September 28, 2004

Blog comment blacklists...
Posted by Jess in Announcements

Apologies... I just updated my master blacklist and ran a sweep of my entire blog to get rid of 6,000+ MORE new spam comments.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how it happened, but many of your existing comments/URLs were marked as spam deleted and added to the blacklist.

I think I got most of them, but if anyone tries to post a comment and gets 'denied', please let me know.

Management apologizes for the sheer annoyance of it all. Those responsible have been sacked.

Fun with Remote Assistance
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

So, it only took me about 50 million trial-and-errors, but finally I got Remote Assistance via email to work successfully between two WinXP users who are both behind routers/firewalls.

Just in case anyone needs it (because once you can get it working, it's REALLY neat, mind-bogglingly useful, and surprisingly fast), here are the required steps.

1. Fat-fingering of some sort occurs.*

*: Now, this isn't *totally* required, of course. You may be the type of person that just enjoys having people come and play with your computer, but for the most part, usually some sort of breakage happens before someone else feels the need to come in and fix it for you.

2. The end-user MUST make sure the following two buttons have check marks next to them:
Right-click My Computer and scroll to Properties.
Click the Remote tab.
Make sure "Allow Remote Assistance Invitations to be sent from this computer" is checked.
Click Advanced.
Make sure "Allow this computer to be controlled remotely" is checked.

3. The end user, if using a router, must set up port forwarding.
The end user must log into their router's web-based administration panel* and enable Port forwarding for the Remote Assistance request:

Port 3389 should be routed to the internal IP address of the end users system, ie. 192.168.x.x.
The end user can perform the following steps to find out what their internal IP address is if they don't know:
Go to Start->Run
At the command prompt, type cmd.
Type ipconfig and hit enter.
Write down what is written on the IP Address line.

*: most router models have online instructions on their respective manufacturer's website as how to login via browser and find the Port Fowarding section. I mean, who keeps instruction manuals after the initial setup? Okay, guilty as charged. But it's still quicker to go online and get it anyway.

4. The end-user must send a Remote Assistance invitation via email.
Go to Start->Help and Support.
Click on Remote Assistance.
Click Invite someone to help you.
Type the Invitee's email address, and click Invite this person.
Send a message if necessary* and click Continue.
Enter a password if necessary, and communicate that password with the invitee.
Click Send Invitation.
The email will pop open in the default email program (such as Lotus Notes), and the end user still needs to hit the Send button.

*: Since you are, in fact, asking someone to help you, it might be nice to take this time to ask them how they are? If they've read any good books lately? Have they done anything fun lately? If they are the geek type like I am, the answer will most likely still be no, but hey, it was nice that someone thought to ask anyway.

5. The Invitee gets the external IP address/hostname from the end-user.
The end user can visit the following sites and easily tell you that information:

6. The Invitee receives the email invitation, and tweaks the contents.
Once the invitee gets the email, save the attachment to the desktop.
Open it with Notepad.
There will be two entries one after another of the end user's internal IP address followed by the port, ie:

<UPLOADDATA USERNAME="Jess" RCTICKET="65538,1,;;D40S4F21:3389,*,etc.

The first entry needs to be changed to the external IP address, and the second entry needs to be changed to the hostname of the end user, leaving you with this:

%LTUPLOADDATA USERNAME="Jess" RCTICKET="65538,1,;;D40S4F21:3389,*,etc.

7. Save the invitation, and NOW you are ready to click it*.

*If it hasn't expired already from all this preparation.

After that, the Port Forwarding can be disabled/re-enabled as fat-fingering occurs. Or unless you like that sort of thing (see 1).

PS. That site does not belong to me. Don't know what I'm talking about? You'll figure it out eventually.

September 22, 2004

Gratuitous Reboot Pics...
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

Just because I haven't posted a picture of her in awhile!

I walked into my bedroom the other day to find this:
Maybe if I sprayed HER pillow with my Lavender Vanilla, she'd go there instead?


But then again, ever since she was a pup she's always preferred some sort of pillow to lie on:



She's vegged on the couch right now. On top of my blanket. D'oh...

September 17, 2004

I've made it into a web comic!
Posted by Jess in Geek Humor

So, I'm not usually quite so fresh. Actually, I'm NEVER fresh, but this one just happened to slip out. Bill was telling a story, and it went nowhere, and, well, I wisecracked. Luckily, everyone started roaring with laughter (most likely because I never say stuff like that). Coincidentally, Bill's wife April has her own web comic site, and does a comic about some of the more, brain-cell challenged things he/we say. Coy Comics/My Life With Scott #8.

So, she decided it was perfect, so now I can say I am part of a comic. Thanks April!

Oh, and be sure to read My Life With Scott # 5, in which we are introduced to "Scrabizzle". I had completely forgotten about that. We decided that to make Scrabble a bit more enjoyable, why not add a rule that if you can use it in a sentence, you can play it on the board?

September 15, 2004

Quite a week...
Posted by Jess in Announcements

It's only Tuesday, and it's already been an eventful week.

Let's see, in the great news department, finally Stan Rogers and Nathan T. Freeman have started blogging. Yay!

I registered for my first Lotusphere yesterday, and can't wait. It was hard hearing all the great things from LS2004 and not being there (I was still only a few months into my new solo career), so I decided I absolutely cannot miss this one.

Matt and I made a trip to the new Ikea near us. Can we say I was a kid in a candy store? I was so frustrated with our office that I had temporarily moved into the kitchen table for the summer, knowing that soon Ikea would open. It's been open for two months now, and we finally went. I bought an entire new office set complete with new storage and lighting, and just got it all (well, mostly) set up last night.

