Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

May 5th, 2008:

In the Port 2525…

Finally got out to Chicago and spent a mad few days visiting family and running errands, after presenting two sessions at the annual conference of the American Society for Indexing in Denver last Friday. I gave the keynote talk and it was well-received—my position that pages are essential and reflowability is a fetish that carries a lot of subtle dangers—but the other talk, which was basically a how-to on getting Windows to work tolerably well, was SRO. People are still struggling with Windows, and when I asked, their reaction to Vista was basically unprintable. I got the impression from their questions after the session that something like Degunking Windows needs to be done again, but covering both hardware and software in the same volume. We did a separate book a couple of years ago called Degunking Your PC, and if I do something again, it will draw on both books. I'm taking notes. We'll see if and where it wanders.

Computer crankiness always seems to erupt as soon as I kick my shoes off and get to work at my Chicago-area satellite office. When I tried to answer some email here, I found to my supreme annoyance that ATT/Yahoo had changed the game again: Simply blocking port 25 and requiring that all outbound mail pass through their SMTP servers was not enough. Now they require that every From: address has to be explicitly registered on their Web site or the SMTP connection to their servers will be blocked.

Screw that. I did a little research based on a fleeting memory that some hosting services listen on ports other than 25 for outbound email, and voila! My hoster listens on port 2525, and after 90 seconds' worth of tweaking Thunderbird's settings, I was able to answer mail again.

Ructions didn't end there. About ten minutes after booting up, my video signal started going crazy. I took the SX270 apart, determined that the insides were squeaky clean and not especially hot, and was scratching my head after seeing the problem persist after a couple of reboots. In frustration I gave the Samsung 204B a hard whack on one side, and the video signal fell immediately back into line. Because the cables were quite tight, I can only assume that the damned thing has a loose connection somewhere internally.

Anger sometimes works, heh.