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Archive | January, 2005

I feel like I am going to be sick

So I am sitting here watching the Katie Couric special on NBC about teens and sex. All I can say is OMFG! This is scary. I can see that I am going to have to have to get a lot more comfortable with the idea of talking to my now 7 year old about sex. I think he isn’t ready yet, but with 14% of 12-14 year olds saying they are sexually active, I am going to have to broach the subject a lot earlier than I had originally thought. I guess the main thing is that I want to make sure he is comfortable enough to talk to me about whatever he is thinking or feeling or has a question.

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Sonicwall VPN Question

So I received the following email from someone asking about a VPN connection between remote offices and a main office:

I have a TZ170 with a static IP (dsl) at my so called corporate office (server resides in this office). The appliance is set for DHCP for the clients that are set up on the inside of the firewall at that corporate office.

All my remote offices have a basic setup with either cable or dsl (no static ip), behind a modem and a dlink router. When more than one person in the same remote office connects to the tz170 at corporate, both clients experience awful delays and disconnections. If only one client connects in that remote office it works great, but as soon as you add another person from the same office that try’s to connect forget it, nothing but problems. Is this because the tz170 is seeing to tunnels coming from the same ip (isp assigned)?

Will purchasing another tz170 for the remote offices solve my problem? Is there an additional configuration that I am missing in the tz170 that will enable me to do this ?

Here is the response I sent:

You are absolutely on the right track. The problem you are having is that more than 1 person from the same public IP address is establishing a tunnel.

There is not a good way to establish a tunnel using a VPN client from more than one client behind a NAT device to the same central VPN device. In this case, the user has a D-Link router as the NAT device. Some devices do a better job of handling the NAT for IPSEC VPN traffic, which is what the Sonicwalls use. The only thing he could try in this case, other than the guaranteed solution of implementing a remote-office VPN gateway device, would be to ensure that the D-Link is upgraded to the latest firmware and has the appropriate IPSEC pass through settings. The most reliable solution, though, would be a VPN appliance to maintain a site-to-site VPN device at each remote office.

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Mobile Accessories for Laptops/PDAs and I would imagine Tablets

So I found this post via Scoble’s link blog asking about a stand for Tablet PC’s. There are a couple of sites that I have used to find things like this, and they have a number of stands for laptops and other devices in cars. The company that makes most of the things that I have found is Arkon Resources, but I have found there stuff being sold through (and bought them through) Your Mobile Desk. If you can’t find them there, then I don’t know who would have it.

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One hell of a blog about the tsunami in Sri Lanka

If you want what I believe is a great example of the proper role of a religious organization in a disaster like this, take a look at the Faithful America weblog. I found them after hearing a discussion on The World on NPR last night. That site has the audio available if you want to listen – it is the January 12 show.

Disaster time, in my opinion, should not equal conversion time. As Christians, we are called to model Jesus’ compassion and show God’s love to those in need, not convince them that it is time to follow him because we are helping them. If they ask what makes us want to help, then we should speak of the very nature of humanity that we believe is derived from God first and then that we feel directly the compassion of Jesus for us in his sacrifice on the cross. I would hope that we would suggest to them that there would be time later to discuss more of the specifics of our faith rather than taking advantage of a vulnerable time in their life. Most importantly, I would hope that we would remind them that MANY religions (and agnostic organizations, too) are helping in the aftermath – it is not solely a Christian value to respond to a human tragedy of this magnitude.

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Problems with Sonicwall Firewall?

Well, I tried to leave this as a comment on Ian’s weblog, but I couldn’t get the comment thing to work, so I figured I would trackback to both of his entries.

I am a Sonicwall Silver Partner, and I believe strongly in the product line. I don’t like to see anyone having configuration problems. I’d be happy to help with the config if there is a problem, not to mention that any newly purchased unit comes with 90 days of support included, so the Sonicwall 800# for support should be able to help, as well.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

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Nonprofit blogging, etc.

