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 Which consisteded of 10 floppy disks, containing things like, The Nowhere Utilities, CyberPhreak, VCL, a bunch of old outdated warez serials, and a ton of text files!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... Enjoy! 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... -War

Hail Dammage.

So about 2 weeks ago, a nasty storm came through the area, I was at work, and my car was parked in the lot there. We hear a storm rolling in, and look out the windows, what do we see? HAIL! Nasty hail too! Some pieces as large as golf balls! Now, my vehicles have been caught in hail before, the last time i was driving a 1989 Chevy S-10 Blazer. I've never had hail actually dent a vehicle. Well currently i'm using a 2005 Dodge Neon as my daily driver. Let me tell you, they must make newer cars out of lighter metal or something, because my hood, roof, and trunk lid, look like someone pelted them with a paint ball gun, firing metal bearings! A guy i hunt with, who lives about 3 blocks from where I live, had his house and cars dammaged to the point where he's getting a pretty big settlement out of it. He's paying off his truck, re-siding his house, replacing a few AC units, windows, and putting a new roof on the place! I'd say that's some dammage! So i took the Neon to a body shop yesterday morning. Waited an hour for an estimate because theyre so swamped with other people who need to get their car's fixed from the hail. $1900! I couldnt believe that the dammage i got was going to cost $1900 to fix! Its a good thing i have a good car insurance company. All i need to pay is my deductable, and they're paying the rest. I'd call that a deal. They said that my car's actually pretty minor compared to some of the vehicles theyre getting in. There was a guy in state pickup there just before me, his estimate was $2500! There were so many cars in their parking lot, that it looked like a used car lot. I guess right now is a good time to be in autobody... :P -War

Credit Cards are Evil

Are you young? College kid maybe? Or perhaps just never owned a credit card, and youre thinking about applying? DONT DO IT! Credit cards are pure evil. Everyone has one anymore, and if they keep things under control, they love them. They just keep them for emergencies, or for that little spending once in a while.... Well, I'm telling you right now, theyre just a sick fuggin game that banks like to play. They take a kid right out of high school, or just getting into college, give him a $1500 limit, and a fscking ginormous interest rate, and make him think its a free pass to luxury. Well dont buy it! My first credit card has a modest $500 limit. I thought, how much trouble can i get myself into with a $500 limit? Well that wasnt the problem, i coul dhandle the $500 limit, even if i maxed it, at most it took me one or two paychecks to pay it off. But it built my credit up a little, so when i decided that it was time for a better card, i got one at $1500.... Still not terrible, a little more dangerous, but nothing to get too bent out of shape over, a few months of cutting my spending can cover $1500 right? Well before I knew it, i had a Discover Platinum card, with a $7500 limit! Before i knew it, i had a few THOUSAND DOLLARS worth of stuff charged to it! It adds up quick! After i got married, we consilidated a bunch of other junk on to that card, and maxed it.... Then i enrolled it, and a few other cards (between my wife and I) in a debt consolidation program, we pay $140 or so a month to that card... and guess what? From that $7500 that we started with... we just broke $6000. Un believeable. So, dont do it, dont get a credit card, dont fall into their game of interest rates, fee's, and bullshit. It's not worth it... -War


More functionality on the horizon! I've added the ability to post comments. Registered users can now post comments. Unfortunately, i'm the only registered user, and i havent written a sign-up process yet, so until i do.... you'll have to wait. :P -War

Check the cool title pic.

Added a title pic.. Which is slightly less lame than the word "Index" which i had there during development. I'm not graphic artist, but any stretch, so you have to deal with it. I could never figure out how to make a nice transparent background, see the distortion around the letters? No good. I'd never make it as a graphics guy.... Which is why I don't claim to be one! I'm an admin, I know Linux, Windows, Cisco, and a handful of languages. I don't need to make pretty graphics. If I cant take a picture of it, or swipe it from another site on the 'net, you wont see it here. heh -War

The mantis in your front yard

Or, my front yard rather. Last weekend we cleaned up the planter in front of our house, and planted some flowers. Well, the whole time we had a little visitor watching over our shoulders, i guess making sure we didn't ruin his hunting grounds. A Praying Mantis! He's probably about 4-5" long, and he's not planning on leaving from the looks of it. Today I went out to water the flowers, and plant two more that the wife had bought, and as I'm watering one of them, guess who comes running out from underneath? Our garden protector of course! So this time i decided to get some pictures. I ran inside and grabbed the Sony CyberShot (Love this camera by the way.. :P) cranked it up to its highest res. and snapped a few pics. The gallery can be found here: -War

Money for nothin, and the WoW's for Free!

