Archive for May, 2007

Sonicwall firmware download

I took a look at a Sonicwall PRO 200 today. The previous owners of the unit stated it had intermittent problems. My first thought was to wipe it clean with the factory defaults and then check to see if there were any firmware updates. If you have one of these units, be careful. So I reset the unit to the factory defaults, and connect over the console… and the console is down. Then I go to the default web based tool, and it prompts me to upload a fresh firmware and states the loaded firmware is corrupt. No problem, I think to myself. I’ll just go to the manufacturer’s website, download the latest firmware, and load it in there. NO. Sonicwall no longer lets just anyone download firmware anymore. So I create and account and login, but still no way to download. I try to add the product via the serial number, and their system responds with a message that the serial number has already been registered to someone else. Well of course it has, this is a hand-me-down unit. Since I can’t bring myself to throw a possibly workable piece of equipment away, I’ll just keep struggling with this thing. I found one for sale on ebay, and asked the seller if they would burn me a copy of the install cd. Hopefully I can turn a stone and find some firmware squirming about. Thanks for nothing Sonicwall!



Apple Crisp Cereal

Whatever happed to… that favorite product you used to enjoy. I used to get a box of cereal called “Apple Crisp”, and now not able to find it. I thought maybe it just wasn’t carried by my local grocery store, so I went to the manufactures website. It was not listed as one of their products. No big deal I thought. I’ll just look for another brand. After going up and down the isles at the store four times, they don’t have one. Ok so I do a quick gurgle (ha, you like that) search, and ohhh there is something… Müslix* Apple Crisp cereal, but it is from a Canadian branch of a Kellogg. What the heck. I live about 10 miles away from a Kellogg’s plant, and I am not able to buy the Canadian targeted cereals.

I guess I’ll just have to make my own.

Oh No, not the minivan!

Fellow soldiers, I fear the time has come. Years ago I thought I would never become a minivan driver. It took so many years and jobs to work my way up the in coolness factors of everyday driver vehicles. I started with the blue Ford Tempo back when I graduated high school. Not the coolest ride for an 18 year old, but I made it cool (in my mind anyway). Then a glancing blow by a cement truck totaled that ride and I went through several other cars before I was able to afford a decent car again. So I finally buy a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500, black of course, and I feel like a king of the road again. It’s not all bad, I am not planning on trading in my truck for a minivan. That is a scary thought. Nope, Leigh is thinking it is time for her to trade in her Subaru Legacy for the minivan. It is a nice car, but with the little guy and all his paraphernalia the minivan will give us some leg-room and space for hauling kids stuff around. My thought was, well at least it would be good for road trips! So that settles it, I shall become…. the minivan driver.

Build Better Humans

Our society struggles to build better machines and solve more complex problems all the time, sometimes succeeding and other times not. We are long past the wake of the new millennium and we still don’t have flying cars, and personal robots, so what is the big hold up? In my opinion I think we have focused our energy in the wrong direction. So my suggestion is to build better humans.

[More on building better humans ... ]

Arrrgh computers, why do we use them!

Sometimes you fight with a computer and sometimes it fights back, but who wins. Don’t you just hate it when your computer decides (remember, it has a mind of it’s own) to stop working properly for no reason whatsoever? I just spent the bulk of my morning trying to fix something that had worked fine for some time, but all of sudden stopped working. What is the reason? That is the question.

There is always a reason, but us techies act too quickly sometimes. We just try to “fix” the issue quick, because we would rather be doing other things. I was caught up in such a situation this morning. Unfortunately when we try to fix these things we get stuck in the vicious cycle of reinstalling whatever it is that is “broken”. The underlieing issue goes unseen when we simply un-install and re-install the broken piece of the mysterious computer.

Then the beauty of Linux and open source becomes apparent again. Having access to the source code and being able to change whatever you want allows one quite a bit of control. So I popped open the source code for the thing that was “broke” and found exactly where in the code it was failing. I was then able to see that it was at a higher level and not in the program itself (which is really strange though, because it appeared to work at the higher level. Hmm… a bit more digging)

It was Friday, and I decided to postpone trying to fix the issue. Hopefully when I take a fresh look at it again, it will be an easy fix. I know I didn’t mention what “it” was that was broken, but it doesn’t really matter.

Until next time…

I went back and looked at the issue with a fresh mind, and it turned out to be a 30 second fix. So all that I did was in vein. At least I’ll know for next time!