Saturday, October 25, 2008

ntl's expanded internet pipe

Soon after moving here last year, we decided to get our TV, broadband and phone service through ntl rather than get TV from them and broadband/phone through Eircom or some reseller, since Ireland has apparently the most expensive line rental in the world (?? thanks, Tony O'Reilly for exploiting the competition-free market and Comreg/competition authority for allowing it).

They recently retooled their broadband packages, so that the old 6mbit price now gets you 10mbit and for €10 more per month you can get 20mbit (I wouldn't bother with that unless I was sharing with a few people, though).
I had to call up to get it though, since they weren't nice enough to automatically shift me over to the new package - this is really something ISPs should do when they improve their packages.

It's working pretty good too - close to the quoted 10mb:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lexmark X4550 wireless woes with OS X

I picked up a fairly cheap Lexmark X4550 wireless printer/scanner/copier about 6 months ago and soon noticed that it stopped working every time I restarted the router.
After a long conversation with a fairly patient technical support guy at Lexmark proved mostly fruitless, I dug a little further and ran a packet sniffer (Wireshark) over an attempted print job.

This prompted me to double-check the printer settings, which showed a device URI of lexnet3:// Which is certainly wrong, as the printer is at I'm not sure why it doesn't just use DNS properly, but anyway.

Trying to correct this, I stumbled across this post explaining how to modify the device URI via the CUPS web interface available on OS X. And it works! Good old Unix!

article: "Early Childhood Education: The Key to Success in Life"

Anyone who has or expects to have children should read this article about preschool learning as soon as possible.

After emphasising some of the importance and benefits of preschool education, it lists some basic and simple ways in which you can help educate your bairns. As usual with such material, there are 'obvious' things that never occurred to me - like placing a young baby face-down from even one month of age, because he will naturally want to raise his head which will help build up his back muscles which will improve general strength and co-ordination. The paper-crumpling trick is clever too.

Well worth a read!

Friday, October 10, 2008

classy typing tutor

This is the funniest-looking educational game I've ever seen. Check out the screenshot :D The description for the game calls it "an educational children’s casual game". It certainly would have appealed to my childhood self.

. o O ( "Cop smearer"?? )