As you may recall, I had some issues with my cable several months back and was so disgusted with the service that I had it canceled all together. It was tough in the first few weeks, but since then I’ve actually coped with the lack of cable surprisingly well. I pick up all the local channels (in HD) with an antenna, and I download a few cable shows off the internet.

I’m moving out this weekend, and have most of my stuff packed up right now. As I was getting some stuff together in the bedroom, I decided to plug in the small TV I have in there to see what was on. I had already packed up the antenna, so the reception wasn’t very clear. Looking behind my dresser, I found a length of coax that had been abandoned after I ditched my cable. It was still attached to the wall jack. I attached the other end to my TV to see if it would give a slight improvement in reception. To my surpise, the picture was incredibly clear. I started flipping through the channels, each one as clear as the next, when I noticed some channels showing up that I can’t get over the air.

I have free cable! I guess the cable guy must have messed up the wiring when he was performing the installation for my new neighbors, and unknowingly supplied me with cable. Who knows how long I had this and didn’t even realize it. I can’t even enjoy it because I’m leaving tomorrow. I may be even more upset over this than I am about getting laid off.

Crack that WEP

I’ve been messing around with my wireless router lately, flashing it with DD-WRT, and doing some research on wireless networks in general. I’ve always used WPA encryption on my router because I knew it was more secure than WEP. What I didn’t realize is just how vulnerable WEP is.

Most of the packets transferred between a client and AP contain an initialization vector (IV). By capturing enough of these IVs, it is possible to crack WEP encryption in a matter of minutes. Being in the IT “bidness”, I had to try this out to myself.

I could set up WEP on my router and attempt to crack it myself, but there are several WEP encrypted APs in my neighborhood just asking to be cracked. Using Aircrack-ng, I was able to obtain my neighbor’s key in about five minutes. Again, I’m only doing this out of professional curiosity.

One year closer to death.

Twenty-seven years ago today, Back Roads was tops at the box office, Dallas was dominating the television airwaves, REO Speedwagon’s Keep On Loving You was the number one song in the nation, and a large, ugly baby was born.

A man without a browser.

Approximatley every four years I’ve changed web browsers. When my family first go the internet back in 1996, we used Netscape Navigator because that’s what our ISP supplied us with. Sometime duing my first year of college, I made the switch to Internet Explorer. I think Eric may have talked me into it. I jumped ship once again when Firefox started gaining popularity.

Two weeks ago, Firefox began crashing on me. I was forced to use Internet Explorer. I don’t hate IE. I have to use it at work, and I’ve grown to like it. And IE7Pro adds some nice features. But I still prefer Firefox. I decided to give Firefox 3 Beta 3 a shot, but some of the changes they’ve made are annoying. Hopefully the final product won’t be so disappointing.

Last week I started using Opera, and it is quickly becoming my browser of choice. The last time I tried Opera (not counting the Internet Channel on my Wii), you either had to buy it or use an ad-supported version. Now it’s totally free, thanks to Google. Opera is light and fast, everything I liked about Firefox in the early days. It isn’t without its problems though. Most notably is a lack of support for Yahoo Mail Beta.

Right now I’m using all three browsers equally. The decision on which browser gets me through to 2012 is up in the air at this point.

Sleep Loss

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Typically, I’m in bed by 11:00, but I’m lucky if I’m asleep by 1:00. On nights when I do fall asleep quickly, I usually wake up sometime in the night and can’t get back to sleep for at least two hours. Friday morning, for example, I woke up around 4:30 and finally got back to sleep about 10 minutes before my alarm went off at 7:15.

I try to catch up on weekends, sleeping until about 10:00. It didn’t help that we lost an hour last night. I have a feeling that this time change may make things even worse.