So I am working on some ideas for ways in which nonprofits, one in particular with whom I am working, can use blogging and the web. Obviously there are tons of places out there that make that possible, but I thought I would post some links here of various articles and resources I have found so far. I haven’t yet crystalized any thoughts around them, but I am reading all of this and coming up with ideas.

Sites of interest:
Non Profit Web Marketing
Internet Marketing for Non-profit Organizations
Nonprofit Blogging and Content Aggregation
Blogs for .orgs
Social Entrepeneurship and Project Management
Virtual Volunteering Guidebook

Let me know if you have any other ideas of places I should look. I am particularly interested in the idea of creating online communities and using those communities for the purposes of fundraising, information sharing, and overall mission promotion.

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Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1 Initial Impressions

Summary ScreenHere is a look at the summary screen of the new MS Antispyware Beta 1 application. As you can see, it is set to expire July 31 of this year. The left side lists a summary of the configuration for the software – current status, last scan and results, whether or not the realtime protection is loaded, and current version of the signature database.

Microsoft Antispyware Beta Full ScanHere are the results from my first scan. It took a wopping 12 minutes 28 seconds to do a complete scan with the deep scanning options turned on. This was not the quick scan that you access from the summary page, but rather a scan of every file on my hard drive, the entire registry, and every process running in memory. Pretty impressive performance if you ask me. The only curious thing is that they indicate scanning 1,606 running processes, but my task manager only lists 56, even with the option to show all processes from all users.

Security Agent StatusThis is a little subsection of the Real Time Protection summary page. As you can see, the app puts hooks in to various parts of the OS. It protects startup items (registry, start menu startup folder, etc.), various network and internet settings, etc. You can get details for each of the items protected by clicking on any of the three sections, Internet Agents, System Agents, or Application Agents.

warningThis is the warning screen that pops up when something tries to modify your system by adding itself to the startup folder. I was pretty impressed when this happened. The only danger here is in the user not knowing any better and saying allow. This will require some education on our part. The other thing of note here is that it will send the information on whether or not you allow this modification to SpyNet, which I assume is a central database that evaluates for inclusion in the spyware signature database.

Overall I am initially impressed with the application. I am going to perform some further testing later to determine how well it works on a machine that I know is infected with spyware and how well it does at preventing spyware, both from inside Firefox and IE. I will post my results. Until then…

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Microsoft Antispyware Beta Download

The Microsoft Anti-spyware beta is available for download here. The only issue you may have is in trying to download this using Firefox or a non-IE browser. You must click the continue button in the Validate section of the page, then you will be prompted to download and run a Windows validation utility. Finally, you copy and paste the validation code from the utility into the page and you are directed to the download location. I will be installing this directly and will report later on my experience with it.

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Order tickets for Philly Cooks!, a Benefit for MANNA

Go here to order your tickets now for a fabulous event to benefit MANNA. Philly Cooks! is sponsored by Philadelphia Magazine.

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MANNA Needs Volunteers!

MANNA urgently needs drivers, but they are also always looking for many different types of volunteers. Here is some information on the delivery drivers – for more info, see their website here.

MANNA drivers provide both nutritional and emotional support for the individuals and families that they serve. Drivers have direct contact with the people who receive MANNA meals.
• Deliveries take place Monday through Friday between 11:00 a.m.and 3:00 p.m.
• A delivery route typically takes between 1 and 2 hours and can begin at MANNA.
• Assignments are available throughout Philadelphia and Camden County, as well as Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware Counties.
• If at all possible, MANNA will custom-fit assignments to each volunteer’s schedule and preference of neighborhood.
• Typical assignments take about 1 1/2 hours, once a week, and can even be done on an extended lunch break.
• Volunteers do need to have a valid driver’s license and provide insurance for their own vehicles.

MANNA reminds all driving volunteers to maintain the confidentiality of clients by not wearing any MANNA clothing or hats while doing deliveries. In addition, no MANNA bumper stickers, flyers, etc. can be displayed on delivery vehicles. Click here for more information on client confidentiality.

Interested in delivering MANNA meals? Click here if you are an individual or click here if you are a part of a group.

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