Tinfoil hat time

I just thought I would share an amusing anecdote from my time at Netflix, related to wi-fi networking in our office. Because many devices that support Netflix have built-in wi-fi, we would test streaming with wi-fi connections to ensure that the experience was still satisfactory. Pretty standard stuff. At one point, though, we ran into …

Purging Material Possessions: Books Edition

Since we are moving soon, I figured it would be nice to get rid of stuff we don’t need, or that we haven’t touched in years. I had heard about somewhere, so I decided now would be a good time to try it out. I pretty much cleaned out most of my book collection to …

DIY PC Troubles: The Darndest Things

A few months ago I decided to update my desktop PC to Windows 8. I am somewhat ambivalent about the new Metro/Modern UI, but I figured that I would update anyway just to be on the latest and greatest. Unfortunately, after I updated, I started experiencing a lot of bizarre blue-screen crashes. At the same …

Getting an apostille for a birth certificate in California

I have been going through the process of obtaining an apostille certifying the recent birth of my daughter. It is an international means of certifying the origin of a document from another country – in this case, her birth certificate. We need to have this in order for her to obtain her dual citizenship, from …

Quick guide for installing SpamAssassin as a service

I was having some issues with spam on my mail server (hMailServer), so I decided to set up SpamAssassin to filter things before they hit my inbox. While hMailServer has some native support for SpamAssassin, I figured I would write up the steps I used to get things running smoothly as a Windows service. Note …

The U-Verse Gateway…To Hell

I just spent the last couple of hours discovering that my U-Verse gateway’s DNS server (serving the internal network) decided, for fun, to persist old IP addresses for some of my computers. The end result of this was that, while their external/NATted access was fine, local network services that were reliant on DNS would fail …