October 2004 Archives

music and geeks are inseparable


Michelle Delio of Wired reveals the secrets of Sun Studio's signature sounds as well as the link between music and geeks.

We have our own recording studio at Tipperary Institute and the digital mixing desk that we use can trace its ancestry back to those early days of recording. The technology we use is just the latest generation/evolution of recording music. The same way the IPOD is the latest way of listening to and storing music.

Sun Shines Light on Music History

Fluke handheld network analyser utilises embedded Linux


Fluke have launched a handheld network analyser that runs on embedded linux.
We use the fluke products at Tipperary Institute as part of our CCNA programme.

According to Fluke, the EtherScope can discover up to 1,000 network devices, which it compiles in an internal database. It also discovers each device's nearest switch, said to aid in resolving issues and tracking configuration changes. Discovered devices can be organized by subnet, NetBIOS domain, or IPX network. Switches can be scanned for traffic statistics, errors, and connected devices on each port.

The Etherscope is based on an Intel XScale PXA255 processor, clocked at 400MHz. It also includes a Xilinx FPGA (field programmable gate array) that loads various binary "overlays" dynamically, according to what the device is being used for,

On the software side, the device runs a 2.4.19 Linux kernel sourced from kernel.org.

Handheld network analyzer runs embedded Linux

EU agrees to implement biometric passports


Ministers for European Union member states agreed on Tuesday to adopt biometric passports.

These passports are set to arrive in 18 months and will initailly record the facial characteristics of the bearer. In three years, European travelers will also have to provide a fingerprint for the passport. The facial and fingerprint data will be stored on an embedded chip, along with a digital copy of the bearer's photo.

Austria, Finland and the Netherlands have voiced minor concerns about the proposal.

The logisitics for this should be prove to be "interesting"

ARM - Architecture Reference Manual



This text book has just joined my PhD arsenal of text books.
The book is divided into 3 areas
- CPU architectures
- Memory and System Architectures
- Vector Floating-point Archiectures

Hopefully it will help me in decoding the instruction set.

ARM Architecture Reference Manual

Trusted Mobile Platform


NTT DoCoMo, Inc., Intel and IBM released a new security specification called "Trusted Mobile Platform." The specification can help make advanced mobile-commerce services such as electronic tickets and e-wallets for online purchases more secure and help protect against viruses and other software attacks.

The platform has defined a number of s/w and h/w components that can be put together to offer various levels of security.

The specification is publicly available at http: //www.trusted-mobile.org/ for industry review.

NTT DoCoMo, Intel and IBM Collaborate to Enhance Mobile Device Security by "Trusted Mobile Platform" Specification

Network Processor Programming Model


builder.com are hosting an article written by the network processors manufacturer C-Port Corporation.

This paper explores network processor programming models, and their effects on delivering on the promise of a new and better network device design process.

Network Processor Programming Models: The Key to Achieving Faster Time-to-Market and Extending Product Life from C-Port Corporation White Papers at Builder UK

How to dismantle an atomic bomb


U2's new album will be launched in 25 days time on the 22nd of November.
If you visit www.howtodismantleanatomicbom.com you can get an exact read out of the number days, hours, minutes and seconds left.

U2’s new album will come in four distinct formats as detailed on u2.com

As well as the standard CD release, there will also be a Double Album CD/DVD release which will include the documentary ‘U2 and 3 Songs’’ including interview footage with the band, and performances of new songs from the studio in Dublin.

A ‘Deluxe Limited Edition’ release will not only feature CD and DVD but also a colour hardback book. The book includes extracts from band members note books, original paintings, illustrations and photography along with quotes and statistics.

And for traditionalists the LP Vinyl release.

The album track listing is as follows:

1. Vertigo

2. Miracle Drug

3. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

4. Love And Peace Or Else

5. City Of Blinding Lights

6. All Because Of You

7. A Man And A Woman

8. Crumbs From Your Table

9. One Step Closer

10.Original Of The Species


U2 did a performance for TOTP recently and played Vertigo and city of blinding lights. I am going to try and get my hands on the vinyl version of the album and single.

U2 IPOD special edition



You are looking at the limited edition of the U2 IPOD. The styling reflects the dominant colors on U2's new album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Expected in November 2004).

A number of fans have complained in the Irish Media about the fact that U2 have sold out to a corporate entity. But as one hot press music journalist pointed out its not Shell or McDonalds. Instead its an innovative music company that promotes the legal distribution of music.

The IPOD will come preloaded with U2's new album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb". U2 have released their single from the album titled "Vertigo" its currently number 1 on the itunes chart, it is yet to be released to the tradtional markets. (early November).

I am sorely tempted to put this on my Dear Santa letter.

Irish PC superstore goes into liquidation


According to a number of sources including siliconrepublic.com Compustore the Irish PC superstore has gone into voluntary liquidation. Staff turned up at a number of branches on saturday to find that they were closed.

