The worm turns.

Entry #9

Last week’s internet worm, which overloaded computers running Microsoft’s SQL server, caused 13,000 bank machines owned by Bank of America to malfunction, and generally overwhelmed Internet backbones worldwide reminded me of the very first Internet Worm and it’s creator, Robert Tappan Morris and how any sense of security we have in computers, or in our own existence and daily life in general is unfounded.

While my own experience with last Friday’s worm was limited to a quick troubleshoot, call to my colo provider (who was having BIG problems), and remote fix from the comfort of my king size bed, I realize that many system administrators (most of them with far less brain capacity and skill that I esteem myself to possess) spent much of Friday night and Saturday working to get their systems working, under control, patched and back online. Poor slobs.

But the real message in my mind is how lucky we are every day. Although wars, hunger and plague kill millions every year, there is some good news. The sun hasn’t exploded, no giant asteroid has hit the Earth in epochs, people aren’t burning to crisps from radiation storms created by giant sunspots, giant gaping continental rift volcanos haven’t opened up and swallowed the majority of civilization. Because of the Internet and the unprecedented ease of communication it brings, we are experiencing a renaissance of knowledge unparalleld since western civilization heaved itself up from underneath the oppressive dogma of the Catholic Church.

People need to learn that life, security and prosperity are tenous things, never realized by the majority of souls that have walked this Earth, and that we should never trade freedoms for a phantom increase in security. Community and brotherhood are the watchwords we should be concerned with, not security and defense. These watchwords stand for values that create a much better world for all than any search for security from other people(s), whether they be different or seemingly threatening. Do what you can to spread them, and the values they represent.

A simple list

Entry #8
This week I’ve been;

  • Working with Qwest to get our T3 for DSL access active so we can take customers
  • Supervising work on our webpage
  • Debugging and hardening security on about 10 Windows 2000 servers
  • Doing research for my class at Evergreen, for which I have to write a paper detailing why the U.S. shouldn’t force its own values on the International Monetary Fund
  • Negotiating with the landlord on our former and future office
  • Assembling and programming Web based management tools for our operational support systems (OSS)
  • Trying to keep peace at home, even though my entreprenuerial startup company could easily take 16 hours a day of time
  • Stocking up on good high quality food stuffs, and keeping my kitchen clean
  • Drinking a bit too much coffee, mayhaps. . .

Unbelievable progress. . . . .

Entry #7
I made unbelievable progress today, on projects that looked like they would end up screwing up my whole day, if not the weekend.
Heading up to Seattle at 7:15 AM in order to move our servers from the 18th floor of the Westin building to the 32nd floor, we experienced beautiful weather, smooth traffic, even though there was a heavy five-O presence on the freeway. We had a beautiful view of the sunrise and the mountains, and a pot of fresh coffee and other refreshments.

We had to move from an open rack to a closed cabinet upstairs at the data center because of our impending DSL access loop T3 installation. We arrived at 8:45, and had to wait about 10 minutes because the COLO center techs hadn’t arrived yet. After identifying an open rack, and telling us it was ok to move, the COLO center techs furiously went about dropping a T3 and Ethernet cable in our rack.

Unbelievably, our mission went well and we had the equipment moved and mounted, reconfigured and online before noon. Moving this much networking and server equipment inevitably means you’re going to have some horrible thing go wrong, making your work four times more difficult and lengthly that you planned.

After a nice cruise back to OlyWa, I checked the router to see if the COLO tech had finished running my T3 cable, and plugged it in. To my amazement, it was plugged in and running, and I was able to get the installation tech to configure a loopback PVC, and ran the circuit through a few successful transmission tests.

So let’s recap;

1) Beautiful Weather, Nice Commute to Seattle. 2) Quicker than planned work, no problems. 3) T3 installed without undue delay from qwest. 4) Good drive back, arrived before scheduled. 5) A good time was had by all.

That’s a combination that hasn’t come up often in my life lately, but I’m willing to take whatever I can get, gladly.

Business, Business, Busy as a Bee . . . . .

Entry #6
I’m starting off my busy business week with a journal entry, because I’ve got so much on the table, I’ll probably not see light of day until Friday.
Today I’m meeting with our former landlord and am going to talk to him about renting our old office, which is being vacated later this month. It would be a real coup to get that office as we start the new business, as it is already wired for fiber optic capacity up to 150Mpbs (OC3) level, and can easily be upgraded to Gigabit capacity. We need a local data center if we’re going to get colocation customers in Olympia, so it would be really cool. It would be kind of weird working there, what with all that has happened since we sold the business. Kinda of a complete Karmic circle, I suppose.

