After visiting the hospital, Mark, JeffK and I headed over to Kelly's to hang out for a bit. How we ended up talking about Michael Jackson, I don't know, but when we were tyring to show Mark just how badly Jacko looks these days, Kelly's Windows XP box crashed. What I did now know, but Mark did, was that Windows XP can generate a crash dump for later analysis. When Mark checked the dump directory, Kelly had approximately 50 dump files already there.
Unlike Windows NT, Windows XP doesn't come with
dumpcheck.exe, which will tell you exactly where the crash
took place. Mark then spent the next half hour or so (why not?) trying to
determine the location of the crash, and to track down a copy of
dumpcheck.exe. Unfortunately, Kelly's copy of Windows XP was set
to only record a minimal dump, of which
dumpcheck.exe wasn't able
to work with. But Mark was able to track the crash down to
ntkernel.dll which pretty much means a buggy driver, although not
which driver is bad. Kelly then configured Windows XP to do a full dump
next time it crashes.
After expressing the sad state of affairs with
Wacko Jacko, talk then turned
towards wireless networks. Mark recently aquired some equipment and was
looking to set up a WAP at
home. Mark didn't quite realize that WAP security was a joke (crackable with as little as 5K
worth of traffic) and that really, you need to firewall off any wireless
stations; all WAP security
was good for was “to keep someone from inadvertantly connecting to your
network.” Mark was then curious as to the range and from experiments done
here at the Facility in the Middle of Nowhere, we were able to pick up a
signal outside the building, up to maybe twenty yards or so (Rob and I didn't
go much futher than that). We then decided to test Kelly's range.
Mind you, this was at 2:30 in the morning.
So with laptop literally in hand, we walked down the street and found that the signal strength was good for perhaps a hundred yards or so—definitely three houses down although it wasn't a straight cut-off point. The frequencies used tend to bounce around so that going around a corner only ten yards away would cut the signal entirely; but hit just the right spot and the signal can bounce down the street.
We also talked a bit about war driving and the best areas to concentrate on down here in Lower Sheol. We figured the best places would be around Congress, between Yamato and Clint Moore (in Boca Raton) and along Cypress Creek, between I-95 and Powerline (in Ft. Lauderdale). One of these days …