Using AT&T Network Client VPN with Ubuntu 64bit

(This post is probably of most interest to my IBM colleagues - however, since the AT&T Network Client is also available for other organisations, I’ve posted this here in case it’s of use to other folks.) I recently installed Ubuntu 64bit (amd64) on my Lenovo Thinkpad T61. Unfortunately, the Network Client is not available in a 32bit edition. So I had to perform a few tweaks to get it to work.


I’m sitting in the departure lounge at Las Vegas airport after attending an IBM internal conference for a week. Las Vegas is indeed as tacky as expected, and wouldn’t be first on my list of places to visit on holiday, although I’m thinking about making it part of my ‘road trip’ when I eventually get round to planning it (the short version is SF to Vegas across Death Valley, the long version is the length of Route 66 - I expect the result will be a mixture).

Toronto Trip

I’m in Toronto this week, working with some of my colleagues from the Toronto development lab. Some observations on the trip so far: If travelling via the US, JFK is preferable as an interchange to O’Hare - the terminal is modern and pleasant, and changing is easier. But: Go direct to Canada if you can - you cut down on immigration paperwork. My car (a Pontiac G6) is pretty cool, and like all North American cars I’ve driven, very usable and drivable.

Getting WPA Working with a Thinkpad T42 and Knoppix 5.1.1

Thinkpad problems mean that I’m currently borrowing a T42 from work. It took me a while to get WPA working with Knoppix 5.1.1. Here are the magic incantations required: wpa_passphrase YOURSSID YourWPAPassPhrase > /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf wpa_supplicant -ieth1 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf & ifup eth1 pump -i eth1 Replace eth1 in the list above with whatever network interface name Knoppix has assigned to your wireless card (reading through the output of dmesg should help you with this).

Use a Thinkpad Instead of a Hammer

David Hill wrote recently on a Lenovo Blog about the design qualities that make Thinkpads great. Whilst some of these are shared by other laptop manufacturers, I have to say I largely agree - even if mine is supplied ‘free’ for use on company business. After dropping it again the other day (yes, I’m clumsy, sorry boss), it took a huge chunk out of my wooden floor. But after the battery had been popped back in, it spun back up and back to life.

Norway Over - Almost

So we’ve just finished our last day with the customer here in Norway, and presented on the work we’ve been doing for them. All in all, it’s been a pretty enjoyable (if stressful) week, and I’m looking forward to doing more direct customer work in the near future. Due to a mix-up with dates, my flight doesn’t leave until Saturday evening, so I’ve got Friday and Saturday in Oslo to find out a bit more about the city, have a good time and take some pictures.

On the Way to Oslo

Sometimes travel produces the strangest combinations of experience. I was upgraded to Club Europe by BA on my flight to Oslo (probably something to do with the AA Gold Card that I was mysteriously sent after returning from San Jose earlier in the year). So as I write this inflight, I’ve just finished an impressively delicious chicken curry, polished off a bottle of red wine (no, not THAT size), and a decent bit of Stilton (which, I might add, goes particularly well with left-over curry sauce - yes, really).

SOA Tips 'n' Tricks Blog Launched

Chris Tomkins and I both work on the WebSphere ESB team, and have been blogging about it and related IBM SOA products for some months. We’ve now decided to join forces and launch a new blog called SOA Tips ’n’ Tricks. This will contain technical tips on ESB and other products as well as wider issues - we don’t know exactly how it will evolve so please feel free to leave us some feedback on the things you read - what you like, and what you don’t.

Ideas Are Assets

IBM loves patents. We’ve held the record for thirteen years for the most U.S. patents granted each year. IBM’s margin over the competition is also good (2941 in 2005, compared to 1828 for our nearest competitor, Canon). IBMers are actively encouraged to develop patents (which is probably why we do so well in the patent charts), and IBM is a large company with a lot of resources and a disproportionately large R&D; spend - perhaps no-one should be too surprised.


I didn’t realise this was going to happen, but after my recent posting about the virtues of corporate blogging, has gone all-out and has posted a directory of IBMers who are blogging externally on the front page, so it’s entirely possible you’ve arrived from there - in which case, welcome! I work on one of the test teams for WebSphere ESB, and we’re currently working hard on the recently announced 6.