All posts by Laz

HP gets tone on 3Com

I don’t know about any of you, but more than network cards, I cut my networking teeth on 3Com gear.  Routers, switches, hubs and more, in fact, I still have a 10baseT FMSII hub around here somewhere.  I know, I know, stop laughing, it’s a keepsake more than anything.  I start this pedantic rant down memory lane because it appears that HP (Hewlett-Packard) is going to snap up 3Com in a deal worth almost $3 billion.  Wow, that’s a lot of coins in the couch cushions!  I hope they don’t destroy 3Com like they did Compaq after Compaq destroyed DEC (Digital Equipment Corp).  I am still a fan of 3Com gear, especially when they kept U.S. Robotics (who made the best modem in the world as far as I can tell) mostly whole after the two merged.  I thought this was an interesting tidbit, so I wanted to share it with everyone.

Check out HP’s press release at www.hp.com …

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Facebook for iPhone developer quits project

This is an interested tidbit of information, at least it is to me.  I read the article linked below that talks about the developer that brought you the Facebook app for the iPhone, Joe Hewitt, deciding to hang it up after he had basically had it with Apple and their tyrannical approval processes for their iPhone app store.  It’s an interesting read, check it out.  It kind of surprised me though, since Apple seems to (me anyway) present this image of being the cool, somewhat aloof non-company company, whereas here it seems like they are acting just like Microsoft or something.  I guess big companies are still big companies, and most of them just can’t get away from whatever it is that makes them a**holes.  Maybe I should start a list of companies that I have dealt with that are good folk to work with, that care and help a guy out, and then those that are jerks.  Hmmmm.

See the whole story at www.techcrunch.com …

Left 4 Dead 2

This isn’t a review specifically, but I wanted to post some thoughts on the sequel to the smash hit Left 4 Dead, aptly named Left 4 Dead 2.  At first glance, this game seems like a mod more than a true sequel.  The four main characters are new and different, and there are some new zombies to fight.  Don’t forget the addition of some wicked cool new weapons that allow for some more, shall we say, resourceful play.  However, aside from the new eyecandy, it seems about the same.  I am not sure what is in there that classifies this as a whole new release, except that since the first one was so popular, this one was sure to make Valve some money.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not one of these moonbats that is boycotting the game and/or the company because they released the sequel so soon.  Far from it, and yes I bought the sequel, that’s how I can have some input on it, I have access to the demo.  It’s a free country and Valve has every bit the right to release a quick sequel, just as these people who are upset have not to buy it.  I guess I was hoping for a little more out of a so-called sequel.  Now, to be fair, this *is* the demo I am playing and not the full release, so I know there are lots of things that I haven’t seen yet that may fill it on out and make me change that sentiment.  Even so, either way it’s a way fun game (both of them) and I am sure I will get plenty of enjoyment out of it.  Come to think of it, I have gotten more enjoyment out of the first Left 4 Dead than I have out of a lot of the games I have purchased over the years.  It’s not hard to find a game that looks good, reads good on the ‘net, but is a real clunker once you shell out $50 for it.

OK, I’ll report back more when I have it, stay tuned!

FREE software from SafelyRemove.com

Here you go folks!  There is an interesting program called USB Safely Remove, a self proclaimed must have if you frequently use such hotplug devices as: flash drives, USB\SATA drives, card readers and the like. Read more about it at:

http://safelyremove.com/

Download the program here:

http://safelyremove.com/usbsafelyremovesetup.exe

If you hurry, you can get a free license for version 4.1 of this software. Go to:

http://safelyremove.com/giveaway10K.htm

They are giving away 10,000 license keys and as of 10/2/2009 at 1740 hours, they still had some to give away, so get on over there and check it out.  I haven’t use it yet, but I just now downloaded it and got my key.  I’ll put up a review when I have played with it some.  Enjoy!

Verizon Cripples Users Email

Guess what kiddies, in troubleshooting an email connection for a customer that was unable to send any email through one of my servers, I found the problem was not quite what I expected.  The good news is that the problem wasn’t my mail server, or even on my end at all for that matter.  After some testing and digging I found that the problem is that Verizon has now blocked ALL out bound port 25 traffic.  Period.  As you know, port 25 is the standard RFC compliant port for SMTP communication, and Verizon has blocked all port 25 traffic as a means to fight SPAM.  Uh-huh.  Sure.

This means that you cannot use any other email provider for sending mail unless they support a non-standard port for their SMTP service, or you are using webmail exclusively.  This, to me, is wrong on so many levels.  First off, it’s not helping in the SPAM wars as far as I can tell.  I am told the same thing by some Verizon customers I surveyed.  Second, it’s just wrong to cut out basically all other mail providers like that.  This is yet another example of how stupid Verizon is, and how they cannot manage their service at all.

I have done business with many, many telco’s over the years, and Verizon tops the list by a mile of the worst service providers to deal with.  Some of the most incompetent people, bone headed mistakes and plain batshiat crazy experiences have all been at the hands of Verizon.  I hope this is just the first of many nails in their coffin.

One last thing, conveniently enough, the only way around this is to upgrade to FIOS (or other non-specified broadband service) and pay extra for a static IP address.  How nice.  Read more here.

Piggyback App On Java Update

Here is a heads up that we are seeing the online backup application Carbonite, put out by the company of the same name, bundled with a Java update. If you aren’t careful, when you click through the Java update installer, you get Carbonite and a 30 day trial subscription to the service. Not sure if the trial subscription is automatic or if that’s an extra step. Now, I am not saying anything bad or good about Carbonite, I haven’t ever used the service (naturally I prefer MYfilesanywhere), but any time an application gets installed automagically without my express consent, it sets off a red flag in my book.