Wednesday 19 November 2003

A Good Fortune

From The Onion (

Sagittarius: (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)
Everyone has potentially fatal flaws, but yours involve a love of soldiers' wives, an insatiable thirst for whiskey, and the seven weak points in your left ventricle.

Speaking of fortunes, its about that time of the year again. The Party Time. Starting off with my birthday for December 11th (date TBA), Yule (December 21st), and New Year's Eve (guess). I think I'm going to host another lan party this year but I gotta start making arrangments.

In the news a few things. Been doing some stuff with Nikita. I'm setting up a simple deal for dynamic hosts in a separate zone. Should be workable and I really need to see what framework is available with DDNS. I don't know if DDNS will work since these are computers on different networks... But we'll figure that one out.

Ah, hmmm, what else. Oh yeah, school. Wrapping up school. Next week is my practical exam for Network Administration. Booked time is three hours. Normal time is between 90 minutes and 120 minutes. My expected time is around a half hour.

Week after that is the written exam for both Software Engineering and Network Administration. Holy crap it will be nice to be done Software Engineering for a while. Definately waiting as long as possible before doing the next SE course.

I compiled irssi at home last night. That was fun. I'm already lost. Its neat and has lots of cool swag but its going to take a while.

We're hacking away at the changelog stuff on Nikita. Got Dante to whip together some RSS feeds which are good and bad. At the moment I don't have a client that can actually read the feeds. This is a problem. I need one that support SSL connections and self-signed certificates. Tricky. Also because its supposed to be a notification system where I don't have to go to the source, right? Well I'm not too likely to leave an RSS aggregator running at work even if I do find one.

So then we turned to the possibility of an RSS reading IRC bot. Well to heck with RSS, lets just have a bot that reads the db. Sounds like a good idea, don't it? All that is in analysis so we'll see where it goes from there.

Now that I've spammed my .plan, I really should go back to work.

Wednesday 12 November 2003

Check Out My Pipes

Today was the day. Nikita got unhooked from my residential Shaw account and hoisted out to New Westminster to camp on the nice little OC3 that's out there. Erm, well. Its all good now. Not only is she hardened but she also has physical access restricted. All is well.

Ah, well. Yeah. That's about all there is to it. I'm excited. Are you excited?

Friday 7 November 2003

Disconnect the Power from the Back of Your Cable Modem

So a wee spot of news. I'm a little toasted so it may not be coherent or spelled correctly so bear with me, please.

This morning I left the city of Vancouver to attend my job in the city of New Westminster. My shift started at eight o'clock in the morning.

At twenty minutes after eight, the Internet connection at my home goes down. Dulcea and Nikita are no longer online. Nobody can get into UnRoots Online. Since I am at work, all I can do is hope and check. I called home to leave a message for the Wendawg and then check throughout the day to see if Dulcea and Nikita pop online. They don't.

'Fuck' says I.
'I can't believe this fucking shit', I exclaim.
'Why the fuck does this happen when I'm just starting my fucking day at work and am eight or nine fucking hours away from being able to fucking troubleshoot fucking son of a bitch!' I vehemently propose to anyone and everyone who will listen.

Everyone was sympathetic and when back to work with only a nod.

Did I mention I've had a few drinks? So final the bell strikes four. I flip four the single deuce and run for the door then hold. Wait, I have other business to attend to.

I storm the NOC at my office. I demand: 'Adam, when can I bring Nikita here for COLO?'

He responds with 'oh, did Tom send you an email? It should be fine if you want to bring it in on Monday. Oh, hey Tome. Dominic here wants to COLO, is that fine?' he inquires of Tom who has wandered by in the direction of the machine room.

'Yeah, its fine by me. *I* don't have a problem with it', Tom responds.

Great, so I'm going to move Nikita to the office. After Tom and Adam discussed where my IP was going to come from, Tom flaunted his machine room. After some poking the hardware he confides to me: 'Its all fine by me so long as you're not going to get rooted', upon which we both recall with hidden mirth a specific dumb bastard at the office who did get his COLO rooted.

Having demonstrated his supreme prowess and well endowed equipment, Tom and I go to his office so I can get an account on Asimov.

'Do you have an existing account on here?', questions Tom.
'I dunno', I reply like an idiot.
'Lets see, what's the username you want here?', Tom persues.
'Ehh, just Dominic. D-o-m-i-n-i-c.' I request.
'Huh', he mutters as he searches the password files with vi like any sysop worth his salt. 'I don't see you in here. dshaw, what's your last name?' he says as he searches turning to me looking almost mystified that the office he works at has employed more new people in the last year then there have been total employees in the prior years.
'Lepiane. dshaw was Dan Shaw. He was one of the techs. He's left already', I inform him like a memo unread and even printed on letterhead newer then any he has bothered to read.
'Well okay, here. Put your password in' he directs, turning away from the computer to allow me access. He adds 'You'll have to put it in twice. Once for Samba and once for the system' as I go to put my password in.

After some quick typing, my passwords have been added to Asimov. He quickly adds me to the appropriate groups so I can have the standard access, again using vi. And now I take my leave. Imbued with not only permission to COLO Nikita, but also with both a Samba and system account on Asimov.

