Draytek 2820 Review

Model Name          : Vigor2820 series
Firmware Version   : 3.1.1
Build Date/Time     : Nov 8 2007 11:10:43
ADSL Firmware      : 211801_A Annex A

Price: £135 inc VAT

I have just bought one of these to use in a small office.

First impressions are it is good value for money in terms of the features if offers.
The web UI is uninspiring a little better than a Netgear or a DLink but nowhere near as good as a m0n0wall. It is responsive but not intuitive.
One bad point for anyone who has to administer several units the config file is backed up in binary format, a more sensible choice would have been XML to allow tweaks and roll-outs.
You can’t see recent log entries in the web admin screens you have to install the syslog tool on a pc on your lan, and configure the router to send logs to it, not good if you are a remote admin.
PPTP I have failed to get this working so far, I wanted to use the windows built in PPTP client to connect to the router, so far a connection can be established but authentication fails, I haven’t given up but it would be nice if this had worked straight out the box like m0n0wall. Draytek supply a Smart VPN client of their own but this too fails to authenticate.

I will update this review in about a month, if I can get PPTP working I will be pretty happy if not it may have to go back to the shop.

Use your Wii as a Media Center with Orb

This will r0x0r your b0x0r’s!

http://lifehacker.com/357869/use-your-wii-as-a-media-center

The article explains in several easy steps how to turn your wii into a media center.

I tried it and could not believe how well it works!

Some things you will need:

  • A Wii with wireless access to the internet
  • The latest version for the Wii Opera Browser (You have to buy this $5/£3)
  • A pc to install the Orb Software

So how does it work?
Well I don’t know the detail but so far as I can tell the client software you install on your pc stream’s media to the Orb server which streams it back to your browser.

I had to unblock some of the ports on my pc’s windows firewall to get the streaming to work.

It’s early days but so far i’m impressed with the Web UI nice big fonts for the TV and very intuitive I think I have seen the future.

Hyundai BlueH – 22in Widescreen LCD Tv/Monitor


The HM22W is a nice TV for a bedroom, the picture is good with no ghosting and a wide viewing angle.

The built in speakers are a bit limp so don’t expect high volume.

The remote control is easy to use if a little more complicated that is necessary.

The unit only has an analogue tuner so if you want freeview you will need a digi-box.

It
has a good range of inputs, 1 Scart, Video, Composite, VGA, HDMI. The
VGA connector allows the unit to be used as a PC monitor. I have a SKY
box connected via scart and a PS2 connected via video  to mine and both
are fine.

I bought this just before christmas and paid just under £200 which was cheap.

Ebuyer sells these in the UK

Multicore processors, the C++ STL & Heap Allocation

A few weeks ago one of the devs in the trading system team hit a performance issue, running four threads on a multicore machine ran slower than running when processor affinity was turned on.

Turning on processor affinity basically was limiting his application to one core so he expected a performance hit.

After three weeks of searching he found the answer: smartheap

He was making extensive use of the STL and with the default VS memory allocation and a multi processor machine this was causing problems.

The answer was to replace the standard library with smartheap (there are other alternatives) and this fixed the problem.

I am blogging about this in case there are other people out banging heads on desks trying to work out why their app is slower on a multicore server rather than a single core one.

If you nose around this blog you will see I am not a C++ developer so don’t ask me for any more detail.