DSL connections troubleshooting in put

Looks like some good info/input on getting DSL connnections at home and at BI streamlined and set up as correctly as possible.

The Slow Route to FastAccess. Six hours I'll never get back: Hooking up a LinkSys WRT54G broadband router to my Windows XP box.

The router, which I bought for around $50
after a rebate, is an amazing Linux device that's an 802.11g wireless
access point, router, and four-port 10/100 Ethernet switch. You can
reprogram it with SSH and a lot of other Linux software, turning it
into a killer pint-sized wireless ISP. Robert X. Cringley calls it “disruptive technology”:

… the WRT54G with Sveasoft firmware is all you need to become your
cul de sac's wireless ISP. Going further, if a bunch of your friends in
town had similarly configured WRT54Gs, they could seamlessly work
together and put out of business your local telephone company.

All I wanted was the router, so that I can keep a wired home network functioning and add wireless access.

The WRT54G's installation wizard
assumes an easy process: Run the wizard with your Internet connection
working to detect configuration settings, connect the modem to the
router over an Ethernet cable, plug the router into the computer, and
we all live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, as I found out after
trial and error (and error and error), the Westell modem provided by
BellSouth FastAccess DSL is actually a router. Two routers don't get
along with each other, causing connection problems, IP address
conflicts, and something ominous called double NATing. I'm guessing that my NATs, whatever they are, should remain single.

Thanks to a forum post by Tom Scales on SpeedGuide.Net, I found the solution:
Plug the Westell back in to the computer and configure it over a
browser to Bridged Ethernet mode, which delegates all routing
responsibilities to the WRT54G, then connect the Internet back into the

From any room in my house, I can now waste time on the Web at breakneck speed. [Workbench]

Column at Enterprise Systems Journal.

This week marks the start of a new sideline for me. Jim Powell, editor of Enterprise Systems Journal, has asked me to write a column for them covering the same kinds of material I talk about here. The first column, Bridging the IT Cultural Divide,
ran earlier this week. In it I start to explore an idea I’ve been
trying to work out about oral vs. literate styles of thinking as they
relate to organizations.

Thanks to the indefatigable Buzz Bruggeman for brokering the introduction. And thanks to Jim Powell for his efforts at edting.

Copyrighted paintings – less to the story than meets the eye

Another “isn't the establishment evil and stupid story?” One paragraph
after what's quoted here is the following from the original story:

Actually, the museum guard was mistaken. There
was no copyright issue, and the museum apologizes and is telling
artists to sketch away as long as they do not interrupt the flow of
traffic in the always crowded gallery.

So perhaps we have a training issue or a somewhat overzealous and
underinformed guard. Is this selective sharing of the story
helpful? You know that this would have disappeared in a heartbeat if
fully reported, while selective quotation gave it some blog legs. Isn't
there enough actual dumb behavior out there that we can let this one

Stop sketching, little girl — those paintings are copyrighted!. Xeni Jardin:
Museum security guard told a child to stop sketching paintings in a museum — because they're copyrighted.

It is standard operating
procedure for students of art to learn by example by sketching
masterpieces in an art museum. A budding artist in Durham found that
the time honored tradition was challenged while seeking inspiration at
the Matisse, Picasso and the School of Paris: Masterpieces from the
Baltimore Museum of Art exhibit in Raleigh.

Over the weekend at the North Carolina Museum of Art there were
works by Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Degas and some Illanas. Julia Illana
is a second grader who was visiting the popular exhibit there with her
parents and was sketching the paintings in her notebook. “I love to
draw in my notebook,” Illana said.

Her sketch of Picasso's Woman with Bangs, which came out pretty
good, and Matisse's Large Reclining Nude got the promising artist into
trouble with museum security. A museum guard told Julia's parents that
sketching was prohibited because the great masterpieces are copyright
protected, a concept that young Julia did not understand until her
mother explained the term.

Edward Tufte on presenting evidence

More insights from Tufte on how to be an intelligent consumer of data.
At the same time, you would do well to take Tufte's observations with
at least a grain of salt.

