The Monster Telco has finally set an installation date for ADSL in our village. From 15 October 2003, I should be able to connect using ADSL rather than the rather feeble WinModem I currently use.
I'll naturally run a NAT router, and migrate away from my current Windows system towards a more Unix one (Mac OS X or Linux...). This will also mean I'll be able to stop using a rather feeble Windows HTTP proxy, and get rid of some of the technical clutter that I appear to have accumulated.
Interestingly at work I've recently undergone a retrograde firewall/proxy experience. Since replacing my NT4 desktop system with a NT5/2K system I can no longer reach a production NT4 web server with SMB via the NAT firewall. Unless there is a way to downgrade the behaviour it looks like Microsoft changed how SMB/CIFS works between NT4 and 5, such that it fails when running through a NAT router, in a similar way to FTP failing through SSH. After a certain amount of fiddling (I respect our NT admins, but they do start with a serious handicap of using NT), I managed to get them to add BASIC authentication to the proxy as well as NTLM, so now a lot of machines that had no hope of connecting to the Internet now do.
One up shot of this is that LWP doesn't work if the proxy is running NTLM and BASIC authentication, I have to dig into that further, and I will now add proxy support to XML::RSS::Tools - it's in most of the HTTP clients anyway, it's just a case of configuring it.