"presented by professional computer geek Nick Hodge"  lulz (meaning I am laughing at the funniness of my title being on a large banner!)

Thanks to Kaye Fallick from the About Seniors website and magazine for the invitation to interact with the Melbourne seniors audience.

Most interesting story of these presentations: a lady impressed me with her data security plan for old hard disk drives: physical destruction plus encasing them in her new cement stairs. I just love it!

Spoke to 170 people over the two sessions – each sessions was slightly different, but used these slides as the base presentation.

Good to see Australia’s largest seniors web site: About Seniors, Telstra Bigpond, WorkVentures and the local Microsoft Unlimited Potential all a part of this conference.



Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall, Thursday 11th October 2007


Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall, Saturday 13th October 2007

Going Postal over Bandwidth


I work online. I live online.

I am a customer of Internode (home ADSL, VoIP, via Telstra copper-wire) and Telstra NextG (USB card for remote working). There are two Foxtel digital units in my house. Hosting for this web site is somewhere in the US with Dreamhost. My superannuation fund is a minor Telstra round 3 shareholder. My corporate mobile phone is Telstra NextG; both voice and data services. 

The current arguments back and forth between Telstra and the “group-of-9“, the politicians who have “solved the bandwidth” problem, ACCC and everyone else who is involved in this high-asset, high-customer-volume, highly competitive business; are starting to really piss me off. 

There I said it. Piss me off. Really piss me off. I am almost postal.

Today, I spent 4 hours uploading a video into the corporate cloud. I am attempting to save some carbon atoms from escaping into the atmosphere by doing what was once a potential panacea: tele-commuting. Working online. Earning tax dollars by living in Australia.

Really, it shouldn’t take that long.

What is this FTTN (Fibre to the Node) thing anyway? I see no benefit to the end customer as noone is actually putting a piece of fibre into each house. It seems to be a large charade to divert attention.

Where is the competition? Where is my choice? Do any politicians actually use the internet apart from watching Youtubes of our little Prime Minister? Less regulation, more competition.

I once wanted politicians involved in ICT. Having spoken to some in the Liberal Party on this matter a few years ago, their response was “join the line of issues regarding policy”

Now that they have become involved; only as there is a balancing act between the votes in the bush vs. the investors in Telstra: recent policies and investments seem to have slowed innovation and competition rather than improve services.

So, I regret my thoughts on wanting politicians involved. Stay out of it. Let the market decide. Do something useful and fix the hospitals. KTHXBAI.

In the 19th and 20th Century railways moved our gold, silver, lead, wool and wheat from the productive farms and mines to our overseas markets.

In the 21st Century, the two lines are not the iron lines 5ft 3in apart: they are the twisted copper pairs that connect our brains to the world. Brains, politicians. Not atoms. What is in our head is already more important than atoms.

Instead of our brightest minds taking their brains and ideas to other parts of the world, we need to harness them here – and connect them to the world.

I don’t really care too much about the to-and-fro and political shenangians anymore.

Just open it up. Be brave. Let us all rise, including those rebadged PMGs, to a new world where the tyranny of distance is slain.

Personal Rant Over.

Windows Mobile 6, Treo 750 and Telstra

Thanks to some good friends I met at TechEd last week, I’ve received and installed a build of Windows Mobile 6 on my trusty Treo 750.  Long Zheng talked about this last week.

After a few minutes of resetup (yes, I did have a data backup) my phone has leapt into 2007.

The Treo 750 UI feels faster and more responsibe. Which is a way cool thing. Thanks Palm!

Adventures in the BigPond NextG

Having an online job I really should have no excuses to be offline.

Wifi Ethernet, paid or unpaid, can be a little like finding a needle in a needle factory.

Solution: Popped into a Dick Smith and purchased a USB NextG Card.

Why BigPond? Microsoft’s mobile phone/data supplier is Telstra, and Cathye convinced me to do it over lunch.

Symptoms: I could register the card and account; however the IP address that was created was always a 169.254.x.x. The card was successfully seen with the BigPond software 2.7.3

After a week of working with the supplied software, including a very friendly support guy at Telstra Bigpond, I’ve decided to search out for further info.

Whilst I ran out of time to hunt down the root cause of the issue; it seems that the Vista install at Microsoft has some serious group policy restrictions on networking: so it’s workaround time.

In this process of looking for the solution, I turned off Vista’s UAC. That is a pretty big switch. Sort of like leaving your security alarm off when you leave home. I didn’t feel safe. UAC back on.

The card is distributed in Australia by a company called Maxon. They have a support forum. 20 minutes of reading, and there is a work-around. The card itself maps into Windows as a Port, and using the normal dial-up/PPP setting – you can just dial into the network and you are off.


(this post via BigPond NextG)

Internetworking with Internode. 97%

Quiet week in the ‘cottage.

Phase 1 of the de-installation of Bigpond as our ISP: Internode, all the way! Added ADSL via Internode: the highest quality Aussie-owned ISP in Australia, to the home network. Once Telstra Wholesale get their act together, the next step is 8Mbit/s. It seems that Telstra has not correctly provisioned their IT for ADSL resellers.

Based on the low quality of cable modem internet in our part of Sydney, 8Mbit/s will match our so-called “up to 17MBit/s” on Bigpond Extreme. This is due to the shared bandwidth nature of cable.

Internode’s backhaul, or throughput to their servers and to the internet the US, is amazing. That’s why they have a 97% referral rate according to CRN.

Also signed on to Nodephone, Internode’s Voice-over-IP service. Plugged in the landline to the Billion Router, and we have low Australian calls. Installed X-Lite on my Mac, and now I have a softphone.

Also took the opportunity to increase the security on our local wireless to WPA. Leaving WEP and MAC layer filters in the past as they are easily cracked. We don’t wish to become the local ISP for the neighborhood.

Yes, my superfund is an investor in T3. But Bigpond’s recent comments as to network control is a major concern: and I am voting with my liquid dollars. Business-wise, I trust that Telstra management grok the new IP/digital world ahead.

So, on the Xmas list: ADSL2+ and Nodephone Direct-in-Dial.