Saturday, November 29, 2003

A Popped Grape
A few years ago, I worked with a guy named Dean. Nice guy, worked as a saleman for our company. Unfortunately, he never sold anything, and he liked to look at porn on the clock. But that's a whole different story. Dean had high blood pressure. On some days his face was all red and he would shake a little bit. He would joke with me about it, and say things like "the Deansters going to just pop", or "I feel like a grape getting ready to be popped". And he looked that way too.

I know nothing about high blood pressure, other than I seem to have a case of it. It started with me feeling really strange, and getting red in the face. My chest would ache, I felt very tense, and I just suddenly realized, "I was a grape!". A couple of times I was asked "why is your face all red?". So I did what any concerned person would. I went to the grocery store and stuck my arm in one of those machines that check your weight and blood pressure. The first time I tried it I was in teh very high normal range. No sweat. But I wasn't really 'feeling it' at the time. A few days later, I was feeling like 'the grape', and I was at the grocery, so I gave it another shot. I don't know what "Hypertensive" means exactly, but it was flashing red with all sorts of warnings so I know that's not good.

So what the hell causes high blood pressure?

  • Diet - Too much fat, not enough veggies.
  • Excercise - Stand up once in a while and walk around.
  • Stress - Get a new job.

That seems to be about the right order too. Which tells me I need to eat better, and just chill out.

Anyhow, I love thanksgiving. This is a bad time to think about 'eating better', because I have been eating like a fucking pig. You're supposed to this time of year right? Just half an hour ago I stuffed a turkey into the oven for dinner tonight. He is a healthy 20 pounder. We will be enjoying him with sides of stuffing, sweet potato caserole, and possibly some mashed potatoes. Yum.

Well ... about time to rotate and baste that turkey.

Historic Comments
You're a hard man to find an email address for. Email me!
Zachary Miller | Homepage | 07.22.05 - 7:15 am | #

Also, I guess I could post it to you. That might help. znmiller at sbcglobal dot net
Zachary Miller | Homepage | 07.22.05 - 7:16 am | #

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Wireless Retards

Unfortunately retarded people are not a good source of wireless networking. If they were, I would have myself the wireless equivelant of an OC-768 out here. It's 7:23AM here in Warrensville Ohio. I just drove a couple of hours to get here to teach an Office Integration 2000 course here at a State Run retardation care community. At least the second half of it as I understand. I am guessing really. This course was supposed to be completed by another instructor who put it off, and then got sick for two weeks. So lucky me, I get to finish it off.

I have not been here in months. It's been nice. We have no network connectivity here. We did at one time. But one day, the connection went dead. I inquired with the local administrator here and he was a snooty little bastard. Looks like we stepped on his toes. I was very nice on the phone, but it didn't cheer him up at all. I imagine that if I managed a network for retards, I would be an asshole too. He did not want our classroom on his network. Nobody asked him about it. So when he 'found' it on his network, he pulled the plug from the wiring closet. He sure showed us! The conversation ended something like this.

Me: Well, I am sorry that we were on your network. I certainly hope our network did not harm yours?
Mr. Switzer: No, but again nobody asked me about it.
Me: Right, sorry again about that.
Me: Hey, are you related to a Shane Switzer in Columbus?
Mr. Switzer: No, I'm not (sounding annoyed).
Me: All right, well thanks for your time.
Mr. Switzer: Uh-huh. *click*
Me: How you doin'? Hello? How's your babies?
*dial tone*

Now I am in the middle of nowhere, with no network to speak of. It really sucks. When I rolled in this morning I was overjoyed to have picked up a signal. But it's several buildings away, and far too weak to make it's way to where I will be. And I would rather not roam the halls around here. There's retards everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. You couldn't swing a laptop bag here without striking a blow to one. I have all ready heard my favorite retard wandering the halls this morning. She will ask you "How you doin?" and usually before you can answer that question, she asks "How's your babies?". This is the extent of her conversation skills. She is retarded afterall. So I always answer with something to the effect of "I'm great", and "they're just fine". But sometimes I get the feeling she just doesn't even care. Damn retards are so inconsiderate. She's all ready up the hall asking someone else about their babies.

Now I should probably get this classroom ready. I think they come in here at 8:00. But then, there is no way to know for sure. Since the previous instructor left me no paperwork.

8:05AM - Normally my students would come strolling in about now. But not this morning. I just called back to the office in Columbus. I have a class from 10 to 2:00PM with NO evening class. That makes me happy. I am a bit disturbed that I was 2 and a half hours early for class. But I don't care. I am just happy I won't be trapped here all day. Thank you o' Lord.

I am sick of working on my resume. I like it. I'm ready to mail it pending some peer approval. So now I think I will look through what I captured in the way of networks this morning with Audrey.

GRDAP1 is the one that's right around the corner, just out of reach. If I wasn't so lazy I might drive over there and leech it. But the parking lot is probably filling up now with staff so it would be a bad time to idle there. Well aren't we proud. Congratulations, you WEP'd it dudes. What we are seeing here is the Goofus and Gallant of networking. The upper guy WEP'd everything, the lower guy secured nothing. These buildings are only about 300 feet apart. Perhaps they thought the SSID was their biggest concern, so they hid it. That will make it harder to connect surely. But still pretty easy to grab data from.

My capture runneth over! Damn you Cisco and your clever WiFi traps! I forgot Cisco has an office up this way. As I pass it on the freeway I am bombarded with hundreds of non-existent access points all at once. It makes me want to go exploring Cisco even more. If I could make my way through this haze, and attack their network anyway, wouldn't I be cool? Bah, I'm sure any real AP's in there are WEP'd.

3m3ra1d - DUDE J00 ARE TEH L33T!!!

ashlandscales - I can't be 100 percent sure, but I think this access point is attached to a weigh station for the highway patrol. It would make sense. I understand some trucks are WiFi equipped to provide quick trade offs of information for their "home base".

Sounds like a nickname for 'giving someone the finger' doesn't it? The FlyingJ is a gas station and also an eatery. It's one of those havens for truckers that slightly resembles the Star Wars Cantina. Among other things, they feature 2 full service counters, a foodery, baked goods, a CB shop, DVD selections, pay showers, and an Internet Station. These are little booths that you chuck 5 bucks into and then you can surf the web for a while. Silly. Sillier yet, is that you can sit in their parking lot and use their connection for free. Save the five bucks and put it towards some of those silver ladies mud flaps in aisle 3.

Hello Mr. Car Salesman. I would like to purchase a car at cost. I have those figures here with me. If you will not sell me the car at cost, I am afraid I will have to mail these figures to your past 200 customers. They may be irritated when they find what your markup is on these vehicles.

A neighborhood that would like to be explored. Applejacks? But if it doesn't taste like apples, why do you like it? Them: "We just do, all right?". Sorry. That was an Apple Jacks cereal commercial joke.

