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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Juicy Studio: Readability Test for this site Juicy Studio: Readability Test for this site

Juicy Studio: Readability Test: Readability Results for http://bhayden.blogspot.com/
Readability Results - Summary Value

Total sentences 364
Total words 4,717
Average words per Sentence 12.96
Words with 1 Syllable 3,228
Words with 2 Syllables 932
Words with 3 Syllables 401
Words with 4 or more Syllables 156
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 11.81%
Average Syllables per Word 1.47
Gunning Fog Index 9.91
Flesch Reading Ease 69.59
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 6.77
Interpreting the Results

Philip Chalmers of Benefit from IT provided the following typical Fog Index scores, to help ascertain the readability of documents.
Typical Fog Index Scores Fog Index Resources
6 TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain
8 Reader's Digest
8 - 10 Most popular novels
10 Time, Newsweek
11 Wall Street Journal
14 The Times, The Guardian
15 - 20 Academic papers
Over 20 Only government sites can get away with this, because you can't ignore them.
Over 30 The government is covering something up"

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My local network - again My local network - again

I didn't mention why I was doing all of this networking stuff.

First, I am borderline obsessive/compulsive. So, it is hard to leave a job like this undone.

But more importantly, I am working at putting up a web site for my patent practice to, hopefully, attract more clients.

Sure, I could use a commercial service, but how much fun would that be? Besides, it would be nice to have the ability to run multiple sites, to upload pictures from my skiing trips (everyone seems to have digital cameras these days - so we get lots and lots of pictures), and to run my own email system.

The only real cost to me is the DSL (which I have anyway for patent searching), an old computer for the server, the cost of a static IP address (about $5 a month), and the cost of registering whatever domains I want. And this lets me expand almost for free.

So, my plan had been to put up the server behind the router firewall. But I was somewhat worried about security with my other computers also behind that firewall. So, my latest solution is to attach the server to the USB port of the DSL modem, while the rest of the computers are connected to the router. They are thus protected by the router's firewall from anyone accessing the server. Then, when I want to update the server, I can either do it through the router and modem, or, more likely, just plug it into the router. Then, when I am done updating it, I just unplug it from the router.

The major problem that I potentially see is that the USB connection is not as fast as the Ethernet connection. But this shouldn't be a major problem since the USB connection is still quite a bit faster than DSL. Also, DSL is optimized for downloads, and this would technically be uploads, so I may end up putting my work web pages up on a commercial web site after all. But I should still be able to run email and private web sites from this server.


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Finally getting my local network running Finally getting my local network running

I have been struggling for quite awhile getting my local network running. Off and on, for a couple of months.

The basic problem is that I recently started subscribing to DSL. The DSL modem kindly provided one Ethernet connection, one wireless connection, and one USB connection. I wanted to add a router in front of the DSL modem so that I could connect the DSL modem to multiple computers over Ethernet.

This had worked just fine when I used one of my routers with a cable modem with cox.net several years ago. The installation was pretty painless. Very little in the way of configuration. Rather, I just just had to tell the modem how to connect to cox.net. Voila. Running network.

Well, I got the DSL modem to work well connected directly to a computer. But, the minute I put a router in front of it, it disappeared. Add to this, that in order to configure the modem, I needed to hook it up to the Ethernet cable instead. And, as I noted above, the modem only has one Ethernet port, and if it was connected to a computer, it couldn't be connected to the router. I could ameleorate this a bit by enabling wireless on the modem - but every time I reinitialized it to factory defaults, I would have to reenable wireless, which would, of course, require hooking it up to the Ethernet cable...

First thing I figured out yesterday was to hook the DSL modem directly to this laptop via the USB port. Whoops. Don't have the USB driver. Took awhile, but finally tracked it down. But when I did, and also tracked down a USB extension, this solved the first problem. I just had to remember the IP address I had assigned to the modem, and I could configure it just fine, without switching Ethernet cables around.

