Tuesday, May 17, 2005

First weeks in business

I have been rather silent since leaving LogicaCMG, but starting up on my own has taken more time than expected. First of all the amount of DIY involved to turn our study into a decent office took a few days a considerable number of trips to and from IKEA. And setting up computer equipment always seems to take longer than one expects as well. Last but unfortunately not least there is a considerable amount of red tape to get familiar with (VAT anyone?) and the administrative consequences.

Afin, all that is pretty much settled now. So I hope to be able to blog again about some technical topics in the future. Early candidates are experiences with using and running Subversion in a Microsoft operating and development environment, using NAnt and NUnit to build and test VB6 en C++ projects, and migrating VB6/C++ apps to .NET.

Having said that, there is a still a business web site to be developed, business cards to be printed and regular work to be done... The future will tell!

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I last tried Skype about a year ago, but kicked it off my home system after I started getting random calls from strangers. Bogus and/or commercial calls on my landline are bad enough. More of the same via the internet was one step to far. And my Skype contact list at that time was pretty small anyway.

Lately I have been using MSN Messenger for voice and a bit of video conferencing. However, to get this to work I have to reconfigure the NAT services on my ADSL router to a much less secure configuration (unfortunate lack uPnP implementation on the ADSL router). Messenger traffic is not secured either, so it was time to reconsider alternatives.

So I am back with Skype. Only just. As soon as I installed it on my new AMD Athlon 64 box, it reliably crashed immediately on startup with some sort of memory access violation reported in the Windows event log. As pointed out by this article, the reason turned out to be an aggressive data execution prevention (DEP) configuration. Turning DEP off for Skype solved the problem. Tomorrow I'll find out whether it really works across my symmetric NAT configuration.

Update [17/05/2005]: Unlike MSN Messenger Skype seems pretty happy with my NAT configuration. After some initial problems with my contact list it now works reliably and is likely to stay as my voice client.