31/03/2008

Today I was at the home of colleague to make it possible for him to connect from home with his laptop to the company network. At first all went smoothly. The wireless network-adapter was installed within a few minutes. It got a strong and clear signal. And of course the connection was secured.

But strangely enough I could not connect to the company network. Quickly I found out that for some reason the laptop didn’t get an IP-address reached out. So I checked all on the laptop and my conclusion had to be that it was not cause of this. The problem had to be at the router/network side. The router did came along with the Internet account. So I called the helpdesk of the ISP for suggestions…. a foolish thing to do, I know…

Him: “Goodday, you speak with the helpdesk of <bliep>. How can I help you?”
Me: “Hello, you speak with Rob Berkers. I am helping a colleague to set up his laptop for usage with Internet. His other laptop works without any problems, but for some reason this laptop doesn’t get IP-address.”
Him: “I see, Sir. I think the router has lost its connection to the Internet. Could you please reset the router?”
Me: “Ermmm… sure, but I just told that the other laptop is working great over here. But if you want us to reset the router… we will!”
(Of course did resetting the router not help)

Him: ” Strange! Mostly this solves most problems. Then you should turn off the firewall. Firewalls are known to stop many things…”
(Ermm… Firewalls are MEANT to stop things. But most common services are allowed to go through….)
Me: “So you want to turn off the firewall? I mean… sure, the Windows Firewall is not the best one, but still…. Anyway, if you want to have it shutdown…”
(He starts to explain me to click op “start”-button and before he can tell to go to the configuration panel, the Firewall is down…. and of course, this didn’t help at all)

Him: “Do you use any other security software?”
Me: “Of course there is anti-virus software installed. McAfee Virusscan Enterprise 8 in this case…”
Him: “Ahh there we have it. McAfee is crap and it stops the IP requests. Norton does the same. You have to uninstall it… and I will warn you, unstalling might be a problem….”
Me: “You really want me to uninstall the virus-protection???”
Him: “Yes???”
Me: “I won’t. And please don’t tell me that anti-virus software stops the network side to supply a IP address…”
(I feel how my blood starts to flow faster… my lips start to tremble… a bad sign)….

Him: “Ohh… hmmm… I see. Maybe I should check the DHCP over here to see if it works well…”
Me: ” Yes…. maybe you check your DHCP…… Do you know what DHCP stands for?” (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocal)
(Some stumbling that show he doesn’t)
Me: “And while you are at it… check you DNS… you know what that means?” (Domain Name Servers…. well, I have to admit that he know that one…. )

(The conversation goes on and slowly I feel myself switch to BOFH mode….)
He: ” We should test if there is any connection to the Internet.”
Me: “Sure. How we do that?”
He: “Do you know how to ping?”
Me: “Funny enough I do. Which IP address?”
He: “Any.”
Me: “Any? Will 127.0.0.1 do?”
He: “Yes… of course…”
(And he made just a fool of himself… The mentioned IP address is the so called “loopback address”, it refers to the own computer… so if IP is active, a ping to that address will always be successful”.
Me: “Ohhh… it works. And such a fast high response times…”
(Gave him here a change to correct himself….)
He: “Yes, Sir. And as it shows you have a connection to the Internet, so it must be a problem with the laptop itself!”

Sure!!!! I will write tomorrow a mail to the helpdesk manager there….. and I just remembered why I left that bunch 3 years ago….


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It is a small world after all…

by Rob on

Friday evening I had to do overtime. We had work to do on the network that couldn’t be done while people were working on the network.

As normally time goes very fast during such a evening. And before I knew it the time was there to catch the last train home. But with enough time left I arrived on the railroad station of the city of Deventer and jumped in the train in the direction of Hengelo. I had to get another train in the city of Almelo. And here things went wrong, the train arrived too late in Almelo and I had to take a train later to Hengelo….. which meant I just missed the last bus of that day in the direction of the town of Haaksbergen (where I live).

Only thing left to was to take a taxi that would bring me home. That was easy, there are always enough taxi’s there.

In the taxi I had right away the feeling that I knew the driver. When he asked me if I had lived in the past in the town of Borne, I knew I was right. It turned he was the husband of someone I knew from the time I lived there. I was great to talk with him and to catch up bit. There was enough to tell. It was many years ago….

It is a small world after all….


