Archive for the ‘Computers and Internet’ Category

Broadband Update, FTTH at last!

October 23, 2018 Comments off

Finally, as of October 2018, I now have a 1Gb Fibre To The Home (FTTH) package with Eir. The speed of the package is amazing and I have a custom built 2U pfSense router bought from instead of the Eir supplied F2000 device to do the routing for the connection. I have been following the build out of the Rural FTTH network from Eir over the last few months on and it finally arrived in my local village this summer. The fibre cable was brought in overhead from a telegraph pole just in front of my house to the gable of my house and the engineer did a really neat job hiding the cable behind the facia board before it went inside the house. The cost is €70 per month and there is no downloads limits but there is a fair usage policy. I have also requested a static IP address from Eir. Prior to getting FTTH I have also ported my landline to VoIP a number of months ago and that is with


June Dublin C/C++ User Group Presentation

June 12, 2018 Comments off

On Monday this week I did a presentation on my JSON++ library to the Dublin C/C++ User Group. The PowerPoint deck of my presentation is available here for those interested. A recording of the meetup should be available on the groups meetup page shortly.

March Dublin C++ User Group Presentation

March 6, 2018 1 comment

On Monday this week I did a presentation on using OpenStreetMap and various Microsoft technologies to the Dublin C++ User Group in Dublin. It provided an introduction to OpenStreetMap the project and then went through my OSMCtrl application which demoed a number of Microsoft Technologies such as Direct2D, Windows Animations, Windows Sensors, MFC and using WinHTTP to make web services calls. A big thanks to Mihai Todor and the fellow organisers who faciliated the meetup. The PowerPoint deck of my presentation is available here for those interested. A recording of the meetup should be available on the groups meetup page shortly.

OSMCtrl & User Agent string usage

October 30, 2011 Comments off

Just got an email from Matthias Meißer, who is one of the sysadmins on OpenStreetmap that my COSMCtrl control appears high up in the list of User Agent strings which hit the OpenStreetmap slippy tile server. He informed me that they employ various techniques which are based on the User Agent string of client applications to control their bandwidth requirements. If you are considering integrating COSMCtrl into your client app, then please ensure that you use your own unique string for your applications User Agent string so that it will not be blocked because of some one else abusing the same string. To change the User Agent string you can use the COSMCtrl::SetUserAgent method. The default value will be taken from the MFC application using the global method AfxGetAppName().

Happy OSMing!.

Irish SQL Server User Group Presentation

June 17, 2011 Comments off

On Tuesday this week I did a presentation on using SQLCLR to the Irish SQL Server User Group up in Dublin. It provided a simple developer based introduction on how to write plug-ins for SQL Server 2005 & 2008. The example I developed from first principles was a SHA-256 hash User Defined Type. This was a repeat of the presentation which I did to the Cork Microsoft Technology User Group back in April 2009. I updated the slide deck to mention some of the new SQLCLR features in SQL 2008 R2 but the presentation was a general developer introduction. I also raffled off a couple of copies of my SQL Server XP book as prizes for filling in the evaluation forms. A big thanks to my fellow MVP Niall Flanagan who handles the SQL Server User Group who facilitated me to do the presentation.

My New Development Machine + Windows 7

May 28, 2009 2 comments

Just a note to let you all know that I had done a write up of my new dev machine on my web site at Here’s the details:

An Intel Core i7 Quad Extreme Processor. This is the top of the range Core i7-965 processor running at 3.2GHz with 4 cores and 8 threads. I also used a Zalman CNP9900 LED CPU Cooler. The whole blue glow from the various fans inside the case is very cool looking thro the clear side window in the case.

An Asus P6T6 WS Revolution Workstation Motherboard

6 sticks of 2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR 1600Mhz 2PC3200 memory. This provides a total of 12GB of main memory and can take advantage of the triple channel memory support of the X58 motherboard.

2 Western Digital VelociRaptor 10000RPM 300GB SATA drives in a RAID0 array giving, this gives a really fast setup for my boot partition.

1 Western Digital Caviar 2TB SATA2 drive as a “data” drive

A factory Overclocked EVGA GeForce GTX 295 Graphics card

Gigabyte 3D Mars Silver Big Tower Case

Corsair 1000 Watt Powersupply

The OS installed is Windows 7 x64 Release Candidate. I will be updating it to the gold version when it is released (hopefully without having to do a fresh reinstall)

LG DVD_RW Blue-Ray & HD-DVD Drive.

2 DELL 30″ 3008WFP LCD monitors. This provides a lovely multi monitor solution with each display running at its native resolution of 2560 * 1600!

This machine is a pretty high end rig and should serve my very well for development purposes going forward. With the amount of memory onboard it should be easily able to handle a number of simultaneous virtual machines which is always handy for testing purposes. Since installing Windows 7 on it, I must admit that MS really has got it right after the whole Vista debacle. Everything just fits together nicely and performance is very good. The only thing I still pine for is the XP style Classic Start menu which has been completely removed from Windows 7. With the new Pin to TaskBar functionality and such large monitors I rarely ever use the start menu anyway now, instead preferring to use the taskbar shortcuts directly for my most used programs. The other thing I miss is not having the Start-> Run command easily available. I’m sure if I Googled that I could find a command line shortcut to make it available via a pinned shortcut on the taskbar. UAC on 7 seems to be much more toned down than Vista which helps to make you day to day experience a whole lot more pleasant. The Virtual Windows XP in Windows 7 is a really great feature and has already helped me to keep my old Desktop printer going as well as being able to use the Cisco VPN client which is only available for x86 versions of Windows. I’ve also run a few games on the new PC to give it a good try out. I’ve tried Crysis, Racedriver Grid and Far Cry 2 and the visuals in these games are absolutely stunning. PC gaming technology has really progressed in the last few years. I would also like to thank my accounts manager at Komplett, namely Rafal Cyranski for their great service. They’re truly a great company to do business with.

Broadband Update

September 5, 2007 1 comment

Just today I got a new broadband connection via Wireless. The company is a small local company called Alpha Broadband located in Courtown Harbour which is just 10 KM north from my location. I have been talking to the manager of the local Wind farm on and off for the last year about using their meteorological mast to install a Wireless Access Point for the local area and finally this week, it is now installed and up and running. For €75 a month I get a 3Mbps downstream / 512 kbps upstream package. Due to the fact that the access point at the wind farm is not too high up on the mast as well as the fact that there are some intervening trees between my location and the access point, the installer had some initial difficulties getting a reliable connection going. But once he raised the unit high enough on the TV pole on my house’s gable end, the connection started to come in loud and clear. Alpha Telecom terminate the connection using a standard Ethernet connection, which the average user will just plug into their computer’s network port. I purchased a Linksys RV042 Router to provide the firewalling and NAT for the computers on my LAN. If you live between Ballygarrett and Kilmuckridge and currently cannot get broadband via the phone line, then certainly give Alpha Broadband a call to see if they can get you on the Internet.