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July 2007 Archives

July 2, 2007

Macbook/Linksys wireless kernel hang solution

Shortly after getting my new macbook pro, I started to have issues with crashes where the kernel would hang and the display would freeze, requiring a power cycle/reboot. Calls to apple were basically useless. After futzing around I was able to diagnose the problem... I could provoke the problem by scp'ing a few large files. Some troubleshooting revealed that the macbook would hang only when I was using wireless, but if I plugged the ethernet cable in it was fine. I started mucking with settings in my Linksys "wireless-N" home router's advanced wifi settings and found one that stopped the macbook from crashing:

I disabled "frame burst" (which was enabled by default) and the problems completely disappeared.

I think the Mac is just dandy, but still it makes me think. I've been running a variant of Unix for the past 20 years. SCO Xenix, sysv 3.2, SVR4, Unixware, Dynix, sunos, Solaris, BSDI, Linux...and now OSX. 20 years, and we still have flaky drivers. 20 years, the industry still can't write a friggin driver that doesn't completely waste your machine if it sees a funny packet it doesn't parse right.

Update: That didn't fix it. I had to disable 'N' entirely in the router. That fixed it. See the comments for more details...

July 10, 2007

Fletcher's angry list of startup rules

Mark Fletcher posted a great list of startup rules a little while back. Mark was the creator of Bloglines and Onelist (which, after merging with eGroups, sold to Yahoo and became Yahoo Groups).

I first met Mark in 1998 when a VC tried to marry NewHoo with Onelist, and told us that the combination "might be interesting". Pfft! NewHoo and Onelist both went on to successful exits, and Mark's an interesting guy, so I guess it all worked out in the end...

Mark's advice is spot-on for a lot of the web 2.0 companies being launched now. I like Mark's list because it's a little edgier than a lot of the smile-faced spin you see on VC blogs.

Note that Mark himself seems to start companies during down-cycles, and sell them when the market gets hot. Then he goes on vacation for a year or two and waits for the next down-cycle. :)

1. Your idea isn't new. Pick an idea; at least 50 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more.

2. Stealth startups suck. You're not working on the Manhattan Project, Einstein. Get something out as quickly as possible and promote the hell out of it.

3. If you don't have scaling problems, you're not growing fast enough.

4. If you're successful, people will try to take advantage of you. Hope that you're in that position, and hope that you're smart enough to not fall for it.

5. People will tell you they know more than you do. If that's really the case, you shouldn't be doing your startup.

6. Your competition will inflate their numbers. Take any startup traffic number and slash it in half. At least.

7. Perfection is the enemy of good enough. Leonardo could paint the Mona Lisa only once. You, Bob Ross, can push a bug release every 5 minutes because you were at least smart enough to do a web app.

8. The size of your startup is not a reflection of your manhood. More employees does not make you more of a man (or woman as the case may be).

9. You don't need business development people. If you're successful, companies will come to you. The deals will still be distractions and not worth doing, but at least you're not spending any effort trying to get them.

10. You have to be wrong in the head to start a company. But we have all the fun.

11. Starting a company will teach you what it's like to be a manic depressive. They, at least, can take medication.

12. Your startup isn't succeeding? You have two options: go home with your tail between your legs or do something about it. What's it going to be?

13. If you don't pay attention to your competition, they will turn out to be geniuses and will crush you. If you do pay attention to them, they will turn out to be idiots and you will have wasted your time. Which would you prefer?

14. Startups are not a democracy. Want a democracy? Go run for class president, Bueller.

15. You're doing a web app, right? This isn't the 1980s. Your crummy, half-assed web app will still be more successful than your competitor's most polished software application.

Update: Only tangentially relevent, but uncov is just too damn funny.

July 12, 2007

WTF happened to Popdex?

Popdex, along with Blogdex and the Daypop top 40 was one of the first generation meme trackers for the blogosphere, ranking top blog posts based on linking activity. The folks maintaining this set of first generation tools seem to have collectively lost interest in them, after seeing them supplanted by social ranking tools such as Digg and Reddit.

But I was surprised to see Popdex become a wholesale spam farm. It's eerie, there are even "archives" supposedly going back in time, showing "results" from 2004-2006. The only thing is, these pages are just more spam. Popdex didn't actually used to look like that. Interesting to see the choices for the spam anchors on the sidebar and the post titles.

I wonder if the former owner of popdex just let their domain expire, or if they had a more active role in this.

About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Skrentablog in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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