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Busy time and a desire to rest…

by Rob on

Times are very busy at the moment…. work mostly. The mean two things I am busy with are the editing of pictures for the new catalogue  of company… boring work of repeating over and over again the same tasks. But it has to be done. Tomorrow evening (Friday) and (partly) Saturday I have to do overtime for working on some network matters.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind hard working. And I do realize that sometimes boring work can belong to that.
But the thing is that right now I have a strong desire to lean back, rest and reflect on all that is going on. Think that has to wait for the next weekend….

 

(Credit photo: Rob)


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As Marion asked me yesterday I made some photos in the different kinds of “black & white”. I had a hard time to find something suiting, because I wanted a setup with some bright and soft colors, as a reflecting surface and something that is solid…. and as often, that what you look far for is right under your noise…

Here the color picture. Notice the different colors (also the tones in color), as the reflecting of light on the advertisement for Ellen ten Damme (yeah, yeah… I know what is an example to show :P).

The next example is black & white. This means all colors are converted to gray scales. In my opinion this add a sad and cold atmosphere to a picture… and yet, I have seen black & white picture that showed lots of life and happiness. A lot depends on how the picture was made.

Sepia instead adds in my opinion an warm and romantic tone to a picture. It adds softness to the picture.

At last we have cool blue. Well, the name already says it… cool, cold, without emotions. Not something I would use quickly.

I hope these examples showed something about the differences between these different kinds of black & white. A lot depends on personals preferences and taste.
Also realize that sepia and cool blue can be used in many tones and degrees, which can change a picture a lot.


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Somewhere in the middle here in town is old storage for cattle-food. It is an old building and I am pretty sure that it soon will be demolished. It is a big and very high building…

In it own way it is a impressive sight and somehow the view just belongs to the town of Haaksbergen. Recently I have been playing with black & white pictures. I noticed that a black & white picture can give a complete different atmosphere… In the picture above it almost if the colors are too joyful for the picture…

Somehow the sight of the building in black & white fits better. More moody, more sorrowful… fitting for such an old and crumbling building that is facing the end of its time…

As a side note… see the gravity above the tackle? So persons must have been a bit tired of their lives.

Someone I talked today was surprised that I was considering to make this pictures in black & white. Black & white was so old fashioned in his opinion. I think he is wrong. For a certain group of pictures black & white adds clearly to that what the picture is trying to say.

Take a look at the two next pictures. An old loading door in the same building as above… first in color and then in black& white…

Personally I think that the black & white one is better. Maybe it is the mood of the picture or maybe because the black & white somehow is a good combination with something that old. Most likely both…

Because of this experimenting and playing with black & white I looked some things up. There are photographers who do most or all of their work in black & white. And I have to admit that I saw some awesome things. I really can understand that they have chosen to do there work in this line.

Maybe I will add later an list with link to the work of photographers I really like. Looking at their work and reading about it is a good way to learn more about photography.

But even for old buildings there are pictures that look better in color! The one below is an example of it. I was very surprised to see on the roof of this old and high building a small tree growing. Can there be a strong sign of the strength of nature? For this picture color all the way!

 

(Credit photo’s: Rob)


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by Rob on

 

Just remembered why I loved the song below always so much :) 

Africa 
(by Toto)

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
Shes coming in 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, hurry boy, its waiting there for you

Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do whats right
Sure as kilimanjaro rises like olympus above the serengeti
I seek to cure whats deep inside, frightened of this thing that Ive become

Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Hurry boy, shes waiting there for you

Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in africa, I bless the rains down in africa
I bless the rains down in africa, I bless the rains down in africa
I bless the rains down in africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had


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“Innocent until proofed quilty” was for me always the base of any justice system I believed in and stood for.

Lately I see changes around me I don’t like. I get more and more the feeling that things are changing towards that anybody could be a possible criminal or possible terrorist. Many measures are taken these days “just in case”.
Latest example of this is the idea of someone at Scotland Yard to collect the DNA of difficult children just in case they may do a crime in the future. So when you a bit out of controle when you are young (and remember, many of us were that as well) you will be already marked as possible criminal!

This is really going way to far. Not the children who are targetted here are a threat to our society, but the people who come up with ideas like this and try to push them through. They are the real threat.

As long you belong to the big majorty, all is okay. But if you are different or act different, then you are suspicious… For heaven sakes, you do something very strange as encrypting mail and files. You must be a wannebe terrorist if you do. Why else you should try to hide something? They never realize that it might be about privacy, things that only should be each of a person and the ones he or she trusts. And there is complete no need for a government or alike to have a backdoor to encryption software.

