Festive fireplace

Fireplace

Another photo of our Christmas decorations, this time our festive fireplace. Let’s just pray that it doesn’t go up in flames this year.

Not that it’s ever gone up in flames, but it’s a good thing to wish for, none-the-less.

You may notice that one of the ‘Christmas tree’ bulbs wound around the greenery is green (right-hand top corner of the mantlepiece). This replaced a bulb that had blown. Rather than using the ye olde tried-and-tested method of systematically replacing each and every bulb until you get to the one that’s gone I went to my toolbox and got out my pen-like voltage detector. (below)

A red, pen-like electrical-signal scanner.
My red, pen-like MK live-wire detector. Bought at B&Q, in exchange for money.

This is a small, handheld device that is usually used to check for electrical signals behind walls, bleeping and flashing when it detects an AC current. It occured to me that this might also work in detecting where the circuit was broken on these Christmas tree lights.

I started scanning at the plug end and followed the wire up and along the mantlepiece. Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, then nothing! I replaced the bulb at the point that the beeping had stopped and hey presto! (or any other 1980s UK supermarket chain) the lights worked.

My little festive tip for you all there.

10Mbps broadband is here … at last!

Close-up of Ethernet cables
Close-up of Ethernet cables plugged into a router.

I discovered this evening that according to the Telewest Broadband Speed Upgrade page all the Scottish 2Mbps and 4Mbps connections have already been upgraded to 10Mbps.

Except mine, I noticed! I ran a quick Broadband Speed Test and it was still reporting that I was on the 2Mbps service. So I fired off a quick newsgroup post to news:blueyonder.discussion.hi-speed before rebooting not only my PC (a common habit of us Windows-users) but also my cable modem.

Which seems to have done the trick, and we now have a 10Mbps connection. Web pages now downloadincrediblyquickly. I now just have to be reasurred by Blueyonder that the error messages in my modem log aren’t anything serious.

How’s this for a bit of light-reading:

2005-12-18 01:54:24 error BPI FLASH: The Mfg CA certificate not found!
2005-12-18 01:51:41 error BPI FLASH: The Mfg CA certificate not found!
2005-12-18 01:47:12 information Ignore SW upgrade via provisioning: same image!
2005-12-18 01:47:10 notice Interface index:4 LinkUp
2005-12-18 01:47:10 notice Interface index:3 LinkUp
2005-12-18 01:47:10 notice Interface index:2 LinkUp
2005-12-18 01:47:10 notice SNMP COLD_START(SNMP Nmaccess mode)
2005-12-18 01:47:10 notice Cable Modem Status set to Registration Complete
2005-12-18 01:47:10 information Received REG-RSP from CMTS
2005-12-18 01:47:09 information Sending Registration Request
2005-12-18 01:47:09 information Processing Configuration File
2005-12-18 01:26:57 information DHCP: IP complete
2005-12-18 01:26:57 warning DHCP WARNING - Non-critical field invalid in response
2005-12-18 01:26:57 warning DHCP WARNING - Non-critical field invalid in response
2005-12-18 01:26:56 debug DHCP_coldstart() successfully
2005-12-18 01:26:54 information Beginning ranging process. Initial Power=47.00 dBmV
2005-12-18 01:26:54 information Got a map with the new UCD change count, and changed upstream parms
2005-12-18 01:26:50 information Sync recovery loop is locked
2005-12-18 01:26:46 information Scan Downstream Frequency...
2005-12-18 01:26:44 error BPI FLASH: The Mfg CA certificate not found!
2005-12-15 05:56:11 warning DHCP RENEW WARNING - Field invalid in response
2005-12-15 05:56:11 warning DHCP RENEW WARNING - Field invalid in response
2005-12-15 05:56:11 warning DHCP RENEW WARNING - Field invalid in response
2005-12-12 19:43:15 warning Cable Lost FEC lock
2005-12-12 19:43:15 warning Cable Lost FEC lock

It means nothing to me … ahhhh! Vienna!