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Showing posts from April, 2007

time.windows.com fixed

Well, it appears that time.windows.com is now fixed, after a few weeks of serving up invalid time. Presumably, the clocks on millions of Windows machines worldwide are now slowly drifting back into synchronization with the rest of humanity.

I find it rediculous that such a problem could go unnoticed and unfixed by Microsoft for so long, and that it took a Microsoft participant on a programmer's blog reading about it to track down and correct the issue.
U:\>w32tm /monitor /computers:time.windows.com,us.pool.ntp.org
time.windows.com [207.46.130.100]:
NTP: +0.0541156s offset from local clock
RefID: time-nw.nist.gov [131.107.1.10]
us.pool.ntp.org [66.91.129.70]:
NTP: +0.0293621s offset from local clock
RefID: bigben.ucsd.edu [132.239.1.6]

time.windows.com is broken... is your clock off too?

It seems that time.windows.com is broken, reporting unsynchronized time off by two minutes or more. Why is this a big deal? Time.windows.com is the default Network Time Protocol server used by the Windows Time Service in Windows XP, 2003, and Vista systems. So there are literally millions of systems out there without an accurate source of internet time.

I have personally reported the issue to Microsoft, and Akamai as well (they seem to host the actual servers). But there has been no response from either for several days. Reports on the internet indicate that time.windows.com has been broken for at least a week!

Fortunately, it is easy to switch to a different time server. If your computer is part of a Windows domain at your workplace, it will get time from your domain controller by default, so you don't need to do anything. If your system is a domain controller, or is stand-alone, you should run these commands: C:\>w32tm /config /manualpeerlist:"us.pool.ntp.org,0x8" /sy…

Linux plunge not working out so well

So I don't think Linux is ready for laptops. Well, my laptop anyway.

The first problem I encountered was with screen resolution. I didn't have an option for the "native" 1280x800 widescreen resolution of my Dell 700m. After digging through the Ubuntu support forums, I discovered that I had to install a small utility called 915resolution. It was a minor pain to track this down, as there were several contradictory sets of instructions found with Google, but running this command:
sudo apt-get install 915resolution
and restarting seemed to fix things.

My next problem was with WiFi. Ubuntu's network management applet didn't show any available wireless networks, despite the fact that I know there are dozens nearby my home. Reboot into Windows, do some more browsing, and discover some diagnostic tests to run. Boot back into Ubunutu. It appears that command-line tools can see wireless networks nearby, but Ubuntu's GUI is broken and doesn't list them. I could deal…