Monday, September 28, 2009

using VMs for security

started reading some notes on the updates to NoScript (add on for Firefox), found a link to, which pointed to an interview with Joanna Rutkowska on Tom's Hardware about using NoScript and virtual machines for security. Very interesting ideas on using a separate VM for accessing sites where you want to be sure there are no back doors, like bank sites. Every couple of months the VM can be replaced with the copy made after installation.

So I installed VirtualBox on Ubuntu. Installation of Windows 7 was extremely slow, looked like the HDD was thrashing for many hours. But after the installation, it runs ok. Thinking about tying ArchLinux next, or OpenSolaris. So many OS's, so little time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

best explaination - extra electrons

Aparently I haven't worked in IT long enought to "see it all" ...

a windows pc is having trouble talking on the network - not talking at all to the network. determine one wall jack is bad. ok, switch to the other one. It does pull an IP address from the DHCP server, but it is in the wrong range, so something is wrong. [we have a bunch of machines setup to reserve an address from the DHCP server so they always get the same address.] Call the network admin, get confirmation that the DHCP server is ok. Then he asks for the MAC address - now that's odd - the MAC address is D3-59-D3-59-D3-59. definately NOT the MAC address this PC had yesterday. Reboot - now it has a different MAC address, and again the first pair of number is repeated!! this is getting stranger and stranger. I'm thinking - maybe bad chip for the NIC (it is on the motherboard)? is windows infected with something to randomize the MAC address (auto-spoofing)?

boot a couple linux distros (live CD) and can't get the network to work, at all. Then one live CD doesn't shut down correctly and I have to power off the case (I had not done that yet, just warm boots). next live CD - network works and it pulls the correct IP address and had the correct MAC address. boot windows, and it has the correct MAC and IP addresses.

So maybe there was some extra electrons on the chip controlling the network that made it work strange. Remove the power, and it is back to normal.

sometimes you see the strangest things ...

good workouts

good workouts this week:
  • tues: hills - 5 x 5:00 (2:00 up / 3:00 down)
  • weds: cruches & planks (2 big sets) plus short swim (bit less than a mile)
  • thurs: speed - 4 x 1 mile (6:54 / 6:33 / 6:25 / 6:34) with 4:00 rest between. Wanted to do something different from the 1/2 miles I had been doing.
  • fri: crunches & planks (1 big set)
I'm beat! now I rest up for the big run - 22 miles (approx 3hrs 20 min) on Sunday!! Taper starts week from Saturday, marathon on Oct 10

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

how to survive 2 dead drives in RAID5

the only way to survive 2 dead drives in a RAID5 is if one of them is the hot spare (apart from having a good backup to recover from). we were soooo lucky! And these are WD RE2 drives - RAID capable, working in a climate controlled room, etc.

So is 2 drives in a RAID failing at the same time like being struck by lightning - unlikely to happen twice in the same room?

Monday, September 14, 2009

dive into blogging

i finally did it - started a blog. time will tell if i can string enough words together to make something worth reading.

a couple news stories that caught my eye:
From Chicken Feathers to Flower Pots (USDA ARS research)

Give me one good reason not to just move them all to Linux (ZDnet blog)

I share lots of news articles thru my google reader account

-- rob