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A Chat With USENIX Community Manager Rikki Endsley (Video)

Bandman I'm a USENIX Blogger at LISA12 (40 comments)

I would suggest to anyone who thinks that USENIX conferences are solely for graybeards who walk around wearing suspenders, flipping nickels at people, then you should take a few minutes to read through the training program from LISA12. Not only is there the old standard Linux stuff, there are also great classes on building AWS infrastructures, cloudstack, PowerShell, and tons more. It's really pretty great.

about a year and a half ago
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A Day In the Life of a "Booth Babe"

Bandman Re:An interesting approach (687 comments)

The neon sign parallel doesn't have the side effect of causing us to disregard women in booths, whether they're knowledgeable or not. (and yes, I'm the author of the blog linked to)

more than 2 years ago
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Passwords Are the Weakest Link In Online Security

Bandman Irony (277 comments)

Does anyone else find it ironic that they're using information obtained from a cracked server to determine that the weakest security is the password? Anyway, I think the passwords are only weak because the users get to choose them, and *users* are the weakest link in the security chain.

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Alleged To Have Backdoored OpenBSD's IPSEC Stack

Bandman Re:But but but (536 comments)

If it's true about the OpenBSD vulnerability, and that Theo was unaware, then given their method (and apparent motivation), I don't see why it's unfeasible that they wouldn't have done it in multiple software stacks.

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Alleged To Have Backdoored OpenBSD's IPSEC Stack

Bandman Re:But but but (536 comments)

If the allegations against the FBI are true, and they had contractors successfully hide a weakness in a hugely successful open source project like OpenBSD, can't you at least conceive that it would be possible for them to have insiders at Microsoft that have done something similar? Microsoft wouldn't have to be aware, as Theo apparently wasn't.

more than 3 years ago
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What Tech Should Be In a Fifth-Grade Classroom?

Bandman I do something similar (325 comments)

except I explain modern technology to Benjamin Franklin. It's a fun way to look at the modern world (and you learn to question your assumptions. Even tried to explain TV to an 18th century scientist?)

more than 3 years ago
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Twitter Suffers Web Interface Exploit

Bandman You mean... (165 comments)

there are people who aren't using hootsuite?

more than 3 years ago
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Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day

Bandman Re:I did my part. (108 comments)

Ticket closed. Resolution: Beer Acquired.

more than 4 years ago
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Why don't we buy sysadmin books anymore?

Bandman Re:The answer is google (4 comments)

You're right...that's pretty much what I've been doing now for quite a while. The idea of a world in which those technical books don't exist does frighten me a little, though.

more than 4 years ago
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Why don't we buy sysadmin books anymore?

Bandman Re:The answer is google (4 comments)

That is an interesting idea.

I am worried, though, about the quality of online-only docs. I mean, I'm one of those sick people who actually /likes/ to write documentation, and even I don't like documenting the boring stuff...but if you get a good book, that's exactly what you'll get. The boring stuff is documented in as much detail as the exciting stuff, and sometimes it's the boring stuff that's going to save you in a corner case.

I might be wrong, and I hope I am.

more than 4 years ago
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Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

Bandman Re:Security through obscurity? (1015 comments)

Na, it's cool. I've seen this one. They're allergic to water.

more than 4 years ago
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Don't Talk To Aliens, Warns Stephen Hawking

Bandman Re:You are missing the point (1015 comments)

Meh, it's habitable because we grew up here. Anyone else might not like it so much.

Sort of like Jersey.

more than 4 years ago
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Cows On Treadmills Produce Clean Power For Farms

Bandman Re:Food? (640 comments)

You can't just compare like that. You've got to look at volume.

For instance, you say cow farts are "natural" sources. Natural how? As in, because they're produced by animals? How would you explain the unnatural population of animals that we've bred into being, solely for consumption? All of those extra animals contribute, too, but can't be considered "natural", at least in the way you were meaning it.

