Archive for October, 2005

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Apparently, I’m Jean-Luc Picard. Go figure.

New laptop unlocked


My new work laptop is a SONY VGN-T350 laptop. It has Bluetooth, 802.11g (WiFi), and a really cool feature called WWAN, which is just a built-in GPRS/Edge modem. Unfortunately, the device comes locked from SONY on the Cingular system. I followed the excellent instructions on this page for unlocking it.

There was one big glitch during the unlocking process, when I gave them my IMEI number, they couldn’t find it in their database. It took nearly a week of regular calls for them to escalate this, and finally they gave me the eight digit NCQU (or NCK) number to unlock it. SONY doesn’t care WHY you want it unlocked, I assume because Cingular didn’t subsidize the laptop like it does cell phones.

There’s a few other interesting points that weren’t mentioned in this guy’s excellent article. It is possible to use the Cingular Connection Manager (and SmartWi), without the original Cingular SIM.

For a Cingular generic SIM (not the one that came with the SONY):

Make a custom profile:
Service Type: Packet
Dialed Number: *99***1#
Access Point Name: [leave it blank]
Password: CINGULAR1

For a T-Mobile internet-only SIM (in North America, $30/month, with a Reno 775 area code):

Make a custom profile:
Service Type: Packet
Dialed Number: *99***1#
Access Point Name:
Username: [leave it blank]
Password: [leave it blank]

Here’s a few gripes I’ve been having with this otherwise excellent laptop:

  1. Often I get messages saying “GPRS” is trying to dial, and could not detect carrier (no solution yet).
  2. The T-Mobile SIM on EDGE seems slower than the Cingular SIM on EDGE for at least two locations I’ve tried. I’m using the speed test on this site. My results around the Boulder/Longmont area are 166 kbit/s for Cingular, 100 kbit/s for T-Mobile
  3. Man, that antenna sure is UGLY
  4. I hate the battery-hanging-off-the-back-at-an-angle-look
  5. Memory install on the T350P (only 512MB ) was a b*tch. Following the easy-to-follow instructions on doing this was NOT easy, at least for me. It turns out in their picture, they want you to push down on some little “tabs” in-between specific keys. I ordered 512MB of SimpleTech PC2700 memory for $100.87 including shipping at This is SONY VGP-MM512I [SimpleTech SON-S170/512]. Make sure you seat the memory properly, with no gold showing….

Back from the hack


Some morons thought it would be fun to hack my blog, defacing the “main page”. It just cost me an hour to fix it, although I did upgrade the software running the blog engine.

Hopefully, these people will get bored and move on to other productive endeavors like running in traffic.



A little unexpected, but we got 4-6 inches last night, and up to another foot is expected.

BitTorrents and HBO’s Rome


Apparently, HBO is “poisoning” the downloads of its newest mini-series, Rome:

If you use Azureus, you’ll need to download the plug-in: SafePeer, which can actively blacklist the “bad” servers. This is important for people like me, with access to legal HBO, but a desire to download things like this for on the road.

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