My dilemma now is the server... no matter what I do, I seem to run out of outlets and cord lengths.

I'll have to post some before and after shots. Maybe I'll wait until Halloween to post the 'before' shots, they're quite scary.

September 09, 2004

My Suburban Diary
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

While the sticks it is, yes, my street is also the heart of suburbia. Two matching cul-de-sacs on either end (no, we don’t fly in… the street is a T-junction), enough trees to provide shade, and the only traffic is from those that live here. It’s perfect. In fact, sometimes, it’s so perfect, that it only makes sense to poke a little fun at it.

One of these days I’ll tell you about the April Fool’s joke Matt and I pulled on our neighbor. We got a voice mail message in return… “allllright Strattons, this means war!”. I expect any day we’ll turn into those people from the movie, The Burbs. I have visions of me standing on my roof with my army hat and binoculars and… *shudder*.


7 AM
Called my neighbor directly to the left of me. We laughed about how the woman across the street who runs a day care has clients that drop their children off every day like clockwork. You could set your watch to the parents dropping their children off every day. Then my neighbor stopped laughing and said, “Oh man, the white caravan just pulled in? I better get in the shower!” and hung up.

9 AM
I am out with Reboot, and look around. Of my entire street, at the moment, I have the only car that is not a minivan. My neighbor to my right must be having a playgroup, there are about 10 minivans parked in the driveway. Either that, or it’s her turn to host the “Hell’s Mommies” party.

Get call from neighbor a few doors down telling me not to answer the door. The tax assessor is making the rounds. Neighbor wants to know, if she sleeps with the tax assessor, maybe he won’t write down the fact that they finished her basement last month. Neighbor’s husband calls and wants to know the same thing.

Talk to my neighbor who wants to know when I’m going to have children. She was the one who warned us when we moved in that there was “something in the water” in this street. I told her we have a RO filter installed. Talked to my other neighbor who is pregnant with her second child. I told her that when we finally do announce to the street that I am pregnant, I will be marching down the street with a white flag.

1 PM
Could get mail today, could not. Who knows. Depends on whether the mailman feels like delivering it today.

2 PM
Return all toys that Reboot stole to their respective houses.

Visit the neighbors in the street walking dogs/children/tax assessors. We joke about whose turn it is to mow the cul-de-sac. Neighbor claims his house is not directly on it, so he’s safe. Another neighbor just proudly turned up with a riding mower one day – he’ll be proud until he realizes he’s ‘inherited’ the cul-de-sac.

UPS driver pulls in. Reboot barks protectively. Then starts whining for her biscuit from the UPS guy. I get a call from my neighbor who wants to know if I just got anything good.

5, 6, 7, 8 – MIDNIGHT
Reboot goes to neighbor’s door and swipes it with her paw to “knock”. Neighbor lets her in. Reboot gets an extra dinner. Leaves that house, goes to next. That neighbor lets their dog out to go play with Reboot.

September 02, 2004

Universal 2004 - another success!
Posted by Jess in Day to Day

The 2nd Annual Lotus bloggers meetup was again a rousing success!
Returning this year was myself, Matt, Joe Litton and his wife Shirley and son Ben, Julian Robichaux, and John Vaughn. Among the new attendees were Rob McDonagh and Mac Guidera.


From the "celebrity bloggers" corner, we seem to have guest appearances from Ron Livingston (of Office Space fame) and Joey Fatone from NSync. Oh never mind, it's just Matt and Julian (who both get mistaken for the two, relatively, on a regular basis).


Even the friendly server got into this one! The neat thing was, the chef was still here who made Matt some great wings last year. Matt asked for him, and he was still there, and remembered Matt and made him some more.


Matt is the KING of the arm-extended camera shot.


As always, a good time was had, and hopefully there will be many more next year, which will probably be in Chicago from the buzz going around.

Speaking of buzzes going around, Joe graciously had us do a tequila shot Friday night. Well, Sunday night, Matt and I were in Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville bar at CityWalk, which is right down the street from Pat O' Briens.

The band playing was excellent, they were very energetic and played the typical songs you'd hear at a wedding reception to get everyone dancing and having fun. The problem? No one was dancing, and short of Matt and myself, no one looked like they were having any fun. There were probably half the tables full in the whole place.

So what else do you do when you want to liven up the place a bit? A round of tequila shots for myself, Matt, and the band, of course. They enjoyed it, and during their first break, the bass player came out and sat down with us and said thanks and we started talking.

Here's the first really cool bit... turns out the band, The Kyle Henderson Project (fronted by Kyle Henderson, formerly of The Producers) was the same band that played at the LotusSphere party during the Superbowl. He seemed to think that no one was listening to them, they were all watching the SuperBowl. So I'm trying to find a blog in which someone talked about the fact that there was a band playing, I thought it would be kind of neat to email it to them.

Anyway, here's the second really cool bit: Kyle Henderson, the lead singer, until about three years ago when he started gigging full time, was a Lotus Notes developer!

The funny thing was that the place was still pretty dead, but when the band came back on for their next set, he's at the mike and he yells, "how many Lotus Notes developers we got in this place tonight?" Matt and I cheered, and we and the band all had a good laugh. No one else got it, but we were having fun.

The people in front of us seemed to be having fun, they started dancing, and the people to the right of us looked like they were having fun laughing at my facial expressions every time I had a shot of tequila, so when the band took their next break, we all sort of joined to do introductions and form a large table. When the band came back out, at first they looked disappointed as it looked like we all left (the people that were actually having fun, it seemed) but then laughed when they noticed we had all joined forces.

So once again, fun is what you make of it. And it's not like anyone in Orlando knows who we are. At least I hope not. :-P

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