Innocent until proofed quilty! Nothing else then that…


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A small meeting of friends…

by Rob on

Yesterday afternoon was nice. A group of friends and I had dinner together. We were making plans for a long weekend together sowhere later in the year.
It is always nice to have this group together. I always consider it wonderful that a group of so different people can come along so well. Look at us… a shop owner and his wife (who works as a nurse), a very dedicated business woman, a teacher, a constructor worker and a system administrator/programmer (me!). People with such different ways of living. I think it is all about respect towards another way of living and above all, not trying to change it to something one consider better. It is the same respect I have written about before. Live and let live…

Of course we not only talked about the weekend away. But many subjects went around… general subjects as taxes, the weather. But also more actual matters as the lunatic Geert Wilders and his anti-Koran movie (something we all agreed on, the movie should not be published) or the US elections. It is good to agree that one can disagree.

The chinese food was wonderful. We had ordered together one big dish with all kind of special and delicious food. It was very good and more as we could handle.

And oh, we will be going to Sealand (the Dutch province Sealand, not the country New Sealand :P).


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A small reward… for myself :P

by Rob on

Last week was a very busy week. Long working days with hard, hard working….

So now that week it over, I thought it would good to reward myself a little. So I bought myself two “little” things to add to my photo equipment…
First a converter2x… this means when I place this converter between the camera-body and a optical, it will double the range of the optical. So my 300mm lens becomes a 600mm lens… and that is awesome to make pictures from a big distance. Only backside is that you will lose a bit light, but for daytime photo’s that is no problem. Maybe logical, but when using this converter with my 300mm lens, you need a tripod. It is not possible to make pictures with the camera free in the hand…
The other thing I bought is a set 3 macro’s lenses that equal to a 100cm macro lens. So one can take picture from very close to an object.

The real reason I bought these two things is to find what I want to buy next… a very good tele-lens or a very good macro-lens. But with playing a little with these today I still don’t know…. maybe I should enjoy these two things and buy and a good external flashlight (which is something else that I still need)…

Decisions… decisions… decisions… :)


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Red Bubble

The Israeli sociolist Etzoni claims that the government is so trustworthy that civilians don’t have to be scared when their privacy is taken away from them. It seems that he has a lot of support among the Dutch politicians.

Yes, of course it is the wet dream of every government to have access to all information about someone in one mouse click, no matter if this information is relevant or not.

First thing that comes to mind is: Who guards the guardians? In this case clearly nobody! And so we are ourselves responsible for this. But with all the measures the government takes “to protect us against terrorism” the individual privacy will break down more and more.
Sure, terrorism needs to be taken care of. But realize that the change that you will die by a traffic accident or a fatal disease is many times bigger then a death by a act of terrorism. So I think I know where the priorities should be… Clearly not this main focus on terrorism (and specially not how it is used by leaders of many countries, Europe and The Netherlands included).

1984? Big brother? Not far away fiction, but close by reality.

Strange enough (or maybe not that strange) many IT specialists are very concerned about the current threats for human privacy. They know the possibilities to connect databases and set relations between them, even when these databases are stored on great distance from each other.
Mostly they also realise the risks of this kind of things. One has only to think of misinterpretation of data, accessibility of data, security of data to mention a few.
Sure, there are enough people who are also worried about their privacy. But a majority doesn’t even care, if they realise at all what is going on.

Sadly many people relate a demand for privacy to that you must have something to hide. It is the other way around. That I see no need that someone else knows all about me, doesn’t mean I have something to hide. It is just not their matter to know all about me.
And lets be honest, everyone has something to hide… your employer who shouldn’t you are looking for new job… your partner who should not know about that night you really misbehaved when you where younger… the neighbors who don’t have to know with bars you visit in the weekend… and so and so. Small examples, but that is also privacy! Take it a to a higher level and you know what the privacy I am talking about. Think about examples as physical privacy (as searching your bags without real reason or the use of your DNA), information privacy (the way governments or organizations handle our personal information as age, addresses, sexual preference, political opinion and so on) or freedom from excessive surveillance (our right to go about our daily lives without being surveilled or having all our action caught on camera).

Privacy is important to have and to protect…
And yes:

“People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.”

 

(Credit photo: Red Bubble)


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