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Fun with iPhone push

Yesterday the AIM messenger on the iPhone was launched with push service. When you install and run the app, it will ask you if you want push enabled. Push will keep a persistent connection with the APNS (Apple Push Notification Servers) of Apple. Any app that uses push, will use these servers to deliver messages to your phone.

The fun thing is that you don't have to run the app itself anymore to receive messages. You can 'turn off' the iPhone and still get a notification for the app on which you have enabled push on. So I was wondering what you could do with push and came up with an cheap web2iphone script that i've put on my personal blog. Members can post a message in a box and it will 'instantly' (within a couple of seconds) be delivered to my iPhone. You will need a iPhone with a dataplan to get this working. Switching off the iPhone will set it to use the gprs or 3G connection of the phone. I tested it overnight and the push app seemed to use about 15kb per 12 hours. 


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Analyzing IIS server logs

Today I had to analyze a Microsoft's IIS web server log, trying to find some search engine referrers. I received log files from over the last 5 years and I was asked to filter out the keywords entered by costumers for marketing purposes. These files aren't stable Apache logs at all! Now and then, the number of columns differs order changes so a simple AWK or GREP could not be used. That's weird! Lucky as I am, there are some headers in each log file, but should I write some scripts for ordering these info? No!...

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DD-WRT on my old Asus WL-500G

I recently retired an old wireless router that seemed to be flaking out from time to time. Since it still worked, I thought I'd check to see if one of the linux based router distributions would work with my old wireless router, an Asus WL-500G.

My search led me to dd-wrt. Dd-wrt is a linux based router firmware that was originally founded way back in 2004 by Sebastian Gottschall. From what I can gather, Sebastian originally wrote the first version of dd-wrt as a modification of Linksys firmware for supporting Radius authentication. Somewhere along the way, Sebastian teamed up with a company called NewMedia-NET GmbH and development continued to expand the number of routers on which the dd-wrt firmware would work.

The latest version, 2.4.x is still available for free from dd-wrt's site. And development seems to be going strong.

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HDR photography


Saving energy with WOL

Image courtesy of Click for attributionGood day to you, fellow geeks!

Just a short, albeit hopefully useful, entry this time round concerning power conservation.

I've been looking at ways to get my computers to consume less power, realizing that having 2+ computers whirring continually 24/7 might not be the BEST thing for the environment, to say nothing of my pocketbook!

One thing I've been wanting to muck around with for ages is "Wake On Lan", or WOL for short. This technology, which should be available on all modern motherboards, enables a user to allow his or her PC to go to full sleep mode and allow itself to be reactivated by sending a specially crafted packet to the computer's network card.

In practise, this means that your PC can be fully deactivated (drives spin down, fans off, processors off) with only a trickle of power to the motherboard allowing the ethernet card to monitor the network.

Why is this TOTALLY cool? Well, simple: You can, for example, enable a single computer in your household that is on 24/7 and monitoring connections from the outside world. This would be an excellent role for a thin client to fulfill since most modern thin clients pull only about 5W of power compared to the 150W+ monster desktops in use today. This thin client could then be used as the launching point from which to send the magic packets required to wake the other computers in the house, if they happen to be needed.

The method I am going to explain was carried out on a Fedora 10 box with an NVIDIA MCP51 Ethernet controller.

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