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Did ND get any better in 2008?

With all the talk about the potential firing of Charlie Weis (which ultimately didn't happen) I thought I would ask this question: did the Irish improve substantially between 2007 and 2008?

The most obvious way to answer this is to use the computer polls. I chose the Colley Matrix, which is part of the BCS formula, since it has a characteristic that makes comparing teams year-to-year straightforward. All teams in this computer poll are inherently normalized to a rating of 0.5, which makes comparisons year-to-year much more valid.

Here's what it looks like (pre-bowl games for both years):




Year
Ranking
Rating
Record
Strength of Schedule
Schedule Rank
Best win


2008
58
0.529
6-6
0.533
44
#45 NAVY


2007
90
0.375
3-9
0.604
10
#46 UCLA



First off, it is clear that the team was much better this year. The rating differential of 0.154 is the same as the differential between 2008 Ohio State and 2008 Cal - clearly a big step forward.

Secondly, the "weak schedule" of 2008 turned out to be not-so-weak: it w…

Network-focused analysis of the Windows Time Service

Due to some recent posts on the comp.protocols.time.ntp newsgroup, I took it upon myself to investigate the behavior of the Windows Time Service a bit further using the Wireshark protocol analyzer.

It appears that in Windows XP, 2003, and Vista, the Windows Time Service (w32time) will by default always try to form a "symmetric active" association with configured NTP servers. This can be problematic with some time servers, violates the published RFC-1305 specification, and is not necessary. I could find no explanation on Microsoft's site for this behavior; I suspect it has something to do with interoperability with older Windows 2000 domain controllers that had very broken NTP.

However, there is a simple workaround. You can simply add ",0x8" to the end of any configured time server, and Windows will only use a client-mode association. For example, the command:
w32tm /configure /manualpeerlist:"0.pool.ntp.org,0x8 1.pool.ntp.org,0x8 2.pool.ntp.org,0x8" /syn…