The tools of rhetoric precede those of data analysis by more than a few
centuries and Tufte is a master of both. Tufte appears to see malice
and venality in settings where I see predictable organizational
pressures of time and cost. With the luxury of tenure, Tufte can find
the all too real flaws in analyses prepared in the face of these

Tufte's guidelines and analyses are all worth contemplating. What would
be intriguing is to understand what tools he would substitute for those
(such as PowerPoint and Excel) he criticizes so harshly. Further, once
we've learned to recognize the analytical flaws he identifies, what do
we do next in order to learn to commit them less frequently?

Tufte's new chapter, Corrupt Techniques in Evidence Presentations, from his forthcoming book Beautiful Evidence, is now online for a month.

“Here is the first of
several chapters on consuming presentations, on what alert members of
an audience or readers of a report should look for in assessing the
credibility of the presenter.”

Jeff Bezos interview in Wired

An interesting interview with Bezos. To me the most interesting thing he said was:

I'm not saying that advertising is going away. But the balance is
shifting. If today the successful recipe is to put 70 percent of your
energy into shouting about your service and 30 percent into making it
great, over the next 20 years I think that's going to invert.

I do think that current advertising models are obsolete and that few have figured out that that means for their businesses.

Jeff Bezos on the Zen of Sales.
The cool head of Amazon.com talks about the rise of the obscure, taking
on Netflix and why he quit spending on TV advertising. By Chris
Anderson from Wired magazine. [Wired News]

AKMA on organizational change

Who knew that AKMA was an organizational theorist in addition to being
a scholar and a preacher? Profound insight into change and change
management expressed far more succinctly and usefully than most of the
organizational change material you will usually encounter.

New Law.

When trying to simplify a complex
[bureaucratic] system, any change that does not result in an obvious
quantum of simplification amounts to further complication or, more
concisely, any attempted simplification short of a quantum change is
always a complication.

[AKMA’s Random Thoughts]

Pro metadata will lose to folksonomy

Not only does Shirky nail it, but Cory hones in on the money graf s for
us. This is clearly one of a class of problems where scaling issues
overwhelm other factors and force solutions to be somehow distributed.

These are much like the situation in the early days of long-distance
telephone service that needed operators to complete all calls. Analyses
at the time predicted that the services would fail because your clearly
were going to need to hire so many operators that the system would
collapse. The solution, in that case, was to effectively make everyone
an operator by inventing direct-dial long distance and area codes. Of
course, we've now reached the point where area codes are an anachronism
and have little predictive value about where the phone in question
exists in the physical universe.

Shirky: Pro metadata will lose to folksonomy. Cory Doctorow:
Clay Shirky continues to just totally nail the questions of metadata,
authority, and user-created content. Today's installment: why crappy,
cheap, user-generated, uncontrolled metadata will win out over
expensive, controlled, useful, professionally generated metadata:

Furthermore, users pollute
controlled vocabularies, either because they misapply the words, or
stretch them to uses the designers never imagined, or because the
designers say “Oh, let's throw in an 'Other' category, as a fail-safe”
which then balloons so far out of control that most of what gets filed
gets filed in the junk drawer. Usenet blew up in exactly this fashion,
where the 7 top-level controlled categories were extended to include an
8th, the 'alt.' hierarchy, which exploded and came to dwarf the entire,
sanctioned corpus of groups.

The cost of finding your way through 60K photos tagged 'summer',
when you can use other latent characteristics like 'who posted it?' and
'when did they post it?', is nothing compared to the cost of trying to
design a controlled vocabulary and then force users to apply it evenly
and universally.

This is something the 'well-designed metadata' crowd has never
understood — just because it's better to have well-designed metadata
along one axis does not mean that it is better along all axes, and the
axis of cost, in particular, will trump any other advantage as it grows
larger. And the cost of tagging large systems rigorously is crippling,
so fantasies of using controlled metadata in environments like Flickr
are really fantasies of users suddenly deciding to become disciples of
information architecture.

