Again, after listening to last week’s Security Now! podcast about Wi-Fi security (or there lack of with WEP and MAC filtering, which was what I was using) on Thursday, I semi-paniced and ordered two new Netgear Wi-Fi 802.11g adapters from Amazon.

But when I was digging around my PC this morning, trying to reduce the memory footprint of the system, I discovered that my laptop Wi-Fi adapter already support WPA-PSK security. So I went ahead and changed the router and laptop settings, and it works! And lo and behold, my old Titanium Powerbook also works with WPA-PSK! What an idiot, I feel… I could have a much more secure network for months!

So when the new adapters arrive from Amazon, I’ll have to return them. Not a big hassle but still I feel bad ordering them in the first place without doing my own due diligent.

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Electronic Karma

A long time ago, in a country far far away called Britain, I was working as a software consultant being paid handsomely. I bought the latest PC laptop from Gateway when I already had a top of the range desktop just because I could afford one. It had all the leading edge technology then; Pentium III 500 MHz, 15″ LCD display, etc. Until I moved to NY 18 months later, the only travelling that laptop had done was between our apartment and the office which is about 15 minutes walk if I walked slowly.

Then after six months of trans-Atlantic travels the Titanium Powerbook had replaced the Gateway and it was relegated to the dark corner of the cupboard. And there it stayed until we moved to Hoboken. But I had my faith in it and took it along with us through two moves. I knew one day I would find a useful task for it.

The Gateway was briefing let out to stretch its legs when I was between jobs and started the ecto project, which requires working in a Windows environment. But again, it was banished back to the cupboard when the Compaq laptop arrived.

Finally last week I’ve found a good home for the Gateway. My boss’ sister who is living temporarily in NY and earning $120/week, before taking up a job in Boston was lacking a computer. My boss had already tried giving her his wife’s old laptop but that one’s hard drive died soon after. So when I learnt of her predicament, I knew that’s where the Gateway should go to restore the electronic karma. Thus I have reduced the number of laptops in the apartment from 4 to 3 and the once spurious machine is now a reliable servant for someone in need.

Underneath the wave

Flickr photo set

After last week rain storm, my friend Dan wanted to go surfing (bodyboarding to be exact) and we came up with the idea of me photography him surfing. Dan liked the idea a great deal since he had been surfing for over 10 years and he had never been photographed ‘properly’.

So on Friday morning, I went o Adorama and rented the Canon 300mm f2.8L IS lens for the weekend. The lens is pretty large and heavy due to the f2.8 apature but the picture quality is amazing! So it should be as it costs $4000 new!

Anyway, Dan and I drove down to Monmouth county in New Jersey bright and early yesterday and started looking for waves for him to surf. After a couple of beaches we stopped at one around 10 o’clock at Belmar and Dan suited up while I gather all the gears. The waves were that high and with the wind, beach, etc. the result was not so good surfing. I am no expert so I can’t tell you the details.

After an hour or so surfing, we took a break and had a long lunch. By then the weather had improved drastically with the clouds broken up and the sun shining bright. The wind had also dropped to around a few miles per hours so we went on a search for another beach further south after lunch around 2pm.

At first all we found was the same. Big waves that close up very quickly. Eventually around 3:30pm we decided to head back up north and looked at each beach as we past them. And if we didn’t find any good one then we will call it a day and go home.

But on the last beach at Point Pleasant we looked, it was packed with spectators on the beach which was a good sign. When we got to the beach itself, we could see there were at least 30 surfers out in the water catching big waves! So we immediately ran back to the car and got ready.

And you can see the results in these photos. Despite not having surfed for over an year, Dan managed to catch some big waves and I managed to track him and took a bunch of photos. I did managed to lost him amidst all the surfers for a couple of times since his all black wet suit looked so similar to all the others!

Before we went to the water, Dan reckoned he properly only had the strength to do one or two waves but I guess the excitment (and the Mountain Dew) got to him and we stayed there for over 2 hours. In the end, Dan lost one of his flipper when trying to get one more wave and the light was fading fast anyway so we left at around 6pm.

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