Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

5/31/2003

Security Information

Filed under: Geek Work — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Okay, so it’s focused on computer security, but it’s still good!

And, I have to admit, this list is a little out of date, but it’s still a great place to start. O’Reilly, a superior publisher of compter and technical books, has a list of security books they reccomend. I’m sure no one will be suprised that they reccomend their own books. Of course, they have some of the best books on computer security on the market at any given time, so, they’re not just tooting their own horn. If you’re in the computer business, it’s worth a look.

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5/30/2003

Spank-You-Very-Much SCO

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

… And thank you very much Novell!

Okay, so it’s not shock to anyone reading this that I’m a giant Novell bigot, right? So, when Novell comes down on the side of Linux, should you be suprised that I’m gonna’ talk it up? I didn’t think so…

Of course, if you’re a Linux lover, you’ve already been following the outrageous claims that SCO has made regarding “their” code that was released via GPL into Linux. Guess what? Turns out that it was never their code at all. Novell owns the code in question and they’re all for it being in the Open Source community. In fact, some time ago, I noted that Novell is going to release their excellent OS, Netware, on a Linux kernel in addition to the current Netware kernel. So, these folks are really going after the Open Source market. And, based on what I read on Slashdot, they’re being pretty well recieved.

Hey, maybe I won’t have to sell out to the Evil Empire of Microsoft after all!

5/29/2003

Linux in Thailand

Filed under: Geek Work,Linux — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:21 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Hey, this Linux stuff is catching on!

No, seriously… Linux seems to really be picking up in popularity in smaller countries trying to get up to speed, as it were, in the computer world. It’s especially popular in the more, er, “financially challenged” countries. (I hate the whole “Third World” label.)
As an example, here’s in InfoWorld article about how the Government of Thailand has gotten behind Linux.

Cool stuff.

5/28/2003

Reading List Updates, Reviews, and What’s Next

Filed under: Certification,Novell,Review,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:23 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Playing a little catchup here.

I’ve read two books in about as many weeks and I’m just now getting to put something up about them.
The first is Beneath an Opal Moon by Eric von Lustbader, who also wrote the excellent book The Ninja, though it’s not related. His fantasy work is not quite as good as his modern fiction, but it’s pretty good. Okay, it’s not bad, but it’s not quite as good as I remembered it as a kid. Kind of pulp-fiction feeling, but a little less purple prose than a lot of things from that genre. Beneath an Opal Moon is about a navigator/adventurer tyring to find a way home, but getting entangled in someone else’s adventure. It ends up being a quest to prevent the end of the world. I know, I know, it sounds terrible, but it’s really not that bad. It makes nice Summer reading, anyway.

Another Summer read that suprised me was
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J. K. Rowling. I’ve been resisting reading this series simply because it’s so popular and because my wife and daughter have read it and are likely to sneak out spoilers on me. But, it, too, was a good, light Summer read. It really is a kid’s book, in spite of how it was billed, but, it still was engaging enough to capture my attention for a couple of days. And, thanks to studying for my certifications, my brain is a little fried and all I really wanted was some simple escapist fantasy, which this provided quite well. Of course, by now, everyone in the world knows the story of the “boy who lived”. If not, read the book or rent the video or just ask any kid under 15 who happens to be walking by a bookstore.

Now, I’m about to start
Novell Netware 5.x to 6 Upgrade Exam Cram 2
. Updating my CNE is pretty darn important to me, since it’s sustained me all these years. Besides, it’s kind of a niche market these days and I’ll take any niche I can! And, honestly, I really love working with Novell products. They pretty much work as advertised, unlike my experience with Microsoft’s products. In any case, updating my CNE is my next goal, so that means I’ll need to read this book. Ah, well, back to work for me!

Until next time!

5/23/2003

Klingon Erotica?

Filed under: Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:48 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Okay, this is just not right!

I was going through some old e-mail and found a link to this article on Wired News about Klingon Erotica. I can’t get to the actual site, thanks to my pornography blocking software, but the article is enough. First, they created a language for the fictional Klingons, now this. I shudder to think of what’s coming next.
And to think, Gene Roddenberry named Klingons after a former co-worker that he didn’t like! I wonder what Gene would think now!

