Welcome to the QA Tech-Tips blog!

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"   I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".  
Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.  
Old Chinese Proverb

Monday, December 28, 2009

QA Tech-Tips - UPDATE

Well. . . .

It looks like I'm going to be busy!

I am going to peruse my list of previously saved Tech-Tips and import, (make that read: "brute-force cut-and-paste-and-mangle-and-cram-and-push-and. . . ), them into this blog.

I am going to try (!!) to insert them based on the date they were originally published.  Hopefully that will work.  If it doesn't, there are going to be a WHOLE BUNCH of Tech-Tips published today.  (. . . and tommorow, and the next day, and the day after. . .)

Unfortunately, most of these Tech-Tips are saved in M$ Outlook's Rube Goldberg version of "HTML" which makes importing or copying them into any other HTML based application a Non-Trivial task. . . . . It's doable, but it's a lot like making your way through a thick jungle - you slash-and-cut your way through the thickest web of obscure HTML code imaginable.  So - if the spacing is a bit wierd, or things don't align "just so" - you'll understand why.  As I get better at "this blogging thing", I will try to go back through and clean up what I can.

Update:  I have discovered a very useful tool - especially when you're fighting HTML filled with M$ cruft - called HTML Tidy, located over at SourceForge.  It's a command-line utility that is definitely worth a look.

When I am finished, I hope to have a reasonably comprehensive collection of Tech-Tips here for your viewing pleasure.

Thanks for visiting!

If you've seen previous versions of these posts - perhaps as e-mails when they were originally distributed - you may notice that they're not exact word-for-word imports.  Since it was necessary for me to go to what were already hysterically great lengths just to get the content IN here, I took the liberty to edit for clarity and/or meaning whenever I felt the articles would be improved therefrom.


Holiday Edition: The Case of the Vanishing Internet!

Hello everybody!

I hope you all have had (are having!) a wonderful Holiday Season and an Excellent New Year!

This tech-tip discusses a problem that might crop up when a new computer moves into the house. . . .

Here’s the scene:

The Holidays have come-and-gone, and that shiny new laptop, desktop, or wicked game console that you’ve had your eye on has finally shown up under your Christmas Tree. Fancy video, latest and greatest Windows operating system (or maybe even OS/X), the latest Wireless, Gigabit, and Bluetooth – it’s all there. Everything is right with the world except for one teeny-tiny thing. . . .

All of a sudden – for no apparent reason – your connection to the Internet suddenly dies.

You scratch your head, check out a few things, and then reset your router and/or modem (cable or DSL). Once you do that, things are just fine again for a while. But then, without warning, your internet connection vanishes yet again!

This is odd. . . . You never had that problem before, right? Even when the Internet connection dies, you (usually) can still reach any other machine on your network; but the connection to the Internet is just plain-'ole-gone. It might die in a matter of hours, maybe a day or two, but it dies – seemingly at random. And a router (or modem) reset seems to always bring it back.

The issue here is – in all probability – your new computer.

Not that your new computer has anything wrong with it, but it may be causing you network problems because of the new IP addressing protocol – IPv6. This is because many of the newer operating systems come with IPv6 enabled by default. Even good ‘ole Windows XP isn’t immune. The latest round of Service Packs for XP often installs – and enables! – IPv6.

Unfortunately, a lot of the older hardware – routers, modems, etc. – aren’t equipped to handle the new addressing protocol yet, and they choke. It’s not even “older” hardware – new stuff can have the same issues. Even if you’ve installed the latest-and-greatest firmware updates.

Additionally, it’s possible for older, (pre-existing), computers to experience problems with IPv6 causing them to behave strangely, or loose their network connection for no apparent reason.

The solution is equally simple: Go to the network configuration page for each networking adapter your computers use – both Ethernet and Wireless if your computer has both – and disable the IPv6 protocol. Once you’ve checked, (and disabled IPv6 as needed), on all the computers on your network, give your router and/or modem one last reset and your problem should be over. That is, until the next new computer shows up!

Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!

Jim "JR" Harris