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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Weekend Recap

Following the rain yesterday, today was a gorgeous, beautiful day. So naturally, we spent most of it asleep on the couch. The rest was good, though.

We've been having internet connection trouble all weekend. I suspect that at least one of the following things is happening: we have a neighbor doing something bandwidth intensive, Cox Cable is having trouble (and/or performing maintenance), our wireless network is conflicting with another nearby, or someone is trying to crack our network.

Since I only have any control over the last two, I checked our firewall logs. It does look like we've been getting portscanned, but not enough that it should cause trouble for us. Just to be on the safe side, I tightened up our security a little more to cut down on the scans, changed our wireless channel (to hopefully avoid conflicts), and changed from WEP to WPA security (to make cracking more difficult). Dunno yet if it's made any difference.

Why Apple OS X is Better Than Windows XP, Reason #2849:
When setting up WPA security, I had to select a 63-character random passcode, which then had to be retyped into both our laptops. Now, it's not easy to accurately type something that long without making a mistake, and any mistake would keep you from connecting to the wireless network. Microsoft's solution in Windows XP is to hide the passcode from you as it's being typed, showing instead a dot for each character. To ensure accuracy, you have to type it twice, and then Windows will tell you if they match. That's 126 random characters without being able to see what you're doing.

Apple, when faced with the same basic problem, only requires you to type the passcode once, while giving you the option to temporarily see what you're typing. Brilliant! I love this feature!!! Simple, easy, and elegant!

It's the small details, Redmond. Look and learn.


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