free hit counter

Friday, October 29, 2004

Distribute cell phone calls via cordless phone in your house

cellsocket -
Xcelis Pantheon -
Cidco -
Dock-N-Talk -

Inching closer to completely cutting the cord. These boxes will distribute cell phone calls via the cordless phone in your house.

Multi handset 900Mhz phone system

Uniden DXI986-2C-R 900 MHz Cordless Phone

I want a good 900 MHz phone system that accomodates multiple handsets and a speakerphone. This Uniden set has two handsets. But it doesn't look like it has a speaker phone

This is an ultra long range system, but is $500 for two handsets, $660 for three!
Engenius SN-920

Hmm, I'll have to keep looking.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

skype hardware

This headset from etymotic is supposedly great, but for this price I'd like it to be wireless! You can use with the GE Audio Hub (Model HO97950) to make Skype calls.

The best thing for Skype seems to be the phone connector

seemless VOIP over WLAN to GSM handoffs

UMA Technology : Extending Mobile Services to unlicensed Spectrum

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

automating cheater detection with the Google web API

Last night I was helping Amy find plagiarizers in her class using Google. Amazing how easy it is to nail the little buggers.

I was thinking of automating the process with the google web API, but it would probably take longer to scan and OCR the papers than to just punch in the specific offenders by hand.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Firefox Extensions

It took me a couple of weeks to get around to messing with firefox extensions since I made the switch. But boy are they cool!

My favorites so far:
IEView: (reluctant first because there so many damn IE only pages!)
Image Zoom:
Disable Targets for Downloads

Sunday, October 24, 2004


I wanted to compare some data and got all excited about using the two sample t-test, but then read some caveats about the two sample t-test,
then found that a better choice for small sample sets is the Mann-Whitney test

Friday, October 22, 2004

GSM Spectrum Allocation - Frequencies

GSM Spectrum Allocation - Frequencies

You wouldn't beleive how hard it was to find an authoritative list if the customarily used frequencies for GSM. It doesn't get any more authoritative than this.

web page counter

Ok, so I'm not much of a web geek. But this looks to be just about everything I want from a site counter. Principly it's not obnoxious, it's free, and it counts unique visitors. Oh, and there's an html only option so people (like me) can read my blog from a Hiptop/Sidekick device.

They get [some of] their revenue from ads shown on their page when you check up on your stats. (took me awhile to find their angle on this)

Let me know if you know of a better free site counter.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

excellent human machine interface

Looks to be an ingenious human machine interface device. Basicly it's a build your own synthesizer interface. The idea of being able to really customize it (not just change its colors) to fit a particular application is really apealing.

The only drawback I can see is that touch pads have zero tactile feedback, and it seems with a musical instrument you don't want to be staring down at the thing you're operating.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004 Performance Test Performance Test

This is a good site for testing performance of your GPRS/EDGE modem. Other slites like DSL Reports broadband speed test aren't accurate for slow speeds like GPRS.

gsm modem faq.

gsm modem faq.

Good intro to AT commands

GPRS: GPRS connection steps

GPRS: GPRS connection steps

May you have a look on or
It shows how to send and Email or how to access to a HTTP server.

Example HTTP client application
Let's suppose you want to connect your embedded device to an HTTP server and retrieve an HTML page using the EASY GPRS feature.

Initial data:
Server to be contacted:
Application Layer Protocol: HTTP1.0 (RFC1945)
Page to be retrieved: homepage of server

GPRS settings:
APN: internet.gprs
IP of GPRS device: dynamically assigned by the network
DNS: assigned by the network
USERID: Happy User

Checking on the RFC990 the HTTP service we can found that the port 80 is dedicated for HTTP service, therefore our HTTP server will be waiting for incoming connections on that port and we will fix the EASY GPRS port to be contacted on the remote server exactly to 80.Second thing we have to discover is whether the transport protocol has to be TCP or UDP; on theRFC1945 we can read that the HTTP Application layer protocol is meant to be on top of TCP/IPprotocol, therefore the transport protocol choice will fall on TCP. Now we have all the information needed to configure our system. With your microcontroller you issue to the GM862-GPRS the following AT commands:

AT+CGDCONT = 1,"IP","internet.gprs","",0,0(1-GPRS context setting)
AT#USERID = "Happy User"(2-Authentication setting)
AT#PASSW = "EASY GPRS"(2-Authentication setting)
AT#SKTSET= 0,80,""(3-remote host setting)

For our convenience we store all these parameters with the command:
Now we can activate the GPRS connection and let the GPRS module contact the server:
When we receive the CONNECT indication, then we are exchanging data with the HTTP server program on the remote host machine. Now following the HTTP protocol we ask for the homepage by sending the following lines on the serial line:

GET / HTTP/1.0
Connection: keep-alive

As a response to our query the HTTP server will reply with the HTML code of the homepage and some debugging responses that we will see directly on the serial line:

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Date: Thu, 06 2003 10:21:58 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.27 (Unix)
Last-Modified: Thu, 06 2003 10:21:58 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
X-Cache: MISS from
Connection: close

… here is all the HTML code of the page..


