Category Archives: Compooting

Commentary on compooters and related technology; internet web portals.

Google Public DNS

I’ve been happily using the OpenDNS for over a year now. Then, a few days ago, started having problems with my photo hosting site,, not loading. I went thru the usual browser cache clearing and DNS flushing ritual, even tried different browsers (Google Chrime and Mozilla TiredFox; I normally run Apple’s Suckfari) all to no avail. Alas, what was a besotted cyber Samurai to do?

After puttering around some more, I discovered that I could connect to my Smugmug site thru either one of my VPN services (I use both WiTopia and Patriot Internet) which use their own DNS. I could also connect if I disabled OpenDNS and went back to to using Comcast’s DNS without VPN.

So all this seemed to point the problem to OpenDNS. Even with Smugmug whitelisted, I still couldn’t connect. Seems their DNS wasn’t so open. Or maybe it was too open and it has a poisoned DNS cache.

Whatever the cause of the problem, I embarked on a quest for a permanent cure and discovered Google Public DNS.

I know, I know, Google is evil, they’re a CIA startup and an NSA front and they collect personal data and eat puppies but damn it all, it just freakin’ works! And lighting fast, too! I never realized how much DNS affects browsing speed.

If you can stomach the puppy-eating stuff and wanna try it out, the IP for it is and

Samurai Appliance Repair Man
Repair Forums:

Beep-beep! goes mobile goes mobile. Now you can take your favorite appliance repair website with you wherever you go on the road, we’re as close as your smartphone. Win friends, influence people, get all the best babes at parties with your amazing new ability to wax eloquently on all things appliantological with just a flip of the phone.

The special new mobile theme at is optimized for the very best mobile browsing experience. You’ll appreciate the reclining bucket seats made of genuine Afghani cashmere leather that caresses your bottom as you accelerate smoothly from 0 to over 127mph in less than 3.8 nano-seconds.

You’ll also appreciate the built-in and fully indexed search function to quickly locate the information you need so you can impress that babe you’re coming on to at your buddy’s party.

And you’ll enjoy direct access to the Samurai’s iPhone– an exclusive feature just for mobile users. You can message me directly from while browsing with your mobile phone and it will get immediately pushed to the Samurai International Headquarters iPhone based on my hip.

Samurai Appliance Repair Man


Sent from my iPhone

Announcing Appliance Repair Radio

subscribe to our podcastYep, we not only jumped on the podcasting bandwagon, but we got all tangled up in the wheels and now the bandwagon rolls with a peculiar thunkety-thunk sound.

We started a podcast about the world of major appliances: industry news, tech tips from the manufacturers, product reviews, purchasing information for consumers, and we answer listener emails. We call it Appliance Repair Radio, or FARR, for short. In case you’re wondering who the “we? refers to, the lovely and gracious Mrs. Samurai co-hosts the show with me.

You can subscribe to FARR either at our podcast website or through our iTunes listing. Give a listen, we’d love to hear your comments, good or bad, no matter, just so long as it’s honest. Tell us what you liked… or didn’t as well as suggestions for improving the show.

Google Blog Search

Google has just added a new Blog search capability. Some of you are wrinkling your nose and asking, “What’s a ‘blog’?” Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, this website is a blog. The blurb you’re reading at this moment is called a “blog entry”or simply a “post.”

Anyway, you can play with Google’s latest search offering here.

Just for giggles, I searched “appliance repair” in the Google Blog Search and came up with this page. See anything familiar? 😉

Google Talk and iChat SSL Error – 9843

So I was happily using iChat to connect to the AIM and Google Talk instant messaging networks (RE: my previous post on the subject). Then one day, I go to log in to Google Talk and I get a weird error message: SSL error 9843. I didn’t know if the problem was in iChat or with Google Talk. I downloaded and installed Addium and it connected flawlessly to Google Talk. I figured the problem must be in iChat. Just for grins, I Googled, “ichat stopped working with google talk” and pulled up this page at the O’Reilly Mac Devcenter. Turns out the problem is with Google Talk and Google is aware of the problem and working on a fix.

Life is Good

Life is good. It’s late afternoon on a Friday and another snow storm is kicking up outside– they’re promising a foot this time. But I’m propped up in bed with my semper fi canine hiking partner, Bubba, laying next to me. And I have my newest little buddy, a Mac iBook G4, perched on my lap, surfing the web on a new wireless Verizon DSL Internet connection that consistently zips along.

Our old Adelphia cable connection had been steadily taking a dump for six months. I’ve spent more than 10 hours on the phone, pressing “1” for English and waiting to talk to a cubicle dweller wearing a headset, reading me canned platitudes about how my home network was to blame. On a couple occasions, I broke through to a “Level 2 tech,” the guys “in the know,” only to schedule a service call with Big Foot the Cable Guy who, while polite and housebroken and all, didn’t know beans about how to troubleshoot cable Internet systems so nothing got fixed.

