Month: September 2007

Windows Server…

How has Windows Server gained such a foothold in the IT field?

I work at a Webhost, we probably have 75% of our clients hosted (at the client’s request!) on Windows servers. Part of this is becuase a lot of our customers are ColdFusion users, which we only run on Windows. The other day, we had a problem with a new customer which we setup on one of our Windows 2000 servers, with Front Page 2002 extensions. They were unable to login. Front Page gave a nice vague error of something like “You are not authorized to preform the current operation”.

I spent two bloody hours troubleshooting this! It sounds simple right? Permissions? I’d say so, but you’d be wrong. Well, actually, I can’t say you’d be wrong, because I don’t know for sure what fixed it! I spent most of that 2 hours repeating the exact same steps in different orders. Which eventually fixed the problem. I found documentation from Microsoft that says that the site must be configured to accept Digest authentication for FP to work, but then i found another doc that said that Digest authentication will break FP’s extensions, and you need Basic authentication. Now, Basic authentication is CLEAR TEXT! No encryption, just plain old text. Let’s hear it for security. Basic authentication ended up working, along with resetting some permissions, reinstalling the FP Server Extensions (at least twice) and running the “Check server extensions” deal at least twice.

What a load of crap this OS is! 2003 is only slightly better, it’d added a few new features that make it much more bearable, but still just as cumbersome at the same time.

And what about error logging? Windows does a terriffic job of logging just enough data to tell you there was a problem, and not enough to give you even a hint at where to start digging. Why?! My CentOS server not only usually gives you a descriptive error message, but also tells you (gasp!) what file you might be able to find that error in! What a concept!

I guess Micro$oft has a better marketing department, and that’s what _really_ matters anymore, not stability, or dependability, or even optimum use of resources. No, pretty gui’s, and apparent ease of use is what draws in todays customers. I’ve been running this server on a 670Mhz Intel PIII for years! It’s up all the time, runs a database server, web, mail, and a host of other little gadgets that i tinker with. It serves as a development platform for my projects, hosts my personal mail server, and every site i’ve ever thrown at it, and aside from my initial investment in hardware, it’s ALL FREE!

Yea, it takes some knowhow to make it all work, but isn’t that what IT admin’s get paid for? I thought so….



Do you remember MegaMan?

I spent HOURS, probably DAYS playing MegaMan 2 when i was a kid. On my old NES.. Ha, what a time I had. Well a few years ago my wife bought me the MegaMan Anniversary collection for my Gamecube. Its basically all of the old megaman games, from 1 through 8, and two “secret” games, which i havent unlocked yet. I’m sure i could find out online what they are, but hey, its part of the suspense!

Anyway, I finaly found the time to play it! I played megaman 2 all the way up to Dr. Wiley’s castle last night, and then i started playing MegaMan 8. 8’s pretty cool, ive finished two levels, and i’m working through the rest. Pretty fun game, but i do have one observation… Megaman’s a wimp! Seriously, what’s with the girly voice, and the save the planet attitude? I mean, i know he’s all about doing good and all, but seriously, is he equipped with anti-smog devices too?

Anyway, fun game, if you have a gamecube, or i guess a Wii, as they play GC games, check it out.


Burnt marshmello’s.

So… I’m in the basement working on a project for my father in law’s pickup. Entry steps, and not some skimpy steps, my father in law’s a big guy! Theyre made from 2x4x0.128 rectangle tube. Theyre coming along pretty nicely. So i was cutting what will be the plate that mounts the step to the frame of the truck. I’m cutting with an angle grinder, its the first cut on a piece of eighth inch steel plate that’s got a little rust on it. So I trace the shape i need to cut, measure twice, start to cut. I generally trace the line on the first cut, and sort of score the steel so i can then follow the same line on each pass. Instead of cutting straight through on the first pass.

So i’m cutting along, and I smell what smells like burnt marshmellos. A smell I’m very familiar with, after all of my years in boyscouts. I take a sniff, look around, dont see any smoke, or anthing that seems a good reason for alarm. I keep cutting. I still smell the smell, I figure it must be from the metal, something got on it while it was sitting on my basement floor, or the rust maybe? I keep cutting. Eventually I stop to take a look at my cut, and give my arms a rest… Holding that grinder in such an exact position tends to make the arms tired. So I’m looking at my cut, and I stand up straight to stretch my back out from being hunched over the piece. When i stand up, i notice something….

I realize quickly that while I was cutting, the hot metal shards that i thougth were hitting my jeans (which are rather heat resistant) were actually hitting my shirt, which overhung my jeans a bit, and the burnt marshmello smell? That was my shirt… I now have two nice scorch marks, along with holes, in my shirt… I laugh, and get back to cutting…



I know that there are mixed feelings around the world about 9/11, and the events that followed, and of course those that are still happening as a result… But today, on September 11th, 2007, we should remember those who fell, those who risked their lives to save others, and of course, those who gave everything to save others.