Anyone who knows me, know's I've been into MMO's for almost 10 years now. I started with EQ at the beginning of 2000, and now being 2007, i guess that makes it 7 and a half years. Anyway, I like the idea of MMO's, but i've never liked the monthly subscription fee's. I understand why theyre necessary, but I just dont like paying a monthly fee for a game that I've already purchased! The last game that i actually paid for was WoW, I closed my account near the end of 2005, due to lack of time and at the time, lack of interest. Every game gets to the point where you just dont want to play anymore, and you need to take a break. Well i took a break, and found better uses for the monthly subscription fee, and never re-upped. Well, I miss it. Not just WoW, but the whole MMO scene. Financially, things have changed, and I still cant justify the monthly charges, so I've been hunting for something free, that might fill the void. Someone suggested Eve Online. While it's not free, they DO have a 14 day free trial. So I went ahead and signed up. What a phenominal game! I was about 90% sure i was going to buy a subscription once my trial ended, but on the day it ended, i changed my mind. Theyre fee's are something like $20 for the first month, and $15 thereafter (or close, check their website if you want to know for sure, what do i look like, an ad campeign?), and I couldn't see spending that monthly... So the trial expired, and i was left with no game, again. I did some more digging. I had toyed with a WoW server emulator a few months back, and i had it working! The playable game was so full of bugs though, that I just couldn't enjoy it. While I was researching the emulator I was using, i ran across publicly run free WoW servers, that actually host their servers on commercially hosted dedicated servers, and have an actual staff that maintain the world! They pay for all of this through donations. Enter, WoW-Sexy ( WoW-sexy is the name of a group who runs one of these servers, well, really, a few of them. They have a "Fun" server, which is a modified game, with a load of exp per kill, and non bliz-like (the term for blizzard like servers) content. Then they have a server which tries to mimic the live game as close as possible. It runs TBC, and has all of the current live content. It's still got its share of bugs, but it is VERY playable. The EXP is something like 3x live. which is ok imho, its not like a level per kill, but it does speed things up a bit. I play on this server, and it's very close to a live WoW experience. Some nights I can play all night and not run into a single bug, other nights, its a little frustrating, on the bright side, you can usually find a GM online, and get bugs taken care of. Check it out! Seriously, it's fun! -War


Have you ever built a firewall from scratch? Did you build it, thinking that you'd thought of everything, just to find out later than you missed something? I have... So when I decided to replace my old, tired, un-reliable Linksys SoHo router with a full blown firewall, I dug for pre-built linux-like firewall distributions. A co-worker turned me on to Smoothwall Express. It runs a linux kernel, iptables, and a host of custom written seciruty apps. On top of that, there's a whole team of coders/security guys working to develop it. AND you can download the whole source tree, and build it on your own! I downloaded the Smoothwall Express 3.0 Beta SP2 ISO. Installed it, and loved the features! A day or so later, I decided that I wanted to limit the number of simultaneous connections allowed to my BBS, so i tried to add an ip connlimit rule to iptables.... NO! Ip-connlimit is busted. So i took the smoothwall down in an effort to find a better solution. Well, no better solution exists. So I spent A MONTH working on building a custom, from source, smoothwall, with a patched, and working ip-connlimit module. The end result? A rock solid firewall, with a ton of nifty geeky tools, AND connection limiting. One of the developers even hinted that he might be taking my work, and putting it into the release! Pretty nice if you ask me. -War

An actual entry

I almost have a functional blog here... That just cant be. Can it? Not bad considering this is only my second attempt at php. I need some decent formatting, maybe a better look all around, but this is shaping up to be a decent page.