Now, here’s a great lesson in free-market economics. Since Adelphia blows herds of warthogs, the conditions were ripe for an upstart broadband competitor to come along and woo us away. But, while they didn’t have any competition for broadband providers in my area, Adelphia didn’t need to be responsive and could allocate their resources to markets where they competed with other broadband providers.

Enter Verizon Online DSL. Ok, telecom behemoth Verizon isn’t exactly an upstart, but they only recently started offering broadband Internet access in our area. I didn’t need much wooing; I used my backup connection, Netzero dialup, to get to Verizon’s website and sign up for their DSL service. They mailed me the self-install kit which included the DSL modem and, 10 days later, I was surfing smoothly on a solid DSL connection. After surfing on dialup most of the time for the past month, I had forgotten how fast and versatile broadband can be.

And here’s the kicker. At $25/month (with a Freedom calling package, which we already have), Verizon DSL is less than half the price of Adelphia cable Internet. In this crazy, upside-down world of compooters, it ain’t always true that you get what you pay for. Sometimes, you get more when you pay less.

Anyway, back to my perfect life, here in my cozy bed with my iBook and my Bubba, while a winter storm rages outside. I’m surfing, answering email, chatting on Yahoo Messenger (zenzoidman), answering questions in the repair forum, and streaming some great music from the Hearts of Space website. All this occurring simultaneously on a fast, reliable DSL connection. Yeah!

At one point, my youngest reproductive unit came in to visit me and I tried to explain to him what a miracle this all is. He was unimpressed. Unless you grew up in the days where your college freshman FORTRAN programming class was taught using punch cards, you just can’t appreciate how many light years computing has advanced.

Have you ever heard Hearts of Space on public radio? I’ve been a fan of that show since Stephen Hill started it in the early ’80’s. Every week, he plays an hour of ambient music (or “space music”). The best way to describe ambient music is that it’s quiet music for contemplation, writing, or just laying in bed and taking a trip without leaving the farm, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, you can also listen to Hearts of Space on XM channel 77, Audio Visions, every weeknight from 11pm to midnight (Eastern Time). Trouble is, I also like to listen to Rollye James during that time. My bowels were deeply conflicted… until I found out that you can subscribe to Hearts of Space and listen online to their entire streaming archive of shows whenever you want for $20/month. Well, that was a no-brainer– problem solved!

Right now, I’m streaming my favorite HOS show through my iBook, Program 332, Deep Forest: A Pygmy/Techno/Rainforest Journey. It’s a unique blend of soothing, traditional vocalizations from Pygmy tribes in Africa with modern techno sounds. I know: it sounds really flaky, maybe even fruity, but you gotta hear it to appreciate it. After you listen to an hour of this music, you feel like you just smoked a mondo spliff of B.C. bud even though you’ve had nothing but coffee.

Mrs. Samurai just told me dinner is ready. Fresh haddock and Greek salad, mmmm. Life is good. Later.

Dumping the Empire

First, let me be clear: unlike the vogue trend, I do not resent Microsoft simply because they’re the two-ton gorilla of the software world and make an obscene amount of money. Hey, this is Ameedica, making moola is the name o’ da game and that’s a game Homey likes. No, I resent Microslop because they simply suck. Going all the way back to the Days of DOS, they were the king of mediocrity. Every product they have ever came out with spawned a plethora of products created to repair sloppy bugs or implement features that should have been included in the first place. They are the epitome of collectivist thinking: all product development decisions are made by committees of corporate bureaucrats. Collectivist processes, by their very nature, are mediocre and anathema to excellence. That’s why big corporations and big governments are inherently incapable of excellence and they can never do anything quite right.

Anyway, I’ve gotten so fed up with Microslop with all their Windows crap and the cheesy machines made for Windows that I’ve started the pilgrimage to Macs. My dear Mrs. Samurai bought me an iBook G4 about two months ago, when I had my back surgery. It’s a cute little laptop with a 12″ screen and is everything that Windows never was: stable, never crashes, works right every time, the only time you ever reboot is for the rare operating system upgrade (mine is OS X and I’ve had one upgrade back when I first connected to the internet with it). It’s unbelievably sooweet! I’m laying in bed right now, propped up with my Mac on my lap, surfing on a wireless Internet connection, reading, writing, posting, chatting on Yahoo IM (zenzoidman) and this little gem is an absolute joy to use.

Another step I’ve taken to free myself from the Evil Empire is switching over to Firefox to browse the Internet instead of Internet Horror. That’s a step everyone can make now and it’s FREE! Firefox is much faster than Horror, more secure, has tabbed browsing, and lots of other features that make for a better Internet experience.

Next step is to get a Mac workstation so I’ll never again have to defile my eyes and fingers on a Windows machine. Now if I can just move the Appliantology Group out of MSN…