FTTH – our fibre box is here!

We’re still missing the final step, but as of this morning, the 2nd last step was accomplished, the neat little white plactic box was installed, see picture. Apparently we have a total of twelve fibres – four for building 1, four for building 2 and four for somethingelse.

The optical terminator box

Later today, the electrician will be installing two little boxes (one for each building) which, as far as I have understood, will terminate the fibre in regular little RJ45 sockets for plain ethernet. I guess there has to be a fibre optic converter somewhere, not sure who gets to install that.

In Herrliberg back in June 2010, it was decided by popular vote to install a fibre-optic network for all households, price approx SFr4.5million. In September 2010 I was told that our house is in phase II, expected fibre-optic connection towards the end of 2011.

The fibre is coming

The work is progressing according to schedule, so by 2014, every household in Herrliberg will have the option of having fibre installed, with transmission speeds measured in Gigabit/s. The providers currently only offer up to 100Mbit/s, I guess we’ll just have to make do.

The amazing thing is – back in 1986, i.e. more than 25 years ago when I was studying electronic engineering at Ingeniørhøjskolen Århus Teknikum, one of first projects we did was a study of the plans for Denmarks “hybridnet”. This was about the implementation of a fibre-optic infrastructure for distribution of various signals, first and foremost TV. “Hybridnettet” was dismantled/abandoned less than 10 years later.

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LEGO Technic U400

I celebrated my birthday only two weeks ago, and was fortunate to receive the LEGO Technic U400 as a present from my wife. Well, “fortunate” might not be entirely appropriate here.
Some months ago, I noticed an ad on TV, showing the LEGO Unimog along with a url: www.legomen.de. I don’t think it caught my eye right away, but after a couple of repeats, there was something highly alluring about this “LEGO for Men” concept, so I took a closer look.
Well, I’ve always been a big LEGO fan as well as a fan of potent all-terrain vehicles (don’t ask me why), and the Mercedes Unimog is surely the best representative of both. According to the website, The LEGO Technic U400 was created as a cooperation between LEGO and Mercedes-Benz, cele­brating the 60th birthday of the Mercedes Unimog.
As wives are often at a loss when it comes to chosing a birthday present for hubby, this was a welcome opportunity. I carefully prepared my seven year old son, and voila!
In the late 1970s, I was unfortunately too old to really appreciate LEGOs introduction of the Technic range, but today, it is pure, unadulterated joy building one of these sets – especially when you get to share the experience with your son who is just right age! Last year I received the LEGO Ferrari, which took myself and my son about two weeks to build. The Mercedes Unimog U400 (2048 pieces) took us about the same, and we both had a really good time!
A closing remark – you have to love the LEGO sense of understatement. Along with the varied stickers that inevitably accompany a LEGO Technic set, there were two unobtrusive stickers saying just “LEGO System A/S”. These went on the Unimog frame on the bottom, only visible when you turn it over. As if it wasn’t perfectly obvious! Thank you LEGO!

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Time to replace the Beocom 6000 phones

I’ve been a staunch and loyal B&O customer for almost twenty years. Generally I still am, but I have to admit that my ten year old Beocom 6000s have outlived their usefulness. I have three handsets, two in grey and one in yellow. I have replaced their accumulators once, probably way overdue and entirely expected, but in the last 12 months, they have then also been letting me down one by one, and beginning of 2011 I was left with just one working handset.

I think ten years is an entirely reasonable life expectancy for a Beocom 6000 handset, so I basically wrote off the old handsets, and more or less expected to buy a couple of new ones. Of course I was also looking forward to functionality upgraded/adapted to 2011.

Well, this was not to be. Disappointingly, the Beocom 6000 handset of 2011 is the pretty much the same as that of 2001. For me, that is just not satisfactory. First and foremost, I now want VoIP, secondly I want good integration/cooperation with other systems, e.g. my local Asterisk telephone exchange. Alas, the Beocom base station is essentially a blackbox, so I started looking for VoIP capable DECT phones.

Enough for now – suffice to say we’re now using three handsets and a base station of the Siemens Gigaset range, and have sold off the Beocom bits on ricardo. It was a sad moment when I said goodbye to the B&O handsets, but the Gigasets just offer so much more.

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Why not join GIMPS?

The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search has got to be one of the first collaborative internet projects open to the public. I’ve been participating since sometime in the late 1990s, but I can’t find any record of exactly when. Today I run GIMPS on a number of machines, both locally as well as on leased servers.

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Need to upgrade webserver

Having just installed WordPress, it has become only more obvious that my webserver needs upgrading. It already runs quite a few things, including my company website and a few hosted customers, but sofar it has been perfectly adequate. Now however, it is becoming increasingly slow (not just because of WordPress), so it’s time for an upgrade.

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The very first entry!

Today I was discussing blogs and blogging with Delia, a good friend of mine. To get going, I suggested she just register herself with blogspot or wordpress.com and set up a blog there – easy and free etc. However, Delia wanted a more custom look, so I suggested running WordPress on her website would probably be the way to go. My company hosts her website, so to test it out, I went out and got hold of the WordPress software and got a blog set up on my own domain. Just for practice, I don’t really have any intentions of blogging much.

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