The truth is that there is not, never was, and can't be, a single canonical "right" amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. We're living in a world that changes drastically over the course of 10,000 years. Millions of years ago, insects were the size of us, just because of a _slight_ change in the O2 percentage in the atmosphere. Was that wrong? Or was that right? How about a few millions of years before that, when CO2 was king, and plants evolved because it was the most plentiful, and they exuded a caustic gas, O2?

This biosphere adapts. The animals (including us) come and go, and change and adapt to the circumstances of thousands and millions of years, but there's no "wrong" or "right", there's only "right now".

Now, you could argue from the point of view that since we're the dominant form of life, most intelligent, and technologically advanced, we have a sort of noblesse oblige to "fix" things. Especially since there's evidence that we "broke" them.

There's a sort of universal guilt among the ecologically-friendly people that attempts to repent for their lifestyle. "Carbon credits", for one. Buying organic food, for another. People feel guilty for their "footprint" and try to buy the new age equivalent of indulgences. "I fly a lot, so I buy carbon credits". Great. I mean, not as good as not flying, but at least you feel better about yourself. "I buy organic because pesticides hurt the environment". Awesome. Unfortunately, you had to work nearly twice as much to pay for those organic foods, not to mention that it's unbelievably inefficient, and much more susceptible to disease than the cheaper, prettier, just-as-healthy food 20 feet down the row at the grocery store.

We need to get past the guilt for breaking our planet, because we haven't. It isn't broken. We might have changed our planet, but it's not broken. As soon as we change the terminology, we can stop focusing on the guilt, and start focusing on what's really happening. We want to change the planet again, but in the other direction. We want to change it, because it's going to be more comfortable for us like that. It's what we're used to. It's how we like it, and we (might) have the technology to do it. So stop concentrating on guilt, and start concentrating on the real goal. We're being selfish, by trying to adjust the planet for our own gain, and there's nothing wrong with that. We've been doing it ever since we killed the first snakes that lived under the rocks we were moved when we built the first house. It's only a matter of scale.

more than 4 years ago
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DevOps: Sysadmin meet Developer and Vice-Versa

Bandman The branches separated for a while... (1 comments)

....but I don't think the separation will last. I remain firmly convinced that sysadmins are becoming developers.

We're not (necessarily) developing software, we're developing infrastructures, and the techniques (and in some cases, the tools) are becoming more and more similar.

more than 4 years ago
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Space Junk Getting Worse

Bandman Re:Options (242 comments)

We'll just put them on a defenseless remote Pacific island and check up on them every year or so. Nothing bad will happen, I'm sure of it.

more than 4 years ago
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xkcd, Devotion To Duty

Bandman Re:Excellent timing (167 comments)

and risk zombie orphans? Are you crazy?!?

more than 4 years ago
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Intel Details Upcoming Gulftown Six-Core Processor

Bandman Re:Are most programmes multi-processor? (219 comments)

In enterprise computing (the target market for this tech), these processors will be used for one of two things:

Virtualization: You stuff a machine full of these processors, then run 50 guest machines on it. Three machines like that contain more processing power than my entire infrastructure did 3 years ago.

Niche: Stuff a machine full of these processors, then crunch numbers. I've got a pair of 12 core machines with 32GB of RAM apiece that do nothing but monte carlo simulations...and that's not even particularly big for a lot of people.

These multicore processors won't be running web browsers, unless it's because they're hosting a dozens of virtualized desktops that users are working on over the network.

more than 4 years ago
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Neural Nets Make Art While High

Bandman Re:Self-promotion AND false controversy? (165 comments)

Sorry, but if the project is cool and interesting, what's the problem? You get mad because someone submitted an interesting link to their project, and the editors agreed that it was interesting enough to warrant inclusion?

I'm not seeing the problem.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Conferences - Are Smaller Better?

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Bandman writes "Tom Limoncelli, author of 'The Practice of System and Network Administration', discusses how difficult it is for geeks to build real-life communities if you live outside of a couple high-density tech-oriented areas.

