Diary of a Network Geek

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

7/31/2003

Windows Exploit in the Wild

Filed under: Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:02 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Heads up!

Okay, according to this article on AustraliaIT, nine days after it was announced, there’s an exploit to take advantage of a nasty Windows vulnerability. This is a baddie, folks. It can take over computers in a hurry. So far, there haven’t been any reports of the program being used, but it’s out there. So what are you waiting for? Go patch it!!

7/30/2003

Linux Desktop Publishing

Filed under: Art,Fun Work,Linux — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:41 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

The “art” connection may not be obvious, at first.

But, I’ve always equated print layout with art, so, there you go. As an amatuer writer, I’ve been interested in design and layout for quite some time, but the price of layout programs has kept me from doing much about it. That’s where Linux comes in. Again.
The folks at Scribus have developed a free, Linux-based layout program. And, according to this article on Graphics.com, it’s pretty darn good, too! I haven’t looked at this myself, yet, but I probably will. It might be a chance to expand my skill-set.

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7/29/2003

Bob Hope Dies

Filed under: News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

This is sad news.

Bob Hope died Sunday afternoon at the age of 100. You can read a retrospective of his life on MSNBC. Who’ll make us laugh now?

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7/28/2003

Digital Sharecroppers

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,PERL — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:04 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Are you working for “The Man”?

Should you be? This very interesting article on Tim BRay’s web raised some interesting questions for me about what I want to spend my time learning. (And, it doesn’t hurt that what little development I do is in PERL and usually for web-based CGI.)
Actually, I’ve felt for a long time that we’re really all just serfs serving feudal lords. All this fancy talk about “freedom” and “democracy” really is just that. We’re all still in thrall to the economic equivalent of a duke or king. We rely almost wholly on the generosity of our economic superiors. Should they turn against us, we are very much like the Medieval “out law”. We become excommunicated from our economic patron and, like a plant without water, we wither and die.
So, I find the sharecropping analogy quite apt.
In any case, it’s interesting stuff. Read, think, discuss.

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7/27/2003

Where Do I Stand?

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:31 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I heard something on NPR last week that got me thinking…

The founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Bill Bright, died. He’s also famous for his Four Spiritual Laws, which were somewhat controversial when he first came up with them.
The thing is, what I remember of the Campus Crusade for Christ was that, on my college campus, they were mainly wackos who were running around being all fruity and calling each other “brother” and “sister”. They were so off-putting as individuals that I never got as far as Bright’s actual philosophies. Now that I’ve heard them, they seem fairly reasonable. I think they over-simplify Christian theology a little, but they get the point accross. But, what thinking about that did was make me question what I really believe.
Do I really believe that Christ is the only way to salvation? I’m not so sure. I mean, I’ve known some Jews and Buddhists that I thought were more likely to get into Heaven that a lot of Christians I’ve met. And, what does all that mean for the Mormons? Or the Muslims? They both use the some of the same scriptures that Christians do.
The honest truth is, I’m not sure what I believe, entirely. I know I believe that Jesus was a great teacher who revealed many spiritual truths. But, I also believe that there are many other teachers that can reveal spiritual truths to me, as well. Still, I found myself admiring Bill Bright’s devotion to his beliefs and his desire to share them with the entire world. There’s something awe-inspiring about that kind of religious devotion.

7/26/2003

What are you lookin’ at, Maggot!?

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Horse which is around lunchtime or 12:09 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Ah, the gentle refrain of a DI.

That’s “Drill Instructor” to you and me.
Now, I’ve never served in the military, but I’ve known more than one DI and they’re all more or less the same. Except, of course, for R. Lee Ermey. Now, he’s something special. And, he has a website!
But, far more interesting to me is the Gunnery SGT. R. Lee Ermey 12″ Motivational Figure, for sale on his website, among others. Now, you, too, can be inspired by lines like “What in the h*ll is your major malfunction?” or “Ooorah! Semper Fi do or die hold em high at eighth and I!” or even the line he made famous in Full Metal Jacket “Lemme hear your WAR CRY scumbag!” Ah, the memories….

7/25/2003

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Filed under: Fun,Geek Work — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

A new holiday?

Well, there’s Secretary’s Day and Boss’ Day and Mother’s Day, so why not Sys Admin’s Day? This has actually been around for some time, but I didn’t have much of a blog then, so….
Anyway, here’s to System Administrator Appreciation Day and the idea behind it. So, go find your SysAdmin and give him, or her, a big hug and say thanks for the extra hours and the weekends spent maintaining your company’s back office systems. And, don’t worry, most of us are so lonely in that server room that we won’t even file sexual harassment charges or anything.

7/24/2003

SCO Tries to Bite Linux, Again

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,Linux,News and Current Events,Novell — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Man, these guys are like a rabid dog!

They haven’t won their case against, well, anyone, regarding their allegedly copyrighted code being in Linux, but now they’re trying to sell licenses for it! When I read this article on Wired News, I couldn’t believe the chutzpah these guys were displaying. I doubt too many people will bite on this, though. At least, they’ll stall until the other litigation is worked out. Frankly, I think this is a giant crock of you-know-what. It’s just another kind of spammer-esque, bottom-feeding, predatory business practice that someone with real ethics wouldn’t engage in at all. Based on things that Novell has said, not to mention hordes of other Linux geeks, SCO hasn’t a leg to stand on regarding their copyright claims, but still they pull a stunt like this! What scumbags!
So, go out and install Linux in protest!! Even if you don’t run it for anything, just install it to thumb your nose at the money-grubbing blood-suckers.

Oh, and I hope the Novell ad still shows up on this article when you get there. The irony was just delicious!

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7/23/2003

New Use for Linux Clusters

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Linux,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:56 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Now, here’s a good use for a Beowulf cluster….

Researchers are using low-cost “super computing” ala Linux to figure out how species differentiate, according to this article on Wired News. They’re also investigating the relationship all these sub-species have to each other currently. It sounds so simple that I think it’s deceptive. They’re inputing tonnes of data, including habitat, diet, and reproduction statistics. Then, they’re analyzing all that for subtle relationships that might not be obvious to human researchers.
But, what’s cool is that they’re doing it on a budget using an Open Source operating system! Truly, we are all standing on the shoulders of giants as we march into this new century of high-technology. And, that, as far as I am concerned, is very, very cool.

7/22/2003

New Memory

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,News and Current Events,Palm — 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 Third Quarter Moon

Faster, better hand-helds?

Well, maybe, but I’m waiting to see the actually products. See, according to this article on Wired News, there’s a new kind of memory coming that doesn’t get emptied when it looses power. So, the upside is, allegedly, faster startups and better hand-held devices. The down side, to me, is that when you want to clear memory, it’s going to be more complicated than just killing the power. Still, it’s being backed by Motorola, and I’ve always enjoyed their technology. Of course, it helps that my older brother works in Motorola’s R&D department, but, still, they are innovators.
Well, maybe it will help invigorate the IT industry. Now, you’ll have to be an expert to reboot your machine!

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