Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Google number goes to someone else's phone!

Today I was setting up a website monitoring service, and chose to send SMS alerts to my Google Voice phone number. The SMS alert never came, so I double checked that I typed the correct number. I then picked up my office IP phone and called my Google number... and after 4 rings was connected with some woman's voicemail that I had never heard of before.

Slightly confused and worried, I checked my Google Voice account to make sure it was still active, that my cell phone number was typed correctly and that it was all set up to forward like it should. Everything seemed in order.  After some searches on the web (using Google... they're beginning to look more and more like a cradle-to-grave organization; I say this as I use a Google-based blogging service) it seems like there are some similar problems. One involves someone properly receiving the Google call on their cell phone, but voicemail is being forwarded to a wrong number. That's not quite my problem.

I added a second phone to my account and verified it. I then deselected my cell phone as a forwarding number and chose to only forward to the new phone. When I called my Google Voice number, I still did not receive the call after 4 rings and was then connected to some stranger's voicemail box. If there's some woman out there with a name that sounds like "Quitey", I'm sorry for annoying you.

I await contact from people on Google's help forum to see what might be the problem.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Microsoft's Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool

If you have Windows Vista or 7, you may want to run the Internet Connectivity Evaluation Tool. It's an ActiveX control that requires IE6 or later to run. It will tell you, among other things, if your router can support some of the advanced features in Vista and above such as "Explicit Congestion Notification" as well as if your NAT router supports cone-type NAT or a symmetric-type NAT.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Can only browse Google based web sites

My Problem:
On only one computer on the network, I can only browse Google based web sites (GMail, Google news, Google shopping) while connected wirelessly to a Comcast branded Netgear CG814WG modem. All other application layer protocol communication to cross the router to that one PC seem to work fine such as email and VNC connections. All LAN based communication such as SMB and ICMP seems to be working. All other computers on the network can browse the web. If I plug the troubled computer via a network cable into the router, I can browse the internet perfectly.

My Solution:
Reduce the Wireless security to WEP 64-bit. For some reason, the router will cause one PC on the LAN that is connected wirelessly to be unable to connect to web sites other than Google (and possibly other sites) as long as the wireless security is stronger than WEP 64-bit. Thanks Comcast, and your bizarre custom firmware.

Thanks to the user curthesher in this thread for the tip.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

45 BaseCamp Alternatives Listed Over at PM-Sherpa.com

I recently had the need to search out some kind of online project management tool similar to BaseCamp. I've used basecamp before, but figured that I'd check out the competition. I found this lovely article over at PM-Sherpa.com that lists 45 Basecamp alternatives. I think I'll be going with Zoho's PM offering, simply because I really like Zoho's online office suite and use their wiki every single workday. However, there are plenty of other possibilities out there. Check the list out for yourself.

EDIT: I ended up using CoMindWork.com. What swayed me? Well, first you need to know that a Wiki was a requirement for my project management needs. Second, I remembered that in my nearly two years of using Zoho's wiki, I've had consistent trouble with the wiki editor which seems a bit quirky. I even had an entire page's formatting completely thrashed when I simply tried to spell check it. Yes, all of my documentation for a firewall, complete with bullet points, indentation, headings, etc. was rediced to one big long string of text. All the same font, size, style, everything. Only spaces were preserved. So. Much. Fun. I haven't noticed things with the wiki editor improving much over these last two years so I decided to try something new. So far, CoMindWork.com seems to be great.