The solution he has in mind are regional conferences devoted to specific topics. He's going to be speaking at the NJ-based PICC'11, but even long-running events like PAX started as a small conference meant to build community.

Having a small group of organizers dedicated to building a local community seems to be more economical for everyone involved, and leads to events where everyone can take a bigger part in the process."

Link to Original Source
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SysAdmin Conferences Go Local

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Bandman writes "Last year, the NJ chapter of LOPSA organized the first "local" SysAdmin conference, meant to be a smaller, more inexpensive option compared to a national conference like LISA or SAGE-AU.

This year, the Seattle chapter is joining the fray with the Cascadia IT Conference, and the NJ-based Professional IT Community Conference is returning in a big way.

Last year's technical sessions are now online, so you can get a taste of what's going on with these local conferences."

Link to Original Source
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Defining DevOps

Bandman Bandman writes  |  about 4 years ago

Bandman (86149) writes "DevOps is a trend that has been taking the sysadmin world by storm. The idea of co-mingling sysadmins and develops sounds foreign to too many people (and sounds old-hat to others), but like it or not, the movement has a big foothold.

The author attempts to sow seeds of understanding with a standard definition, stripped of all the "touchy-feely stuff": "DevOps is an increased interaction and interdependency between developers and operations staff""

Link to Original Source
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Why don't we buy sysadmin books anymore?

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bandman (86149) writes "Our needs for good information and documentation have not changed, but the way that we get it has. The ebook revolution has made physical shelves of sysadmin books endangered species. A bigger issue may be that even ebook sales of books related to system administration have not been selling. Somewhere along the line, people stopped buying things like "DNS and Bind" or "Sed & Awk".

Has our need for documentation changed, or just our sources of it?"

Link to Original Source
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XenClient: User Review

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bandman (86149) writes "Last week was Synergy, and annual product annoucement / cheerleading session from Citrix. At Synergy, Citrix announced XenClient, the next logical step in the progression of desktop virtualization, namely a bare metal hypervisor designed to run on end-user laptops.

Blogger Matt Simmons grabbed a spare laptop and spent some time playing. He shared his thoughts (and pictures) of the process."

Link to Original Source
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Dell Removes (then reinstates) 3rd Party Drive Sup

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Bandman (86149) writes "Back in February, a posting by Dell rep Howard Shoobe alerted us to the fact that Dell was removing the ability to use non-Dell branded drives in the Poweredge server line, when configured with the PERC H700/H800. There was immediate backlash.

Recently, however, Dell backpedaled on their stance, saying that third party drives would be able to be used, but not officially supported. This much more agreeable stance was brought about by the thousands of Dell customers who railed against the change. The news is that, apparently, Dell listens."

Link to Original Source
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The Future of System Administration

Bandman Bandman writes  |  about 5 years ago

Matt Simmons writes "System Administration is changing. Where once, we logged into machines to make them work, we've progressed to managing-through-programming, and we're becoming developers in addition to administrators.

This is an interesting layer of abstraction between us and the machines. I've always thought that, regardless of how far the rest of the society was from the cogs of technology, sysadmins would always need to know the underlying mechanisms of how things worked. With the current tools and trends, that's looking less and less like reality. We can automate virtual machines to be created, installed, and configured all by pressing a single button. What happened to the fun of blinkenlights?"

Link to Original Source
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A strong business case for IPv6

Bandman Bandman writes  |  about 5 years ago

Matt Simmons writes "There are many arguments for and against the adoption of IPv6, but it's undeniable that IPv4 address blocks are dwindling. As of April, just over 10% were still unassigned.

Contrary to a lot of the FUD out there, the internet will NOT break when we run out of new addresses. Instead, new internet access will be provided via IPv6 addresses. With the eventual rise of internet access in emerging markets, it seems unavoidable that these new markets will come online with IPv6.

