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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

smash a few things (286 comments)

CM is there for both preventing fuck ups and dealing with them when they occur. First things first: do you have a test environment? If not, build one. Do you have documented processes? If not, document them.

Proper change management ensures that: 1. people in the group know what is going on. 2. you have a second/third set of eyes to ensure that you have both a plan, a backout plan (or plan B in case it can't be backed out) and a test methodology to ensure that a change hasn't broken things. 3. to make you think about the implications of what you are doing, and 4. that business stakeholders are informed and know how to plan around any impact both expected and unforeseen.

If you aren't doing all of those things already, sorry dude but you are just winging it. That's efficient, etc. until one day it all goes horribly wrong and you need to figure it out on the fly how to get back to normality, with unpredictable outage durations, etc. All of that should be worked out before going live with your changes.

Yes, it sounds like a lot of faffing about for no real benefit, but really, one day it will save your arse. And really, you will be surprised at just how many effects even a single change to a production system can have.

2 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

smash Re:Automation (325 comments)

really? can you tell me the key you hit before Y?

about a week ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

smash lol (325 comments)

originally posted on another forum in 2006, it is now 2014. way to go, Slashdot!

about a week ago
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Navy Creates Fuel From Seawater

smash Re:Energy (256 comments)

Not necessarily. There is talk of energy being 10,000x more abundant for humanity if we were to put development into the LFTR reactor. If we have cheap electricity via safe nuclear power, then using some of it to generate fuel from sea-water is surely a lot better than putting the effort into getting it out of the ground and then shipping it half-way around the world.

Then again, with cheap nuclear power, we can also effectively supply hydrogen (which is obviously much cleaner) for other internal combustion engines.

about two weeks ago
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Navy Creates Fuel From Seawater

smash Re:They do. (256 comments)

Also, its about time we had another look at the LFTR reactors.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

smash Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

Um. When safety standards change in the industry I am in (Mining) they do actually require everyone to immediately replace what is "working" with something deemed to be safe against the particular mode of catastrophic failure that has been observed.

XP can be made safe if it is kept patched or isolated from the network. Choose one. If it is isolated, who cares. If it is not, then you're simply rolling the dice.

about two weeks ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

smash Re:hey google... (117 comments)

It's been on sale for more than the last 12 months, and it is a lot larger than GoogleTV or whatever they're calling it this week.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

smash Re:Why not upgrade to Chromebooks? (341 comments)

Sure. And the lowest risk option is Win7 32 bit. ChromeOS is a huge gamble.

about two weeks ago
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The Verge: Google Is Working on a TV Box Of Its Own

smash hey google... (117 comments)

... you're about 4-5 years late.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

smash Re:Why not upgrade to Chromebooks? (341 comments)

Add the cost of re-training, software compatibility testing, a pilot program, etc. and those costs will blow out MASSIVELY.

Anyone in IT worth their salt knows that the software license cost is a tiny part of the TCO or cost to change. There are huge amounts of other costs involved and they are really hard to calculate. Switching platforms is a risk. Switching from XP to say, 7 is a big enough risk with big enough costs and there's a high level of application compatibility there. Switching to ChromeOS? Lol. Even if the software and hardware was FREE, it would still cost money. A lot. A very difficult to calculate number. Business decision makers do not like large, difficult to calculate $ values for risk. With good reason: being able to budget effectively goes out the window.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

smash Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

No, but XP isn't a hammer. It's a much more complicated piece of equipment than that. To use a workshop analogy - it's say, a bandsaw or hydraulic press that no longer meets any current safety standards. It is end of life and either needs to have safeguards installed (in XP's case, isolation from the internet and the rest of your production network) or be replaced.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

smash Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

Also... it is a cost of doing business. We all have the same issues. If you're not going to be bloody careful to isolate it, you are running the gauntlet and need to do a risk assessment and come up with a contingency plan for when it all goes pear shaped. Once you've done the risk assessment, you make the call on what to do. That may be upgrade, it may be isolate until the equipment goes end of life.

Sitting on your hands and whining "waaah it is too expensive" is a cop out - not an action plan. You need an action plan.

about two weeks ago
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UK Government Pays Microsoft £5.5M For Extended Support of Windows XP

smash Re:... really 13 years to update? (341 comments)

You isolate it from the general users production network and the internet and move on. From the sounds of it, that device should be running an embedded OS and should be treated as such.

You no longer have support for bugs, etc. deal with it.

However, you have had better learn for next time that when you purchase a device worth 100k pounds there sure as shit better be some sort of support contract in place. Or you're going to end up in the same situation next time.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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www.google.com blocked by Microsoft Anti-Malware products

smash smash writes  |  more than 2 years ago

smash writes "It would appear that a recent definition update or change to www.google.com has caused the site to be registered as a (false?) positive for Blacole.BW a javascript exploit. So far, it looks like at least Forefront TMG malware inspection, and Microsoft Security Essentials are affected."
Link to Original Source
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Congress wants to spy on your internet

smash smash writes  |  more than 2 years ago

smash writes "Taking a leaf from Steven Conroy's book, the US congress wants to spy on its citizens internet usage under the premise of going after child pornographers. But of course everyone else's browsing will be under surveillance as well. Won't somebody think of the children?"
Link to Original Source
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What if the internet was turned off?

