May 25 2011

Web Client-Server Developments

Category: Internet,Security,Software Development,Standards,TelecomsTeknovis @ 9:11 pm

I have been made aware (thanks) of some interesting web client-server developments recently, so I will group them all together in this post!

There are a lot of exciting developments there!

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Jul 15 2009

Download Dell Drivers Using HTTP

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 5:38 pm

I had to download some new Dell drivers for an old desktop computer last weekend. I have always thought that Dell is the best computer manufacturer in terms of obtaining drivers. I simply love the way that you can enter the Service Tag number and you immediately get all of the relevant drivers! It is so convenient!

Dell has changed the download options since the last time I downloaded drivers. You must now choose between using the new Dell Driver Download Manager or the Internet Browser option. The former is a .NET application that must be installed before any files are downloaded. I think that this is a great way of making a simple process unnecessarily complicated! It appears that I am not the only person thinking this according to Dell Driver Download Manager and Dell Driver Download Manager is Optional.

So without any hesitation I chose the Internet Browser option. This tries to use FTP to download the drivers from ftp.us.dell.com. That would be fine, except that the firewall protecting me does not allow FTP :( Thankfully, Dell also allows access to ftp.us.dell.com using HTTP!

Unfortunately, it is impossible to correlate the drivers on the download page with the files on the FTP server using the file names :( At least I could not!

However, I did find another way:

  1. Click on the File Title or the File Details of the driver to get more information about it.
  2. Click on Installation Instructions to expand that section.
  3. The name of the driver file appears in the first sentence!
  4. Find the file on the FTP server in the appropriate directory, download, and enjoy :)

Knowing this last weekend would have saved me a lot of time!

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Apr 13 2009

Skype Considering SIP

Category: Software,StandardsTeknovis @ 1:11 pm

I just read that Skype is considering the use of SIP in Skype Opens Up To SIP, Finally Eyes Enterprise Customers The Way It Should. (For an explanation of SIP see Session Initiation Protocol.) The main motivation of this would be to bring Skype to the business community. (Although in my experience Skype is already used extensively by both small and large businesses.)

Skype currently uses a propitiatory protocol to exchange VoIP data, and this protocol masquerades as HTTPS. SIP is a mature open standard for VoIP, and therefore there are already many compliant hardware and software solutions.

In general, I am a big fan of open standards. However, in this case I think that the biggest advantage of SIP is also its biggest disadvantage. In particular, because SIP is an open standard is is very easy to identify it on the network, and treat it differently. The advantage of this is that VoIP traffic can be given higher priority. The disadvantage is that VoIP traffic can easily be blocked :( I have experienced Internet connections in many hotels that block all outgoing traffic except HTTP and HTTPS. In these situations Skype still works perfectly :)

If Skype can successfully incorporate SIP functionality without compromising on the existing propitiatory protocol over HTTPS then I think that would be a great solution!

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