Compustore has 13 branches across Ireland according to the website, a number of these stores are run on a franchise basis so it unclear at the moment as to what will happen to these stores. At the time of writing this article it was still possible to shop online at http://shop.online.ie/shop/compustore/.

George W. Bush - Keeping America Scared


Boing Boing brought this video clip to my attention.

The Republican National Convention is condensed down to their utterances of the phrases "September 11", terroroim etc. Its easy to see that are trying to distarct the voter from the key domestic issues.

5.2MB Quicktime Link

RNC fear-phrases video

SSETI Express - collaboration in outer space



SSETI Express is a satellite that has been built bya 250-strong team of students have never collectively met in person. These students are scattered in universities across Europe, but between them they have built a space-ready satellite. SSETI Express is currently being integrated in an ESA cleanroom for a planned launch in May next year.

Once again the internet was the infrastructure that provided the medium of communication.

Intel announce 2 new families of network processors


Intel have announced two new network processor families. They are the IXP46XX and IXP23XX

The Intel® IXP460 and Intel® IXP465 network processors are the latest additions to the Intel IXP4XX product line and offer a higher speed Intel XScale® core, expanded connectivity options as well as enhancements to improve end system reliability and security.

The Intel® IXP2325 and Intel® IXP2350 network processors targeted for network access and edge applications, combine data plane and control plane processing capabilities in a single chip and are Intel's first network processors built on 90nm process technology.

Intel and Clearwire to develop WIMAX


Intel and Clearwire, Craig McCaw's wireless broadband services company, today announced they will jointly develop and deploy wireless broadband capabilities using WiMAX networks.

The IEEE 802.16 Air Interface Standard is truly a state-of-the-art specification for fixed broadband wireless access systems employing a point-to-multipoint (PMP) architecture. The initial version was developed with the goal of meeting the requirements of a vast array of deployment scenarios for BWA systems operating between 10 and 66 GHz. As a result, only a subset of the functionality is needed for typical deployments directed at specific markets. A revision to the base IEEE 802.16 standard targeting sub 11 GHz is near completion.

Intel, Clearwire to Accelerate Deployment of WiMAX Networks Worldwide

Irish e-learning Company wins major deal with Chinese Government


The importance of China as a new emerging technology market was highlighted last week with the announcement that Irish e-learning company ThirdForce has won a major deal with the Chinese Government that will see International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) training made available to a potential market of more than 346 million people – some 26pc of China’s 1.3 billion population. China is widely expected to become the world’s largest ICDL market.

If the programme in China follows a similar growth trajectory to that in the UK, for example, it has the potential to attract 26 million participants by 2010.

The success of Irish companies in construction and infrastructure projects are well documented. This is no small part to the trade delegations that visit China every few months. Doing business in China is all about establishing personal relationships, the concept of tele sales conference and phone calls are not rated very highly.

Paparazzi wireless watch


Microsoft and Swatch have joined forces to launch a wireless watch that offers users acces to Microsoft's MSN Direct wireless data service.


The computerized Swatches also offer local entertainment updates through a deal with publisher Time Out, as well as a chance to meet celebrities.

Microsoft and Swatch began work on watches three years ago.

This "shrinking" of data access to a ubiquitous device is bringing us one step closer to the digital information age.

A world with out television


To some people the titlle of this entry causes shudders of anxiety to others it would be considered liberation. Steve Bodzin at wired has written an article that would seem to describe a scene from neuromancer or bladerunner.

A society so used to t.v's in the background that they are often unaware of their existence or their purpose.

To this end Mitch Altman has decided to do something about this. He has invented a key fob unit with only one button called TV-B-Gone. Its purpose is to send out 209 different codes to turn off televisions, the most popular brands first.

I am itching to get my hands on one so as to see what would happen in a busy Dixons or Currys.

Inventor Rejoices as TVs Go Dark

Irish Farmers to use wind farm energy


The Irish Farmers Association which is one of the two main farmer representation bodies in Ireland has reached an agreement with the wind farm company Airtricity for the group purchase of electricity for farmers.

150 farmers have agreed to switch their electricity supply to Airtricity, the reason for this switch is a saving of between 5% and 10% on their electricity costs.

At Tipperary Institute our Sustainable Rural Development department is involved with a number of key projects in the area of Biomass, wind energy. In Tipperary a number of wind turbines have been erected and more are on the way.

Programming advice for software devel students


Slashdot had a link to this site, this text was published by ACM's SIGCSE in the June 2004 issue of Inroads, the SIGCSE bulletin.

