Helsinki

It is snowing. Woot. We had been warned not to expect any snow.

Achill Sionnach

A good event which all the scouts enjoyed. The weather coperated with just enough rain to make things interesting.
We had a fire on the beach beside high camp on the Saturday night with some very humerous performances from both staff and scouts.
The photo below is the view I woke up to on Sunday morning.

Off to Helsinki in the morning. Looking forward to the week off lots.

Scott Adams regains his voice

Scott Adams has regained his voice after 18 months. Just so amazing a story.
Read the Good News.

This firewall thing.

Apologies that this is work related but it needs to be somewhere google can find it.
Every so often I see someone complaining on one forum or another *cough* boards.ie *cough* complaining that we do not let customers configure the firewall on their modems. There is a reason for this.

The reason we don’t let customer configure their modems firewall is that it doesn’t do anything. Our modems are not acting as NAT routers / PPPoE Clients. They are basicly switches. This means no layer 3 handling, no need to map ports. So any config a user might apply would be ignored. Also should a user put the modem into routed mode a TV stream or two and it will melt. DSL modems are not exactly high powered. The other reason we do not let users fiddle with the modem is because we have QOS settings to protect both the TV and Voice traffic.

So how does it work: You plug in your PC and it requests an IP address via DHCP. The DLSAM and the provisioning system have a quick conversation and then assign your PC an IP address. A unique Public IP address which supports any application. The only filtering we do on a customers port is some basic stuff to prevent common viruses and spam bots.

If you then plug in another PC, your friends laptop when they are visiting, that new xbox you got for your birthday they will just be assigned an IP address of their own. Magnet’s FTTH and LLU networks have been certified as suitable for use with xbox live. 95% of the tests didn’t apply to our networks because we don’t do things like NAT.

The reason we do not let users configure the firewall is that it has no function.
Anyway here ends the Rant.

Health and Saftey

Someone just posted the sign below above our water cooler in work. I despair for the state of the world.

stupid sign

So LAMM is with us once again and this year we are off to the far north of Scotland. Inchnadamph in Assynt to be particular. Should be lots of fun. Our team number is 515 if you want to keep an eye on our progress over the weekend.

map
colin and peter at start

Recent Photos

Here are some photos from some recent outings with the camera.

bluebells

flower

flower and fountain

bird attack

thrush

robin

bird feeding

jill

Three Good Restaurants

A quick roundup of three very nice restaurants that I have dined in recently.

lovely food

  • Kinara

    Pakistani and Indian cuisine that tastes great and is served in some impressive bowls. They even passed my special test of bringing an extra spoon for the LadyFriend when only I have ordered dessert. They have never served me a bad meal in many several visits. Also earning bonus points for finding room for a last minute reservation when the need arose.

  • Picasso

    Very nice Italian in Clontarf. A little pricey but really great food. Some of the seafood specials are amazing. Despite service which was a touch below par for the price range they still get a recomendation. I am reliably informed that they also posses a selection of authentic Italian liquors and beers.

  • Bella Cuba

    Just so as to not be all Clontarf based this fine eatery in Ballsbridge is also well worth a visit. Cuban quisine not being that common in this part of the world the whole menu is just that bit different. I will be returning soon.

Digital Terrestrial Television

So last week the DCMNR annouced a Pilot Digital Terrestrial Television service from Three Rock and Clermont Carn in Co Louth and according to media reports there will be approx 1000 Set Top Boxes given to test users during this two year pilot.

RTE Mast

This is the kind of thing that gets me somewhat agitated about this country. The time for pilot schemes is past. Freeview is the deployed DTT solution across the UK. We should just deploy it here. The reasons are many but the most important are:

  • Time to Market

    A two year pilot will run until 2008 and only then will we start trying to deploy a nationwide transmission infrastructure. Given the usual delays for procurment etc it will be 2010 before this gets anywhere. With a proposed switchoff date of 2012 for analogue services this is leaving things a little tight.

    Oh and the public don’t get the benifits of Digital TV until this is done.

  • Intergration

    Most of the main channels besides RTE have already intergrated their interactive services with the freeview system. RTE would be able to utilise the BBCs experience in deploying interactive services on the freeview system.

  • Consumer Cost

    There is a vibrant market for freeview set top boxes in the UK which has driven the cost of these units down to approx €50. Why pick a different platform where the benifits of volume are lost.

As someone who was involved in the early DTT work in RTE back in 1999 it is somewhat disapointing that it will have taken 10 years or more to deploy services to the public and this delay is due to the various ministers who always manage to messup even the simple things.

Best Worst Movie Ever!!!

Caught this on TV a few weeks ago. The Best Worst Movie Ever.

While filming a advertisment, some extreme sports enthusiasts unwittingly stop a group of terrorists.

It has everything, the misunderstood blonde olympic skier who is trying to find her passion, the tomboy, the misfit secretly in love with the tomboy, central european war criminals, dramatic chase sequences, the director who resents the olympic skier but who will come to respect her and help her find her passion, silly pranks, avalanches & helicopters.

Movie Poster

Currently watching BMX Bandits at the minute and man is it bad. Nicole Kidman’s hair in particular.