If you want to trace back to some of the items that launched this most recent disscussion, here are some of the key links:

50 book challenge results for 2004

I did manage to read just over 50 books during 2004. If I were feeling exceptionally compulsive, I could go back and complete reviews of all of them, but the value for that isn’t clear.

I expect to manage a comparable reading load in 2005. In the interests of making this blog a better back up brain for myself, I plan on keeping better running notes on the nonfiction titles as I read. Whether I bother to write up details for my fiction read remains to be seen.

One thing I plan to do over the next week or so is to identify the top five or so books that I found most valuable in 2004. For the record these are the books I fnished in 2004.

  1. Heinlein’s For Us the Living – 50 Book Challenge
  2. Christensen’s Innovator’s Solution – 50 Book Challenge
  3. David Allen’s Ready for Anything – 50 Book Challenge
  4. David Gerrold’s The Man Who Folded Himself – 50 Book Challenge
  5. Dan Brown’s Deception Point – 50 Book Challenge
  6. Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress – 50 Book Challenge
  7. Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon – 50 Book Challenge
  8. John Brunner’s Shockware Rider – 50 Book Challenge
  9. Robert Wilson’s Chronoliths – 50 Book Challenge
  10. Bruce Sterling’s Zenith Angle – 50 Book Challenge
  11. John McPhee’s Curve of Binding Energy – 50 Book Challenge
  12. Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture – 50 Book Challenge
  13. John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up – 50 Book Challenge
  14. Greg Iles’s The Footprints of God – 50 Book Challenge
  15. Steven Johnson’s Mind Wide Open – 50 Book Challenge
  16. Anderson, Poul – For Love and Glory
  17. Charles Stross’s Iron Sunrise – 50 Book Challenge
  18. Brian Arkill’s LDAP Directories Explained – 50 Book Challenge
  19. Eric Meyer’s Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Ed – 50 Book Challenge
  20. Eric Meyer on CSS – 50 Book Challenge
  21. Gregory Dicum’s Window Seat – 50 Book Challenge
  22. Todd Carter’s Microsoft OneNote 2003 for Windows – 50 Book Challenge
  23. Dvorak and Pirillo’s Online! The Book – 50 Book Challenge
  24. Charles Stross’s Singularity Sky – 50 book challenge
  25. Elizabeth Moon’s Trading in Danger – 50 Book Challenge
  26. Austin, Robert – Artful Making: What Managers Need to Know About How Artists Work
  27. Cadenhead, Rogers – Radio UserLand Kick Start
  28. Caldwell, Ian – The Rule of Four
  29. Carr, Nicholas G. – Does IT Matter? Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage
  30. Hammond, Grant T. – The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security
  31. Kelly, Kevin – Cool Tools
  32. Lakoff, George – Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate–The Essential Guide for Progressives
  33. Modesitt, L. E. – Archform: Beauty
  34. MORIARTY, CHRIS – Spin State
  35. Ringo, John – Emerald Sea
  36. Ringo, John – There Will Be Dragons
  37. Ringo, John – Cally’s War
  38. Stross, Charles – The Atrocity Archives
  39. Tharp, Twyla – The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
  40. Wheaton, Wil – Just a Geek
  41. Wurman, Richard Saul – Information Anxiety 2
  42. Yamashita, Keith – Unstuck: A tool for Yourself, Your Team , and Your World
  43. Zackheim, Sarah Parsons – Getting Your Book Published for Dummies
  44. Bok, Derek Curtis – Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education
  45. Camp, Jim – Start with NO…The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know
  46. Graham, Paul – Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
  47. Weber, David – The Shadow of Saganami (The Saganami Island)
  48. Brand, Stewart – How Buildings Learn; What Happens After They’re Built
  49. Kawasaki, Guy – The Art Of The Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide For Anyone Starting Anything
  50. Cussler, Clive – Black Wind
  51. Modesitt, L. E. – Flash
  52. LAMOTT, ANNE – Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life
  53. Stross, Charles – Toast