The advice is actually bad advice such as

Ignore error messages
Don't stop to think

but it does impart a few important lessons


ARM textbook - System on Chip by Furber


My supervisor has recommended Furbers's book for ARM development its called ARM System-on-chip Architecture

The reviews look good as the book covers the following

- presents and discusses the major issues of system-on-chip design, including memory hierarchy, caches, memory management, on-chip buses, on-chip debug and production test

- provides an overview of the ARM processor family, enabling the reader to decide which ARM is best for the job in hand

- describes the ARM and Thumb programming models, enabling the designer to begin to develop applications

- covers all the latest ARM products and developments, including StrongARM, the ARM9 and ARM10 series of cores, and the ARM-based SoC components at the heart of Ericsson's Bluetooth technology, the Psion Series 5 PDA and Samsung's SGH2400 GSM handset

- includes details on the AMULET asynchronous ARM cores and the AMULET3H asynchronous SoC subsystem

gnuarm.com - arm devel tools


A few days ago I wrote about the difficulties of finding some devel tools for the ARM. I have since been to www.gnuarm.com and have found the s/w I require.

The nice people at gnuarm have developed arm complier tools that work with cygwin (linux emulator for windows) and linux itself.

I am also using rick's website so as to learn a bit more about the ARM instruction set. Its well written a provides a good history of where the ARM came from. It brings back memories as I used to use a BBC micro during the 80's. www.heyrick.co.uk

Are Team america the modern thunder birds ?


I grew up watching Thunderbirds and stingray on t.v. The somewhat quirky movements of the marionettes was endearing and enthralled a generation.

The creators of south park have now payed homage to this genre by releasing a movie called Team America. From viewing the trailers and outtakes I would classify it as Thunderbirds meets Austin Powers. :-)

Cisco and Microsoft to adopt common security platform


At Tipperary Institute I deliver the CCNA course along with a number of colleagues. I was slightly alarmed when I read this article on Cnet that Cisco and Microsoft plan to share security features to help customers protect their networks from worms and viruses.

Given the amount of negative publicity that Microsoft have received in the past 18 months with regards to worms etc it could rub off on Cisco....

Cisco, Microsoft pledge security interoperability

Reverse drawings blamed for Genesis crash


Wired have a report about the investigatiion into the genesis probe crash. The probe was supposed to launch parachutes so as to slow its descent and stunt pilots in helicopters were standing by to catch the probe.

An investigating board says the capsule was doomed by faulty engineering drawings that were done backward. The drawings led to incorrect placement of switches that were supposed to detect Genesis' re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

Drawings Blamed for Genesis Crash

Going Postal - Terry Pratchett


I have just finished reading Terry Pratchetts latest book Going Postal (Discworld S.). I am an avid fan of the disc world series and his latest book is well up to the standard of the previous books. I just hope he can get the chandeliers back....

Here's a Synopsis
Moist von Lipwig was a con artist and a fraud and a man faced with a life choice: be hanged, or put Ankh-Morpork's ailing postal service back on its feet.It was a tough decision. But he's got to see that the mail gets though, come rain, hail, sleet, dogs, the Post Office Workers Friendly and Benevolent Society, the evil chairman of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company, and a midnight killer. Getting a date with Adora Bell Dearheart would be nice, too.Maybe it'll take a criminal to succeed where honest men have failed, or maybe it's a death sentence either way.Or perhaps there's a shot at redemption in the mad world of the mail, waiting for a man who's prepared to push the envelope...

Cross Compiler for ARM processor


I am currently trying to figure the best way to generate assembler code for the ARM microprocessor.

arm-elf is readily available for the windows platform but I am having problems trying to get my hands on the linux version. Any suggestions would be appreciated and can be sent to lnoonan_blog at yahoo.com

1 distro to rule them all 1 distro to bind them


My quest for a linux distro has reached an end (for the moment), Sun Java desktop has been binned in favour of Knoppix (www.knoppix.org). Knoppix runs of cd but you can run knoppix-installer under root to install it permanently to the hard drive. Debian lies underneath knoppix but unlike debian it detects all the h/w include the dvd/ cd burner that I have.

The Boss knows where you are...


UK:- MobileLocate has launched the tracking service to enable businesses to track workers in the field via their mobile phones, with locations either displayed on a map via the user's PC or texted to a nominated mobile.

The service will be available on Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and 02 and costs under £1 per month per phone. MobileLocate also runs the recently launched ChildLocate, a similar service aimed at parents who want to find out where their children are.

The principle behind this is using triangulation with base stations that have known lat/long coordinates. I applaud the childlocate service but have some reservations about the employee one.

£1 to track your staff via their mobiles

Ask comreg


Comreg the Irish Telecoms regulator launched a consumer oriented websiet today called askcomreg.ie

With more and more telco's entering the market, changing suppliers of telephone and broadband will become a need to know issue.

