April 30, 2003

Wireless Freedom

Man do I love wireless on my laptop. I am sitting on my back patio, listening to the birds chirp, feeling the light fresh breeze carrying the aromatic scent of pine and cedar trees, peaking all my senses as I watch the sun slowly creep over the mountain. All while I have 11 Mbps with full high speed Internet, and my development environment chucking along doing a compile.

This is freedom. This is the life. This is how it should be.

Posted by SilverStr at 07:46 PM

April 29, 2003

My tounge wags for Tungsten

I think I found the next handheld I might want. Its Palm's new TungstenC. Has all the familar PDA stuff I have used for years on my Handspring Prism, but with better resolution, and built in WiFi 802.11b. That there sells me on it. Also comes with a tonne of software, including things like Adobe Acrobat Reader for Palm. I just wonder if it will support 128bit WEP.

Man if I only had an extra $500 hanging around. *sigh*

Posted by SilverStr at 02:31 PM

April 28, 2003

Curse you 3rd Watch Producers


OMG! Thats just not funny, or fair. I can't wait till September.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.... curse you NBC. You are like a dope dealer, giving us just enough taste to keep us hooked.

Posted by SilverStr at 09:58 PM | Comments (3)

Windows 2003 Security Guide

Michael Howard has let the world know that Microsoft has released the new Windows 2003 Security Guide. For those of us that this applies to, feel free to go grab it over here.

Microsoft has also released a paper called "Threats and Countermeasures: Security Settings in Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP" which can be grabbed here.

Happy hunting.

Posted by SilverStr at 07:42 AM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2003

Linuxfest Wrapup

Well, yesterday was a pretty busy day. After sleeping in (happens when the night before you go to watch a Hockey game at your buddies place, and you don't get in till 3:30am due to checkstops on the highway), I rushed around to pick up OJ, Cuvarak and Arcterex and headed to the border of the good ol' USA. The crossing was pretty uneventful, and to Arcterex's dismay, he did not get a body cavity search.

The actual Linuxfest was ok. They got a lot more people then they expected, so much so we couldn't get into the Maddog presentation because the room was so packed. I'm ok with that, since I have heard Maddog speak like 3 times, but it would have been nice for some of the others to get an opportunity. Cuvarak snuck a peek a few times and got to listen in, but the rest of us went outside and enjoyed the sun. Of course, by this time we scored all the shwag we could, and I walked away with a Knoppix CD, FreeBSD DVD, NetBSD box set, a few shirts and a pretty good book entitled "Inside the Security Mind" by Kevin Day, which was a great find to add to my Security Library.

After a pretty good presentation from Crispin Cowan on the wrap up from the last DefCon hacking content put on by the Ghetto hackers, we decided to bail and head down to a friendly pub and drink back a few beers with Illiad. In the process of drinking some pretty good Guiness, a deck of cards was found and a killer game of Hearts broke out between seven of us. OMG did I get spanked. And I was one of the few people who knew how to play. *sigh* Never played with so many people. Made the game much more interesting.

Once we had enough of that, we headed back to Canada and ended up at Arcterex's place to watch Minority Report and snarf back some pizza. I originally thought it was going to be a corny movie, but it ended up being pretty good. Finally content with being out for the day, we wrapped up and I was home in time to catch the end of SNL.

Today I am just taking it easy and auditing some of my code. I twisted my ankle in Bellingham a bit (this was BEFORE the beers to make it even more embarrassing) and my ankle has swollen to a point that I have to stay off it. I think I will just lay back and let the day flow by for a change and just enjoy laying on the couch, reading source code on the laptop and relaxing. TTYL

Posted by SilverStr at 09:50 AM

April 24, 2003

New Movie trailers

For your viewing pleasure.... another good comic book based movie coming to a theater near you. Check out the new X2 trailer.

If you are not into weird mutants, how about killer AI in the form of robots? If so, check out the new Terminator 3 trailer.

Posted by SilverStr at 07:16 AM | Comments (3)

April 23, 2003

WinDbg with VMWare

Today I finally got around to updating the Lords of the Ring Zero page to now include a full synapsis of how to use VMWare to do kernel level debugging with WinDbg. So, if you are coding at ring zero you might want to look here on how you can use VMWare and WinDbg together through the use of a named pipe.

Posted by SilverStr at 03:41 PM | Comments (1)

Life, the Universe and your White Towel

Wow! What a great night last night. The Nuck's dominated the hockey game against the Blues, and we move on to the next series against 'Sota. As the higlights show..... many a white towel was twirled in delight by the loyal fans who have yet to fall off the 'wagon'.

