Category: Announcements

Moving sucks

My wife and I recently moved about 100 miles south of where we were, and, quite frankly, moving sucks. It took two days until about 4am each day to load and unload the truck. The new landlord is quite inexperienced, and that has been very frustrating. Plus, we now live on a working farm, which brings its own set of frustrations that we weren’t quite ready for. We will get those dealt with, and finish settling in, and all will be fine in the world again, but it’s a long process.

Skimmer Scanner

Today, Hackaday featured an app called Skimmer Scanner that I wish I’d known about before. Awhile back, I had my debit card skimmed, most likely at a gas pump.

Prior to the proliferation of Bluetooth, in order to skim a card, the crook needed physical access to the card reader to plant the skimmer, and physical access each time they wanted to retrieve data. Now that Bluetooth is common, they only need physical access once to plant the skimmer. As long as no one detects the skimmer, the crook can reap the rewards without any additional risk of getting caught.

This is also good news for consumers, as it allows apps like the above mentioned Skimmer Scanner which looks for a signature used by many skimmers to detect them. I know I’ll be using it every time I pull up to a pump or ATM from now on.

Yet another site redesign?

I’m not happy with the current (free) hosting provider, and am considering yet another site redesign. I also find myself not posting very often. And I am also neglecting my telnetable BBS and related website (, which I’m not even certain is accessible from outside my own network anymore due to DNS issues.

I’m considering pointing www and bbs to the same content on a machine at home. Look and feel would likely remain the same, but content could be driven by the actual BBS. Not all of the BBS content would be put on the site, but the ANSI screens, maybe the g-files section, some specific files from that section, and a web-based telnet client to the BBS could be made available, along with the “From the Sysop” section, so people could get BBS-related news without actually logging on, and would allow potential users to get programs to allow them to log on without using the web-based client.

I’ve also discovered that analog modems work fine at 2400bps over digital home phone, and I suspect 9600 would mostly work and reliability would go down from there as speeds increased. So I’m considering using my unused line to provide a dial-up line to the BBS as well. It’ll still sit mostly unused, but unused with a purpose 😉 I have a working 2400bps modem, and can’t imagine a 9600 would be too difficult, or expensive, to source used.

It may encourage me to actually take care of the BBS and use it more often myself.

Intel EtherExpress 8/16

Back when 16-bit ISA slots were all the rage, a few companies decided to release 8/16 ISA cards. Many of these were video cards, with a few exceptions. One was Intel’s EtherExpress 8/16 network adapter. This card also had a standard RJ-45 Jack on it, so when I went looking for a network card for my Tandy 1000SX, my choices were either one of 3-Com’s 8-bit cards, or this particular Intel card (or something less well known, but without easily sourced drivers). I decided on the Intel because grabbing one on eBay is a fraction of the cost of a 3-Com. I won one last night, and within a week or so, I’ll have my Tandy 1000 on the Internet.

Disabled Cloudflare

Due to the way my DNS and site are currently hosted, I’ve currently disabled Cloudlare because it was not properly propagating my MX records, breaking my domain email. So, no more https for now…

CF Reader

I picked up a cheap USB CF Reader off of Amazon to transfer files for to the Tandy 1000SX, and, aside from PKZIP and PKUNZIP, the first thing I threw on it was Telix. The good news, the 2400bps modem works fine, even over crappy Digital Home Phone from Spectrum. I found a dial-up BBS number, and it connected fine. I did get booted a couple of times, but I suspect this is because I forgot to disable call waiting first, so I’ve disabled it completely for my service rather than use *70, on each call, as I don’t use that line for anything else.

The bad news, did we really do any work this slowly? It took about 2 hours to install Telix. I guess multitasking back then meant starting your install and then doing the dishes and laundry while you waited 😉

Westin Hotel

The hotel finally agreed to refund one of the two nights of my stay since I had to cancel my Penguicon trip. Still waiting to hear from the con themselves about whether they will refund my registration or not, but this is at least partial success 🙂