That means that if you don't want to be seen as a second class internet presence, you should be developing an IPv6 migration plan, at least if your company is at all interested in doing business with nearly limitless potential clients. Ignoring this future market could be disastrous to your company's financial future."

Link to Original Source
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Manage stress before it kills you

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bandman writes "Many IT geeks suffer from extreme stress. In many cases, this comes from our professional lives, but our personal lives play a part in this as well. The effects can be dramatic, from lingering illness due to a compromised immune system all the way up to death from cardiac arrest. As an IT admin, I have a lot of stress in my life, but fortunately I got a warning sign before it was too late. I learned ways to deal with it, and wrote an article to help others release some stress from their lives."
Link to Original Source
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Is ATA over Ethernet a viable option to save money

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Matt Simmons writes "During the past few days, I have been researching storage. I've been concentrating on iSCSI, since I was trying to keep costs down, and fiber switches are pretty expensive for my small infrastructure.

While researching, I found out about ATA Over Ethernet (AoE). There seems to be a lot of disagreement about whether it's "ready for the enterprise", while other people use it in their large organizations without complaint.

I'd like some opinions from people who have used it and switched or people who still use it. What are the facts and caveats that only come from experience?"

Link to Original Source
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IT Administrator Job (dis)Satisfaction Survey

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Matt Simmons writes "I've been an IT admin for 6-7 years now, and I've noticed that we don't seem to have a consistent work experience. It seems like some people are members of admin teams where people trade off responsibilities while others get stuck with the weight of the world on their shoulders. To combat this lack of knowledge, I drew up a quick 10 question survey at SurveyMonkey (a great site for building surveys). I call it the IT Administrator Job (dis)Satisfaction Survey.

Please take it. It will only use a few seconds of your time, and every result helps to add to the shared knowledge of our positions. The results will be posted at Standalone Sysadmin after the survey closes on December 16th."

Link to Original Source
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Linux authentication against Active Directory

Bandman Bandman writes  |  about 6 years ago

Bandman writes "I've been looking for something to integrate my Linux/Mac corporate environment with Windows Active Directory for a while. I was hoping for centralized authentication at best. As I found out, Likewise Software has produced two products, the free Likewise Open and the commercial Likewise Enterprise, both of which provide much more than just a centralized repository for accounts. I wrote a review of Likewise Open, but I don't have enough experience with Active Directory to really do Likewise Enterprise justice. If you've been trying for a long time to integrate the Linux and Windows worlds, this is the easiest way to do it."
Link to Original Source
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Does NAT need a new lease on life?

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bandman writes "NetworkWorld has a front page article entitled "Slow move to IPv6 giving NAT a new life".

I didn't know NAT needed saving, and I guess I didn't realize that acceptance of IPv6 was so impending. Even if it is, does IPv6 necessarily mean that NAT is going away? Doesn't this have potential security implications, or is that oldspeak?

Is your organization gearing up for the network transition? Where should someone interested in making the transition begin? Any tales from people who have done it?"

Link to Original Source
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Best DNS naming scheme for small/medium businesses

Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bandman writes "My business just purchased a couple dozen blades, and with our existing servers, this brings us to around 60 machines. We're geographically dispersed, and most of the users who need to connect to servers are not technical (if that matters). We used to use theme-based naming schemes, but we've been migrating to a more utilitarian system. I think it's clearer and more concise, but I've had some feedback from users who didn't find it understandable. What do you use for your internal DNS schemes? How big is your network, and what do you recommend for future expansion? Does it matter to your users at all?"
Link to Original Source
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Bandman Bandman writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bandman writes "As the Systems Administrator of my company, I have a hand in deciding on hardware to order.Despite what some folks say, my datacenter isn't going anywwhere. Previously, we used mostly Dell servers, but their quality and support, for us, at least, has gone down hill (YMMV). Where do you get your servers in your datacenters? What companies do you recommend?"

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