May 2005 Archives

Windows XP Socket Fix

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TIPPINST - I came across this useful app the other day. A problem can sometimes arise with your browser inside Windows XP. The browser will cease to function but ping etc work fine. This is usually due to the Winsock component being corrupted and its associated registry entries.

The software is free and the provisio being given is that if everything else fails to give WinSock XP Fix a try. I had reason to use it lately and the results were a success.

Download Windows XP Socket Fix

TIPPINST - Elsevier's magasine Computer Networks has a special issue on web traffic which may be of interest to the community.

Computer Networks Volume 48 issue 5 (5th Aug 2005)
Articles include

Web security
Pages 697-699
P. McDaniel and Aviel D. Rubin

Remote timing attacks are practical
Pages 701-716
David Brumley and Dan Boneh

A multi-model approach to the detection of web-based attacks
Pages 717-738
Christopher Kruegel, Giovanni Vigna and William Robertson

A testing framework for Web application security assessment
Pages 739-761
Yao-Wen Huang, Chung-Hung Tsai, Tsung-Po Lin, Shih-Kun Huang, D.T. Lee and Sy-Yen Kuo

SSL splitting: Securely serving data from untrusted caches
Pages 763-779
Chris Lesniewski-Laas and M. Frans Kaashoek

WebSOS: an overlay-based system for protecting web servers from denial of service attacks
Pages 781-807
Angelos Stavrou, Debra L. Cook, William G. Morein, Angelos D. Keromytis, Vishal Misra and Dan Rubenstein

XPref: a preference language for P3P
Pages 809-827
Rakesh Agrawal, Jerry Kiernan, Ramakrishnan Srikant and Yirong Xu

Going back to Vinyl and a warmer sound

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TIPPINST - Neil Young has always maintained that something is lost in digital recording studios when compared to the analog process.

"Digital has gotten really good, but it's never going to be analog," says Lou Reed. "People who want a vintage sound are going to have a problem."

Rolling stone magazine carried a story about Quantegy, the last company in the U.S. to manufacture the magnetic tape used for studio analog recording, shut its doors. Artists such as Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch worried about the loss of a "warmer sound". I would agree with the above sentiments and for my birthday recently Breda bought me a steepletone reproduction 1960's three speed record player. A few transactions later on E-bay I had my hands on Neil Young's Harvest, Eric Clapton's slow hand and a few Beatles albums.

The sound was better than I expected and I also noticed another interesting side effect. With Vinyl it requires a bit of effort to play individual tracks or mix them. In fact it is far more likely to play the full side of the record. Listening to several tracks in the sequence that they were meant to be listened to gave me a total different experience and appreciation for the album. For example Eric Claptons album "Slow hand" and has two different 'moods' side 1 starts off with Cocaine, Wonderful tonight. Side two kicks off with The core and ends up with peaches and Deisel.

I was interested to see if my perception of this was unique or a common experience and from speaking to Mike Kiely who teaches the radio and video production subject on our Bsc in multimedia and communications I discovered that I was not alone. Mike pointed out that studies had been carried out in the past where albums were played in the order that they were mean't to be played and another group would listen to the same album with the tracks mixed. The perception of the album was quiet different.

So these Ipod's, shuffles etc while nice are maybe not delivering the full experience that the bands wanted you to have.

So its back to vinyl and buying the albums that were recorded and produced to be listened on vinyl not mp3, wav, oggi or whatever other file format that's out there.


How to open a processor die to take a peek

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TIPPINST - Following on from a comment left by John McCormac who recommended that I look a the work done by Markus Kuhn into Tamper resistant smart card processors I came across an article that describes the process.

Hot Fuming Nitric acid
acetone in an ultrasonic bath
deionised water
Hydrofluoric acid (Very dangerous)

Hardware required
confocal Microscope with a CCD camera

The article describes the process in detail as well as photo and resulting images.

Design Principles for Tamper-Resistant Smartcard Processors


TIPPINST - While researching something else I came across this article which has been taken from the July 1977 edition of Television Magasine. Bernie Goldbach and Mathew Mather should be able to relate this as it has resonances with a conversation I had earlier with Bernie today.

The project uses the MM-57105 game chip from National Semiconductor and circuit diagrams etc are included.

Build your own Pong game in colour !!!


TIPPINST - I have thrown this question out to a few of my colleagues here at TI. A cursory search on the internet does not reveal any answers. As part of our research it would be nice to have a look under the hood so as to confirm some empirical figures. We believe that there is the risk of chemicals etc but we are not yet sure is it practical or not. If any one has had any experience with this please contact me at.


Doctor Dobbs on Zigbee Wireless Sensor networks

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TIPPINST - Drew Gislason and Tim Gillman founders of San Juan Software (, a ZigBee Alliance member company specializing in software for wireless sensor networks have written an informative article on zigbee and where and how it will be used.

