Stories by Mark Gibbs

Catching Up With Unfinished Details ... and SMTP

This week, we start off with a couple of amplifications/corrections. First, with reference to last week's column, the RF bug mentioned can be purchased from Gateway Electronics in Denver, (303) 458-5444, for around $15. According to Mr. Miranda (my source for the bug): "They are in fact Asian ASICs made in Korea and imported by a company here in L.A. that has no telephone number. The range is 100 MHz to around 1000 MHz."

Technology With Emotion

Ah, the things we monkeys say without suspecting the consequences. When I discussed the "King of the NOS hill" article in last week's Network World, little did I suspect the response the feature was going to attract (more than 400 messages in the forum) or the response my column would get (a heady mixture of applause and abuse).

AirCard: A Reasonably Good Way to Stay in Touch

Gearhead was delighted when an old friend, Tony Miranda, gave us a cool trinket: A radio frequency bug. This small device (just under an inch in diameter) detects RF signals. Put it near a cell phone and a sequence of flashing LEDs indicate when it has detected a transmission. Way cool.

The Winner and Wierd Tales

An old coworker of mine used to work for Unisys Corp. as a programmer. They had a new remote-access box attached to their mainframe, and shortly thereafter, began having problems with the mainframe rebooting. Tech support removed the remote access box, but no fix.

A Better Platform on Your Palm

Last autumn, Gearhead wrote enthusiastically about the wireless Palm VII. I still like the Palm, but fickle geek that Gearhead is, a better device has been found, and the Palm has been cast aside.

Web Forms: The Third and Final Chapter

In the past two Gearhead columns, we began to explore the question: "How does a Web server application get data from a form?" This week, we'll wrap it up.

The Deep Dark Truth About Y2K

So, Y2K arrived without problems, eh? Well that's what they want you to think, but here at the Gibbs Institute of Countermeasures and Propaganda, we know the truth.

Guest column: Could you fix my PC?

First of all, if you sent "Backspin" any messages November 24-27, please resend them -- my ISP's mail server lost its mind and sent me trashed versions of some 350 messages that had been queued up while I was travelling.

Guest column: Who are you? (Take a cookie)

The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: At last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice. "Who are YOU?" said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a ***[MISSING BIT] *** -- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Guest column: How to be completely wrong

Mind game time! Here's the scenario: Let's pretend you play basketball. You are so good at basketball that you can force any play on the court. Even better, your team wins all the time and you make a gazillion dollars per year. Your name might be, oh, say, Michael Jordan.