Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Review of Roku HD Player

Originally submitted at Roku

The new HD, with built-in wireless, delivers top value in high-definition streaming.

Music, movies, NHL, YouTube, etc.

By Charles H from Irving, TX on 12/16/2010


4out of 5

Pros: Easy to set up

Cons: Needs a keyboard, Needs faster menus

Best Uses: Media Room, Compliments a projector

Describe Yourself: Technophile, Early adopter

I really love this thing. The most surprising thing is the radio choices. The audio is excellent, and the amount of selections is absolutely vast. I put one in my media room and had to get another one for the living room. In addition to instant movies, this is a great way to enjoy NHL GameCenter. Every hockey fan should know about this. I hope other sports leagues get on board. Fourthly, I don't have to sit at the computer to surf YouTube.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Culture Export

This news story caught my eye, but mainly because I was entranced by the video at the bottom. It was far cooler than I expected.

When I think of double dutch, I think of kids passing time in the Bronx or Brooklyn and skipping rope to some sing song playground rhyme like "Mama called the doctor, The doctor called the nurse, The nurse called the lady with the alligator purse." Nowadays, it's a varsity sport in New York City high schools, but that's not where it ends. Now it's a combination of acrobatics, dancing, and some pretty advanced choreography to techno and hip hop music. And it's international.

The Japanese have traveled to Harlem and won the 18th *AND* the 19th Annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic at Harlem's Apollo Theater. We have clearly exported a piece of American culture. Here's the winning team this year from Chiba, Japan:

And this video sort of blew my mind:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Definitely Election Season

All the local advertising is full of mud slinging, name calling, and false associations so it's definitely time for an election. Some things are different this time. The language is very divisive. Every politician is wearing the flag lapel pin. It's somehow a requirement ever since Obama was heavily criticized for not wearing one to protest war. The Tea Party has changed from a protest of bank bailouts, mortgage derivatives mess, and debt monetization into some sort of brand. doesn't say what the Santelli rant did, and people are noticing.

And this song, "My Country, My Ass" expresses the general sentiment, and it's angry. . . with a country rock twang.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To configure a new Cisco switch via neighbor switch...

This is a technical note to myself, so if you're not installing Cisco switches, you can stop reading here. Otherwise, it may be of interest. If a new switch is connected to the network and you need to configure it, but don't have a console connection. . . read on.

When you plug a new Cisco switch into the network, it will acquire an IP address via DHCP, by default. From there, this command list should allow you to access it without a console connection.

Log in to one of the other Catalyst switches already running on the network.

show cdp neighbors (Optional) – If CDP is running (you could turn it on temporarily) and you’ve chosen to start from a switch that is connected to the new switch, you should see a neighbor named “Switch”. This isn’t really a necessary step, but it’s useful to know things are working.

cluster enable WORD – The cluster commands require you to be in configuration mode. You must give the cluster a name.

show cluster candidates – Get out of configuration mode (or prefix this command with do) and see if you can see the new switch as a cluster member candidate. Remember it should be called “Switch”.

cluster member mac-address H.H.H – Back in configuration mode, this will add the new switch as a member of this cluster. The mac-address should be part of the information shown in the previous step.

show cluster members (Optional) – Exit out of configuration mode. This command should list the command switch (the one you are on), and a member switch. The member switch is the device you are planning to configure and should be designated as member 1.

rcommand 1 – This will log you into the new switch. You shouldn’t need a password.
Configure the the new switch.

no cluster member 1 – Log off the new (and now configured) switch and remove it from the cluster. This step may not be really necessary, but better safe than sorry. It will remove the new switch from the temporary cluster.

no cluster enable – This will remove the cluster and end the process.

At this point, you should be able to SSH or telnet into the new switch. The mistake I’ve made most often at this point is forgetting to set an enable password. Without both login (whether telnet or AAA) and enable passwords, the switch won’t let you in.

If an enable password has already been set, you’ll have to add “password the_enable_password” to the command “cluster member mac-address H.H.H”. And if you're nervous about how easy it is to configure a neighbor switch from, say, a compromised or rogue switch, consider "no cluster run" in all of your switch configurations.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


One of the highlights of my day is seeing the sunrise over Lewisville Lake during my morning drive to work. Now that the days are starting to get shorter, the sun is not quite up yet when I drive over the bridge. It also is far from setting when I cross the lake in the evening, but unless it's overcast, it looks something like this almost every day (pardon my crooked cell phone shot through a dirty window):

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's happening in Pakistan?

How is it that we are giving the Pakistan government over a billion dollars a year, then firing missiles in Pakistan, a sovereign nation, and killing people? How can we legally do this without a declaration of war? And how can we afford just giving Pakistan nearly 3 million dollars a day while spending ourselves into deficit oblivion?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Home is where the desktop is.

I finally set up my desktop machine after about seven months of laptop and netbook wanderings in the wilderness. So, that's all I had to say. It is now time to play some Gratuitous Space Battles, which just doesn't work well on the netbook. It is far too epic for the little screen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

International versus NHL hockey.

I noticed a few things while watching Olympic hockey that struck me as being strange or different. There is no fighting. You get ejected from the game for fighting in the Olympics, where in most professional leagues it is just 5 minutes in the penalty box. Olympic hockey has no "obstruction" call. So, you see the defense playing the body when the forwards approach the net. In North American hockey, the defense goes after the puck. In the Olympics, the goalie can play the puck anywhere behind the goal line, even way into the corners. I saw a goalie get an assist yesterday. There is some hitting, but not as much, I suppose because the rink is wider and there's less play right up against the boards. There seems to be more hooking, although they don't seem to call it much. I noticed that the defense will hold the puck behind their net for long periods of time to allow a line change, but North American players tend to keep the puck moving and execute line changes a bit faster. Of course, there's the no-touch icing in the Olympics, with which I'm familiar from playing in recreational leagues where it makes sense. And I noticed yesterday that they resolve a tie with a 10 minute overtime, then a best of 3 shootout. Canada won the shootout, so I didn't get to witness any differences in the shootout, but there is a difference in the rules. In the Olympics, if the game remains tied after the first three shooters, any player can be chosen to shoot any number of times. In the NHL, I believe that everyone has to shoot once before anyone can shoot twice. In the NHL a team can dress 18 skaters and 2 goalies. In the Olympics it's 20 skaters and 2 goalies. In examining the rule book, I noticed that anyone who was on the ice can take a penalty shot, where in America only the victim of the infraction can take the penalty shot, which I think makes sense unless the guy gets dazed or injured in the process.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Almost punched a guy.

So, last Saturday I went to Cowboys Stadium on a whim to see if I could find a cheap ticket at the last minute. There were plenty and I started a bidding war and got a ticket for far less than face value. I got to the stadium just in time for the national anthem. It was played on guitar by Ted Nugent, and it rocked, up to a point where it was drowned out by a group of Mexicans in a nearby standing room only section chanting "Gringos suck!" I was about >< that close to punching the one closest to me, but the song ended and they stopped and I thought that I'd rather see the game than worry about a bunch of drunken idiots misbehaving in the cheap seats. Anyway, I don't know of anything as spectacular as Cowboys Stadium in Mexico. If you don't like gringos, please go back to Mexico. Next time, I'll probably be less tolerant if you disrespect Ted Nugent, and even less tolerant if you are shouting slurs during the Star Spangled Banner.