well-being. Back to IT: Still waiting for my NetGear RT314 Internet Gateway box. As another page mentions, still do not have the PA-Risc machine operating: that might change, shortly. 

However, training techs at work has become a priority, although, recently, my health has been problematic, as mentioned above. My colleagues at work have been sympathetic and understanding. As a result, my work rate is almost back to normal.  

October 9th Thanksgiving: I am at work. And wondering what I did to the Netgear RT314 to upset it. Would not connect to the Internet, so I tried to download and install the latest software. Well, now I can't even access the router as the test light won't quit and all the Link/Act lights are on. Have emailed Netgear to see if they can help. Back to Access Manager, etc. I was so looking forward to having the new gateway stop the infiltrators. On the cable side, I am constantly attacked by script kiddies in Argentina, forsooth! Have sent my usual request to help at support@home!!!! Time to put in a new switch there, just to stop this nonsense.

The other thing is that I have taken all my equipment from the flux-ridden basement and put it in the dining room, sort of. I am living alone; this has become a male's refuge. Everything works, other than Sygate periodically stopping with no warning, and then, when I least expect it, accepting its rôle in life. Books and magazines are out of their boxes and I have found lots of computer literature that I need for historical comparison purposes. Still putting things slowly together to improve efficiency. 

November 24th Things change. Following the CMGI upheaval (they can find no buyers for their loss-making free access services), I have been transferred to another CC at Convergys that needs help, or so I have been told. We shall see.

December 3rd Well, well: script kiddies are now banished from my computers, that access the Internet through one connection, at least. My fourth, the third replacement, WAN gateway router was successfully installed last night. Final success took two Linksys BEFSR41 and then two NetGear RT314 boxes. The latest NetGear RT314 took a little while to settle, but it finally saw fit to stop blinking its Test light, necessitating several power cycles, and, by following the wizard, everything now looks rosy. No attacks reach my gateway computer. And, the Bell Access Manager software has finally been removed. One thing that I find to be very important: when changing parameters on any NIC, make sure that one runs either ipconfig or winipcfg (for Win9x, Me) and release all before making the changes. Otherwise, although you may feel that simply changing parameters through the Network applet has worked, somewhere in the Registry the old settings lurk, and will play havoc with any new set up. 

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