Now here is something interesting. I have had people ask me "Ray, if the SSID is hidden how do you connect to it?". My answer is generally, "if I look under the networks available, there are blank lines I can click on".

But then the SSID must not be hidden, it must be blank. If it's hidden, I should be asked to put in the SSID. So look at the above picture. We have a blank one, a hidden one (its' marked hidden) and then another blank. Odd. Perhaps I have been confusing "hidden" with "blank". I will have to explore this on my next war-driving expedition. Hopefully Discount Man and I will hold one this weekend.

That is about the extent of the interesting things I found this morning. I have spared you the countless 'linksys' and 'default' SSID's I came across. Not bad considering I hit every one of those from a highway where I was passing them at 80 MPH. You see, these things WANT to be explored. They are calling out to me as I speed by them.

Current Mood: Comfortably numb.
Musical Inspirations: Moby's 18 album, and Lord's Of Acid's Lust (The Most Wonderful Girl) I WANNA TOUCH MYSALF'!!
Casualties Of War
Just got back into town. Man is it good to be home. We were only gone for 2 days, but it seemed much longer. And now it feels good to be in my own bed, with Audrey in my lap, blogging again. Oh yeah, and Casualties Of War is on one of the movie channels. Michael J. and Seann Penn in their finest team-up film.

On Saturday we took the trip from Ohio on down into Huntington West Virginia. Oddly enough, I had a map to get there. About a year ago we took a trip to Virginia beach, and we must have passed through this town. The trip took about 3 hours. Once in town, we checked into our room at the Red Roof Inn. What a dump. The recliner had cigarette holes burned into it. The bed had big mattress dents. And we discovered later that we didn't even get shampoo. Nevermind about the missing iron and coffee maker I was supposed to have. The extra 10 bucks I paid for the room only got me a little desk that my huge laptop didn't even fit on.

The only good thing about the hotel is that there was an access point right across the street. I was happy because I thought I might be able to hit an AP from the room. We hit lots of access points. In fact, for being such a small town, they sure had a LOT of access points. My wife had Audrey in her lap and was reading me off SSID's and who was WEP'd as they sprung up.

Once inside the hotel, we got dressed up in our wrinkled clothes, and then it was back in the car to go find the funderal home. It was a short ways from the hotel. We were just outside of downtown, and the funeral home was on the other side. Downtown was only about 10 small blocks of single story buildings. It was actually a nice little town.

One we made our way to the wake, we greeted the few relatives we knew of this man and made some small talk with friends. It was a while before we got into the line to the casket. Once there, it was awkward. We were not direct relatives, or really direct friends. But we wanted to support Arthur Jr. Art Jr. is my wifes, brothers, 'special friend'. Basically, they are partners. The church doesn't like to accept that some people are gay, and have homosexual relationships. Therefore they are 'special friends'. I'm getting away from the story. There we are at the casket, greeting the widow. She is a very sweet woman. And her husband was an extremely nice man.

Looking at him in the casket was like seeing a stranger. I hadn't seen him in more than a year. We usually conversed with him at parties and get togethers around the fourth of July. But within a year, he had taken ill with a disease that ended his life quickly.

It was painful for the family. They had just recently all been together to celebrate the couples 40th wedding anniversery. I got the impression that they knew this might be their last anniversery party together. And that made you feel even worse. Arthur Wills was only 61 years old. And up until 1 year ago he was a perfectly healthy, happy man.

This morning we woke up around 8:30AM. It was nice sleeping in, even if it was in a dirty hotel bed. I was so ready for breakfast. Rotary's brother called inviting us to go to a park. We declined. Instead we went to Shoneys for a greasy breakfast buffet. The food wasn't bad. It wasn't fine dining, but it was all you can eat redneck style. I was pleased until I got a $17.55 bill. Whoah! No wonder they feed you so well here.

We had a lot of time to waste before funeral services. Several hours. So we did some shopping. But we didn't want to drive too far away from the small dowtown area where the funeral home was located. Wouldn't want to come to a funeral late. We hit a few shops, and then I just had to pull a quick war drive.

With Audrey in my wifes lap, I drove down the Marshall University strip. Access Points galore. Most un-WEP'd. The problem was, no parking. Like most campus areas, you need a special parking pass to go anywhere.

After cruising a few residential areas, I came across a nice strong signal, with a good parking spot. Location? Someone's law office. I know, because the building said "LAW OFFICES" on it. Pretty cheap looking law firm. I hopped right onto their access point, and grabbed an IP address. By subtracting a number, I found the one other compuer on this network and attached to it. Username: guest Password: guest

It was Windows XP. So I should have only had access to "ShareDocs" which never has anything in it. Here is what I got.

So basically, some weenie went against Windows XP's better judgement and shared the entire C: drive. I immediately went in and started poking around. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, but I didn't find anything all that interesting. Some documents, a few odd programs that must be DOS based. I took a .wpd file from a Documents folder. I think it's a Word Perfect Document. Which, when opened with a plain text editor can be made somewhat readable. Just some losers file. Boring really. We decided to move on.

Our search for a coffee shop was hopeless. In this small town everything is closed on Sunday. So on to the funeral we went. It was a tremendous turn-out. We seated ourselves in the rear of the parlor to let the familys have the front seats. After a while, the funeral patrons were bringing out extra chairs to seat people behind us. Art Wills was a loved man, with lots of friends.

The service was really nice. They had a friend of the church lead the service, versus a minister. And they had a man sing some songs such as "amazing grace", and oddly enough "wind beneathh my wings". I hate the song, but it was done very tastefully. When that song hit the radios, it made me want to vomit. And the fact that everyone was acting like it was the song of the century made it worse. To top it off, this song means a lot to my wife who lost her aunt. It was very emotional.

We went on to the cemetary where two highly decorated soldiers removed and folded a flag that covered Art Wills casket. Very respectful. Art was a vietnam veteran. We then went by to the widows house where the family returned.

It was very uncomfortable, but I was glad we went. It seemed to be more family than anything else. And the night before my wife and I had a brief conversation with the widow that made me glad we made the trip. She told us how happy she was that we came. And how happy she has been to have Michael (my wifes brother) around during this dificult time. She told us how they compliment one another. And she shared some stories about how they were opposites of each other which always gave them a strong marriage. As she spoke with us, I looked around at all the photos. It was like a timeline of their loving marriage. It was terribly saddening.

This trip has served as a reminder that all good things come to an end. One day, my marriage will end. Not in divorce, but in death. It certainly makes you appreciate who you have in life.

It's getting late now, and I am beat. My wife is all ready dead asleep, and I am not far behind her.

Historic Comments
I hope you get arrested, what you did is illegal and connecting your wireless card to a CB antenna more than likely fried it's transmitter
Anonymous | 09.28.05 - 9:53 pm | #

Thursday, November 20, 2003

my favorite is cheer

Today's oddball title was stolen from a student I had this morning who was 'fat fingering' in a mail message to send to a partner. I was showing them how to use Outlook Express as documented in Windows 2000 Module II form Computer Prep. He intended to say something about enjoying cherry pie. But when he spelled cherry wrong, he didn't know how to correct it. So he just stopped typing. This simple phrase gave me a chuckle on an otherwise ho-hum day.