Still couldn't get from the router to the modem. Indeed, according to Ping, it didn't exist, but I knew it did, because DHCP on the modem would assign an IP address to the router. Plus, the router would occasionally show up in the trace files on the modem. So, I knew there was a physical connection, but not a logical connection.

I tried using totally default IP addresses throughout. No go. I tried my usual internal IP addresses. Same thing. And then a light went off today. The default IP addresses (192.168.x.x) used by both the router and the modem are non-routable. In other words, packets to these IP addresses don't cross a firewall. Ditto with my own internal IP addresses (10.x.x.x). This works just fine behind te firewall in the router, or behind the firewall in the modem, if there is no router in front of it. But this means that I couldn't reach the modem through the firewall in the router.

The answer turned out to be to use semi-public IP addresses between the modem and the router. Luckily, I know of a Class-B subnet that is used very sparsely, and, essentially appriated a Class-C subnet from it - though this shoudn't be a problem in any case.

This worked fairly well, but somewhat intermittently. I could get to the modem via the router, and visa versa. But I couldn't always get outside. At one point, everything was working perfectly. Then I squeezed down the intermediate subnet and configured static IP addresses on two computers. And then I lost going outside (except, when using the USB port).

I went back, defaulted a lot of things, and one computer started to work right, but another didn't. It turns out that if you let Windows default everything, and get things automatically, the primary Gateway is in the next hop - the router. I had copied my successful USB configuration in which the primary Gateway was the modem. So, hard coding the Gateways was what did me in.

So, things are working just fine with the following:
- static IP addresses for all computers, router, and modem.
- IP addresses used between modem and router, USB, and Wireless are public (though actually unused).
- IP addresses used behind router are private.
- static Gateways with router listed first and modem second.
- static DNS with router listed first, modem second, and external last.

What I intend to do to finish this up:
- Turn DHCP off in both the router and the modem. Static IP addresses work just fine.
- Shrink down the two subnets to minimal size - I should be able to get by with a subnet of size 7 behind the modem, and 63 behind the router (and can shrink that down a bit by compressing my static IP addresses).

Oh, and the reason for this blog entry is show myself that it all works.


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Saturday, April 23, 2005

PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas

PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas (washingtonpost.com) is aghast that the Republican dominated board that runs PBS is looking it over for political bias and is hoping to clean such up.
"In an interview yesterday, CPB board chairman Ken Tomlinson called such comments 'paranoia,' and said critics of CPB's initiatives should 'grow up.'

'We're only seeking balance,' said Tomlinson. 'I am concerned about perceptions that not all parts of the political spectrum are reflected on public broadcasting. [But] there are no hidden agendas.'"

It is about time. I listen to PBS a lot as I drive across country. FM seems to be easier to receive than AM in the empty stretches of the west where I tend to drive, and thus, my primary news source then is PBS. But I often switch to Country Western (after all, this is the west we are talking about - about 50% of the stations on the air there are CW) because of some ulta-biased "news" stories on PBS. It seems that pretty much whatever stories they do these days has an ultra-liberal spin to it.


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The American Enterprise: John O'Neill The American Enterprise: John O'Neill

The American Enterprise: Interview with John O'Neill made a very good point about Vietnam and the effect that the Swift Boat Vets attack on John Kerry during the last election had on our national healing from that conflict:

"O'NEILL: Have you ever heard the poem 'Ulysses' by Alfred Lord Tennyson? Ulysses is at the end of his life and gets his old crew together and they sail around for one last great adventure--not too different from Admiral Hoffmann getting all of us together for one last shot that we thought was very much in the national interest of the United States.

The election aside, the attention focused on Vietnam has allowed the people who served there to confront this myth and lie about the Vietnam War and I think it's made a permanent change in the American psyche in terms of the treatment of people who served there. I think that the people on the left are now afraid to repeat the old myths that we were all war criminals. They've lost that battle.

TAE: You believe what you've done has changed the way the public views the Vietnam War?

