Just to prove to myself that I’m still working on this cabinet, I started staining the sides with a black stain that I bought a few weeks ago at Rona.  This stuff should not be used in a poorly ventilated basement.

It’s looking good after the first coat, but it will surely need a lot more to get it the depth of black that I’m looking for.  I’ll probably end up having to put a really shiny topcoat on it to give it gloss I’m looking for.

I also discovered that I know absolutely nothing about sanding stuff properly.  Mental note: I need to research what the best grit of sandpaper is to use for the OSG plywood the cabinet sides are used for and what I should be using to prep the stain for a second coat.

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Slashdot is mentioning a new exploit that affects SP2 only.  It’s basically another “remote command execution” letting anyone run anything on your system.  No mention of it on or Scoble’s weblog.

The sad thing is that those using XP SP1 aren’t affected.  It’s only those who are up-to-date with their patches.

One year ago I was showing people Firefox to see how nice the browsing experience was.  Six months ago I started pointing out how IE was fundamentally flawed and how Firefox is more secure overall, but let people make the final choice to switch on their own.  Now, I think I’ll be actively recommending that people still using IE switch over.  Might be time to discuss installing a user-agent filtering transparent web proxy at the office too.

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I decided that I wanted to try upgrading my Shaw@home service from the “high speed” service to their new “Xtreme” package.  The new Xtreme package uses a new DOCSIS 2.0 Motorola modem that can handle better raw throughput.  I was hoping that the upgraded service would allow me to use more bandwidth without affecting my phone service quality, since we’re using Primus’ TalkBroadband service and it can be very bandwidth-sensitive.

Immediately after installing the new cable modem, I happened to get a call from my parents.  They could barely hear anything on their end of the call and ended up having to call me on my cell.  After some network diagnosis and many tech support calls to both Shaw and Primus, it turned out to be that the packet latency with the Xtreme service is much more variable than the high-speed classic Cybersurfr modem service.  When I had first installed the modem, my ping latencies to my default gateway were hitting times up to 600ms.

Thankfully, Shaw gave me my old cablemodem back without a hassle.  After reinstalling it, my VoIP quality is back to normal and I can make decent phone calls again.

Just a warning to anyone with Primus service considering an upgrade to Xtreme!

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