Insight DNS issues #insight

Half of my DNS requests are timing out, and DHCP release/renew works about 50% of the time…


Initial Question/Comment: Half my DNS requests are failing, DHCP renew fails half the time.
8:29:33 PM SystemSystem
Ashley H has joined this session!
8:29:33 PM SystemSystem
Connected with Ashley H
8:29:33 PM SystemSystem
Thank you for contacting Insight Communications Customer Netchat Support, please allow me a moment to read your question and I will be more than happy to assist you.
8:29:53 PM AgentAshley H
We are currently experiencing dns issues in your area that may cause slow browsing speeds or intermittent issues loading pages.

…Hey Insight, Power Down and Power Up. It’s easy!

Added @ 8:50 PM:
Thanks to @DanielLight I’m using OpenDNS now.

Of course, now I can’t connect to the server addresses half the time. Thanks, Insight!

Every time you make an Excel spreadsheet this big, a kitten meets its maker

I’m not really that elitist about non-programmers using applications in an advanced way the programmers could find a better way to do. I’ve never had to port functionality from an Excel spreadsheet that was 2 MB in size prior to data being added–at least not more than once.

However, I am a bit disturbed that Excel is the new Access:

The total number of available columns in Excel
Old Limit: 256 (2^8)
New Limit: 16k (2^14)

The total number of available rows in Excel
Old Limit: 64k (2^16)
New Limit: 1M (2^20)

Number of unique colours allowed a single workbook
Old Limit: 56 (indexed colour)
New Limit: 4.3 billion (32-bit colour)

Therefore, Excel is now Microsoft’s new small business data warehouse. (Apologies to DW people.)

You could also store and represent a very large 32-bit color bitmap inside an Excel spreadsheet. Also supported are Base-64 Encoded BLOBs 🙂 :

The total number of characters that can display in a cell
Old Limit: 1k (when the text is formatted)
New Limit: 32k or as many as will fit in the cell (regardless of formatting)

The number of characters per cell that Excel can print
Old Limit: 1k
New Limit: 32k

I’d hate to have to debug a 8k character formula with 64 levels of nesting:

The maximum length of formulas (in characters)
Old Limit: 1k characters
New Limit: 8k characters

The number of levels of nesting that Excel allows in formulas
Old Limit: 7
New Limit: 64

A 255 argument function. The mind shudders. Even if you did not use a computer science major to create the program, such an unwieldly program might benefit from the education and experience of a computer science major. Maybe there is a better way to do this, by applying some mid-level software engineering techniques instead of stream of consciousness coding.

Maximum number of arguments to a function
Old Limit: 30
New Limit: 255 – what I’ve been looking for. Almost.

I just searched on “twitter” and “threads” in google. What I found was Simple, huh?

It’s not 100% what I had envisioned: My vision was probably something more like expandable threading by author sorted by date of most recent update. The TwitterThreads version looks like it shows all posts that you’d normally see if you were following someone, but limited to a single day’s posts.

This is pretty much what I wanted to build, with a few additional features… Other things I thought of were [+]/[-] Expand/Collapse functionality, an option to configure the number of days shown, and read/unread functionality of some sort.

There is also a mobile TwitterThreads site. On my ancient Treo 650, this is a beautifully elegant and simple interface. It may become my new twitter interface on my phone.

Something both interfaces are missing are direct links to “reply-to” and “favorite” individual tweets. I was also a little disappointed that the timestamp link on each tweet went to the person’s home instead of direct linking to the tweet on Twitter. This makes the lack of reply-to and favorite functionality more of an issue for me. If the timestamp had linked to the individual tweet, I could reply-to or favorite through the Twitter web interface.

Overall, I am still thrilled to see that someone has implemented this idea. Like any programmer geek, I would have liked to be the first, but I wouldn’t really have made the time to throw something like this together.

3rd place in AG Santa Sprint 5k #twit2fit

It’s been since spring since I raced a 5k. I had forgotten how intense the burn is compared to even a slightly longer race, like a 5 miler. My target was 21:30, but lost a little bit of the mental will to complete the challenge mid-race, especially after going out a little too hard in the 1st 1/4 mile. Still, I was able to lock onto someone ahead of me the whole race for pacing and finally pass him just past the 3 mile mark.

The race course had +/- 100 ft of elvation change, which worked out to about 1.3% average incline. The course also had 2 turnarounds, which I think I managed to pick up some speed on.

