Diary of a Network Geek

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

12/31/2003

Watch your back

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:40 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Okay, so this is a very scary bedtime story.

“Once upon a time, there was a hard-working network security admin. His company ordered a security audit, and he thought it was a great idea. Then, the evil network security auditor/outsourcer told his company that the security admin was the weakest link in their network security. So they fired him.”
The only reason that’s scary is because it’s also apparently true.

So, is it just me, or does stuff like this keep you up at night? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to check on that resume in the oven…

12/29/2003

Bovine Sabotage?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,News and Current Events — 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 Waxing Crescent

Is this really a danger?

Well, according to this story on Wired News, the Office of Homeland Defence seems to think so. In fact, they’re so sure it’s going to be an issue that they’re going to spend $33 million on protecting our livestock.
No, really, they are.

Okay, now, I’ll grant you that messing up the US food supply could be a really big problem, but is this really an angle that terrorists would take? Somehow, I doubt it. It would be a really effective way to cripple our economy, and our military, but it just doesn’t play well. I don’t think it would really strike fear in the hearts of innocents, which is what terrorism is all about. I mean, a random poisoning will have everyone looking over their shoulder and double-checking safety seals, but the USDA would stop 99.9% of any potentially bad meat or produce before it got anywhere. It’s what they do.
So, I don’t know. It’s important, I guess, but I don’t really think it’s very likely to be a problem.

12/28/2003

Christian Geek?

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is just before lunchtime or 11:34 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this…

Okay, so I knew that when I opened up my blog for syndication anyone could link to it, but I guess I didn’t really expect anyone to actually do it! Now, I’ve got a site called Christian Geeks using me as thier main “news” feed on their homepage. Technically, I am, in fact, a Christian and I’ve almost always said that I was a geek, so, I guess it fits. But, well, I never really thought of my geekness and my Christianity as being related. And, I’m not sure how comfortable I am being held up as somekind of example of Christian geekdom. I mean, I’m not exactlly the “ideal” example of a Christian!
For one thing, I curse. I say “damn” and “crap” all the time. Just ask my poor step-daughter! (No, I don’t yell at her with curse words, but everytime I screw something up on my PC, or with the plumbing, “damn” and “crap” are every other word!) For another thing, I don’t even really go to church any more. I sort of got fed up with the whole organized religion “scene”. It seemed like it was more about making money than anything else.
On the other hand, I do generally believe in the basic tenants of Christianity. Of course, I try to be as open and accepting in that belief as possible. For instance, I don’t think that the Dalai Lama is going to Hell because he hasn’t accepted Christ as his personal savior. I just can’t believe in a God that would do something like that. And, I do try to pray on a regular basis. And improve my contact and awareness of God in my life.

Oh, I don’t know. I guess what I’m saying is, remember, if you read it on the Internet, take it with a grain of salt. And, consider the source.

12/26/2003

What to do when the Internet goes down

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:57 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Okay, this is actually kind of sad.

I mean, do we really need a webpage that tells us what to do when our Internet connection goes down? Well, apparently we do, because a couple of crazy Canadians have put one up. So, the next time your local phone or cable company decides to help you discover a life beyond the Internet, you’ll have a resource. Of course, you’ll want to print this out and keep it handy, or at least save it to your hard drive, so that when the Internet goes out you’ll have it. (Think about it! If you can’t get to the Internet, you can’t see a webpage on someone else’s server!)

12/22/2003

Citrus Server?

Filed under: Fun Work,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Dragon which is in the early morning or 9:52 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

The “orange” box….

Now, I have to admit that I really dig little computers. I mean, when I was a kid, all the science-fiction writer’s were just starting to explore tiny, but powerful, computers. Now, we’ve got all kinds of personal sized machines that are better than the servers I started out working with in my first IT job!
The latest of those is called T-Cube. It’s a little, orange box that runs its own OS. It’s not big, but they pack a lot into it. You can read more about it at I4U.

One of the things I think is cool about this is that it’s being developed in Asia for Asian markets. They’re building in support for Chinese, which is a major challenge for non-Chinese speakers to localize. It’s a small, affordable PC which made its debut at a Japanese computer show just this year. Who knows what that will mean to US manufacterers, but it’s an interesting trend in Asia.