smash smash writes  |  more than 2 years ago

" rel="nofollow">smash writes "With recent actions by the government in egypt to turn the internet off in the face of revolution, what would you lose if access to the internet was turned off? With everything moving to IP (voip, video, online banking, e-mail, news delivery, internet radio, etc) just how stranded would you be if it was to all be turned off?"
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Internet Explorer 9 released

smash smash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smash writes "Whether you hate IE or not, the good news is that IE9 final is finally out. With newer Microsoft produts (eg, Sharepoint 2010, FOPE, etc.) dropping IE6 support the availability of an IE that is finally at least somewhat standards compliant and with improved performance is surely a good thing."
Link to Original Source
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internet explorer 9 beta is out

smash smash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

" rel="nofollow">smash writes "Internet Explorer 9 beta was just released into the wild, bringing a first real test-drive of vastly improved standards compliance and an accelerated rendering pipeline to those stuck in environments that include software that mandates internet explorer. Whilst its not ever likely to be a slashdot crowd favorite, improved standards compliance can't be a bad thing."
Link to Original Source
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Australian internet in safe hands

smash smash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smash writes "Senator Conroy, Australia's minister for communications recently demonstrated his fine understanding of internet service delivery and his powerful command of the english language in a recent communique to the Australian people. Australia LOL'd."
Link to Original Source
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how to market music, by trent reznor

smash smash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smash writes "How to Destroy Angels is a new band featuring Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame. The first EP is available as a free MP3 download, 2 dollar upgrade for downloadable high-def, or free with any other merchandise purchase. Given that the distribution cost for the album is pretty close to free, the pricing seems fair. Is this the future distribution model for entertainment media? How can traditional publishers expect to charge physical media distribution prices for digital downloads, when any artist can set themselves up to distribute via the internet like this?"
Link to Original Source
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$40k per URL for aussie web filter

smash smash writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smash writes "After several years of debate and electioneering, some statistics on the Australian national web filtering effort have been disclosed. Apparently, the typical Aussie web surfer is 70 times more likely to win the national lotto than stumble across a blocked page. Additionally, despite the claim that the main aim of the filter is to block child pornography, only 313 of the 977 total sites blocked is on the basis of child porn. At $40m AU so far in taxpayers funds, the cost so far is around $40,900 per blocked URL. Government efficiency at work..."
Link to Original Source
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Nine inch Nails ditch label

smash smash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

smash writes "After much public comment on the record industry in general and and his label in particular, barely a week after Radiohead, Trent Reznor has ditched his label and will focus on sales via the net. Read the scoop here. Is this the beginning of the end for the RIAA?"
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The polling poll poll.

smash smash writes  |  more than 6 years ago

smash writes "Did you tell the truth on the slashdot polling poll?

  • yes
  • no
"

Journals

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2006

smash smash writes  |  more than 8 years ago Well, time for my bi-annual journal update...

Since last post, I've quit my old job, worked freelance for 6 months, scored a new job, and just about gotten myself out of debt :)

I'm not working on a remote minesite, doing all sorts of geek stuff, ranging from wireless networking, to PABX configuration, to AD administration, to firewalling, to maintaining a large cisco spanning tree ethernet network, etc.

All good fun and a huge learning opportunity.

Looking to actually do some courses at some point in the near future, with a view to actually *learning* stuff i don't yet know, as opposed to just scoring paper certs for stuff I can do in my sleep.

Considering Java app development, as it seems to be fairly multipurpose, and well entrenched.

In my spare time, I've decided to get into club level motorsport - JDM spec Nissan 180sx with around 300hp at the rears, coilovers, sway bars, etc, etc...

And that's pretty much it.

Will try to update this more regularly :)

smash.

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moving right along...

smash smash writes  |  more than 9 years ago Well, time to get another job. Just recently handed in my notice, I've had enough.

Not really much more to add, my last day is next friday. Anyone looking for a unix/networking guy in the Perth, Western Australia area (part time work preferred, starting my own business), please feel free to email me :D

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IPsec under BSD - update

smash smash writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, so far so good.

The wireless IPsec link has been working flawlessly - the only problems I have encountered so far have been key lifetimes (they're too far short by default), and a power outage. The link is point to point via a middle hop, and this device is in another companies office.

They had an extended power outage the other day, and comms were lost...

Not too bad - over 3 months uptime without a hiccup :)

I'm still halfway through writing up the documentation - it will be linked here when its finished.

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IPSec in FreeBSD

smash smash writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, I've been setting up a wireless link between 2 of our offices at work lately, and I don't trust WEP encryption anymore than I trust Microsoft IIS, so I've been playing with IPSec in tunnel mode under FreeBSD.

Each end of the link is run by a Linksys WAP11 access point, hooked up to a FreeBSD firewall box running IPSec in tunnel mode.

The IPSec documentation is a little confusing on this type of setup, as it goes on about setting up a gif interface to use for tunnelling, however as far as I can see, its not required.

In my situation, instead of setting up a gif interface, I simply ended up using the NIC connected to the wireless bridge in its place - running tcpdump on either end is showing the packets as being ESP encrypted, so as far as I can see it all looks sweet.

Think I'll try putting together some documentation on it and submitting...

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FreeBSD 5.0

smash smash writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, I downloaded and installed FreeBSd 5.0 the other day, and it seems that the installer is a little bit screwy - in particular, it failed to newfs my /var slice, and as a result it wasn't mounted, and /var was unpacked under the root.

I rebooted, manually newfs'd and moved /var from the root to it, but I'm guessing some permissions didn't come across properly, as X, and vi complained about access to /var/tmp.

Couldn't be bothered sorting it out, and went back to 4.7 for the time being...

Think I'll wait for 5.0.1 or 5.1 - some of the new features are very enticing (proper threads, devfs, etc), but for the time being, 4.7 works well enough for me :)

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