Archive for January, 2004


Region Zero Hack

Sunday, January 18th, 2004

Gotta love the net.

I wanted to play a DVD today that my wife had brought back from England, but my DVD player choked on it saying the disc is restricted to Region 2, whereas of course the DVD player is set for Region 1.

I hopped on Google with my cheap $59 DVD player’s model number and within two minutes, I had the instructions to permanently set my player to Region Zero (all regions) simply by using my remote control to enter a code.

Now I can play discs from anywhere. Woohoo!


Wifi Meetup

Wednesday, January 14th, 2004

Made it to the meetup. Snowy today, traffic horrible. Tim stayed in Brampton so no cam, but I’m online at


Live Broadcast Wifi Meetup

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004

I’ll be going to the WiFi meetup again tomorrow Wed 14 Jan at 7pm. Tim Aiello will be there with his Linksys webcam, which we’ll broadcast from (link will fail if you try it now – only active during meeting) via some SSH port-forwarding magic. We’ll also be available for text chat at, so no need to brave the forecasted -35 Celsius windchill!


DIY secure wireless with SSH/PuTTY

Thursday, January 8th, 2004

I’ve been doing a bunch of wireless lately with my laptop. On publicly available networks, whether paid or free, WEP is usually not enabled, so anyone could easily come by with a tool like kismet and watch your traffic including POP and FTP passwords etc.

As an independent consultant, I don’t have a corporate network with VPN access through which I can secure my communications, so I’ve had to make do with what is available to me.

I have SSHD, smtp and a web proxy server running on my home network, so on my Win2k-based laptop I have set up a PuTTY connection with the following ports forwarded:

6588 – http/s proxy
25 – smtp (allows relay only from self)
110 – pop3 forwarded to

On the laptop, I have a hosts file entry mapping the to, smtp set to localhost, and my browser and Trillian proxy set to localhost:6588.

With this setup, all I have to do is run PuTTY, connect securely via ssh to my home machine, and then all HTTP/S, POP, ICQ, MSN, and YAHOO traffic happens securely through my tunnel. Running netstat on my machine shows one connection home and a bunch of localhost connections.


Microsoft Linux Facts

Tuesday, January 6th, 2004

Microsoft has a new campaign to provide corporations with “the facts you need to make the choice between Windows and Linux”.

One of their facts, titled “WinTel Server 10 Times Less Expensive to Operate Than Linux Mainframe”, says:

Microsoft-sponsored benchmarks prove that multiple WinTel Web servers perform better than a Linux mainframe acting as a Web server consolidator

An odd comparison to be sure, like comparing apples to orchards. How do multiple WinTel Web servers stack up against multiple Intel Linux Web servers, I wonder?

By leading off with such transparently evasive comparisons, I’m really not encouraged to attach any credence to the rest of their arguments, however valid. I can’t say that I really even care to read on to the meat when the headlines and intro blurbs make their assessment of my intelligence pretty clear.