O'NEILL: I do. I think that the change was coming to some degree without us, but I think that the public now realizes that the Vietnam War was a lost battle in a war that was won, the Cold War. Vietnam lives in darkness because we lost, but it's one lonely outpost of what used to be a vast threat to human freedom. And I think they recognize that our service there, while in a losing battle, was noble service.

TAE: Does this explain some of the anger directed toward your group by the Left? In attacking Kerry's war stance, you undermined part of their mythology?

O'NEILL: I think that is true. They attempted to claim that all Kerry had done was oppose the Vietnam War. That ignores the actual facts of his conduct itself, that is, meeting with the North Vietnamese, and criminalizing the people who disagreed with him. Those are myths so fanciful that no one can defend them. Another problem those on the left have is that history has not been kind to them. Kerry said that you can't stop the march of communism. We did. It is evident to anyone that the North Vietnamese imposed, as a result of our leaving, a cruel and barbaric tyranny that has left Vietnam a dark and depressed place compared to all of its neighbors. On the other hand, it's also clear that communism is now an ideology of the past that is fading from the Earth.

TAE: Is there an irony that John Kerry, the man who did more than any other to tarnish the image of the U.S. soldier in Vietnam, may inadvertently have helped a truer picture of that war spread across the nation in 2004 ?

O'NEILL: It haunts all of us that the first Vietnam veteran nominated for President would be John Kerry--the very last person most veterans would pick for high office. But it is ironic that his run for the White House may have finally initiated some less fictionalized thinking about the war.

TAE: Have you noticed a change among your fellow veterans since this started? Has it changed the way they feel about themselves?

O'NEILL: I think they're prouder of their service than they were. I've had many survivors of veterans, wives or children, tell me they felt liberated by what we did. They have endured the loss of a husband, the loss of a father, and had this blemish placed on those they lost by the radical elements of the Left in the late '60s and early '70s. They feel like it's been removed. They feel very liberated.

TAE: Would you describe the theme of this whole debate as moving from stolen honor to honor restored?

O'NEILL: Exactly so. Military people don't serve for pay. The kids who served with us had almost no money. What they had was their lives, their good names, their honor. The ones who died in Vietnam, who ranged in age from about 18 to 23, gave up their lives. They really gave them up, in the words of the Bible, for their neighbor. They had nothing directly to gain. They did it because the country asked. They did it to try and save Vietnam."


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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Illegal Immigration Illegal Immigration

There is the usual discussion going on right now on polipundit.com on how evil illegal immigration is. I respectfully disagree.

About 30 years ago, I worked at a brick factory in Boulder. It was back breaking work. You would either slam ten bricks together and pick them up horizontally, turn and stack them, or pick them up the same way wet, turn around and stack them on the drying racks. You did this for two hours, got a 15 minute break, two hours, 30 minute lunch, two hours, 15 minute break, two hours, and then you were done, unless there was a rush, and you had to work overtime. It was union, but only paid about 25% above minimum wage.

The owners of the brick company were both CU grads, and would love to have hired CU students. But, they would typically last less than a week. So, they ended up with a bunch of Mexicans, who would spend 4 months a year back in Mexico living like kings while the factory was closed for the winter (in Colo., most construction is during the summer). No one questioned their immigration status very closely, for good reason.

What was impressive was how hard they worked and how much they made that hard work enjoyable. Every half an hour or so, two of the younger guys would get into a race on stacking bricks, and the rest of us could kick back for ten minutes and slide. Made the job much more tolerable for those, like me, who were not used to this hard of work.

By and large, my experience with Mexican workers has been like this ever since. For the most part, they tend to work very hard in jobs that all those teenagers, et al. that you are talking about, who grew up in front of TVs, would refuse to do.


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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Love that technology Love that technology

A new toy out from Google. With their map product, you can now get satelite pictures of what you are looking at. Slick. And you can do some focusing in and out. I was able to clearly recognize my various abodes from such. What is next. Try:


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