Of course, I didn't actual SEE the game. I got the play by play via my Web/WAP enabled cell phone while I was at an AWESOME concert. What concert do you ask? Well, the Arrogant Worms of course!

My wife and I went with Arcterex and Yohimbe to check out an amazingly funny concert. They were trying out new songs, and mixed it up with some of their classics. I realized during the concert that their physical comedy only enhanced the songs 10 fold. And if you ever get the chance, you MUST go see them in person. It's very entertaining. Not sure if they will be in a city near you? Check out their concert dates and see. I notice they will be in Edmonton for the Folk Festival this summer Solas. (hint, hint)

What more can I say. Had a great night with friends, my hockey team won and I just realized I am actually wide awake before 8am for a change. Looks like a bright new day. Time to go to work!

Posted by SilverStr at 07:59 AM

April 22, 2003

New Hulk Trailer

OMG! You gotta check the new Hulk trailer out. Yet another comic book character coming to screen that I am sure to enjoy.

Posted by SilverStr at 12:00 PM

April 20, 2003

Calling all Database Gurus

I have a question for all the DBAs and developers out there. Anyone know where I can read up on developmental practices of writing vendor neutral database access code for an application. I am writing a pure ANSI C++ application that was originally going to connect to the MSDE. As I would prefer to provide alternatives to include Oracle, PostreSQL, mySQL as well as MS SQL Server.... I need to look at alternatives. Said advice should include information for database drivers supported on both XP/W2k and Linux.

I need to read up on ways to do this and avoid many of the cross database issues. As an example of 'issues' I can see, consider Stored Prcoedures. They doesn't work across all db systems the same way. I would like to write the routines once, and not have to do it separately for each database.

Anyone know of good resources for this? I want to make sure I include open source alternative databases as well as heavier systems like Oracle and MS SQL Server, and simply do not have the experience to know where to begin.

You comments would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by SilverStr at 02:25 PM | Comments (6)

April 19, 2003

Tibetan Monks, Pizza and the Canucks

Well, feeling quite content with finally getting my device driver development platform all together yesterday I headed out with my wife to meet up with Arc and the gang to hit a matinee and watch Bulletproof Monk. The movie was ok if you were expecting lots of "matrix like wire-flying" kung fu, with some comical twists to make you laugh every so often. I didn't expect much from Seanne Williams Scott (The dude who drank the 'seman beer' in American Pie), so it dropped my expectations enough to enjoy the movie. Go check it out on cheap night.

After we got out of the flick we ordered some pizza and headed over to Arc's to watch the Canucks. And we were amazed by a GREAT hockey game. Going into the third period I predicted it would be a 5-3 win, and sure enough it ended that way. 'Nucks in 7! Looks like Barry's prediction might be right on!

Ended the evening going shopping for easter goodies. My wife threw out my idea of having rabbit stew for Easter dinner, and decided on a Hamm (No Rob you are not invited) and Turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Still think the stew would have been funny. Of course, I might have to pay for my daughters therapy for many years if we ate 'Easter Bunny Stew', so maybe its not such a good idea.

I also finally found out the kinda of chocolate eggs I loved as a kid (I think). They are called "Cadbury Mini Eggs". My grandma used to call them "Robin's Eggs" and people in candy stores were looking at me funny when I asked for them. Can't seem to find any in town, but we saw what looked like them in a KFC ad and I will now begin the hunt to find them. Maybe I will get myself an easter treat and look for them today.

Posted by SilverStr at 07:24 AM | Comments (1)

April 18, 2003

Such s/foul/fowl language

Well, to update you on my XP service pack plight, I am happy to report I finally jammed SP1a into my VMWare session and can now go back to working on my device driver. Was very weird. By installing all the older security and critical patches first (even though SP1 has those rolled in) SP1a was able to somehow complete the install.

So my foul language is now done for now. But on the topic of "fowl" language, if you are in for a laugh, go read Iambe's advice about exploding turkey parts that SHOULDN'T have been put in a microwave.

I just don't want to think about exploding turkey organs. I saw what a hotdog could do when it explodes in the microwave. A much larger turkey heart.... well I don't have the heart to think about it. *shutter*

Posted by SilverStr at 11:40 AM

Curse you Microsoft

Perhaps I am expecting to much. I would think that a large corporation with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank for business use COULD HIRE people to keep their f*cking Update website ... well... up to date.