5/22/2003

Saving Your Soul On Credit

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:08 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Will that be cash, check or charge?

Technology keeps marching on, doesn’t it? Now, according to this article on Wired News, there’s a Canadian company that offers churches a new way of collecting donations. An interactive kiosk. What will they think of next? Will indulgences be autioned off on eBay? Will “independant” churches offer PayPal as a method of donation? I wonder what God thinks of all this? Does this offend his sight? Are the money lenders in the temple?
It seems strange to me, but then, I guess it’s harder and harder to collect money for charity these days. Who knows if it will even work? It sure is an interesting idea, though. Even if it is a bit frightening.

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5/21/2003

All Hail Tux!

Filed under: Certification,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:01 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I just passed my Linux+ test!

I took it this morning before lunch and passed in the first try. Woo-hoo! It seemed like a kind of strange test, to me, but I figure that’s because it’s my first CompTIA test. It had a lot of hardware questions on it. And, some of the questions about Linux seemed not very “real world”. But that’s all water under the bridge now, because I passed!
And it’s about time I had something relating to networking and business, not to mention my career, to post here.

So, now I’ve gotten one of the four or five certifications that I want to get in the next year. That means that I have to start working on my CCR to update my CNE from Netware v5.x to Netware v6.x. That means reading the Novell Netware 5.x to 6 Upgrade Exam Cram 2 book and working the SelfTest Software pre-test. But, first, I’m taking a couple of days R&R for good behavior!
And, I’ve been thinking about getting Novell’s Linux Certification, too. Hmmm…. The path of certification never seems to end.

5/19/2003

Computer Security in the Matrix?

Filed under: Fun,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:20 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Finally, a little truth in fiction!

Okay, so this article ran in Slashdot first, but still, it’s pretty cool. After all the wildly inaccurate views of computer security that Hollywood has shown us, from the 3D graphics in “Hackers” to the 3D interface for the UNIX system in “Jurassic Park”, it’s nice to see someone using an actual security tool for a change. Fellow security “entusiasts” will recognize a tool called NMap. Apparently, there’s a scene in “The Matrix Reloaded” where Trinity uses NMap to penetrate an SSH server for something. And, they used actual screen shots of NMap!
(And, they’ve got some advertising set up to take advantage of it.)
Man, I have got to get out to see this movie!

5/18/2003

Rat-Brained Robots?

Filed under: News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:46 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Science-fiction predicts the future again!

Okay, so here’s a story on Slashdot about researchers using brain cells from a rat to make a robot run. Big News, right? Nope.
A guy by the name of Joe Clifford Faust predicted this in a book called
The Company Man
. A sadly out of print book that predicts this and several other things that are a little frightening. But, this book predicted that artificial intelligence, as such, never happens. Instead, animal brains are hooked up to computer systems instead. He predicted several “levels” of brain being used: rat, cat and dog.
It’s a really interesting book, if you can find it.

5/17/2003

Prayer-A-Day?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Palm,PERL,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:14 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

If you’re a regular reader of the Diary of a Network Geek, you know that I’ve started seeking out a deeper connection with God.

So, when I saw this article on Wired News it really made me think about where we’re taking religion as a society. A digital prayer a day? Hmm, well, why not? I mean, we can get other kinds of reminders to our phones or pagers, so why not a reminder to pray? I’ve seen plenty of free Islamic programs for the Palm, so why not a generalized one? A simple PERL script or two is all it should take to send a random reminder to pray to any Internet-enabled wireless device. Or, a more generalized “spiritual” message could be sent. Or, really, anything that would be regular and in text format.
Personally, I like the idea of getting random reminders to make contact with God. It might be nice to have my cellphone, which I’ve come to think of as a tool of the Devil, remind me that God is watching me and that He does care about me. Why shouldn’t technology remind us of our spiritual selves? Just because the old Catholic church had issues with early scientists doesn’t mean that we should not make use of this kind of tool for spiritual awareness. I’d like to think that the modern Vatican, which is online now, would agree with me.

Of course, I don’t think I’d pay $20 for it (that’s what they charge), so I may just have to figure out my own method. Hey, if I do, I can let other people use it for less money than that other guy is! Dang, I better get off to work on it!

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