Zigbee Article

TIPPINST - The profound advice in the title is taken from so with the week thats in it you may as well learn all the technology behind one.

Remember NEVER look down the "barrel" of a lightsaber, even if you are "sure" it is in safe mode. If you accidentally activate the lightsaber, serious injury could result. light saber

Implementing Extended subwords in Simplescalar

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TIPPINST - Implementing new instructions on Simplescalar is a slow and tedious process as I outlined in an article a few months back.

The CoMP research group in the Dep. Math. and Comp. Science at the University of Antwerp realise and appreciate this as a result they are working on a project that amongst other things simplifies this process.

Their research into implementing extended subwordsin Simplescalar. The goal of their project is to merge the two tools they have developed called SSIT and SAT into one tool, to extend the resulting tool, to employ the tool to evaluate extended subwords, and to investigate if extended subwords can be used to increase the performance of applications other than the applications currently considered.

The two tools called SSIT (SimpleScalar Instruction Tool) and SAT (SimpleScalar Architecture Tool) have been developed by CoMP to simplify adding new instructions to the SimpleScalar toolset.

Extended subwords is a novel micro-architectural technique designed to improve the performance of SIMD extensions such as MMX. MMX instructions can process eight 8-bit values in parallel. However, 8 bits is often too small for intermediate computations to be performed without overflow. Because of this, data often needs to be unpacked to a larger computational format. This implies a performance loss due to (un)packing overhead and loss of parallelism. Extended subwords are 12 bits wide, allowing many intermediate computations to be performed without overflow.


Irish QoS network firm raises 15 million funding

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TIPPINST - The Irish times are reporting in the technology section of their newspaper about the 15 million euro funding round led by Apax Partners, one of the world's biggest private equity firms. ACT Venture Capital and Cisco Systems are also investors in Corvil Networks.

Corvil is a recent startup who develop a number of products that analyse packet switched ip based networks so as to provide better levels of QoS. From talking to some of the people in Corvil last year I understand that they are in the process of developing a family of appliances for high speed links with additional functionality such as deep/stateful classification, content classification, shaping, policing etc. At the time they were considering using the Intel IXP2400/IXP2800 with classification and encryption processor support.

Some of the algorithms encompassed in the products were developed by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) who had filed several patents in the area of QoS in particular how TCP is handled.

Forrester research highlighted Corvil last december as as leader in the area of QoS.

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Tsinghua University Network Processor Group

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TIPPINST - My site receives numerous queries from China regarding the intel network processor and related research. It came as no surprise when google alert informed me of the Network Processor Group at Tsinghua Univeristy in the Peoples Republic of China. They describe on their site an Intel Council funded project titled "AntiWorm NPU-based Parallel Bloom filters in Giga-Ethernet LAN".

The main idea is to find and locate the worm by detecting the signatures of worms in every packet en route. NPU-Based implementation can scan every packet with high performance and can live update the worm’s signature flexibly to keep pace with fast evolution of worms.

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Blas 2005 Irish Music School

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TIPPINST - Blas 2005 will take place this year from June 20th to July 1st at the University of Limerick. The following classes will be taught: Tin Whistle, Flue, Fiddle, Piano, Guitar, Percussion, Song and Dance. The price is 400 euro approx and includes an excursion, a night out and various sessions. For more details have a look at their website


Network Processor Die Photos

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TIPPINST - I recently put up a wanted notice for an ixp1200 die photo, I came across a site today that contained the info I required when I was looking for something else (google is not yet perfect).The gigascale research centre have a document title Modeling peripherals This pdf contains IBM, Intel and Motorola die photos as well as some details on area and power consumptions.


3 good reasons to upgrade to Movable Type 3.1

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TIPPINST - Comment and trackback spam is a major concern for the community. With this in mind I recently upgraded my movable type from 2.x to 3.1. I had been putting it off for some time but like most things when I sat down and read the instructions it was quiet straight forward. After using it for a few days I can now identify three good reasons why you should upgrade.

1 - Comment moderation option, all comments can be moderated i.e. you can decide to approve or reject the comment

2- Mt-blacklist for 3.1 (ver 2.x) is very powerful as it integrates into movable type as a proper plugin, it now handles the trackback spam and auto updates its blacklists.

3 - Sub Category creation, its now possible to create sub categories i.e I could create a category called music and have sub categories called Irish, Rock, Blues etc

Its a beautiful day finally got U2 tickets

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TIPPINST - I discovered this morning the benefits of teaching a CCNA Sat morning lab, on the way to work I heard the announcement that U2 tickets for Croke park in Dublin were on sale, normally I would never be listening to the radio at 9.00 a.m. So I called in to our local music store hearbeat city in Thurles and picked up two tickets for the Monday Gig. There were no queues just an empty store, very different to the last time when I tried to buy tickets after queueing for a number of hours we had just made it to the inside of the store and they sold out.

I think U2 management and ticketmaster got it right this time by only allowing 2 tickets per customer and giving each store a set allocation.