I was dreading coming back to this location in the forest this morning. Once I was here it wasn't so bad. I only had two students for my morning class. And they were pretty good students. They learned a little bit about folder structuring, file names, and even a few tidbits about e-mail. I am now between classes and dreading my 4 to 8 PM class. I all ready have about 8 people in the class, and there will be a 9th tonight. Trying to do simple labs becomes difficult when nearly all of your students have a hard time interpreting instructions. It gets even tougher when they begin reaching over and helping each other out. In fact, I had a guy Tuesday night look at the background properties of windows and tell his partner "you can have this thing look for new wallpaper on your computer". "How?", she asked. "You click there where it says search", he yells back. That got my attention. Had he discovered some new feature? Then the girl hollers back to him, "Uhm ... that says *stretch*". They're not all bright bulbs.

I have spent my day rather well. I just put a good hour into my resume and cover letter for a position I am applying for. I know it's not good to obsess over something like this ... but that's how I am. Perhaps it's part of that manic depressive living deep inside of me. Once i start thinking about something I want, it won't go away. Now I am spending endless hours of time working toward it. It's going to turn into depression when I find out that this position has all ready been filled. But I'm going to try and imagine that's not the case. I have to be optimistic. Even so, I will have worked pretty hard on a resume. And that's a good first step to admitting it's time to do something else with my career.

I like training. If I get out of it, there will be things I will miss. Namely the performance. When you teach to a group, you are like the star of your own show. You have all their attention. They are hanging on your every word. What you are saying is so important, that they take notes. There is a certain satisfaction in that. And I just like teaching people something new.

I'm really sleepy now. I think I will have Audrey play me some ambient Moby tracks while I get some shut eye between classes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Know what that sound is? It's what you hear when you are a fucktard. This morning I come to work. The drive was miserable. A little bit of rain hits the road and suddenly everyone is wanting to steer into you. But let's forget about that.

So I walk in the door and find that this contract instructor has all ready started her class. She was brought in to teach a 3-day Oracle class. She is from Texas. And she is an idiot. About half an hour earlier I got a phone call from the office. It seems that there was a problem with her classroom setup. She was missing her powerpoint viewer! You would think an exerienced instructor with Internet access would know what to do. But who said she was experienced. She was obviously a certified Oracle instructor. And that is about the extent of her knowledge.

Our receptionist thought fast. She knew in the back offices we had copies of just about any Microsoft software. So she brought out an Office 2000 CD and handed it off to our instructor. She stared back blankly. "You can install Office 2000 ... custom install, and get powerpoint from this". But it was no good. She had no idea what to do. So she was told "someone will be in shortly to help you".

That someone was me. When I arrived, I threw open the door, and there were 12 students staring back at me. The instructor pointed to the open CD-ROM drive and said "that's the computer you need to put it on, not that other one". That was helpful for me. Because I knew that that other computer was actually a router. She also let me know that her D drive was "inaccessible". So I sat down, installed the powerpoint viewer, and headed out of the room.

That was easy. I grab some coffee and head into the server room to see how sick our mail server was this morning. As soon as I sit down, my door is opened, and there is numb-nuts. "It's telling me my D: drive is inaccessible". So I go into the room again. Now her students look slightly annoyed. I know this stupid game. She will soon be bashing this 'damn training center' for it's failing hardware. But I detect that some of these wiser students have all ready figured her out. I can *FEEL* them rolling their eyes at her. I walk to the machine, put her disc in, and bring up her stupid slides with ease. No problem. As I try to sneak out of the room again she turns and asks me (in front of her class) "so what was wrong with that thing?". I explained "You have to let the little disc spin around a bit before you try to access it" *wink*. It's hard to explain, but I put on my 'big boy' voice. The kind of tone you take when you are telling a 3 year old not to put twinkies in the VCR.

This was just the beginning of the idiots I had to deal with today. By 10:30AM I was full of rage. Partly because of the idiots, and also because of my work schedule. I am facing solitude for what will probably end up being weeks on end. Several times a week I will be driving out to a forest to teach the monkeys how to use Microsoft Office products. 2 hours out, 2 hours inbetween classes. 2 hours to drive back home. That's six hours from my 14 hour days that I will not be getting compensated for. I'm not exactly sure how this is a fair working relationship.

So I did what anyone would do. I hit the job sites. I have hit them before in the past. But today I felt like I was really looking. I think I have been slowly but surely talking myself into walking away from this job. It's futureless now. The longer I stay, the more meaningless my roles become. How will I ever get a raise when I go from teaching routing, to how to use a mouse. I am moving in reverse, and that is unacceptable.

I made the move to document a few jobs that sound really cool, and would probably pay very well. I even went out to the office supply store and bought some really nice paper to put my resume on. That %100 cotton stuff. So you will be taken seriously. Then I began work on my resume. And boy does it need work. I figure I have a couple of hours of downtime tomorrow I can use to work on it.

Well now bedtime is near. I need to get up early so I can drive into the forest again for class. Can't wait.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Wireless Cows

When I traveled to Tiffin just the other day I kept thinking to myself "what a barren wasteland". When I tell people I live in Ohio, they automatically thing I live amongst cows and cornfields. Traveling around I see why. After you travel about 30 miles outside of a city. There's nothing but cows and corn for miles.

Throughout my 2 hour+ journey to "Mohican" today I had Audrey trucking along looking for access points. I puposely waited until I was long outside of city limits before starting up the scan. Just to see what's active out here. What did I find? Nothing. No surprise really. In fact, I found so little that I decided to chart my trip for you all. I pointed my cantenna towards all sorts of things, yet none of them registered on my stumbler tool.

It wasn't until I hit the town of "Buttler" that I found anything. And that was only one or two access points. Before I knew it I had left the town. I saw one sign welcoming me, and another sign about two miles down the road that thanked me for my visit. The next little town I came to is what I think is "Perrysville". They registered a few access points on my list. But still only a small handfull. In the photo below you will see the entire list. Sad isn't it?

Unfortunately I had to drive about 7 or 8 miles past of these access points to get to my current location. A juvenile youth correction facility in the middle of a forest. And I do mean "a forest". Behind me I havd a giant ugly fenced in compound full of bad kids. In front of me a beautiful forrest loaded with old pines. The trees out here are so thick here it's amazing. Looking into the woods there is no sign of civilization. In fact. I was standing outside of my car on the cell phone and I couldn't believe how quiet it is out here. Creepy really.

Now I am in my car avoiding the wildlife (like a spoiled city dweller) and playing on my laptop. Unfortunately we are holding two classes a day out here. The first runs from 9:30AM to 1:30PM. Then I have a second class from 4:00 to 8:00PM. This sucks because although I am here all day long, I am only teaching 8 hours of it. Therefore I don't see a lick of bonus for it. It's a rip off. I guess the good news is that I don't have any classes tomorrow (Wednesday) or Friday.

