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About life as an info-tech - arguing (preaching?) about what tickles my mind. I like Internet Protocol (IP). Which version? Never mind. But I run on IP. Yes, I do ~/`~/`~/` on IP!
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Location: Riverside, CA, United States

Regular guy? Maybe. Was lucky enough to go places on foot, riding, driving, sailing, flying and even dreaming. I do tricks connecting tech-devices and teaching device users - that gave me the wherewithal to go places in Africa, Arabia, Europe, America and want to go to Asia, then into space to Mars (dream on, dreamer) ! Childhood pass time was always in a mechanical workshop fixing something - so i tinker a lot. I like meeting and knowing people.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Software, software, software

In the technology world, it is software, software, software.

If technology keeps going the way it has been for the last 20 years, then we can safely predict that the future of mankind will depend, increasingly on software.

From the planning of your family expenditure to communicating using mobile phones, or even controlling hi-tech gadgets trawling the Martian surface, software is the thing.

A small glitch in the software, say, for example, on Vodafone's mobile phone network controllers can turn half of Europe into a maddening mess.

Sometimes, i wish there is an alternative. But honestly, i do not see the possibility of one. So, for now, like everyone else, i must use software - and it comes with penalties too. For starters, you don't need to worry about software. You do not need to make a choice. You just use what comes with your gadget. Yet for others, that's just not good enough - there must be something better. Look for it.

And in looking for that, i landed on Manuel Kasper's m0n0wall. Read the user testimonials. Wanted to test it. And hoh, it was a challenge. I have not used FreeBSD before but that's no threat to me. Kasper's m0n0wall is just about 5 MB. Tried it using the generic PC IDE package but my machine's CD-ROM and HDD kept playing games on me.

Then help appeared from Chris Buechler in the form of a m0n0wall Live Installer. Went for it. Its a whopping 92 MB to download using my 128 Kbps line! Yet my machine didn't like it either. After some tinkering, i found that FreeBSIE in safe mode does the trick. Configured m0n0wall and it worked right away.

Anyone who has used Linux-based firewalls and bandwidth manipulators, or even Netscreen and Packetshaper, will be surprised and elated after seeing what m0n0wall can do. By the way, m0n0wall boots up in less than a minute, the GUI is cool and the traffic graph is real-time. Open Source? Yeah, a winner!

The only thing, for now, that i wish to get added onto m0n0wall is "DHCP address reservation" - and maybe, yes maybe, transparent web cache awareness or integration.

Otherwise, i have taken my wall, R Gregory's gShield offline, and slotted in m0n0wall into the network today for a "real live" test drive and so far so good. Time will tell.


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