Upgrading Movable type

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TIPPINST - Finally upgraded from 2.6 to 3.1 of movable type this was mainly prompted by the fact that mt-blacklist for 3.1 contains alot of powerful new features. The upgrade process was painless for both MT and MT-Blacklist. Blacklist now acts as a plugin inside movable type. A nice feature about the new version of blacklist is that it automatically downloads updates from the web. Trouble shooting why the download didn't work at first revealed why my pings weren't functioning.

Wanted IXP1200 die photo

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TIPPINST - As part of our research into the ixp1200 network processor we require a die photo. Any suggestions or photos to lnoonan_blog at

lidl portable free to air satellite systems

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TIPPINST - I have noticed in the past few days an increase in queries for aligning free to air satellite dishes. I suspect the upsurge in interest is due to the fact that lidl have a portable free to air system on sale today (Thu May 5th) for 99 Euro. These systems are ideal for camper vans etc.

Carrier Grade Linux gathering momentum

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TIPPINST - A number of companies are starting to ship Carrier Grade versions of their realtime operating systems, the latest to do is FSMlabs who have registered their version with the ODSL. AS the name implies Carrier Grade Linux specifications adhere to the characteristics required by carrier-grade applications. Carrier Grade Linux complies to recognized standards such as the Linux Standard Base. The effort is aligned with existing forums and communities such as the Service Availability Forum.

Eventhough companies are adhering to a common standard they are going to great lengths to differeniate their products from a performance point of view

Until now carrier grade linux has focussed on the control plane and left companies such as Windriver to handle the data plane.

Control plane traffic is typically queued in multiple priority queues since it is not processed "on the fly" like data plane traffic. Examples of control plane include

•Protection against DoS attacks at infrastructure routers and switches

•QoS control for packets that are destined to the control plane of routers or switches

Hemant Trivedi at Commsdesign believes that integration of the control and data plane is essential if 10Gbs plus speeds are to be achieved. FSMlabs agree with Hermant and have this objective firmly in mind.

Network processors in the future will also have to achieve both control and data plane handling, this requires high speed low jitter solutions.

1 year and 1 week later

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Just realised that my site was 1 year old last tuesday. Its been an interesting year and looking back I can see the benefits of maintaining this site.

From a research perspective the MYSQL database back end is storing interesting articles and links that I have come across. The emails I have received from fellow researchers as a result of these articles have been worth the effort put in to them.

The Irish blogging community is an interesting group to "hang out" with, even though I tend to say little, I read and take in alot. I have come across many interesting sites and their respective authors. I am constantly blown away by the quality of the articles out there. This medium allows the author to write with out limits or worry about column inches. The discussion lately irishblogs group about "journalist privledge" for bloggers makes for interesting reading. There are alot of smart people out there and only for and the tangents that it creates I would have not been aware of their existence.

The one problem I have with irishsilicon is that it requires strict time management or else it turns in to a black hole in to which all time, productivity and phd effort gets sucked into.

Despamming Movable Type Trackback pings

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TIPPINST - A while back I wrote how I had managed to despam my blog using mt-blacklist. It turns out that my comments were being despammed but trackbacks were not. I discovered this morning that my site was riddled with trackback pings. It seems that I am not the only movable type user who suffers from this problem. One solution is to upgrade to movable type 3.0, if you don't wish to upgrade another solution to consider is the plugin TrackBackAntiSpam which has been developed by James Seng

James describes the solution as simple one "if the incoming trackback does not come from the host as stated in the URL, we reject the trackback."

The install is simple as only 1 file needs to be placed in the plugin folder.

Time will tell how effective it is.

Kelloggs advertising muddling parents

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TIPPINST - Its a sure sign that I am turning into a fully fledged parent when I start to worry about whats in the breakfast cereal that my 19 month old son is eating.

Kelloggs have been advertising a multigrain cereal with a prebiotic ingredient called Rice Krispies Muddles. This sounded to us like a nice alternative to the rice krispies that Eoin usually has for his breakfast. So we duly purchased a box, which turned out be more expensive than rice krispies (€3.75), when I opened the box one early morning the aroma of toffee and chocolate immediately struck me. My first reaction was we must have bought coco pops by mistake, when I checked the ingredients the sugar content (20g per 100g) is twice the level of rice krispies.

The caramel flavour was never something that was pushed in the adverts but when I had a look at kellogg's website they do mention it.

"Rice Krispies Muddles are a tasty, fun-shaped cereal made from rice, oats and maize with a light caramel flavour. Muddles are the first kids' breakfast cereal in the UK to contain a prebiotic ingredient, which means they offer a convenient and fun way to help to keep children healthy by promoting good digestive health."

I will beg to differ with Kellogg's assessment that this breakfast cereal promotes health, rather it promotes a sweet tooth. So its back to the Rice Krispies.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2005 is the previous archive.

June 2005 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Influenced by:

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