Welcome to
Jeff Chan's Home Page

Some of the most popular pages on this site are in our Automotive section. Folks seem to enjoy our coverage of car shows, concours, races, etc. (Cars above are Pininfarina Mythos show car, Bugatti Veyron prototype, production McLaren F1.)

RAV4 EV Electric Car Owner Solar Panel Survey Results

As a member of the RAV4 EV mailing list, I did a survey of other owners of this wonderful 2000-era Toyota electric SUV to see how many were using solar panels to charge their cars and power their homes. The results in 2003 were that about half who responded used solar energy to charge their electric cars, resulting in actual zero emissions transportation.

Promising Anti-Malware Approach

A great idea against malware are bootable USB flash drive-based malware scanners and cleaners. I expect these may have a major, positive impact on Windows security worldwide, particularly FixMeStick.

If you use Windows, I urge you to use one or both of these. Many people have had their bank accounts stolen using malware on their Windows PCs. (BTW any computer is vulnerable to malware: Android phones, Apple phones, Mac computers, Linux machines, tablets, anything with a phone or Internet connection.)

  • Norton Power Eraser is a free Windows malware remover that is reported to successfully remove very dangerous and diffcult malware such as Zeus and others.

    IEEE Commemorates Xerox Alto's 50th Anniversary

    IEEE Spectrum, the main IEEE periodical, has a nice March 2023 article about the history of the Xerox Alto, arguably the world's first personal computer. My brother and I saw Alto at Xerox PARC when it was on Hannover Street in Palo Alto, along with the newer Xerox Star. We saw these probably about the same time as Steve Jobs around 1979. Many of the Xerox people went to Apple to make the Mcintosh along the lines of the Star, and Microsoft made Windows along the lines of the desktop operating system of these.

    The article is interesting because it mentioned a large team of people who shared a common vision for a future personal computer that was intuitive to use, like we have now. But it was all revolutionary at the time, not just hardware and software, but also concept. Much of the development of Dynabook and Alto was funded by ARPA research contracts both at Xerox and before. ARPA also funded the development of ARPANET, which became the Internet.

    What prompted the article is the 50th anniversary of the Alto, and apparently the Computer History Museum in Palo Alto has restored an Alto to operational condition.

    Recent Projects

    A few of my favorite things

    Older stuff

    If you use a Windows PC, here are some widely recommended and used anti-virus and anti-spyware programs: All have free versions for personal use. Most require payment for commercial use. Please use them to protect your computer, data and privacy and to stop the spread of malware, spam, cracking, phishing, etc.

    The interactive Online Inter-Network Mail Guide comes from the plaintext Inter-Network Mail Guide FAQ file, part of a general Email page.

    World Wide Web Initiative (w3.org) -- includes HTML and HTTP specifications. My favorite HTML starting point is the Beginner's Guide to HTML. Here are International Characters in HTML. HTML Tables, Frames, Mozilla.org site, home of open source Firefox web browser and Thunderbird mail client.

    Get your Web Colors here!

    Web catalogs: Yahoo, and HotBot, and DEC's AltaVista all use different methods of cataloging the web. Originally a Stanford University grad student project, Yahoo! essentially hand categorizes web sites. The Yahoo! web catalog is a bit stale, but I find other content there very useful, such as their news and financial info. Another great feature of Yahoo is that its search results pages have links to other search engines. This sort of inclusivity builds on the strength of the other sites and simultaneously encourages its use as a portal. AltaVista and HotBot each claim to use unique technologies, and seem to produce different results form each other and Yahoo! HotBot is a Wired Magazine project.

    I've found what may be a better search engine: Google! Originally a research project at Stanford, it yields very good results. Google is unusual in that it uses links to a given page to rank it's importance, the idea being that a page that's referred to often has a good chance of being authoritative or at least relevant. Google was recently looking for VC funding but instead has been funded privately by Andy Bechtolsheim, Sun Microsystem's hardware founder. Bechtolsheim, who continues to be at the forefront of technology and is now probably a billionaire, was at one point another struggling Stanford grad student.

    One of the most useful ways to find stuff on Usenet is Deja News. Deja News has a very fast, searchable database of pretty much everything useful on Usenet. It's probably the quickest way to find things in the newsgroups, including simply reading them by group. Since it's web-based, you can get to it from anywhere with just a Web Browser, and nothing is downloaded to your machine (other than normal web page caching).

    All of my domain registrations are now with GoDaddy.com. They're cheap and seem to work fine.

    For great information about Internetworking see the Cisco Internetworking Technology Overview.
    Another very good resource is Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia which includes descriptions and documentation about much of Internet networking. For a closer look at the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which coordinates routing on the Internet, see Cisco's Interdomain Routing document, overview chapter (from ITO mentioned above), and commands. Avi Freeman of Netaxs has a good couple articles about using BGP for Multihoming as an ISP. Here is a sample BGP config with communities used to mark which ASNs the routes come from. Network Computing magazine has a good overview of various routing protocols including BGP, RIP, OSPF, etc.

    Here is a link to Sprint's BGP policy. UUNet shared their current BGP community settings privately.

    Looking glasses, route servers and remote traceroutes are useful tools for digging into routing issues. www.traceroute.org has a good collection of these. The Oregon IX route server near the end of the list is very useful since it has many dozens of views of the full Internet routing table.

    BroabandReport.com's DSL FAQ is a good collection of information about DSL lines, provisioning, wiring, usage.

    Berkeley UNIX has nearly 30 years of expert development. As a truly open operating system it is widely used, very efficient, and highly reliable and secure. Best Internet used freeware FreeBSD, and that choice and advocacy influenced acquiring company Verio to continue the practice of hosting web customers on FreeBSD. Verio is now one of the world's largest FreeBSD web hosting companies after Yahoo and followed by Savvis. Both versions of Berkeley UNIX are popular as servers throughout the Internet.

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