So here I sit between classes with 2 hours to waste. At least I have my lappy! *hugging Audrey* And of course, I have YOU the reader. At least I think I have readers. People sometimes tell me that they enjoyed my journal. Please do leave comments. I read those (even if my counter doesn't really work).

Teaching Monkies To Fly

Last night I went home feeling rather stressed out. I downed several white russians. Not a bad drink. It's a nice way to get good and loaded without the bad taste of hard liquor. Before I knew it, I had drank about four. I slammed two (and I mean slammed) before even starting dinner. After eating and having a couple more I headed down to check my e-mail etc.

I saw that Kevin Rose was online and had messaged me. I gave a hollar back and let him know I was around (even though my away message said otherwise). I also explained to him that I had quite a long day. So I was going to remain in hiding with my messenger. He said he knew the feeling. Then I went on to tell him that my day consisted of teaching Word 2000 to computer illiterate state workers.

There is a certain sadness to my job that I know other instructors pick up on. For that matter, many IT people have to understand my pain. Sometimes I feel that I am not making a difference. Not that I should go home and cry. I get my paycheck. Who cares right? But what is the reason for all this? What do people take away from one of my classes? Often I figure the skills they do learn will not do them any good.

I'm not training doctors to find a cure for cancer. I'm not educating geologists who will later develop energy saving methods. I'm not training soldiers to murder our enemies. I am teaching Word to someone who will never use it.

I could only compare myself to Mathew Broderick and the monkies. When I laid down my analogy to Kevin and told him it was like that movie (with Mathew and the monkies) to which he replied "which one?". Now that I think about it ... there have been multiple titles with Mathew and a monkey But I was referring to that movie where these evil people are teaching monkies how to fly.

Why teach monkies how to fly? What the hell was the point of flying monkies? It's not as if we will ever put monkies into 747's and have them piloting commercial airliners. If you remember the film, there is a dark secret plot. The monkeys are being used as guinea pigs to see the effects on a pilot whos been exposed to radiation.

So what's with the monkies? I am teaching monkies how to fly. I give people skills they won't ever use. Why? Because I'm paid for it. They walk away feeling they have gained something. And sometimes they have. But not in these classes. Perhaps if I felt that I reached just one person. More often though, I feel that people really don't care. They see that they can get some classes and learn some computer related things. But once they are in the class they realize "I don't care about this stuff!".

Remember in the Matrix when Morpheus found Neo? Neo had actually been looking for him. That was important. Neo wanted to know things. He had been seeking answers. Imagine if Morpheus tracked Neo down, and Neo wasn't at all interested in learning the truth. Would he still train so well? Would he aquire the same skills if he knew in the end all of his work was pointless? It is my belief that the average person has the desire to become an IT-ish person, until they find that it's an unrewarding career. Sure, you can make good money. But you devote your life to a machine that will never thank you for it.

Like anything else, you have to be interested in something to learn about it. To work with it day in and day out. I can teach those who care. Yet, I can't teach someone to care. And sometimes, I feel that's what I'm really teaching. I teach people why they should care about IT.

Thats enough rambling. I had to get that off my chest.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Farmers Use WEP

While driving out into the wide open country that is 'Ohio' this morning I had Audrey (the laptop) at my side looking for Access Points. One of the few complaints I have about her is that her speaker kind of sucks. It's very small and music sounds really lousy on it. However, when I listen to music, I always plug in headphones. So who cares. On this drive, I wanted to play tunes, so I plugged my little FM stereo sending unit to the headphone jack. So I could play tunes from iTunes, and still hear the bells go off when KisMac stumbled onto an access point. And did it ever stumble!

Oddly enough, I was still hitting access points FAR out into the country. At times I was looking around a dead wasteland of weeds and left wondering "where in the hell could the access point be?". When there is nothing but farm, I must be picking up farms. It didn't surprise me really. Exploring southern Ohio I have also picked up many farms. I imagine the 'modern farmer' probably keeps things well synched with one another. Perhaps even use some tools for measuring crops, soil, etc. Or hell, maybe they want to ride around on their John Deere tractors listing to mp3's off a mapped drive back in the barn. Who am I to judge?

Below is a sample. Notice that all the access points have a MAC address that starts the same. The first three pieces of the MAC address (BSSID) indicate the 'vendor' of who manufactured the Access Point device.

Must be the same farm. Or connected farms? Who knows. Blew my mind. Notice that most of the points are WEP'd, some are not. All were found in the same stretch of road (a few miles) which is indicated by the time they were discovered in the far right column, and the fact that I was plowing down a 55mph highway at about 80mph trying to get to work on time. I know, I need a laptop battery. Forgive that it's suddenly 1969 again. *singing* In the summer of 69' - Whooaaahh!

Now here I am in Tiffin Ohio. Its lunchtime for me (2:15PM). No Internet. This sucks. I have about 2 hours before my next class. I was hoping for some wireless signals out here that I could leech on. No such luck. Closest wireless signal I could sniff out is about five miles closer to the residential areas of "Tiffin Ohio". I am now in the upper floor of a very old building. I asked a student when I arrived "any wireless connectivity out here?". His response, "wireless what?" was a good indication that they were behind a bit on this technology stuff.

I should have known. I'm coming out here to teach people how to use Microsoft Word. I guess it's a break from the kind of classes that I had been teaching. But I doing these courses requires a LOT of patience. My students are generally lacking in basic point and click skills. Anyhow ... off to eat my lunch and pray that 8:00PM comes fast so I can buzz back to Columbus.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

My Head Hurts

Man, this weather sucks. I woke up this morning with a wierd feeling in my skull. I think it's my sinus's. Whatever the hell it is, I don't like it.

Our bud Jeremy comes over today. Which is cool because we ain't seen him in ages. I'm sure we'll get our drink on, as well as engage in some other fun activities like movie watching.

Yesterday I finally sat down and read the 30 messages that had piled up on my KisMac mailing list mail folder. A few of the questions involved "changing a MAC address". This is something that has always bothered me. Changing a MAC address in Unix is cakework. But when I tried it a few weeks ago I got some wierd error message. After some reading I find out that it's never really worked in OpenDarwin (the basis for OS X), and the only way to force it to work is to edit the kernel. Not exactly my idea of fun. So I let that one go.

Now I come to find out that with the latest OS X release (panther) it is now possible to change that MAC! Pretty good news. Now 'ifconfig' has complete standard Unix functionality. This morning I cracked open my iBook and gave it a shot.

Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$ su
Ray-Haques-Computer:/Users/rayhaque root# ifconfig
lo0: flags=8049 mtu 16384
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128
inet6 fe80::1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
inet netmask 0xff000000
gif0: flags=8010 mtu 1280
stf0: flags=0<> mtu 1280
en0: flags=8863 mtu 1500
inet6 fe80::20a:27ff:fe89:a22c prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x4
inet netmask 0xff000000 broadcast
ether 00:0a:27:89:a2:2d
media: autoselect (100baseTX ) status: active
supported media: none autoselect 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 100baseTX 100baseTX 100baseTX
en1: flags=8863 mtu 1500
ether 00:30:65:05:57:a1
media: autoselect () status: inactive
supported media: autoselect
Ray-Haques-Computer:/Users/rayhaque root# ifconfig en0 lladdr 00:40:01:02:03:04
Ray-Haques-Computer:/Users/rayhaque root# ifconfig
lo0: flags=8049 mtu 16384
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128
inet6 fe80::1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
inet netmask 0xff000000
gif0: flags=8010 mtu 1280
stf0: flags=0<> mtu 1280
en0: flags=8863 mtu 1500
inet6 fe80::20a:27ff:fe89:a22c prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x4
inet netmask 0xff000000 broadcast
ether 00:40:01:02:03:04
media: autoselect (100baseTX ) status: active
supported media: none autoselect 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 10baseT/UTP 100baseTX 100baseTX 100baseTX
en1: flags=8863 mtu 1500
ether 00:30:65:05:57:a1
media: autoselect () status: inactive
supported media: autoselect
Ray-Haques-Computer:/Users/rayhaque root#

As you can see, it worked. I changed my MAC address. Some other proof would be nice eh? How about I connect to my router, and have it tell me who it's connected to (by MAC address) using arp -a.

Ray-Haques-Computer:/Users/rayhaque root# ssh ray@router
The authenticity of host 'router (' can't be established.
DSA key fingerprint is (removed).
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added 'router' (DSA) to the list of known hosts.
Last login: Sun Nov 16 13:32:55 2003 from gloop

Welcome to Ray's router.

Watch your step. Don't forget to visit
our salad bar. And please, no spitting!

$ arp -a
? ( at 00:20:78:05:4d:c1 on dc0 permanent [ethernet]
gloop ( at 00:08:c7:6b:2c:37 on dc0 [ethernet]
tina ( at 00:10:4b:71:cc:8c on dc0 [ethernet]
? ( at 00:40:01:02:03:04 on dc0 [ethernet]
d60-65-(removed) (65.removed) at 00:50:57:00:a5:46 on fxp0 [ethernet]

You see me on that list? I am And that is the MAC address I made up. Man, ethernet is so easily fooled.

What does this mean? Some Access Points rely on MAC filtering. That means that they have a dynamic/static list of the "hardware based" addresses they will talk to. Since hardware addresses cannot be 'changed' it's a pretty good system. As you have just witnessed though, Unix makes it easy to 'front' a new MAC address. I didn't change the physical address (thats near impossible). I am simply lying to the network. Using this same trick, I can effectively monitor a wireless network, steal away a client's MAC address, and begin using it.

The effects may not be good. I will be using their hardware address, and so will they. This will most likely confuse the hell out of a router if that PC and I are both connected. Traffic coming back from the AP will be collected by both of us. You have to wonder what that PC will be thinking when traffic comes back that it did not initiate.

Only experimentation will tell. Looks like I will have to plan a wardrive expedition.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Laws Of Wardriving

So last week I am stumbling around a server room, knee deep in cables, dead PC's and general techno-trash. I am waiting for the MAIL server to make it's next move. To entertain myself I pop open my iBook and see a few new updates. So I attempt to install them and find that my access is SHOT. It's sooooo slow. Eventually I figure out, I am not connected to my access point at the office, I was on someone elses.

Today I finally made the decision to step onto the access point and check out the network. I have a feeling that thie access point is one I found a week or two earlier named 'linksys'. The name had now been changed to reflect the name of the firm. Yes, a law firm on an unprotected wireless network. Interesting.

The approach: I took my usual first approach with the network. I checked out my IP, and then starting working my was backward pinging for hosts. My IP ended in 8, so I tried 7,6,5,4, 3, and 2. Most answered, and I didnt check out the IP ending in 1, because that was the access point.

Next I ran a nice util called "smbutil" to check out the first target. Here is what it returned.

Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$ smbutil view //(removed).4
kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/smbfs.kext is already loaded
Share Type Comment
IPC$ pipe Remote IPC
print$ disk Printer Drivers
SharedDocs disk
awest printer HP LaserJet 1200 Series PCL
Printer2 printer Canon Bubble-Jet BJC-85
ADMIN$ disk Remote Admin
C$ disk Default share

7 shares listed from 7 available
Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$

This was interesting. A SharedDocs folder indicating that it was probably Windows XP. And a couple of printers. Perhaps a Windows 2000 box serving as a print server? I make a couple of bad attempts to connect to the admin share. No dice. Oh well. NEXT!

Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$ smbutil view //(removed).2
kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/smbfs.kext is already loaded
Share Type Comment
E disk
IPC$ pipe Remote Inter Process Communication

4 shares listed from 4 available
Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$

I wonder what's on E? It says 'disk', but more likely it's a CD-ROM shared out. Reguardless, I couldn't guess the admin password so we won't know. But did you notice the private share? It's funny how Microsoft hides shares ending with a dollar sign ... but using a *nix SMB client obviously ignores the 'hide me' aspect of it. Neat! - NEXT!

Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$ smbutil view //(removed).3
kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/smbfs.kext is already loaded
Share Type Comment
D disk
HP_DISK disk
IPC$ pipe Remote Inter Process Communication

3 shares listed from 3 available
Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$

By now I am getting discouraged ... but I hit the goldmine. This "D" share turns out to be a very open share that is used to dump backups to. Funny how the whole network is nailed down pretty tight. Yet, a shared folder with guest access has everything important put into one place. My initial view is below.

I wonder what's in that backup folder? Click-click!

Two backups to chose from. Neither one is really current. I'll check out the newest one though and see what I can dig up.

Was this really important Tammy? What the hell? Does your employer know you are wasting his drive space for this trash? Let's see what else you are holding onto.

I am wasting my lunch hour on this. I could be out in my car, surfing a real network, in search of interesting tidbits. Still, Ricky made me do a double take. Sad thing is, this is only one about about 20 different stuff animal with penis photos. Finally, I stumble onto something worthwhile.

A law firms complete client database, organized by name. Inside each directory is a couple of MS Word documents. They detail each clients history with the firm, the status of their case, etc. It's a pretty large database. I poke in and out of a few records, and continue onward. This would prove to be the highlight of my search.

Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$ smbutil view //(removed).6
kextload: extension /System/Library/Extensions/smbfs.kext is already loaded
Share Type Comment
IPC$ pipe Remote IPC
print$ disk Printer Drivers
hpdeskje printer hp deskjet 940c series

3 shares listed from 3 available
Ray-Haques-Computer:~ rayhaque$

What the hell is this, a print server? Everybody in this joint has a printer it seems. The admin shares aren't showing, but I try and access them anyway. My attempts are fruitless, and I am unable to uncover their administrative password.