Today is also the start of the 105 day legislative session, which is being housed in the portable chambers because of the legislative building being closed for renovation and earthquake retrofitting. Since they can’t have a joint session of the two houses in the Capitol builing, they’re going to hold it at the Gymnasium at St. Martin’s College in Lacey tomorrow, so that Governor Locke can give his annual ‘State of the State’ address, which I’m planning on attending. That kind of thing is always fun.

I’m also supposed to find time to write an e-mail and send it to all 149 state legislators, offering them my assistance and expertise on political, technical and regulatory issues facing Internet business and users. The impetus behind this action being the truism that “government policy is decided by those how show up”, which I learned before I was even old enough to vote.

Of course that is in addition to the homework I’m supposed to do for my class at evergreen, but I’ll have to squeeze that in later. Reminder to myself; I have to remember to go to TESC and buy my last textbook.

I still haven’t heard from the Freemasons yet, on the status of my petition to Join the lodge. I had to deliver a second one to them after the first one I gave them (back in August 2002) was misplaced. It has been almost four weeks since then, and the Lodge Secretary told me he was anxious to read it in Lodge and take action on it, which makes me wonder about the additional delays.

I better get to work now, since it’s going to be such a long day.


Martha Stewart (not a true Stewart, since she married into that name, and has long since divorced her husband) is on TV right now talking about tulip bulbs from the Netherlands, which she is continually calling ‘Holland’. I notice the bulbs she brought back with her are in little brown paper bags, with varietal names written in sharpie on the top of the bag. Odd that they don’t have the proper US Customs agricultural import inspection sticker on them, which *MUST* be done in NL before you take the bulbs out of the country, or else US Customs inspectors will not let them enter the country. I wonder how she got around that requirement ? ? ? 

Damnation

Entry #5
I’ve been having a tough time this week.

First, I get a notice from Evergreen stating I’ve been “disenrolled” from class, because I didn’t pay by the deadline. Since I went to their webpage and tried to verify registration and was told “Your Registration Slot is January 8th”, I assumed I had until then to pay. WRONG! I guess I should pay more attention, but I only have “special student” status anyway, which is just a fancy term for “part-time”, and my class is only one weekend a month (when most of the campus offices are closed) so I’m not participating in the usual student experience, and have missed a few things.

Also, I thought my paper was due today (the 8th), but really it was due on the 6th, with a response to another classmates paper due today. Since the class hasn’t even yet met for the quarter, I’m thinking they’ll excuse the fact that it’s two days late.

Next, I get what appears to be a solication call last night due to extremely long pause between my saying hello and someone on the other end resonding, (long pause, *click*, “er, Hello, Mr. Stewart?”). I find out it’s Qwest, so I tell them I don’t want to buy whatever new phone feature they’re selling, and hang up. It rings again, and the lady says, “Mr. Stewart, I’m not trying to sell you anything, I just wanted to tell you that your phone is scheduled for disconnection unless you pay your bill soon.” Doh, I forgot. OK, so I tell her “thanks for the warning”, and let her go, thinking that since they warned me that they’d actually give me at least 24 hours to pay. Wrong again! I pick up my phone this morning to make a call, and no dialtone. Just an annoying repeating click, click, click.

A Brief Interlude

Entry #4
After my last rambling post, I thought I’d post a brief followup regarding the tendency toward airport security fascism. Apparently, Illusionist Penn (of Penn and Teller), met with a hassle when recently flying out of Las Vegas, and he has posted an account of his experience on his weblog.
Credit being due where it is due, I originally found this link on Adam Curry’s Weblog.

This brings to mind another interesting thought. I told a friend of mine about my journal, and he said “So you’re blogging, now?” To which I could only answer “Yes, I guess I am.” This is a pretty scary thought, because I never thought of myself as blogging, but I guess that’s kind of what I’m doing, even though I have only associated that description with what Macintosh Weirdos do. I am definately “keeping an online journal, using open database connectivity standards, with a backend SQL database, based on PHP active scripting.” But Blogging? Hmm, begrudingly, I guess I admit that I am. . . .