Monday, August 29, 2005

Globat e-mail

I do a little bit of web work (soon to be even less). One customer uses CAD files. These can be very large, exceeding 30 MB. Their customers (not very high tech) had been e-mailing these to them. I have been using Globat for their web and e-mail hosting.

Recently, Globat converted their e-mail servers over to a clustered single-image server. I'm sure that will be a better system but it was some trauma to get to it. They rescheduled it with little notice the first time and then did it 2 hours EARLY when they finally did it. I had to make 3 trips to my customer to fix their Outlook settings.

Globat did one thing interesting. If you hadn't changed your e-mail settings, every time you checked your mail, you got an e-mail that told you that you needed to change it and how to do it. That was so effective that all the Outlook settings had been changed by the time I got there!

Now for the problem. Globat's new imposes a 10 MB limit on incoming e-mails. While I can kinda understand why, to do this without notice is VERY unacceptable.

Globat's technical support is as (in)competent as anybody's but their technical support phone system has an annoying characteristic of dropping bits of the conversation like they are using a heavily overloaded VoIP system. That always makes talking to them problematic. They swear their technical support is on-shore (they say they're in L.A.) but if so, they are all not native English speakers.

When this surfaced last Friday afternoon, I called their technical support and quickly escalated to a supervisor. He suggested that I created a subaccount ( but it is very awkward to upload files to this location. It requires my customer's customers to ftp to that directory or to drag-and-drop. This is not an acceptable alternative to my customer.

I've been trying to create a web page to allow users to browse to a file on their computer, click on a button, and have the file uploaded to my server. I found this and created the script and the html. I have spent hours trying to get it to work and still haven't had any success. It looks like it uploads the file and then gets "HTTP 500 - Internal server error."

Sunday, August 21, 2005


I'm always watching for clever speed check routines. You'll remember that I'd found a couple and created third level domain names on for them.

On my Bloglines account, I have Today, an article came through regarding InternetFrog's speed test. My first thought was "just another speed tester" but then I went there.

It has an interesting presentation.

Notice how they report not only download speed but upload speed and Quality of Service (QoS). They even have a good glossary of terms.

Incidentally, I'm using BellSouth's FastAccess DSL Ultra service.

Throw-Away e-Mail Addresses

On my Bloglines account, I have Last week, an article came through regarding BugMeNot. One of the comments on referred to Then today, another article came through regarding

This small flurry got me thinking about throw-away e-mail addresses so I went to both sites to see what was up. Both services provide the same general services of providing "blind" e-mail addresses. I did notice a couple of differences though.

Jetable requires that the addresses be requested in advance and redirects to your actual e-mail address. You can specify a life span for that forwarding to be one hour, one day, one week, or one month. The interface is a little backwards. You give them your e-mail address and life span and they give you an address back, e.g. They acknowledge in their FAQ that they keep logs "for legal reasons only."

On the other hand, dodgeit allows you to pick a e-mail address ad hoc, e.g., (hoping that no one else is using it). Then after you use it, you go to dodgeit and enter that e-mail address and pick up your e-mail. The functionality is pretty low (or the detail is high) as the presentation is just the raw e-mail.

You can even request an RSS feed of that e-mail address so you can monitor it. The e-mail gets deleted after 7 days. For a donation, you can password protect that dodgeit e-mail address and extend the retention. dodgeit doesn't say anything about privacy.

Both are pretty interesting but dodgeit seems to fit my occasional needs best.

Monday, August 15, 2005

VJ Day all over again!

Well not exactly, but I feel victorious.

I've had a problem that had me stumped for months. I have a desktop system that I added a USB multi-format memory card reader to after Christmas. Then, whenever I rebooted, I got a pop-up window that stated "There is no disk in the drive. Please insert a disk into drive." Many of the boot processes had begun running but the system wouldn't complete the boot until this was cleared. If I removed the card reader and rebooted, everything was fine.

I had searched through the registry looking for references to those drives with no luck. Besides msconfig, I had run several other startup diagnostic programs including StartupRun from and codestuff's Starter with no hits.

So where to turn? GOOGLE! Imagine that.

I Googled the symptom, '"no disk in the drive" at boot' and came up with lots of hits. But once you threw out the ones with hardware errors, there was still a recurring problem that some of us were having. Then BINGO, I came across this one. It seems to have been around a while with no resolution from the GTK folks. GTK+ is a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces that is used by a number of open source initiatives, e.g. Gaim. I run Gaim as a multi-protocol instant messaging client.

I experimented with my card reader and proved that this was the problem. Everything was fine when I put a MemoryStick in the slot that is presented as drive I:. I tried disabling that device but it returned at reboot.

Eventually, I found a workaround. Right click on "My Computer" and choose "Manage." Then click on "Disk Management" and scroll down IN THE BOTTOM HALF OF THE WINDOW to find the I: drive. Right click and choose "Change Drive Letter..." I changed mine from I: to S:. With a reboot, the problem was gone.

Chalk up another one to Google.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I made the jump... 802.11g. I've been using wireless networking for years. I started prior to 802.11b with 802.11(nothing), a 2 Mbps ad hoc system. My desktop system acted as a gateway and router.

When I upgraded to broadband, I put in a Belkin router. Then when I swapped out the 802.11 for 802.11b, I converted to an infrastructure configuration and added a stand-alone access point.

This worked well but once I tried to reconfigure to an integrated router/access point. Having the antenna inside my big old roll-top desk severely limited the range so I went back to my tried and true separate devices.

I finally got tired of it taking so long to move multi-gigabyte files from my SageTV system to my server so I decided to jump to 802.11g+. A couple of weekends ago, CompUSA had a sale on D-Link equipment so I made a list and went shopping. I got a DI-624 108 Mbps router, a DWL-G650 108 Mbps PC Card, a DWL-G820 108 Mbps Gaming Adapter, and a DWL-G630 54 Mbps PC Card. There were $135 of rebates on them! I already had an IOGEAR Wireless-G PC Card.

That covered all the systems I use regularly but there still was the hand-me-down system from my mother. It is using a USB adapter. Slick Deals came up with a sale at CompUSA of a Motorola WU830G Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter for $9.99 without rebates.

I've got everything installed but the Motorola USB adapter so I'm still running 802.11b speeds. Installing the gaming adapter on the SageTV was interesting as I don't have a display or keyboard on that system so I had to get it RIGHT the first time. It worked fine.

Above is what it looks like.