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12/19/2003

How to find a toilet

Filed under: Fun,On The Road,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:27 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

in Australia.

Well, according to this article on AustraliaIT, you go to the National Public Toilet Map. No, really. Stop laughing.
Okay, the only thing that’s sad about this is: A) that government funds are being used and B) it’s happening in Australia not the US. People we need a national map of public toilets in these United States. Ah, well, I guess I can’t hold it against the Aussies for getting it done before we do. After all, they’ve got those huge highways!

Oh, and as this is posting, we’re on the way to the airport to catch a plane to Chicago. It’s Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary and all the kids are coming in, so that means we’re flying up. We’ll be back on Monday, and I’ll be off work all next week, so postings will be strange indeed.
Enjoy your weekend!

12/16/2003

US Tech sector on rise

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

It’s on the rise! Hey, aren’t you listening?!

According to AustralianIT, the US computer industry is improving. They claim that there are more jobs and more money being spent on IT. Well, a little bit of money on a very few jobs. But, things are definately looking up! And, eventually, we’ll actually notice.

Okay, somewhere in the US this might be true, but here in Houston, the tech job market is still pretty slow. And, there are still job postings for positions requiring MCSE and CCNA at $20/hour and less. That’s not looking real hopeful to me, but I guess stock analysts are desperate for any good news about the tech sector. God, things must be pretty bad for them to be clutching at that kind of straw. Well, maybe if they say it enough times, and loudly enough, people will start to believe it and actually start spending here in Houston.
Yeah, and maybe I’ll win the lottery.

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12/15/2003

Home-Brew TiVo?

Filed under: Fun,Linux,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:18 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

I’ve been thinking about it…

I had a really busy weekend and, of course, missed a couple of shows that I tend to like to watch. So, that got me thinking about TiVo…. But, I don’t like the idea of having to pay for a subscription. (Because I’m perpetually under-paid and, as a result, a tight-wad.) In any case, that made me think about a way to get around the fee. Naturally, I turned to the Internet for a solution. And, I may just have one: Knoppmyth.

In a nutshell, Knoppmyth is a Linux install that also installs something called MythTV, which is, you guessed it, a TiVo replacement. So, now, all I need is a machine to run it on and the hardware to decode the signal and ….. Hmmm, maybe it’s cheaper to just pay the fee for TiVo. I’ll get back to you on that one….

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12/12/2003

The Ultimate Wish List

Filed under: Fun,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

No, really, that’s what it’s called!

Cartoon Network has put together the “Ultimate Wishlist” of stuff from their network. And, man, is it ever the ultimate!! Ever wish you could have Space Ghost’s desk? It’s in there. How about Dexter’s Lab? There, too. Bascially, every cool, wild, or crazy thing from Cartoon Network’s in-house shows is on sale here. Of course, they’re all expensive, but, if you have the cash, it’s worth it!!
All this and just in time for Christmas, too!!

(This post is too good to pass up, so it’s also appearing on my other blog at the same time. I know, it’s kind of weak, but this is just too much fun! ‘Sides, it’s my birthday, so I get to do what I want!!)

12/11/2003

Extending MovableType

Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,PERL,Personal,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:40 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

More creative blogging.

So, do you ever wonder what a guy who manages servers does for “fun”? PERL programming, among other things. And, obviously, blogging. So, like peanut butter and chocolate, I decided to combine two “great tastes”.
The blog system I use here, and on my other site, is called MovableType and is programmed in PERL. Well, for some time now I’ve been hankering for custom dates and calendars, but no one has worked on it. So, I decided to try and do it myself. I’ve been messing around with PERL for a little bit now and I know it well enough to steal code, so I figured I had a shot at it. I started with an Islamic date module because it was the easiest to use and, a couple of days later, I had a working test blog. But, that just wasn’t good enough for me, so I started working on using Tolkien’s Shire Reckoning. (Which was made easier by the fact that Tom Braun had done up a CPAN module to do most of the actual work!)

I’m not quite done with it, but when I am, I’ll have a download link and instructions here for you.
Keep checking back!

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