Telecoms regulator launches website

Netscape turns 10


Its hard to believe that netscape is turning 10 years old. 10 yrs ago I was in my first job working for a bank in Dublin (Happy days). Eventhough the browser is no longer with us a commercial entity, the word on the street is that AOL will be repackaging it.

Sun Java desktop - Userfriendly Vs. Admin headache


The nice thing about having vmware installed on your laptop is that it allows you to play around with various OS's with out losing complete productivity or sanity.

For the past few months Sun Java Desktop has been sitting on my shelf waiting pateintly to be installed. I finally got around to this yesterday. My impressions so far are:

1. It detected all h/w, audio cd burner etc on my dell latitude. After I installed vmware tools the display was rectified.

2. The default install has no devel tools installed so it was necessary to run yast2 to install the extra s/w and patch the updates.

3. Suse Linux runs underneath and is O.K. but coming from debian and redhat I found the package mangement a bit inflexible. I still need to find an alternative fto source for the OS.

4. Star office is nice and works like a dream

Overall this is ideal for the avg corporate user which the intended market. Power users however might find the nice wrapping a bit to prohibitive.



Mark Rasch at Wired reports on the latest piece of consumer friendly s/w to hit our desktops.

A browser bot will accept or reject agreements on your terms.

This no doubt will prevent a s/w company turning up at your door and claiming your next of kin, as it was stipulated in the license agreement :-)

You Need a Robolawyer

NTL to close telephone service in Ireland


Following on from the shutdown of telephone services to approximately 2000 customers. Cable TV company, NTL, is closing down its domestic phone service in Ireland after claiming the Tellabs-supplied units used to connect phones to the cable could be dangerous.

Tellabs deny this and state that all their products must pass stringent test procedures.

Comreg comments on NTL suspension of telephone service


Ireland - John Doherty, Chairperson of the Commission for Communications
Regulation (ComReg) today responded to the suspension of ntl’s direct
telephone service to over 2,000 customers, mainly in the Tallaght area of

“ComReg understands that ntl is concerned that the equipment which they
installed in customers’ homes may, in certain circumstances, constitute a
potential safety hazard through overheating"

They go to point out that NTL shoudl be more proactive in advising affected customers and offerring an alternative solution.

Installation experiences for Linux and vmware


I am currently rebuilding my Linux install on my laptop. I am using Vmware 4.5 which is quiet useful as it allows Linux to run inside my windows environment.

The only problem is that Debian decided not to install a whole raft of multimedia elements. If I had listened to my colleague Eugene Kenny I would have chosen Knoppix instead.

Bluetooth enabled shirt


At Tipperary Institute we have a number of projects that are facilitating the elderly.

In Singapore they have now developed a bluetooth enabled shirt. The shirt has been fitted with a 2cm x 2cm sensor that signals loved ones when the wearer is moving at great speeds horizontally. If the person falls, the device transmits, via Bluetooth, to a nearby computer or cellphone and alerts those designated

In the future I can see them using ultrawideband as it possess better geo spatial tracking and power consumption.

The life-saving Bluetooth shirt sensor

Irish Broadband needs your vote


The Irish government have launched an inniative that encourages people to vote for broadband


If your village does not appear on the list you can contact the webmaster and they will update the list

Mobile phone freedom for irish soccer fans in Paris


30,000 irish soccer fans descended on Paris for the international world cup game on Sat the 9th of October. They left behind a host of worried Mammys, wives and partners as they couldn't be contacted due to the roaming service experiencing a melt down.

It must have seemed strange to these stalwart users of communication technology that they couldn't text home the game play by play, or annoy their friends with pictures of their pub crawl around the Moulin Rouge.

For the older fans it probably brought back memories of Euro 88 and italia 90, ringing home once every few days to confirm that you were alive and that the "crack was mighty". This new found freedom was however only a brief respite until they got home.

Who would buy a 17-inch laptop?


At Tipperary Institute we have a number of Dell laptops that have 17inch screens. They may be nice to look at but to carry them around is a different story entirely.

I am not surprised by the article on engadget.com
that sales for 17 inch laptops are slow.

We had a discussion in our office about this and a light weight 12 inch laptop running linux turned out to be the most popular choice.

If we want a 17 inch screen we'll stick to our desktops.

The Road to RFID Compliance: Issues and Solutions


The Road to RFID Compliance: Issues and Solutions

Sun are hosting a tour of their RFID products and solutions for RFID. solutions, including the new Sun Java Systems RFID

At Tipperary Institute we have a fledging Campus company that is heavily involved in this area.

Hey Hey 16K


This song brings back alot of memories of programming the Atari 800, Oric Atmos and ZX spectrums !!! I sure do miss the rubber keyboards.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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November 2004 is the next archive.

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Influenced by:

Irish Eyes
Mike Maunsell
Tom Raftery I.T. views
Damien Mulley
James Corbett (Eirepeneur)
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