I am having a HELL of a time installing XP Pro SP1a in my VMWare session. The Express install (web based) fails after going through the entire thing. No useful messages on WHY. So I thought I would do the prudent thing and download the entire service pack to the harddrive and install it that way. Of course the file is corrupt!. I have tried downloading through three different sources/methods, and they all send the same frigging file.

To top it off, the file is 125 Megs, but the web site says its supposed to be 134M. Why? Because all their surrounding text still reflects on the old SP1 (notice no little 'a' at the end). So the information on the web site is wrong. of course, I can BUY the SP1a CD which guarantees me the right file. Of course, can I trust that when they can't even keep the web page up to date. They had enough gumption to add the little 'a' in the text all over... couldn't they do a file size check as well? God forbid.

And to finish off the fun... I can't find a single MD5 checksum to verify if the file is indeeed corrupt, or if something else is wrong. And of course, the original SP1 is nowhere to be found, so I can't even start there and incrementally patch the damn thing.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...... friggin morons.

Posted by SilverStr at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2003

For all the cat lovers out there...

If you are a cat lover, you might want to check out this Nokia ad.

Well actually... if you are a cat lover, you probably won't like it. But if you would like to see proof if cats land on all fours.... well... go watch the video already!

Posted by SilverStr at 11:00 PM | Comments (2)

In memory of

My thoughts and prayers go out to Steven and his family during this difficult time. Drop him a line and send you condolences.

Posted by SilverStr at 11:34 AM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2003

Penniless and free

Well, I finally got my car back. Only took 7 days to do a 2 day job *sigh*

Of course, much of the extra time was waiting for the expensive extra parts that were needed, and my budget for fixing the car was blown away. Oh well, hopefully this should be it. Can't afford to get nailed with any other high performance parts.

But... it does mean I can drive again. I am no longer shackled to the house. Thats a positive.

Posted by SilverStr at 08:58 PM

Tux on the brain...

Last night I lectured on Network forensic diagnostics and using snort to do complete data dumps of sessions on ethernet segments at the LUG. I can never tell if people are bored when going through the TCP/IP primer before we get into the kewl stuff like breaking down a complete telnet or smtp session, or sniff someone chatting on irc. But all in all everyone walked away with something new they didn't know, which makes it worth the effort.

Limos sent around a funny flash animation that you should see. Since the site seems bogged down, you can check out my mirror here. (Note to whomever made the flick, don't sue me for mirroring it. Email me at silverstr@vulscan.com and I will remove it instantly)

A bunch of us are looking to go see the screening of RevolutionOS with VanLUG in a few weeks. If you would like to join us, drop me a line.

Looks like we should have plenty of people going to the Northwest LinuxFest. We now have 3 cars confirmed. With any luck we can overwhelm Maddog with our Canadian presence! *lol* Well, atleast there will be enough people criticizing their weak american beer.

Posted by SilverStr at 10:42 AM

April 14, 2003

OMG - Aweseom Rube Goldberg-like car ad

This has got to be the kewlest ad I have ever seen. Honda came out with an awesome ad (which currently is /.). You can check out a mirror here.

It took them 606 takes, but it doesn't matter. That continious shot it just amazing.

Posted by SilverStr at 12:06 PM

April 13, 2003

Hold the Phone, It's a Sex Toy

So you are not sure what to get your lady friend. You know she loves her nokia cell phone. But just how much do you think she LOVES her cell phone? Seems some interesting developers in the UK have written some unique java code to turn your nokia cell phone into a discrete vibrator.

Seems like the purrrrrrfect gift for her. :)

Posted by SilverStr at 09:02 PM

April 12, 2003

Don't answer the phone

Some friends came and picked me up last night and I went to see Phone Booth. Intense movie. Very few, if any, dull moments. My only complaint is that it was way to short. Like only 1 hour 10 minutes, and that includes all the previews etc.

After the movie we went out for a few beers and shoot some pool. Been a while since I did that, and we ended up closing the place down. Feeling somewhat hungry, we went to the only place still open at like 2 in the morning, The Husky Truck stop. After a plate of eggs and hashbrowns, we called it a night, which is probably a good thing since I wasn't feel the greatest after that. Beer and eggs at that time just didn't mix well.

Finally got home, and got to crash hard. Work up at lunch! Haven't done that in a very long time. Which reminds me, I need to eat something. L8r.

