30 January 2007

SpamBayes Thresholds

My e-mail spam detector, SpamBayes, seems to have problems classifying some of this year's spam, placing two or three in the Suspect folder each day when there used to be none. The main culprits are stock market e-mail, probably because their content includes a lot of business-oriented words (hard to avoid at work) that outnumber the relatively small proportion of definite spam words. Lowering the spam threshold works well enough; what really matters is that ham e-mail still gets ranked at 0%.

29 January 2007

Google Map Melbourne Placemarks

After playing with Google Earth, I found that I could export my placemarks as KML files which can then be viewed using Google Maps. Here's a list of places we've visited. I'll see if I can annotate them with pictures later.

28 January 2007

Google Earth For Kids

Installed Google Earth for the kids and showed them how to make placemarks and paths. They're pretty excited marking their friends' houses and are having a walk to make sure they got the placemarks and paths right. Prior to this, the kids have been rather reluctant to do any physical activity outside or explore their neighbourhood. 'Ray! Another activity for the kids!

27 January 2007

2xExplorer DOS Command

You can start a DOS command in 2xExplorer by hitting the F10 key. However, if you simply hit Enter instead of typing a DOS command, a Cmd window opens in the folder currently displayed in 2xExplorer. Now I can avoid the annoying problem with the Windows cd command.

Blogger Labels

Started seriously using Blogger Labels today to organize my journal entries. Blogger Labels are managed in the Edit Posts. Its user interface is similar to Google Mail's (not a surprise since Google owns Blogger) where you mark your journal entries then select a label from a drop-down list to assign that label to the marked journal entries. Each label and their references to journal entries are stored as a file in your web site, so to add a label to your blog's page, just add an HTML a tag to your blog's template.

Minor annoyance: you have to use the Edit Posts page to assign labels to existing journal entries and the Edit Posts page seems to reset to showing the first 50 entries if the page is refreshed. If you have a lot of entries, it becomes a real pain because you keep losing track of what you have done. There doesn't seem to be a way to configure the number of entries to show in the Edit Posts page.

Firefox Australian English

Installed the Australian English Firefox add-on. Strange that there is no information about the inline spell checker in the Firefox online help!

26 January 2007

Configuring Netgear Router

Been having problems with our new home wireless network. Sometimes our computer takes minutes to get an IP address while other times it never gets an IP address. The computer used to work most of the time when I associated its network adapter's MAC address with a fixed IP address on the router. Today, it couldn't get a network address at all. Now I noticed that there were two other local wireless networks with the same SSID and using the same channel as mine. Seems that by default, all Netgear routers use "NETGEAR" as an SSID and use channel 11. Changed my router's SSID and channel and everything works now.

27 Jan 07. Only enabled 802.11g band on both router and computer. Can't see any point using the slower and less secure 802.11b standard. Wonder if I should change to channel 6 but I don't yet understand what "overlapping" channels mean (see Que excerpt).

Also turned on MAC address filtering to stop unrecognised computers from accessing my router.

29 Jan 07. The router and computers have been buzzing away without any problems for the last couple of days.

Comet McNaught

Last night, we went to Mentone Beach (south of Melbourne CBD) to look for Comet McNaught. It was a clear night and would probably be the last chance to see it in the city before the weather changed. We found a small crowd of sightseers, armed with telescopes, at the beach car park. At dusk, about 2130, we started looking for the comet in the sky but couldn't find it. A lady in a wheelchair by a telescope showed us where to look and we spotted it. It was higher above the horizon than we'd expected and very faint due to light pollution. The kids were pretty excited since it was the first comet they had ever seen.

07 January 2007

Handmade Paperbacks

Added a little article on making paperbacks by hand to my web site. It's kind of retro to make books, what with PDAs and mobile phones on the scene, but I've always had a soft spot for bits of paper with markings.