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

different kinds of software engineers

The detailed VENN diagram on this page is great. I don't know how accurate their numbers are, but It is such a true statement that you can sort most software developers into one of two camps by asking:
1. Can you define the tenets of Object Oriented programming?
2. Can you use an oscilloscope?

Rare indeed is a sofware engineer who can go from troubleshooting the rise/fall times on the I2C data they're generating to writing a database application complete with GUI.

2.4Ghz antenna - ad nauseam

2.4Ghz antenna - redux

This hombrew antenna looks like a nice omni. Big, but nice. Of course, doesn't it defeat the purpose of being mobile to have your laptop wired to this beast?

I wonder how well it works attached to an AP.

a better hiptop developer community

Monday, October 18, 2004

network performance testing

Thursday, October 14, 2004

you mean I just follow the directions?

So I've installed cygwin before and had problems with groups and permissions. It prints out a nice message saying run 'mkgroup -l -d > /etc/group' . In the past I couldn't get this figured out.

Well, it actually works. The catch is, you need to be logged in as the domain adminstrator.

So if you're on a domain at work, ask your IT people to login and run mkgroup and mkpasswd for you on your cygwin machine. You'll be much happier.

X-Launcher for cygwing

Mortens Cygwin X-Launcher Official webpage

I'm currently reinstalling cygwin. I never really got the x client to work as well as I had hoped. Maybe this will work a little better.

find out that your hard disk is on its way to dying?

smartmontools Home Page (last updated $Date: 2004/10/02 20:55:48 $)

I fear the dreaded hard disk crash. I hate backing things up, but know I should do it more often.

This tool looks like it would help me be a little more proactive Wish I had the time to investigate this more closely.

changing the background on the XP login screen

You know when you search for something and just don't have the right words for it? Well two weeks ago I had the mental block, but today I pushed through it.

Windows XP Logon Wallpaper - How To Change It!

I thought it appropriate that the server, which our IT guys manag from a remote office, ought to have some sort of physical relevance. So I snapped a picture of the lab/server room and made it the server login background.

Well, *I* thought it was clever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

windows explorer shortcut to a specific folder

I don't know how many times I've done this and forgotten how I did it, but to make an explorer shortcut to a specific folder you use a target comand line like the following:

%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /e,c:\proj

Found on:;EN-US;q152457

Monday, October 11, 2004

e-mobile SIM card reader

So, I bought an e-Mobile SIM card reader, , about $20 off ebay.

Since I fried a SIM card last week I thought I could buy some blank SIM cards, which I did (gotta love eBay), and then copy them using a SIM card reader/writer.

Apparently, that's known as cloning, and many people would like to do it for nefarious purposes. There is some pretty decent security on new SIM cards and my 20 minute perusal showed that I wasn't going to be able to do it. Hopefully, neither can the bad people who would like to make calls on your dime using your cloned SIM card.

Though, the e-Mobile SIM reader/writer does work as a backup utility for SMS messages and phone book, BVRP's mobile phone tools and my cheap phone cable, (off eBay as well), do a much better job.

DI614+ Wireless Router vs. Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2100B

I love my DLink DWL650+ and my DI614+ , mostly because I had a hand in making the cursed things.

However, I'm not commited enough have the DWL650+ hanging off the side of my laptop when I have a cheap .11b card built into my Thinkpad T41. The router and the cheap .11b card used to work together just fine, but after I moved this summer the two wouldn't talk. I assumed it was the natural entropy of Windows that just happened to coincide with my move.

Well, after wiping my T41 clean this evening, that wasn't the problem. You need to go into the DI614+ , disable the cool 4x mode *and* remove 22Mbps from the basic rate set.

Well, the T41 did have many other issues. I'm not nearly at full functionality yet, but it does boot much faster!


What this is all about

So, this is an attempt at keeping some random notes for myself. I don't imagine anyone else will be interested, but hey, if this boring crap is your speed, glad to help.