• End of Business

    DTC Consulting would like to thank all of their past and present clients for their custom.

    We have officially shut our doors as of January 1, 2019. We suggest you contact Moosenet Computers here in Moose Jaw for any technology or computer issues you need assistance with.

  • Technology: Then and Now

    Posted on by Jess

    In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted the number of transistors the industry would be able to place on a computer microchip would double every year. He was pretty much right on with his prediction for some time. Nowadays, we know there is a theoretical maximum, but humans are clever and have found ways around even that limit. The doubling has slowed to about every 18 months, but we’re still going strong.

    Using these leaps, real world inventors have followed in the footsteps of science fiction writers. Over the past 30 years, consumerism in one form or another has really driven technology development. Here are a few examples:

    Cell Phones



    The Motorola DynaTAC was the first commercially available handheld cell phone. A full charge took about 10 hours and it sported a beefy 30 minutes of talk time. It had a fancy LED display for dialing and recall, and could store 30 phone numbers in it’s “phonebook”.

    It retailed at $3,995 then (a modern day cost of about $10,000). Motorola continued to sell these right through to 1994.It became associated with 1980’s pop culture and has been used extensively in film and media set in that period.



    Smartphones are the “de rigueur” for cell phones now. Flip phones were popular through the start of the millennium, but Apple introduced the first massively adopted smartphone in 2007. It quickly replaced a large number of previously common devices: walkmans, still and video cameras, memo recorders, and pagers. Exactly how good is this phone?  Paul Ledak poses this:

    # of transistors – iPhone has 130,000 times more than Apollo
    clock frequency – iPhone is 32,600 times faster than Apollo
    instructions per second – iPhone is 80,800,000 times faster than Apollo
    overall performance – iPhone is 120,000,000 times faster than Apollo
    or 1 iPhone 6 could theoretically  guide 120 million Apollo rockets at the same time

    Laptop Computers


    Almost everybody has used, or at least seen a laptop computer. While the Powerbook 100 isn’t the first laptop, it was on one the most popular of the early models. The Powerbook 100 boasted a Motorola 16 MHz processor, two to eight megabytes of memory, a 20 Mb hard drive, and a 9-inch monochrome monitor. It was released in 1991.

    It was considered one of the 10 best PC’s of all time by PC World in 2006, almost 15 years later. And as we are seeing, 15 years in technology time is an eternity.



    So that we are comparing apples to apples (HA!), here is the newest offering by Apple. The MacBook (2016). The MacBook has a 2.4GHz processor, two Gigabytes of memory, 250 Gb hard drive, and a 13.3-inch display capable of high definition video. It is one of the most popular laptops in the world, and is commonly seen in TV and Film.

    Comparisons are difficult as there are many other peripherals that the MacBook has over the Powerbook. Webcam, 5.1 audio, WiFi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth to name a few.


    Video Games


    In 1984, Nintendo released “Duck Hunt”. It was a single player game that had a pistol controller to allow you to shoot ducks as they flew up. It was designed for the Nintendo Entertainment System. While not the first home console to hit the markets, it was one of the most popular and is recognizable to all and helped revitalize the video game industry. Over 60 million units were sold world-wide.

    The system it was played on was an 8-bit console that had 2 kilobytes of ram. Games came hard coded into cartridges that were inserted into the deck. It could show up to 25 simultaneous colors.



    In 2016, Ubisoft released Tom Clancy’s The Division. The Division is classed as a online only open world third person shooter game. It has photo realistic graphics, 7.1 surround sound, and an extensive in-depth plot that develops as the player progresses through the game.

    It is available to play on all three major platforms: PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.


    EDIT: I found a gallery of video game graphics evolution over the past three decades. Check it out!



    As we progress into the future, Cell phones, laptops, and video games will continue to push the envelope. A newcomer to the technology race is Virtual and Augmented reality headsets. The technology is relatively young, but has a strong backing by consumers to move forward.

  • Returning GPS Coordinates, and calculating Driving distance in Excel 2007

    I recently had the mispleasure of having to code a vbscript to allow me to take advantage of the Google Distance Matrix API and the GPS encoding function of Maps. Luckily, I found a wonderful article on the Police Analyst blog. One part of the chore was completed! It even walked me through how to use the VB script editor for the purpose.

    Utilizing my programming prowess (which is pretty poor) and some amazingly smart coder friends, we hammered out how to get a return on the Driving Matrix API as well. Two new functions were born in Excel: GoogleDistance and GoogleGeocode.