Despite this remarkable quest and the relics obtained, my travel back to the city of Vancouver is manic. I have come so far yet still it has been over eight hours since my ladies have been online. On the trip I alternate between resting, for I have slept lightly these last few days, brooding, and panicking.

I arrive home and after harassing the beast, Tallia, I turn to my fellow, the Wendawg. 'So what's up there?' I prompt ambiguosly.
'I dunno. The power was on and everything. It looks fine', he responds being as useful as paper against a cannon ball.
I explode 'well fuck that means those fuckers changed my IPs again.' Enraged I continue my solitary argument 'that doesn't make any sense. They couldn't *both* go offline. How could they do that?'
I strike out seeking foes where there are only wisps: 'Crap. The power wasn't out?'

It had not been so I brought my battle to the agreed fields: The Network. It was not a large battle ground, but I know it well. Perturbed that I may have even been cut down by the hand of the ISP, I persue the missing Internet connection.

First I load Chevette. My faithful workstation who has been perpetually indispensible. She will not connect with Dulcea and I realize how I have near-fataly crippled Chevette for omitting the simple task of ensuring she approached the appropriate side of Dulcea.

After a quick ritual to repair my failure, I bring Chevette up fully to the battle and so it begins.

Failing to connect immediately, I try the obvious which is to renew the IP on Dulcea. Realizing I had possibly erred in my priorities, I disconnected the display from Chevette and sought Nikita even before Dulcea could issue her cry.

I found Nikita also unable to connect. I checked again on Chevette and then discovered that Dulcea had not succeeded either.

And so beaten back, I turned to the basest of methods. I took Michael and pressed him ahead. I booted this sad Windows machine through the hub to the cable modem. Truly a desperate measure but sadly superior if I was going to in fact have to Call Tech Support.

I feared that call. I feared it with good reason. Who am I if I cannot do such a simple thing as connect to the Internet? What manner of pathetic creature calls himself Archangel, gloriously saves dozens of customers per day, and yet cannot get himself online? Truly a sad creature, I tell you, truly a sad one.

I swallow my pride as even Michael fails to obtain his goal while connected as directly as I can risk to the cable modem. I do that which every man, woman, and child has been told if their cable Internet connection has failed: I disconnect the power from the cable modem.

Sighing with a mixture of frustration, grief, anger, and impatience, I step from the Interface to let the cable modem rest.

I return to the Interface a short while later and reconnect the modem. It is too much for me. I cannot sit idle while the eyes of the modem mock me. But three blinks of 'message ... message ... message ... ' and I must retreat.

Again I harass the beast. Since Tallia is ferocious though miniscule, I easily defeat her thus restoring my sense of prowess. So restored I return again to the battle.

Michael, being a base Windows creature, does not engage the enemy quickly. He bides his time relying on perhaps only stubborness to win this fight. Yet despite his shortcomings, he has won. Attacking at the edges, the tide of the battle tilts back into my hand. I play it.

I set both Dulcea and Nikita on the enemy at once. I still tremor with fear as I know that the insurmoutable creature that is both ally and foe, the ISP, may yet mar me a wound I will not easily survive.

Having pressed my fighters to the attack, I step back and wait ... But this wait is not long. They return nigh immediately. I hold my breath for news of retreat or victory. Demanding 'ifconfig' of both systems, I find only victory in my hands today.

Elated, I immediately set about restoring The Balance. The gateways on Dulcea are reopened once again allowing the free clients of the Ice Palace to see the wonders of the Internet and I restore the servers on Nikita like royal jewels to a once usurped Queen.

Oh, it has been a mighty day. After such a day I can think of one thing and one thing alone:

'Fuck, its time for a drink.'

Saturday 1 November 2003

Happy All Saints Day

Woo! So for news since my last post, holy crap I've let it lapse. Well, I've been well, I've been sick, I've been well, I've been sick. Its sucked. Just caught a cold from the office, really super lame. I hate being sick. I only missed a half day of work this time though. Miserable the rest.

Speaking of work, they promoted my bitch-ass to Tier 2 tech support. Great. Now I get to jockey for non-ts positions and its probably going to take a long time and I'm stuck, in the meantime, dealing with shit that nobody in Tier 1 wants to deal with. I even had to work on a ticket I deferred before getting promoted. Stupid shit.

Okay, enough boring crap. I didn't mean to rant on rl events so back to the more interesting stuff: Computers.

I'm still wanting to get at least one computer (Nikita) out onto the OC3 at my office. I have to get permission from the Network Operations Centre (NOC) to do that since its a locked room (oo, restricted physical access). NOC hasn't been in the last week...

Those swines! I demand better service! I'm trying to run a business here. Neep neep nop neep losing money neep nop dialup was neep nop nop ...

Ah anyhow. Being sick has really sucked. Dante did get the Apach SSL working again so the main nibble site is now properly ssl and restricted but as for putting up the changelog, I haven't gotten too far with it. Sleeping 10-14 hours a day really cramps my style, dawg. You know what ahm sayin?

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