Days of (Vista DNS) Rage

I have a Trendnet print server between the LAN and an HP1320 USB printer.  The printserver speaks LPR, among other things, and I set up Cathy’s Vista laptop to print via an LPR port to, queue HP1320, and it worked fine.

After a rework of the network infrastructure, the printserver moved to .167.39, and acquired a DNS name on the internal network of

To make printing work again on the Vista laptop, I created a new LPR port to queue HP1320 and all was well.

Yesterday the laptop stopped printing.  Jobs were queuing locally.  From a command prompt window, I could ping, but I could not ping  Aha! DNS problems.  However Firefox and IE worked normally for names outside the LAN.

I tried nslookup, and it works fine. resolves, as it should, to

Then I discovered that I could ping “studyprint” but NOT “ I presume because the DHCP server told it the default domain was  There is really no excuse that the fully qualified name doesn’t work.

At this point, I remembered that Vista is not my fault, and hardwired the printer port to  Printing works again.

Dear Microsoft.  How is it that you cannot make DNS lookups work reliably? How is it that nslookup works fine but ping does not?   It is really too bad that C has some sort of Mac allergy.

Did I mention that the Trendnet printserver speaks Bonjour?

I think it is supposed to speak windows networking as well, but I’ve never gotten it to work.

How to stop itching

Hot water stops itching.

This is not well known, but here are some links:

Scratching really doesn’t work.  After a few minutes, you want to scratch again, but hot water really does work, for hours.

Evidently, itching is caused by release of histamines from the skin.  Hot water causes the skin to release the whole reservoir at once.  This causes a truly weird sensation for a few seconds, but after that, the area won’t itch for quite a while – hours – until the histamines build up again.

The water has to be rather hot – not full on hot (140 at my house) but hotter than feels comfortable.  Experiment.  You will be a happy and itch free person.

I use this technique with poison ivy or mosquito bites.

iPhone tweaks

Overall I am very pleased with the iPhone 3G after a year.  Like everyone else, I detest ATT.

There are things that could be improved.

UNDO! In the mail application, I sometimes accidentally delete a message.  I notice right away, but it is a pain to recover.  My several mail apps use different naming schemes for deleted messages. I sure I could fix that, but right now I have to check each of the Trash/Deleted Messages folders  to locate the one the iPhone uses.  Then I have to scan down the list of deleted messages because the table of contents is kept sorted.  I delete so much spam that there can easily be dozens of spams ahead of the message I want.  Once I find it, I have to refile it back to the inbox.  All thus could be fixed with one undo button.

MARKING – It is a common event that I scan arriving mail while on the go.  The iPhone keyboard is not so wonderful that I respond that way.  Instead, I’d like to mark the messages I want to deal with later.  I could refile them to a todo folder, but I’d rather mark or flag them in the inbox.  I’m not much for sorting email into folders.  I just create a sequentially numbered archive folder with a few thousand old messages every few months.  I’ve been doing this since 1978, so it is kind of set.

The iPhone could use the edit dialog for this.  All it does is let you mark mail for deletion right now.  Instead, you could flag messages with the edit dialog.  To flag a single message, you might swipe it to the left.

Other iPhone apps.  I use Google reader on the iPhone.  Whevener my daughter borrows the phone, she logs into her account on Google reader.  When I get the phone back I have to retype my own login data.  The Google reader app could make it easier to select from multiple sets of credentials.  Or maybe the whole phone could have a switcher so multiple people could easily share it.

The iPhone needs a way to turn off all phone functionality while leaving WiFi running. This is for airplanes with WiFi.

UPDATE Sept 12.

I forgot the most important improvement to Google Reader.  “Mark all items as read” should also return to the feeds view, rather than staying on the particular feed looking at an empty screen.  My feed reading style is to scan the entries, reading the ones that look interesting, then “Mark all as read” and move on.  I always have to click again to return to the feed list.