    Use is pretty simple. In the cell, place your formula like this:


    The CELL is the reference cell for where you want the gps coordinate for. It will do specific addresses, or cities.

    =GoogleDistance(CELL1, Cell2)

    CELL1 is the originating location. C ELL2 is the destination. You can use GPS coordinate, address, or city for either.

    To implement the functions in your Excel 2007, just follow the directions at the Police Analyst post, get your own Google Maps Distance Matrix API and use the following cut and paste instead of the Police Analyst one:

    Function GoogleGeocode(address As String) As String
    Dim strAddress As String
    Dim strQuery As String
    Dim strLatitude As String
    Dim strLongitude As String

    strAddress = URLEncode(address)

    ‘Assemble the query string
    strQuery = “https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml?”
    strQuery = strQuery & “address=” & strAddress
    strQuery = strQuery & “&sensor=false”

    ‘define XML and HTTP components
    Dim googleResult As New MSXML2.DOMDocument
    Dim googleService As New MSXML2.XMLHTTP
    Dim oNodes As MSXML2.IXMLDOMNodeList
    Dim oNode As MSXML2.IXMLDOMNode

    ‘create HTTP request to query URL – make sure to have
    ‘that last “False” there for synchronous operation

    googleService.Open “GET”, strQuery, False
    googleResult.LoadXML (googleService.responseText)

    Set oNodes = googleResult.getElementsByTagName(“geometry”)

    If oNodes.Length = 1 Then
    For Each oNode In oNodes
    strLatitude = oNode.ChildNodes(0).ChildNodes(0).Text
    strLongitude = oNode.ChildNodes(0).ChildNodes(1).Text
    GoogleGeocode = strLatitude & “,” & strLongitude
    Next oNode
    GoogleGeocode = “Not Found (try again, you may have done too many too fast)”
    End If
    End Function
    Function GoogleDistance(origin As String, destination As String) As String
    Dim strAPIKey As String
    Dim strOrigin As String
    Dim strDestination As String
    Dim strQuery As String

    ‘Set API Key

    ‘URL Encode Origin and Destination
    strOrigin = URLEncode(origin)
    strDestination = URLEncode(destination)

    ‘Assemble the query string
    strQuery = “https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/distancematrix/xml?”
    strQuery = strQuery & “origins=” & strOrigin
    strQuery = strQuery & “&destinations=” & strDestination
    strQuery = strQuery & “&key=” & strAPIKey

    ‘define XML and HTTP components
    Dim googleResult As New MSXML2.DOMDocument
    Dim googleService As New MSXML2.XMLHTTP
    Dim oNodes As MSXML2.IXMLDOMNodeList
    Dim oNode As MSXML2.IXMLDOMNode

    ‘create HTTP request to query URL – make sure to have
    ‘that last “False” there for synchronous operation

    googleService.Open “GET”, strQuery, False
    googleResult.LoadXML (googleService.responseText)

    Debug.Print googleService.responseText

    Set oNodes = googleResult.getElementsByTagName(“distance”)

    If oNodes.Length = 1 Then
    For Each oNode In oNodes
    GoogleDistance = oNode.ChildNodes(0).Text
    Next oNode
    GoogleDistance = googleResult.ChildNodes(1).Text

    End If

    End Function
    Public Function URLEncode(StringVal As String, Optional SpaceAsPlus As Boolean = False) As String
    Dim StringLen As Long: StringLen = Len(StringVal)

    If StringLen > 0 Then
    ReDim result(StringLen) As String
    Dim i As Long, CharCode As Integer
    Dim Char As String, Space As String

    If SpaceAsPlus Then Space = “+” Else Space = “%20”

    For i = 1 To StringLen
    Char = Mid$(StringVal, i, 1)
    CharCode = Asc(Char)

    Select Case CharCode
    Case 97 To 122, 65 To 90, 48 To 57, 45, 46, 95, 126
    result(i) = Char
    Case 32
    result(i) = Space
    Case 0 To 15
    result(i) = “%0” & Hex(CharCode)
    Case Else
    result(i) = “%” & Hex(CharCode)
    End Select
    Next i
    URLEncode = Join(result, “”)
    End If
    End Function

    You can also download the code as a text file from here: Google GPS conversion and Distance

  • How to: Setting up pfSense Router Software to work with SaskTel Infinet (Fiber)

    SaskTel started upgrading its entire infrastructure in early 2013. They are moving to a Fiber to the Home type of delivery. For the majority of users, they simply have the installer come out and change them over to a fiber and have the copper removed. It’s a pretty seamless change over. Previous to the fiber, the best that could be provided to a customer was 25 mbps downstream and 2 mbps upstream. With fibre the maximum bandwidth you can get is 260 mbps downstream and 60 mbps upstream!