My previous 5k PR, set at the Anthem 5k this year, was 21:54. I beat that mark by 13 seconds @ 21:41. Given that I’ve battled a couple injuries this year, and ran a marathon 2 weeks ago, I’m happy. For the record, that’s 9 PRs this year, and my first race at a sub-7 pace.

I also took 3rd place in the 25-34 age group:

9 PRs this year, including 2 10 milers and 2 5ks.

  1. Hangover Classic 10-miler PR — 1:23:06
  2. Anthem 5k PR — 21:54
  3. Rodes City Run 10k PR — 46:26
  4. Papa John’s 10-miler PR — 1:15:20
  5. KDF mini-marathon PR — 1:46:12
  6. Flying Pig marathon PR — 3:39:44
  7. Hunger Relief Relay (9.2) PR — 1:12:34
  8. Home Run 5 miler PR — 37:03
  9. Santa Sprint and Stroll — 21:41

1/4 mile splits:

Distance Time Total Time Pace
0.25 Mi 1:33 1:33 6:12
0.25 Mi 1:40 3:13 6:40
0.25 Mi 1:45 4:58 7:00
0.25 Mi 1:46 6:44 7:04
0.25 Mi 1:40 8:24 6:40
0.25 Mi 1:45 10:09 7:00
0.25 Mi 1:45 11:54 7:00
0.25 Mi 1:46 13:40 7:04
0.25 Mi 1:47 15:27 7:08
0.25 Mi 1:44 17:11 6:56
0.25 Mi 1:47 18:58 7:08
0.25 Mi 1:40 20:38 6:40
0.15 Mi 0:58 21:36 6:27

Elevation: (flat like a treadmill)

Proof that I’m not the only one with problems with the Lenovo T-61 laptop

I had virtually no problems with my IBM T60 laptop, but my T61 has had several problems.

The most recent problem that I’ve had is that I went into hibernate mode last night, and this morning, my PC would not turn on:

  1. I dock my PC, the dock indicator light comes on, but the battery and AC power indicators on the laptop do not. The power button does not respond.
  2. I remove my PC from the dock and plug in the AC directly, still the battery and AC power indicators on the laptop do not come on.
  3. I remove the battery and plug in the AC directly. Still nothing.
  4. I finally panic enough to call our internal help desk (early call might get turnaround by lunch time) and the tech offers one last suggestion… pull the battery out (AC too) and let power state drain, then re-insert battery. Crisis averted.

Lenovo support thread for T61 power on problem

I’ve also had problems with the LCD screen being locked in an “off” state on [Max Battery] mode (Presentation mode works well, though).

When I had the PC in [Max Battery] performance, the machine would not come out of hibernate at least 50% of the time.

I had a DAILY blue screen on Windows XP when I was docked (wired connection to LAN) and wireless was turned on. This was remedied by having my laptop upgraded to a newer version of Symantec Security software than was widely deployed in the organization.

Added 2008.12.05:
If my laptop was in its docking station when I tried to hibernate, it would restart immediately. I have now gotten into the habit of undocking first, then hibernating. According to another blog, this is due to a Wake On LAN setting in Windows Device manager and BIOS.

cnet user review: Blue Screen of Death w/ Bad Customer Service

Added 2008.12.09:
T61 Problems?

Added 2008.12.12:
I ended up in the weird power state again today, but this time I was prepared to pull my battery, wait 10 seconds, and replace. Voilà! It works!

Post- fall marathon & turkey training run #twit2fit

7.1 miles in 65 minutes… that’s good for 9’10” per mile.

Training Begins Again
I ran a day after Thanksgiving Day run last week downtown, but this is the second day of the start of my recovery and build-up to the next marathon, some time in the spring. Goal time: sub-3:30. That will require a peak mileage of at least 60, and an 12-week average mileage of at least 50 miles. That program will start in earnest around January 1st with the Hangover Classic, putting in about 50 miles the first week on the new year. I plan to follow a similar build-up to last year:

In the meantime, I’ll do a quick ramp-up in December including this weekend’s Santa Sprint and Stroll 5k and probably next weekend’s Reindeer Romp 4k (if I can PR in the 5k, then an easy 4k PR will bring me to 10 PRs this year.)

Turkey Day / Marathon Taper and Recovery Bloat
I went from 166 pounds on 11/18/2008 to 172 pounds yesterday, after Flying Monkey Marathon recovery (and eating) and Thanksgiving Day/weekend eating. Dropped down to 170 pounds this morning, so maybe I’ll be in the mid-160s by the end of the year. To help facilitate this progress, I’m back on the wagon tracking calories–it works for me.