Random News Updates

You can always tell when things are getting busy at NCC because the frequency of my news updates drops. We’ve got two big projects that may be starting in the next couple of weeks and I’ve been madly going through my todo list trying to get all the small things done while I’ve still got time.

Erin solved her long-standing connectivity problems finally. Since she moved to McKinney, she’s been unable to find a good connection to the net. The phone lines are so bad she wasn’t able use a modem reliably. DSL isn’t available. I talked her into trying ISDN, but it turned out she had constant line problems just like with the POTS line. She had tried two different ISPs with the ISDN setup and still no luck. Finally, this friday, she was able to get a cable modem. And it works! It’s fast and, so far, hasn’t had any downtime.

Randy did something friday that he’s been talking about for nearly a year – he bought a digital camera. It’s a Casio QV-3000Plus. It’s got an imager with 2048 x 1536 resolution and includes a 340mb IBM micro-drive for storage. It came with Windows software for the USB interface. I’ll have to check on Linux USB drivers. I’ve seen a few other digital camera drivers mentioned on the USB list lately. Pretty cool but I’m sticking with my analog Canon T90 for now. I’d be tempted by some of the professional digital cameras if the prices weren’t so high. The new Fuji S1 is the closest I’ve seen yet. At $4000, it’s still more than I want to spend but it’s less than a third the cost of previous hi-end digital cameras and the 3040 x 2016 imager is getting into the range where it could compete with analog for a lot of stuff.

Fun with Host Naming Schemes

There’s a great Slashdot article on host naming schemes today. It talks about the struggle of smart people who want to give their machines useful and fun names based on consistant naming schemes such as Soviet leaders (Leonid, Yuri, etc.) or French Wines (Pauillac, Pomerol, etc.) versus stupid managment types who want to give them meaningless and confusing names like xyzibm34211, xyzspc25502. It’s loads of fun to read about all the crazy naming systems people have come up with. And I’d never realized there were any RFC’s on creating host naming systems but there are two. RFC1178 gives a lot of useful and interesting guidelines for creating a naming system and RFC2100 is, well, worth reading anyway.

The host names at NCC are all creatures from Science Fiction. Triffid, Horta, Nimon, Rodan, Mothra, Vorta, Ferengi, Krynoid, Vorlon, Zanti, and Wirrin so far with more to come. Eventually we hope to give each host a web page of it’s own explaining the origin of the name. We only have a couple of them up so far as you can see from the links above but more will go up as time allows.

The one problem at NCC is that Randy still names all of his machines wrr[something] – in violation of multiple provisions of RFC1178 it seems. Maybe he’ll read the article and become enlightened.