    One of the problems being encountered with the high end users is the lack of bells and whistles in the Actiontech gateway that is provided as the main router for the new fiber install. Common complaints are poor wireless signal, and very few advanced routing, NAT and firewall options. Because of the way SaskTel has deployed their optical fiber network, you can’t just buy a ‘small office/home office’ (SOHO) router. Most people have one of these already, like a D-Link or LinkSys or their equivalent.

    Many customers have turned to an open source router software called pfSense. Using a small form factor PC and adding a second network card or NIC you can easily connect directly to the fiber box without having to use the provided Actiontech.

    NOTE: If you have a MAX tv subscription, it is suggested you use the provided Actiontech gateway. While it is possible to set pfSense to work with the MAX services, you may experience degraded or loss of service if it isn’t configured exactly right. Some sources say if you have MAX tv, make sure you have IGMP snooping and make it priority 1. Max and Internet are both coming in on VLAN 1000. This tutorial will only encompass the internet portion.

    To begin, you need the following:

    • Some sort of PC that can run the pfSense software
    • If it doesn’t already have it, a second NIC or Ethernet card. While a 100M card will work, it will have issues with bottle necking and won’t give you your full speed. Gigabit (1000M) cards are recommended.
    • Download the pfSense CD

    We’re not going to re-invent the wheel on this post, but will direct you to a few really good videos on how to install the pfSense software and get it basically working. Check out these YouTube Videos for info:

    Tutorial 1 – For a little more advanced users

    Tutorial 2 – This one seems to be a bit more of a step by step.

    Once you have the software installed and the cables plugged in, you need to set the WAN (this would be the the card that is plugged into the fiber box on Ethernet PORT 1) to a VLAN of 1000.



    In your management screen, select the Interfaces table and then go to the assign. This will allow you to change the settings for the interfaces. We need to alter the WAN one to work on VLAN 1000. Sounds scary, but it’s actually really easy.



    Click on the tab that says VLANs. This will take us to the correct spot to set one up. There shouldn’t be anything in there yet unless you have already been setting up internal VLANs. Underneath the tabs should be a button that looks like a piece of paper with a plus sign on it. This is the “Add VLAN” button. Press it to get to the next screen.



    In the parent interface, you need to select the Ethernet or NIC card that is plugged into the fiber box (Remember: You have to use ETHERNET PORT 1 on the fiber box!). There should only be two interfaces here, unless your computer has other interfaces. This is sort of a trial and error part unless you specifically know which is which.  In the VLAN tag area, type in “1000”. NOTE: If you have a static IP package then you need to use VLAN 3000 and set up the WAN basic interface for IPv4 Static with the info provided by SaskTel. For description, I find it easiest to use the word “Fiber”.

    When you have them set correctly, press “Save”.



    It should take you back to the VLAN tab and show you your new VLAN set up. Select “Interface Assignments” from the top tabs. In the WAN interface, click the pull down and you should see the “Fiber” (or whatever you called it) in the list. Select it.

    Open a new window and try to surf. If it fails, then go back to the VLAN and select a different interface. Save it and try to surf again. When you find the right one, it should just start working!

    Warning: Any damages caused to your system, property, data, or person as a result of this tutorial are not the responsibility of DTC Consulting or its partners. This article is provided for educational purposes only!


  • Buying a used Cell phone? Make sure it’s not stolen!

    Are you thinking of buying a used cell phone from Ebay, Kijiji, or some other source? Make sure you check the phone’s IMEI number against the Canadian Blacklist to make sure it isn’t someone else’s lost or stolen phone!

    ProtectYourData.ca features a convenient tool that allows you to enter the IMEI number of a wireless device and find out immediately if that device has been blacklisted in Canada. If the IMEI number has been blacklisted, that device will not be able to be used on participating Canadian networks. The database includes blacklisted devices that have been reported as lost or stolen as of September 30, 2013 and beyond.

    Phones that have been blacklisted will not be able to connect to any of the participating Canadian Carrier’s networks. Keep in mind it can take up to 48 hours for the device to appear on the blacklist after it has been reported. The list does not include older CDMA devices.

  • Cellphone Madness!

    Ever wonder what all that stuff means when you go to look for a new cell phone? What’s the difference between and iPhone, Android, Blackberry and others? We can help!

