Password Pandemonium and Gigabit Ethernet

About six months ago, I set up two D-Link DGS-1224T Gigabit Ethernet switches for work. However, I neglected to record the new password for one of the two switches. I spent an hour trying to remember the missing password a week ago before giving up. Today I tried again, and on the 12th or 13th guess, I finally got it.

The password explosion problem most of us face is quite annoying. I’m landing more and more in Bruce Schneier’s camp regarding what to do with the explosion of passwords, that is, write them down. Every now and then, I think about using a password generator (see this cool demo), but I haven’t committed to using this yet. It looks like I can save the password generator page for local viewing and use on my Treo 680, though, so I’m going to ponder this some more.

A quick word about the DGS-1224T: this Gig-E switch hits the sweet spot for me in that it supports all the heavy-duty performance and security features I care about (jumbo frames, 802.1Q VLAN tagging, 802.3ad link aggregation) at a rock-bottom price for a smart switch. The pair of switches have been rock-solid so far.

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OLPC / XO Laptop DC Learning Club Meeting Hummed With Excitement

On Thursday, January 31st 2008, I attended the OLPC DC Learning Club meeting at Greater DC Cares downtown. Over 50 people came, many with their XO laptops. A few parents, myself included, brought their children. Seeing so many people so excited about the potential of this technology made me happy.

Another attendee, Jesse Thomas and his friend Leslie Bradshaw took some photos that include a few of Patrick and me. The last one in the set shows Patrick using Mike Lee’s Lego-based optical viewfinder for the XO laptop.

I’m still figuring out how to use the XO laptop, as are Patrick and Audrey. My plan is to explore the applications that come with it, figure out how to use them, and to observe my kids using the applications, to see what they are doing with it. The built-in Journal logs what kids do with the laptop, and lets you resume activities that they started to see exactly what they were doing. I’m particularly interested to see how my 6-year-old son experiments with constructivist learning activities Etoys, Pippy, and Turtle Art, since he is already familiar with some programming and design concepts due to our many experiments with Scratch. I am very interested in the port in progress of Scratch to the XO, though I haven’t seen it myself yet.

Patrick really enjoys the calculator, the camera, the music applications, and Micropolis, a GPL port of the original SimCity code, the first program we added to the base set of activities.

I announced the Obscure Organization’s new Scratch class, and several people, including an Arlington high school teacher, contacted me afterwards inquiring about the program.

Clearly I need to get out more, and talk to more people about stuff I’m doing.