According to a couple of people, there’s a new firmware release due shortly for the Billion BiPac 7800N (possibly 1.02e), which should fix the source IP address issue, along with adding a few extra features to the web interface. Comments Off on New firmware on the way

Not sure that we’re going to be able to get much work done at the office tomorrow morning, as we’ll be without power for a few hours. The phones should stay running (as they’ve got a decent UPS) but we’ll be without access to our servers and the Internet. Luckily, I’m planning to be on-site elsewhere for the duration! Comments Off on IT’s all a matter of power

One upshot of being a little quieter at work during the schools’ summer break is that I’ve been able to work on our new Helpdesk system. It’s now almost reached the point where we’ll be trialling the ticketing part with a few clients (there’s just a few tweaks and some more testing to go).

A screenshot of the tickets overview for the new DataSwift Helpdesk

A screenshot of the tickets overview for the new DataSwift Helpdesk

Eventually the Helpdesk will provide an integrated inventory, knowledge-base and downloads system. Much of the back-end is already present for these, but it’s getting the user-interface sorted that takes a fair amount of careful planning.

I’ve now set up my new Billion BiPac 7800N router, and it’s sitting there merrily sending packets to and fro. Only snag is that the port-forwarding doesn’t work properly – all packets appear to originate from the 7800N’s internal IP address, rather than the actual origin. I’ve logged a support call with Billion UK so we’ll see what they say.

My old Draytek 2800G router is on the way out, – it struggles to make it more than a couple of hours without resetting itself, even after reflashing the firmware. As a result, I’ve ordered one of Billion‘s new 7800N series devices to replace it. I did look at the current Draytek device (the Vigor 2820n) but it didn’t quite meet my needs, which were:

  1. 802.11n wireless
  2. Gigabit switch
  3. Built-in ADSL modem

The Draytek 2820n for some reason has only a single gigabit Ethernet port, which – seeing as I’m fairly often transferring pretty large files around – isn’t entirely helpful. The fact that the 2820n is pretty near twice the price of the Billion 7800n also was a point against it. Yes, I know the Draytek has a number of other features, such as VPNs that the Billion omits, but in my experience unless you’re working with lots of other sites using Draytek kit, it can be a pain to get things talking to each other.

In an ideal world, the new router would also support the 802.11n 5GHz standard, but as with anything technological you’ll end up waiting forever for the perfect product!

The 7800N actually arrived at work today, but since I’ve been recovering from ferry induced sleep-loss, I’ll be collecting it tomorrow. It’s actually only just been launched in the UK, so there seem to be very few reports on using it with UK ADSL connections, so I’ll put some notes up here in a few days.

Last night was great, – was at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, London for an evening concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Semyon Bychkov). It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and although the first item in the programme (the UK première of Detlev Glanert’s “Shoreless River”) may not have been to everyone’s taste, personally I found it pretty interesting. It’s apparently a taste of the kind of music to expect from his next opera.

Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was brilliantly performed by Denis Matsuev, although I think pretty much the whole audience was a little surprised that he didn’t have an encore (possibly the length of the concert ruled that out anyway).

The second half performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11 “The Year 1905” was really the main event of the evening and sitting where we were -directly behind the first violins- mean that even if the sound wasn’t entirely balanced, we did feel very involved with the music. During the finale, the score calls for bells to be rung, and usually that means tubular bells, however last night the BBC Symphony Orchestra used actual, full-size bells, which looked as if they’d previously been in some church tower! They sounded very impressive, even if at the end it required the efforts of three percussionists in order to dampen them!

Pretty much the only downside to the day was the ferry home. We’d already discovered that there was no midnight sailing, so took our time getting down the A3 for the 1am boat. Upon arrival it turned out that the 1am was actually going to be the 1.45am, due to unspecified ‘operational reasons’. I think it was pretty much 3am by the time we made it to Brighstone.