    We will provide you with a clear understanding of what all the bells and whistles that current day smart phones have. We can also help you find the best carrier and plan for your needs.

  • Updated Info on Parts Ordering

    Just letting everyone know that we can handle any orders you wish to make through Tigerdirect.ca!

    We have a unique relationship with their Canadian distributor and can usually get you great prices on almost everything they list on their website.

    To have an order priced, simply visit their site and find the parts you would like. Email us the SKU codes, or links to the items and we will have a price sent back to you as soon as possible. Most times it is a 24 hour turn around on pricing. Sadly, we can not process anything on weekends, but you should get your response on Monday!

    As always, we would be happy to sit down with you to explain about what the various technical terms for each part you want may mean. Let us help plan your perfect computer purchase, without the concern that you’ve bought something way over priced, or more than you need. Why spend money on a Ferrari when all you needed was a pick-up truck?

    UPDATE: We are no longer purchasing equipment for resale. DTC has no service bay to perform repair and installation work. We have teamed up with a local shop who has the best technician in the area, as well a fully capable repair shop. Please direct all equipment purchase inquiries to Moosenet Computer Services.

  • Now available: Drobo Products


    Due to problems with the Drobo purchasing and distribution procedure in Canada, we will not be able to order these items any more. Please contact us and we will try to meet your network storage means!


    A short time ago, DTC Consulting became a registered Drobo partner! Now we can provide almost any Network Attached Storage solution you need using Data Robotics systems.

    You’ve asked and it has arrived – Drobo FS®.

    We are extremely pleased to announce the release of the revolutionary Drobo FS, designed with one purpose in mind: to deliver the best file sharing experience ever.

    The all-in-one Drobo FS is ideal for any connected home, home office, or small office environment that needs a simple, safe device for sharing and backing up files over the network. Once you plug it in and see it instantly appear on your desktop, you realize there’s nothing else like it.

    As always, Drobo storage products provide redundant data protection without the complexities of RAID – Drobo FS is no exception. Just plug in your Drobo FS and your data protection is all set up with no configuration required. Now that’s peace of mind.

    • Access you data from any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer
    • Connects directly to Gigabit Ethernet network
    • Up to 5 drives of instant capacity expansion to 10TB and Beyond
    • BeyondRAID self-managing and self-healing technology
    • Protection from up to two hard drive failures
    • Configurable and customizable with DroboApps

    We look forward to hearing from you; please contact us to discuss your storage needs.



  • Podcast!

    Just as an aside, Jess Hallsworth has teamed up with Wes Nairne to produce a weekly podcast called The Digital Crockpot.

    They pick topics from current events, cool new technology, and basically anything that catches their eye. They also accept submissions from listeners for topics!

    NOTE: The podcast has completed its run. Thank you to all of our listeners!

  • Special alert!

    Special Ended – July 28, 21010

    If you are still interested in projectors, please contact us for info and pricing!

    NEC NP110 DLP Projector

    Projection Technology:      DLP
    Projector Type:      Business Projector
    Native Resolution:      SVGA (800 x 600)
    Brightness:      2200 ANSI Lumens
    Contrast Ratio:      2000:1
    Native Aspect Ratio:      4:3 Standard
    Display Technology:      DLP
    Data Signals:      NTSC4.43, PAL, PAL-M, PAL-N, SECAM, NTSC, PAL-G, PAL-H, PAL-I, PAL B, PAL-D,
    Inputs:      S-Video, PC Input, RCA Jack
    Audio:      7-Watt Speaker
    Lens:      F=2.41 to 2.55, f=21.83 to 24mm
    Zoom:      1:1.1 Manual Zoom
    Image Size:      33″ – 300″ diagonal
    Throw Distance:      1.95 to 2.15
    Keystone Correction:      +/- 40 degrees
    Power Supply:      100 – 240V AC, 50/60 Hz
    Audible Noise:      34 dB
    Lamp Type:      180W
    Lamp Life Expectancy:      3000/5000 Hours
    Remote Control:      Included
    Dimensions:      12.2″ x 3.7″ x 9.7″
    Weight:      5.5 lbs.

    This is an excellent business class projector. Built for video presentations, it is capable of projecting a nice bright image in a fully lit room. It’s able to correct the image for mounting to a ceiling or floor.

    I can currently get this from my supplier for $385.00 plus taxes and S&H*. Please reference number N124-2444 when inquiring!

    * Only GST is charged. Shipping charges are dependent on how many units purchased.