Funny support call

Sometimes I honestly feel like this when I call tech support and I get "John" (who’s real name is "Habeeb")

Jing Project: Simple “MindShare”

It’s not common for me to find a tool that’s really useful these days. Especially with the advent of spyware, software has just become too cumbersome for something free to spark my interest. Sure, I’ve used many a screen capture utility but nothing has really stuck out. Co-workers always ask for explanations on how to do things and it can be nice to write up a handy document for repeatable tasks but it’s never really as easy as it should be; until now.


So, What is it?

The application I spoke about was Jing. This application is a spin-off free product of Camtasia (TechSmith) and allows you to capture screenshots and allows you to easily upload them to a specified FTP server for sharing. I really enjoy this concept because it closes the gap between screen capture and presentation. Previously I would have to capture what I was thinking and then open the FTP program, then upload it, then copy and paste the URL… then send it to the person in need. With Jing I just capture, and press one button. The Image/Video (yes, VIDEO) is now on my clipboard and ready for presentation.


imageWhat Can It Do?

Jing can capture images and video (up to 5 minutes) and automagically FTP them to your server. Other transport mechanisms are available like, Flickr and simple saving to a file on local storage. The interface is very straight forward and easy to use. On the right you can see how the FTP configuration page looks.


Check out Jing today and see how easy sharing your mind can be!

Time Warner Cable: 2.8Mbit Upstream

Hey- Apparently Time Warner Cable doesn’t rate-limit UDP packets (as far as I can tell).


Here is the scenario:

Time Warner Turbo (15Mbit down / 1Mbit up) connected to OpenVPN (10mbit limit) at a local data center.


Here is what the connection path looks like:

Time Warner Cable –> OpenVPN –> Squid Proxy –> Website


At first I didn’t know what to think – I can normally achieve around 1Mbps up but I was getting over 2.8Mbit/sec upstream! I thought to myself “This has to be Squid caching the upload test data” so I altered the Squid configuration to explicitly NOT cache the data from SpeakEasy’s test site.


Here’s what I found:


After (10Mbit limited by OpenVPN)


How can this be? Well it might have to do with the fact that Time Warner doesn’t monitor UDP traffic (at least to OpenVPN UDP 1194). After reading many documents, it’s evident that traffic shaping TCP is easy and TCP comes with traffic shaping mechanisms and UDP does not. My speculation is that Time Warner simply drops packets when rates are too high, causing TCP to (inherently) re-send data that is lost.


Quick HowTo

The first thing you should do is grab a copy of Untangle. It’s quick and easy to set up OpenVPN out of the box.

  1. Obtain OpenVPN
  2. Bring OpenVPN online at a Data Center or as a VM on your leased server at a Data Center.
  3. Connect to OpenVPN from your Time Warner connection.
  4. Start a VM with Squid caching proxy running. Make sure that you have access to this VM from your VPN client (configured in Untangle)
  5. Start Squid
  6. Open your favorite browser and point it to the squid proxy (private IP address via OpenVPN)
  7. Access speed test sites (all OpenVPN traffic is UDP so you should be able to achieve speeds without using Squid)

Which is better? Firefox 3 or IE 7


Well now that Firefox 3 is out does IE7 have a chance? Personally I’ve used Firefox 3 quite a bit faster (even in its release candidate stages) than IE7.


Please vote below and show us who really is the winner.

{democracy:2} – Xilisoft Video Converter

imageToday I downloaded and installed Xilisoft Video Converter. It seems to be a pretty promising tool as it can convert almost any video/audio format to another video/audio format. This becomes very helpful when converting those old VHS tapes to DVD’s or trying to get your favorite format to your iPod or iPhone.

Better hurry – This download won’t last long as they have you activate it during the offer. Keep in mind that applications on typically aren’t supported (because they’re free).