Poppy Payne IS The Sexy Techie!

Technical Help and Opinions on Just About Everything Else!

Time For a Bit Of Housecleaning

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Comment SPAM... Grrr....I admit it. Sometimes, just like everyone else, I get a little lazy about housecleaning. What the hell am I talking about? Comment SPAM. On my blog. For the longest time, I let the Askimet Filter decide what is spam and what isn’t and then I’d just bulk approve what it let through. Seems like it also lets through a fair amount of spam anyway.

Looking through the approved comments, I can see virtually identical comments from different people against different blog posts. The IP addresses are all in the same range meaning they most likely come out of the same server. Not to mention that they are either far too general or they have absolutely have nothing to do with the blog topic. Such as a comment on a Pic Of The Day that thanks me for the great information in the blog post… WHAT information? Or they agree with the conclusion I reached when they isn’t a conclusion in sight.

Elbonians - Providing Outsourcing Services to the Wolrd of Dilbert.So I am going to be deleting a ton of bogus comments and let the chips fall where they may. If you feel that I have inadvertently deleted your comment, drop me an email using the ‘Email Me’ link that appears in the header on each and every page. At least if you send an email I will know you’re not a robot or a zombie generated commenter. Most of the comments seem to be lame attempts to flatter the blog whilst sneaking in a web site address for which they’re trying to generate traffic but they’re obviously Written-In-Elbonian-And-Twisted-Into-English-Through-Google-Translator automated comments.

Kiss My Lily-White Ass!Another thing that led me to this action is in spot checking the email addresses which are required when posting a comment, I find that the vast majority of them do not exist on the email server provided. Grrr… So bear with me, friends. I wish no one had to deal with this bullshit (much less me!) but I guess that’s life on the Internet and goes with the territory. Please keep posting comments and emailing me. I love hearing from you. As for the all of the others, they can kiss my lily-white ass in Piccadilly Circus!!

Poppy xxxxxx

Why Is My Internet So Frigging Slow?

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Internet Router Map Courtesy of VerizonIs your Internet access as slow as a hair clogged bathroom sink drain? Slow Internet connections can be a headache as they seem to happen just when you need access the most. You have control over only a part of the physical connection as once the connection leaves your domicile, you will have to involve your ISP to find out what’s wrong. They can also help diagnose problems within your home as they have the capability to log into the ISP provided router/modem as see exactly what is going on and how it is performing. That being said, there are some things you can do yourself to maximize whatever speed you are able to get.

Do You HAVE High Speed Internet Service?

I’m going to assume you at least have DSL service, or, preferably a Cable Modem connection or other provider’s (i.e. phone company) FOC (Fibre Optic Connection). For those “Out In The Middle Of Nowhere” types, satellite or mobile broadband may be acceptable alternatives. Dial up has been obsolete for decades and is strictly “Stone Knives and Bearskins” territory!

Check The Cabling!

Spaghetti CablingIf you’ve already got some type of “high-speed” internet connection, sometimes a problem with the cabling between the utility pole and your computer can cause a real issue when it comes to speed. Loose cable connections can really screw things up. If your computer is hardwired to your router, unplug the cable connections at both ends and reseat them firmly. Also reseat the cable that brings the Internet into your router or modem. Alternatively, you may want to try things with a known good cable just to see if the existing one is having issues from when you got it caught up in the Hoover last month while you were frantically cleaning five minutes before The Boyfriend’s mother was coming over.

I had a problem once with a slow cable internet connection which turned out to be caused by the wires rubbing against the bark of a tree in the backyard. Squirrels and other critters have been known to chew on cables. If you think the problem lies between your router and the pole, contact your ISP and have them run a line quality check.

Other Issues Affecting Performance

First, let’s get our minds out of the gutter, shall we? We can talk about THAT kind of performance later cuz it can be even more frustrating!

OK, back to the tech talk. It’s not unheard of for ISPs to throttle your connection speed without telling you. You can ask your ISP to test your connection and certify that you are getting all the bandwidth for which you are paying. Another factor to keep in mind is that if you are connected through your local cable company and you live in an apartment complex, your bandwidth is most likely shared between ALL the residents of the complex. The cable dudes may have a high speed fiber cable feeding your neighbourhood, but once it hits the Bridgehead Router for your complex and is throttled down to 50GB of bandwidth, that becomes the maximum connection speed for the entire complex. Simply put, if there are 50 households with an Internet connection and they all decide to stream a movie on NetFlix, each household gets approximately 1GB of bandwidth, even if you’re paying for 20GB….

