Monthly Archives: June 2009

food!!! the world is the limit – Vegetarian Bee Hoon

so, let me try to steer away from tech a little… I’m gonna take a stab at my food! (pardon the pun :P)

Believe it or not, but food has been one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog. Yup, it’s not tech… that’s just a side dish. The main reason is for my search for good for, or shops/stalls that have gone missing and I hope someone can point me in the direction to look for my long lost favorites.

I’ll try to start some sort of a “Sticky” where I’ll list out my favorites and long lost… hopefully that post will find answers for me.

I’ll start here with one of my surprisingly favorite food, vegetarian bee hoon. For my friends who knows me, probably think I’m a carnivore, and my favorite is steak. That’s probably true and it will rank side by side with vegetarian bee hoon.

My favorite is this stall that USED to operate in the Telok Blangah Rise market. The couple that ran it, stopped their business a couple of years back. They wanted to retire to watch over their grand kids. To date, that still stands as my favorite style of vege beehoon. It’s how everything comes together and that special little crunchies (which supposedly are made from green bean) was just divine. The last few days they operated, I went there nearly every day for lunch with my buddy, Cornelius, and even bought take away for dinner. If anyone have any news if they are operating some where again, please do share!

My next favorite stall will be in the Maxwell market. I’ve been having vege beehoon there since I was a kid. I’ll take note of the stall number next time… but it’s on the row nearest to the open air car park.

I’ve heard of other good ones around, probably the next one I’ll try is in the Chinatown market.

Do you have any to recommend?

free way to manage IP addresses

if you’ve ever setup a network and handled IP address allocation, more often than not, you may try to remember the network addressing in your head.

C’mon, how many people out there really document what you do. Techies are well known to not document what we do. Just about very often, we’ll end up forgetting what we have done before. When ever we have to revisit the environment, we’ll need to dig deep into our memory, hoping we can recall our work.

Face it, even I have learnt the lesson of not documenting. Age is catching up and memory is not as good as it used to be. Now, the very least I’ll document the important stuffs.

So, how’s this related to IP address management? I see it simply as documentation of IP address usage. If you do document your IP addresses, I’d guess you’ll probably be using an excel spreadsheet. Heck, a lot of people I know uses excel spreadsheets to track IP address allocations.

Such a document is critical to keep up to date, and you’ll need good team discipline to keep the information current. All you need is just one, yes one, slack in the updates and hell can potentially break loose.

So, here I have stumbled upon a nice tool released by Solarwinds. My network engineer once told me that Solarwind products are very powerful and useful to manage large networks. I never had the chance to experience it, but I’ve played a little with this niftly little free tool they have, the “IP Address Tracker”.

This free version runs standalone, and capable of scanning the given subnet for all IPs which are online at the time. If SNMP is enabled, it will also tryto automatically pick up some details regarding each device. You can also flag each IP manually to categorize them, in addtion you can certainly put down little comments for every address. It will also keep track on the current latency of the IP, the last known date and time it was reacheable.

The user interface is pretty straighforward, and I like it. I use it personally to help me document the few home networks I’m helping to up-keep for my family.

Now, it gets even better, this tool has a paid version which can integrate into the Solarwinds suite of tools. I haven’t seen how it works, but some features I’ve read include running the app as a service, so it can do a realtime tracking of used IP addresses. In addition, it will provide a web interface, meaning a team of network engineers can potentially use it at the same time. That’s my favorite bit, real-time automated documentation and tracking of IP addresses being used.

This tool can certainly save time and effort for network engineers.

With all these said, this tool is only for those networks which allows (I assume) ICMP pings. Otherwise, excel will be your best friend.

Best Home Router?

For a techie like myself, I tend to prefer devices which are less of an all-in-one design. These devices though reduces the clutter you may have, but makes the situation more restrictive when you want or need an upgrade. You’ll end up having to either find a new device which has all the functions, or you’ll need to start to break them up.

This is especially true for my home broadband connection. I don’t like to use an all-in-one modem/router/wifi device. Although I don’t have a choice to use one provided by my ISP,  as I need it for the VOIP function it provides, but I still use another router to perform the routing function.

So, I have a 2wire 2700HGV-2, it’s a VOIP/WIFI/DSL Modem/Router rolled into one. I only use it for the VOIP and DSS Modem function. For Router, I use a Linksys WRT54GL (with a 3rd party firmware hack).

Don’t trust my 2700HGV-2 to do everything, as it ends up hanging every other day. With this combination, my overall setup runs more stable. And on top of that, I have a great router that does a lot more.

How about giving you a day by day chart on your internet usage volume, a realtime chart on your network & internet traffic, or the ability to create more SSID for your home WIFI network, for those times when a friend visits, needs to have internet access on his iPhone, but you want to only grant him “guest” access? These are features of commercial routers which are at the cheapest, several hundred dollars.

The Linksys WRT54GL costs under S$88 and DD-WRT (the 3rd party firmware) is free! [donation to the developer is available if you like the firmware]

You just need to download and re-flash the firmware and you’ve upgraded your S$88 router to be capable of features found in a US$399 router!

I’ve been using DD-WRT for a few years now, and I totally like the stability and what it can do for me. In fact, one of my main reasons that I encourage my friends to use it is to setup bridged wireless networks.

My next upgrade to my router will definitely a router capable of running DD-WRT, and provides good wireless N performance.

Hello World!!

Being an IT geek, the first post of a new blog has got to be customary “Hello World” : )

Do drop by from time to time, we’ll try to kick the authors in this blog to produce updates at least once a week.

Feel free to leave us any fan or hate comments.