March 7th, 2005


Mood for thought

Resurfacing from the depths of last week's not-waving. Thank you to all the people who threw lifebelts of one shape or another.

I don't want to write about the quality of light out here, or the dying snowdrops being replaced with budding crocuses, or the way my cold fingers ache as they thaw out in a warm room, or the way my legs hurt from running through cold and snow to catch a bus that's always late. Self-analysis is almost as boring to me as it is to my readership; but weaving wistful or brooding pieces of prose around memories of winters past just pulls the wool over the problem.

I've played a lot of Scrabble over the last few days. When I have letters in my rack that nearly make a seven-letter word, I have a tendency to make plays of single letters or pairs of letters in the hope of drawing the "right" letters. Sometimes this works; but sometimes it just results in me drawing handful after handful of low-scoring letters, getting a pittance of points every turn, unwilling to play out or exchange more than a couple of letters in case it spoils my chances of getting the sought-after bonus, but going nowhere in the meantime. Within the framework of the game, sometimes it really is a better strategy just to cut your losses, wipe everything out and start again. Unfortunately, practically speaking, real life doesn't have this option.

I don't have any solution. I don't even have any interesting way of ending this entry. I've just got to keep working towards a point where I don't care any more.

... but everywhere he is in ipchains

Right. I'm trying to set up my iSight, and it's not working, and this suggests that our home-brewed firewall is the crux of the problem:
To use iChat AV behind a firewall, make sure your network administrator has opened UDP port 5060.

When video conferencing, iChat AV uses four UDP ports in this range: 16384 to 16403.
So anyway, my network administrator is tired & stressed and says port forwarding is complicated. I have bashed my head against the ipchains man page to no avail. Anybody have any hints (or lines I can cut and paste into our firewall)?