Running out of lunch hour, I decide to check out one more thing. The access point. Surely whoever set it up must have changed the password.

Nope! I walk right in. Maybe I should have started here? It occurs to me that I could have gotten some hints for those administrative passwords by seeing the resgitered PC name in the DHCP client table. I bring it up and see some hostnames. I blurred them for 'privacy' if there is such a thing.

I also poke around the other areas of the WAP's settings, and take interest in the WAN connection, which is using PPPoE. That's Point-to-Point-Protocol Over Ethernet. This is more or less what I consider the poor man's VPN connection. Interesting way of keeping connected to what looks like the ISP.

All in all, not a bad days wardriving adventure. And I never even left my desk. I am pleased not only that my new Cantenna rig on my lappy pulls in some serious WiFi signals, it still works just fine without any external attachment. That was a conern I had doing that little operation.

And now if you excuse me, I need to help my son and daughter pass the next level of Odd World (the best Playstation game ever). And in a short while, I will be laying the pipe to my wife. So please, do not message me. KTHX!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Happy Birf'day To Rotary

Tomorrow is actually my wifes birthday. But it's been a crappy day for both of us, so I thought getting her a birthday gift would make us both feel better. It worked!

I went up to Best Buy to look for what they didn't have yesterday. Napster 2.0 'credit cards', and the new Pink CD. I had watched several nights ago as she tried for probably a few hours to download a few songs. Sometimes filsharer's can be real idiots. It's like, if you download a song that's incomplete, or bugged, delete the damn thing. Instead people keep this retarded broken loops, and my wife ends up downloading them. So I thought I would buy her some download credits with the new pay-per-download Napster service. Yet these "credit cards" for Napster aren't out yet ... and probably won't be out until Christmas.

I did have luck getting the Pink CD which turned out to be a good purchase. Along with the CD you get a second DVD disc with a music video, some interviews, and some other perks on it. Looks like she's really happy with the music too. Which was cool. I hate when I buy a lousy gift.

I also did some war-driving today with my freshly modified iBook. Right after pulling out of my driveway, I was all ready picking up new access points. Driving through my neighborhood I was hitting points that I knew were a block or two away, and some that I had never heard of.

Heading along the highway on the way to work I was hitting access points by the dozens. I will have to plan another expedition this weekend to have a longer war-drive with it and see what kind of results I can get. Should be good!

Monday, November 10, 2003

Punting Puters'

I know it's a little immature, but about an hour ago, I about broke my toe kicking a PC. I am on about my fourth or fifth computer trying to make a PC for my son that works. The poor boy asked me for Linux. He liked the fact that he could have an operating system that is *not* Windows. How could I say no? Why have I waited so long to give him something other than windows? What kind of father am I? So I have been trying since Friday to pull together parts from my various scrap piles that will work. I need to dispose of some of this buggy old hardware.

This is actually my first project of the weekend. My second was to add an external Cantenna connector to Audrey (my iBook). I thought I had better first find a BNC connector to use. I am all out of old network cards. I have gone through several of them salvaging the tough BNC mounts off of them. Then I came across something I used to carry around in my bag called an Ether-Pocket. This little device hooked to your parallel port to provide basic SLOW network connectivity. It had a RJ-45 connector AND a BNC. So there was my part. Trouble was, I liked it a little too much. I also found that it would be hard to mount the BNC connector to my iBook sideways, and still allow a BNC connector to attach to it. So I decided to mount the whole damn thing to my iBook, and run a wire to the inside.

It took about 6 screws to take the iBook screen apart. As I suspected, inside the plastic covering were little dangling antenna thingies on either side of the iBook display. One was labeled "MAIN" and the other was labeled "AUX" (Auxilary). I thought attaching to main was my best bet. Doesn't look like it mattered, they both went to the same place.

I ran a cable straight from the "MAIN" on down to a hole I drilled near the bottom of the screen. It was easy running the cable inside of my Ether-Pocket thing and soldering it down. For my next trick, I will take it on a war drive with a cantenna and see if my mod did any good. I certainly hope so. This project was a pain in the ass!

By the way, if you have been calling my house asking for Doddie, the bitch doesn't live here. Stop bothering me when I am trying to drink!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Campus Wardriving

We had a plan for the night. Try out some new war-driving innovations. I had a few new new tricks to try out. One was a long magnetic CB antenna. I had changed the end from an N-type to a BNC to fit my mod'd WiFi cards. Further fun could be had with what we have been calling 'the bazooka'. This is four soup cans duct taped together which gives roughly a 43 decibal gain to your WiFi card.

The magnetic mount antenna failed to give us anything. Perhaps because the cable was too long, and it was in no way focused to the range we needed. The bazooka was just too damn big. It probably wouldn't have even fit into DM's truck cab. So we left it all behind. The weapon of choice for the evening would turn out to be the "Kaluha-tenna", and the first WiFi mod we did with a D-Link card.

Before leaving out, we got drivers loaded onto Discount Mans VAIO, and loaded up his truck with our lappys, the inverter, and our winter caps. It was damn cold. We headed out to the OSU campus area, picking up access points all the way. DM offered to purchase me a fine coffee brew, so it was onto Stauffs the coffee shop. We could barely get in the door. It was packed. After a few minutes we scored a table with an outlet. Which was good, because I have no battery in my lappy, and DM's is on it's way out.

DM played some UO games, and sent many instant messages. Sometime looking around, seeming confused, and then going back into his deep state of concentration. All the while I attempted to access file shares on neighboring yuppy coffee drinkers. The banter around me made me sick. I got a guy behind me talking about heat sinks. For about 40 minutes. Heat sinks. This other fat idiot plopped himself down and broke his coffee mug. It was this hideus looking vase thing that he probably made himself. I wanted to pick up the larger of the two pieces and beat him with it.

I also played with DM's QuickCam and took some fun pictures, which you are seeing decorated my Blog nicely. The coffee ran right through DM and he hopped up to piss. There was a guy sitting behind him with a chick who really seemed happy to the fact that a camera was pointed at him. I thought this shot of him "cheesing" for the camera is priceless. His date looks real amused with him too.

So we took a drive through campus. And all I can say is "wow". It was a goldmine of activity. In many ways. It was Saturday night, and you couldn't swing a dead cat without striking a drunken college student. Heading through some alleys with the Kaluha-tenna at hand we got some strange looks, and some nasty comments. DM heard one guy call us "the fuzz", indicating that we might be the undercover campus cops. We got mooned. Nothing like staring down 5 or 6 hairy asses. At which point we moved on.

We headed up and down the sorority and dorm areas and were finding mass amounts of access points. Sometimes as many as 8 at a time that were all serving handfuls of active computers. The bad news was there was absolutely nowhere to park. When DM was finally able to find a parking spot, it was hard to reach the WAP's. The trouble with using a cantenna is that your receive strength is always much greater than your send.