Linksys WiFi RouterIf you have a router that was installed by your ISP and your Internet speed seems to slow down for no apparent reason, try rebooting the router. You can get the exact procedure form the router manufacturer’s website, but in general terms, unplug the router from the power source (as opposed to just turning the ON/OFF switch to OFF) and wait two minutes before plugging it back in. Wait for it to reboot and reestablish a connection to the Internet (which may take anywhere for 1 to 5 minutes, so BE PATIENT!!). If it makes a big difference in performance, your router may be defective and should be replaced.

Another thing to think about (OK… Let the flaming begin!) if you have a NAT enabled router, you probably don’t need a software firewall running on your computer. That’s because most consumer grade routers have a hardware firewall built into them. If your router’s features include Network Address Translation (NAT), then the Windows Firewall is redundant and it’s slowing down your Internet. Go to Control Panel, System and Security, and turn off Windows Firewall. Ignore all of the Gloom and Doom warning and End-Of-Days prophecies that pop up.

Wireless links are not immune from flaky connections, either. If you are within 100 feet of your wireless router and you don’t live in a house with lead lined walls, you should have a five-bar signal. If not try repositioning the router and/or your computer until the reception is the best you can get. If you don’t have any luck, you may want to consider a USB high-gain WiFi adapter or a high-gain antenna. It is also not outside the realm of possibility that either the router WiFi or your PC WiFi adapter has gone tits up. To check this out, use a known good laptop to connect with your router. If it works, the problem is in your laptop. If it doesn’t get a good signal, the problem is in your router.

It is also a wise idea to ensure you have all the latest updates and patches installed. Make sure the router’s firmware, the WiFi adapter’s driver, the O/S and your AV application are all fully patched and up to date. A computer that’s infested with viruses or spyware/malware can come to a crawl when trying to access the Internet. See my article “AV Software – It Only Works When You Use It”.

If all else fails, consider upgrading your Internet speed by paying a little extra for more bandwidth from your ISP. There may also be other ISPs servicing your area that may be able to provide a faster connection at a lower monthly price!

I hope this helps!

Love ya! Poppy xxxxx

A Criminal Mastermind – NOT!

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Bank Robbery For DummiesEven in the criminal world, standards have been falling as of late. Over in the UK, The Police are hunting for a criminal mastermind who robbed the Halifax Bank in the City of London. His problem began when he walked into the bank carrying a handgun and a sack in which he intended to spirit away the loot. He walked up to the cashier, informed them the bank was being robbed and that he wanted £700,000 (approximately $1.5 million US).

In order to comply, the cashier asked the robber for the bag in which to place the money. This request was obviously beyond his capability for reason, so completely befuddled, he handed the cashier his handgun instead of his empty sack. The would-be robber, disguised in sunglasses and a flat cap, demanded his gun back, a request the cashier politely refused as they set off the silent alarm to summon police. Realizing his error and that he had just failed the final examination for Bank Robbery 101, he ran from the bank and made off on a stolen bank worker’s bike.

W.C. Fields as 'The Bank Dick'The bank has posted a £25,000 reward.

Say the police:

“This man is not the sharpest tool in the box. The guess is that he is very inexperienced and panicked when he approached the cashier, handing over his gun instead of a bag by mistake.”

If you know of any hapless, inept robbers working in the City of London, tell your local Constabulary or call the HR department at Goldman Sachs…

Love, Poppy xxxxxxxx

Pic of The Day – 4 Jan 12

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Pic of the day time! I saw this pic of some Hooter’s girls doing the famous “Speak No Evil, See No Evil, Hear No Evil” vignette… But they added a fourth girl… However, I cannot for the life of me figure out if she represents “Do No Evil” or “Have No Fun”! Lol….

Poppy xxxxxxxx
Speak No Evil

Pic Of The Day For The New Year

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Love, love LOVE this pic I saw on a website… Must have been a wild night for this poor bird. Things could be worse… At least her face isn’t showing… And she ain’t naked! And she’s still clutching her wine cuz one never know when one may need another drink! And, oh yes!

A Very Happy New Year to One and All!

Love you guys! Poppy xxxxxxx

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