I didn’t personally lose anyone in the WTC attack, but that doesnt make me and less angered, or sorrowful tward what happened on that day. I can remember what I was doing that day, vividly. I can remember standing in my parents living room, my hair still wet from my morning shower, staring at the tv as the first tower burned… and then, as i watched, in total disbelieve, the unthinkable happened… The second plane hit.

I had things to do regardless. My Jeep was down due to a failed u-bolt strap. I had to get it fixed so i could get to work the next day. So we carried on with our plans for the day. My mom was taking a trip down to my Aunt’s place, so I went along with her, and on the way we stopped at a Jeep stealership to pick up the parts I needed to repair my jeep. They had the tv on, everyone except the parts guy who was helping me was glued to the television. We kept the radio on, there wasn’t any music, just talk radio, regarding what had happened, conclusions were drawn, accusations were thrown, and eventually, terrorists took the credit.

A lot about america changed that day, our security shaken, our faith jilted. Personally, i believe that those responsible, and those who support them, should be tracked down and punished. This is not an excuse for blind retribution, by no means should us efforts, and lives, be wasted on chasing down ghosts. I can’t say that I know how things should be conducted, but under the circumstances, I believe that our president, George W. Bush, has done as good a job as could be expected of just one man. Because no matter what his title, no matter what the scruitiny, and no matter what the expectations, he is still just one man, and can only do so much. President Bush’s actions directly after the attack may very well have negative, and positive repurcussions for many years to come, but I’d challenge anyone who thinks they could have done a perfect job through that trying time to walk in his shoes. It can’t be an easy role to fill, but he’s doing it.

Ok, enough, this blog might be all about me, and my opinions, but politics just arent my idea of a thrilling topic. Back to the mindlessness.

-War (Never forget!)…


I’ve added registration functionality. Hit the “register” link next to the login button in the login form to the right of the page. Should work, security isnt what i would be for a huge site, after all, this is just a little blog. 😛 Enjoy! -War

The Mentor’s Last Words

A blast from the past… I was cleaning up my computer room and I ran across my “stash” from when I was a teenage hacker kid. Which consisteded of 10 floppy disks, containing things like, The Nowhere Utilities, CyberPhreak, VCL, a bunch of old outdated warez serials, and a ton of text files! I never did anything other than tinker with CyberPhreak, the Nowhere utilities were just a cool pack of utilities, VCL.. hell, i dont have it in me to create a virus, and actually distribute it to anyone other than the kid down the street that cheated me in Doom, but the texts…. man, i used to spend hours reading all the text info I could find. Thats probably why I am who I am today, and probably why I chose the IT field as my profession. One of the most profound things I can recall reading back in those days was “The Mentor’s Last Words”, by, of course, The Mentor. It was (somewhat) featured in the movie “Hackers” though it was chopped up a bit. I’d read it long before Hollywood stumbled across it and put it in their movie.

When I was in Business School, for PC Networking, I had a public speaking class, and I used this piece as the subject of one of my speaches. I’d like to think that the class took something away from the whole presentation. Anyway, because things like this seem to be fading to the background in todays age of script kiddies, botnets, bullshit malicious viruses, and people who care more about the allmighty dollar than even a shred of knowledge… (ranting.. i know), I’ve decided to post this bit of computer history here, for everyone to (re)read…


Mentor’s Last Words

“Mentor’s Last Words”

Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager
Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank
Tampering”… Damn kids. They’re all alike. But did you, in your three-
piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, ever take a look behind the
eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces
shaped him, what may have molded him? I am a hacker, enter my world…
Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of the
other kids, this crap they teach us bores me… Damn underachiever.
They’re all alike. I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to
teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction.
I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in
my head…” Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.
I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is
cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I
screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… Or feels threatened by
me.. Or thinks I’m a smart ass.. Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be
here… Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike. And then
it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through the phone line
like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is sent out,
a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board is found.
“This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone here… even
if I’ve never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them
again… I know you all… Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again.
They’re all alike… You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been
spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… the bits of
meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless.
We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few
that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are
like drops of water in the desert.
This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the
beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without
paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering
gluttons, and you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us
criminals. We seek after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We
exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias…
and you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you
murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it’s for our
own good, yet we’re the criminals.
Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is
that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.
My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never
forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop
this individual,but you can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike.
+++The Mentor+++

Hope you’ve enjoyed the read…


Jeep’s, and scantily clad women

It just doesnt get any better than this. I think i’ve found my new desktop wallpaper. 😉 I came across this picture set on Jeepaholics. It’s always nice to see classic jeeps, and modern hotness in the same images. -War