I found a few open shares and some stuff I really wanted. Like "I'm fixin' to die rag - By Country Joe and the Fish". It's a great song about Vietnam, and a tough MP3 to acquire. Yet ... it was *just* out of reach. It irritated me. And everyone in the dorm was running Windows XP. Most of them were sharing nothing. Jerks. We'll teach them. We'll rename their access point.

As the WAP rebooted there was a long pause before it started advertising again. But it came back. Here is us reconnecting to it under it's nice new name.

Discount Man then drove me through his neck of the woods to explore some University owned areas. Naturally, they were all WEP encrypted. Boring.

We went by DM's house so he could let his dog out. And I was also able to attach to his access point. He has his set to hand out IP addresses on a 192 network. Yet, he runs a 10. network. Other than that little gag, it was wide open. So we decided to make some security changes on it, and also rename it. The name is based on a Flash show someone made about Papa Smurf having his ass licked. Inspiring.

Driving through the 'dirty dorms' we came across a residential network. It's referred to as 'ResNet'. DM says his students are always talking about "haxx0ring res-net" like it puts you right up there with Kevin Mitnick. So we thought we might try and get into the WAP. It was simple. Default passwords. We contemplated changing the name of the point to the full name of one of the students. Just to incriminate them. I know ... not nice. But we decided to try and use a question instead. Complete with a question mark which I wasn't entirely sure would work.

There was a LONG pause there. Something didn't seem right. Just as we're driving off, it showed up with it's new name.

Whew! We wouldn't want to leave college students without connectivity. DM was more than ready to move on. There were about 3 security vehicles patrolling a very small area. And we were getting some odd looks. DM was ready to head home. I was too. It was about 2:15AM.

On the drive home I continued to review our results on DM's lappy in Netstumbler. It was awe inspiring. I just *have* to get a cantenna rig going on Audrey (my iBook). As it was, DM's VAIO had all the fun this time. Poking around DM's hard drive I come across that awful "Magic Stick" song and begin playing it. He's rolling his eyes saying "when did you download that?". I sware it was on his hard drive. So I play it full blast. He had his bass booster plugged in to his VAIO's accessory bay. So it sounded real nice.

All in all, it was a great adventure. DM headed back to the place he is house-sitting. And I ran up to bed with Audrey to begin this blog. But it was 3:00AM at this point and I was tired. So I put Audrey down and watched some TV with Rotary who I had woken up a few times being so noisy. Sorry. :-( The coffee was keeping me up. And Rotary seemed to be kept up with a cold. I eventually passed out.

Now, its the following morning and I need to get my son's computer going. I promised him Linux, and his computer is just hosed. Locking up, losing the CD rom. It's just broke. I think I need to start over with different parts.

See you later.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

It's Alive

I finally got the mail server running again. Just a little more over 27 hours after taking it down. What a project that was.

I started Tuesday morning by checking backup logs. And it was good that I did. A backup had not been performed in a few weeks. I reach behind the removable drive that our data gets backed up to, and it had never been turned on (or was turned off at some point), Woops. After running a full backup, I kicked over to the Mail server itself, stopped the Information Store, and ran a copy of the MTBDATA and MDBDATA folders off to the removable drive (which took another hour).

After all that madness I had blown half the day (it was around 3PM). Down the mail server went, and out came the drives. Installing new drives was a piece of cake, and even configuring the RAID wasn't too bad. This old DPT RAID controller had a pretty good BIOS in it which allowed you to configure the RAID without a boot disk. Adding a HotSpare was a little strange. So after a few tries I got it how I wanted it, and began to "prepare the array". If you have never built a RAID-5 array before, I recommend you have something else to do. It takes hours.

Later I was able to start the Windows 2000 installation. Which naturally then wanted to to format the 'drive' as NTFS. It was right around 70 gigs worth of space. So I got to wait another hour or so for that. After some running around, dropping off the wife and kids, and returning to work, Windows 2000 was just beginning it's graphical installation mode. Hooray. Little did I know that I would be reinstalling later after have some horrible failures.

By the time it was rolling around to be midnight, I had learned some valuable new lessons.
  • Starting over may not be the best option (when you have to format a huge array of space)
  • Windows 2000 might suck a little bit, but Exchange 2003 sucks in a major way
  • When you can't open events in your event log, you may be in trouble
  • Ntdsutil.exe is a resource kit tool for repairing active directory
  • You won't need ntdsutil if you name another controller a FSMO (woops)
  • When in doubt, go to bed

I arrived home about 2:00AM after I had started installing Exchange Server 2003 (again) using /distasterrecovery mode. Once home, I kicked off my shoes, flexed my back (it hurts) and then sat back down to remotely connect and continue. Low and behold, I had gotten errors again. Although I couldn't read them. Because event log was hosed. To bed I went!!

After my 3 hour nap, I arose to drive out to Athens Ohio to teach a Linux Administration class. I was strangely awake. Must have been all the coffee I drank. About half way there, the boss calls. "It doesn't work, right?". "Nope!", I tell him. I go on to explain that I did indeed try. I REALLY tried to get it up and running. But quite literally, there are not enough hours in the day. I tell him about all the problems I was having, and how it might be wise to reapply Service Pack 4, along with other Windows Updates. He agrees to take care of that for me so I can go about my day and maybe connect later to have a look.

Work was a breeze. I had 9 students for class and they were all a lot of fun, and very willing to learn. Only problem was connecting back to the office. Nothing seemed to be working. I confirmed my suspicions by asking an employee "you guys aren't filtering outbound connections through your firewall, are you?". "Oh yeah!", he proudly replied. That answered that question. No ssh, no VNC, no nothin'!

Later he was nice enough to open up port 3389 so I was able to sneak into my home network to get some work done under remote desktop. The MAIL server was staring back at me, still a ton of errors. Yet ... I could read them all in the event log! The updates fixed that. Great.

Next I moved over the Exchange database which had been sitting on the root of the drive, and then attempted to mount the store. ERROR! What's the problem? It's looking for the database on the D: drive. There is no longer a D: drive. Hrm. Aside from that, certain elements of the mail database just are not there. I had gotten some errors running Exchange Server 2003 with the /disasterrecovery switch. So I pulled a trick. I went into command prompt and ran "subst d: c:\" which basically says, 'mount a d: drive to the root of c:'. The result is a bogus d: drive letter. That seemed to satisfy 'some' of the errors.

By this time it was 4:30 and I needed to get out of there. Before I leave, I go in and start installing Exchange again. This time, normally. So I went home, ate, played with my daughter a bit. And then sat down, and went onto the mail server. The installation has finished, without any errors. I right click on the Store, and mount it. What? It mounted? Thank God. That was an uneventful end to a VERY long day. I was so happy. 6:20PM. I could enjoy the rest of my evening and actually sleep better tonight. I call the boss who is in law class at the time and leave him a cheery voicemail message.

It was a good night. I enjoyed some private time with my wife, and slept very well. As did she. Apparently her new drug prescription has gotten her away from a drug that left her rest-less and in pain. Thanks doctor!

Now I am sitting outside the building I teach this class in. It's about 7:45 in sunny Athens Ohio. I am very early for class. My students didn't want to start class until 8:30. I am in no hurry to get inside seeing how I can only get out on port 80. Maybe I could connect back home with remote desktop, and map a secure shell to port 80. That would work. ;-)

See you all later. Thats enough blog for now.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Country Roads

So here I am! Headed down Route 33 through Lancaster. We are headed into Athens Ohio for another class setup. We consists of me, and Karen who is at the wheel. I have picked up a few access points passing through Lancaster (farm country) most of which are encrypted. Strange. You would expect these 'backwoods' types to leave all the defaults alone on their wireless devices.

Behind me is the rattling and bumping around of all the hardware we need to setup. This is like deja' vu all over again! I just had to say that. There is some odd hatred toward Kevin Rose (and the broken in general) that stems from some southern guy calling himself "lineman". In trying to get some clues as to what the hell this little war is over, I checked out his webpage which didn't give me much insight. What I did find is a bunch of 'articles' which he proudly displays as fresh content. And also some bitches and moans that were suitable for Martin's blog readings on unscrewed. Namely, "why do reporters keep saying deja vu all over again? It's stupid!". Or something like that. He also has a few pages of "shame" which has pages about Kevin Rose, and Gethsemane. They are documented proof of why these two guys should be ashamed of themselves. And where is my page? I need to email him and request my own. I have said far more snotty things than Geth and Kevin combined. I guess to get on his list, you have to insult one of his 'people'.

Not having much luck in farm country now. Karen had just called the boss a few cars ahead of us to ask 'how much further is it' and got disconnected. Not many cell towers out here I gather. We are now 34 miles away. Not too bad a drive considering.

I can't wait until I'm done! I get to go back to work and rebuild the dead mail server. I have 6 brand new 18 gig Seagate Cheetahs waiting for me back at the office. I know ... you are going to ask "why only 18 GB drives?". My boss is cheap. That's why. If I hadn't found 18GB Ultra160's at the same price as the 9GB we currently have, he would have bought 9GB drives again! Anyhow, that rebuild ought to be fun. I am going to replace our Windows 2000 server with a 2003 server, and try to move our Exchange mail store over at the same time.

Cross your fingers for me.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Home Again

I have seriously neglected my Blog. I keep taking snapshots of various things and planning what I will put in this Blog and then I never get around to it. I really wish I had a cheap digital camera with me on my trip. There were many things I would like to have take a quick snapshot of. I had a conversation with Kevin Rose last night who has just about talked me into getting one of those picture phones. When they first hit the market I thought "what the hell would you photograph with them?". But now I have been looking for a cheap Pen-Cam that will work with OS-X for Blog purposes. And I hate my phone. HATE IT. Perhaps I should be looking for a phone I can upgrade to on my crappy Verizon plan. Hrm.

So I am so pleased to be home. It feels really good to be back with my family and go to bed with my wife (in clean sheets). Friday was such a long day. I got up the morning feeling hung over from going right to sleep after downing several dark stout brews. My hotel trashcan was overflowing with beer bottles and fast food bags. I never even put my laptop away. I must have hunched over and blanked out watching horror movies. It was actually a good day for class. I was rolling off material like nobody's business. And my students were wanting to get the hell out of there just as much as I was (but not until after the free catared lunch).

I wrapped class right around noon. And timing was good, because lunch arrived about 10 minutes earlier. But there was a man from School Net (who arranged for the class) and wanted to say a few words about registering for more classes, etc. So I instructed everyone to stay put, and he went over some things on my projector. The moment I anounced "lunch" the room cleared out in a stampede fashion. I continued to answer questions, and clean things up.

I couldn't seem to find the woman who works the front desk in the building. I went around the whole building twice and couldn't find her. So I told the School-Net guy to tell her I was taking off, and someone would be by later to pack up the room. The boss has called me the night before and said to take off once class was done because they wouldn't be able to get to Cleveland with the van until much later. So I darted.

I must have been driving about 80 miles an hour back to Columbus. About 20 miles from home I get a phone call from the boss. He is pissed off. He says he called me dozens of times trying to catch me. Aparently his wife (the co-owner) was on her way to Cleveland by herself to pack up. She was supposed to have help from her son who could not get off work and blew her off. To make matters worse, they wanted her to pack it up and get out of the building in 40 minutes time (so they could go home). Woops. :-/

So now I get to go back to work on Monday and drive a few hours with my employers who hate me. The boss was pissed that I hadn't really packed anything up. But he told me I could leave when I was done. So I did. I guess I was supposed to be nice and unplug everything to pack it up before leaving. Oh, and I checked my voicemail. Sure enough I had two messages from my angry boss trying to track me down. Yet, I had no voicemail warnings and my phone never rang. Whatever. So I look like an asshole. Maybe they will fire me and I can start a new career as a sports comentator. Anyone know anything about sports? I don't.

None of that crap really mattered once I was home. It was so good seeing my family again. And that night we went to a halloween party for some drinking and fun. It was a nice little party with some interesting people there. I had an hour long conversation with a woman about Linux, Unix, and the like. She is a member of a local Linux users group and urged me to join the mailing list. It's not often you randomly run into intelligent IT people at non-IT related functions. She was a character. And I couldn't figure out if she was genuinly strange, or just keeping in her character as a member of a coven (her sister was also wearing coven garb).

I wanted to get all kinds of snapshots for my war-driving efforts in Cleveland, but I have nothing to share really. Cleveland is a black hole of activity. It makes Columbus look like New York in terms of size and use of technology. Yet, I was able to find a few things of interest. Coming into Cleveland I found very little. But then as I drove by Cisco Headquarters somewhere on route 77, the alarms went off. There I watched as my lappy started logging hundreds of access points. After the first 10 or 12 you start to get suspicious. :-) What a neat trap. I was impressed with the trick, and it made me wonder if anything I was picking up was a real access point (versus EVERYTHING being fabricated). Here is a snapshot. Check out the times to the far right (I still have no battery, hence the year 1969). But look closely at the seconds placeholder.

Otherwise Cleveland offered nothing in the way of connectivity. I found myself driving up and down the local streets trying to find any kind of signals. Here is a look at what I found in a path between my hotel and where I was teaching. Yes, this is the ENTIRE thing. Sad.

I was able to find a Chiropracter who had a small office in a "historic" little community about 3 miles from my hotel. It was also next to a small church that was still open and active even late at night. So I was able to sit in their parking lot without drawing suspicion. Yet, nobody was around to talk to. My access speed was pathetic (they must have been on a 64k pipe). And it just made me more home sick. So after reading e-mails and picking my nose, it was back to the hotel to mope.

Well it's Sunday, my last day of freedom before returning to do this damned Linux class all over again with another group of people. Lucky me. So I am going to go wash up now and try to enjoy myself.