Posted by SilverStr at 01:33 PM | Comments (1)

April 11, 2003

What a HellishTwo Days

OMG. Have I had a shitty two days. Where do I begin? OK... for some reason I have been without cable and cable internet for two days. Besides net withdrawls (I never realized how bad I have it until its taken away without any planning) I simply could do very little work. Why no cable? Because some stupid Shaw employee sent a "disconnection work order" TO THE WRONG HOUSE! So I was physically disconnected. Curse you minimum wage idiot from hell.

An "emergency repairman" was dispatched and I just got reconnected and now back online. But in the meantime I lost out on a pathetic hockey game, and 2 days of work. And Shaw doesn't seem to want to atleast credit me anything (like a free digital movie or something) for the trouble they caused which had nothing to do with me. Grrrrrrrrr.

So, that was bad enough. Today I found out I will not get my car back until next week. Why? Because some f*cking moron at the Chevy wharehouse sent the wrong damn sensor and they cannot put my tranny back in until they get it, which won't be until Monday. So I will be couped up here all damn weekend with no way to leave the nest. Guess I will atleast make up for lost work time. *sigh*

Decided to check out my options with the SEP program. Sounds like it won't work for me as I am "to far ahead" in a lot of things, and can not do some of the paper pushing things (like a market survey about my product when I am trying to keep it hush hush). Typical government agency. They have good people that have to follow dumb rules. I went in with over 200 pages of market research , business plan etc which is BETTER than what is required. Yet it doesn't matter. And they wonder why many people loath government programs.

Am I finished yet? Nope. For some reason after updating with Windows Update I lost my quick launch bar with no indication why. When I try to relauch it I get a simple error of "Cannot create toolbar.". Why not? Nice f*cking error.

There is some hope. While awaiting Internet access I spent a great deal of time reading MSDN articles I have on CD and found a better way to deal with packet filtering in XP/2000 with some modifications and a rewrite of my driver. I am now taking it UNDER the TCP stack and installing it as a NDIS driver. Only bad thing is I have to rewrite it. But I guess thats ok. I want to be able to filter icmp and IP itself (for things like IPSec filtering), and this is the best way of going about it. Long roads ahead as I rewrite iplinks now. *sigh*

Lets hope next week is better. If any of you feel like visiting me this weekend to cheer me up, bring a DVD and lets party!

Posted by SilverStr at 12:34 PM | Comments (2)

April 09, 2003

Life, the Universe and Everything Cloned

Well, I almost think I have a pretty cloned blog entry to that of Arc. Lets see, had an excellent game of squash with Arc and Brad. Very close games with Arc, both lost in over time. Had my arse fed to me on a platter from Brad, as he humbled me with his prowlness. Arc was frustrated with the velocity and speed of the game with Brad, and retaliated by smoking him right in the kisser with a yellow dot ball. Ok, so maybe it was an accident, but it sure looked like it hurt.

My car is in the shop. Getting new front brakes and a rear main seal. It was supposed to go in last week, but outside events stopped that from happening. With these repairs though, I will not care as much about the war in Iraq, as I won't be losing to much oil out of the engine. (Ok, bad joke.. leave me alone) And more importantly, this should be it for some time with the car now fully overhauled. *fingers crossed*

Last night I took some time to watch a flick at home. Ended up watching K-19: WidowMaker. I must admit, it was an excellent movie. Based on the true story about nuclear subs in the cold war, I am just so happy that the Russian fleet had such brave, and honourable men as the crew of the K-19. We might all be dead right now otherwise.

Speaking of dead and the living... right now I am just updating some of the living documents (business plan, financial model etc) for a meeting I have tomorrow. I really should be tending to that, and not my blog. I should go. TTYL.

Posted by SilverStr at 11:08 AM

Curse the ISP

So I had the lovely experience of finding out Shaw decided to flip all their switches and give me a new IP in the wee hours of the morn. A traceroute shows they are monkeying around with the network again, which has the DNS having to update zones etc. Right when I was waiting for an email from someone. Hopefully the secondary is set up correctly and I will get it shortly.

Why can't they just leave the damn thing alone. It was working great. Even after the move, I continued with the same IP on the same switch. Curses to you BOFH.

Posted by SilverStr at 11:01 AM

April 08, 2003

Lasers and Jello... yummy

When I was a kid I always dreamed I would become a scientist working with lasers. I attempted to build my own red ruby laser which blew up in my grandma's garage (but did make pretty red light for a few moments). The movie Real Genius was a testament to what I wanted to do, with me dreaming I could party like Val Kilmer and still get good grades.

Of course, my life path changes as I found out the more neat things I could do with computers. Once I got the hacking bug in me, I was more interested in how communications equipment and computers worked.

Anyways, I found an interesting link on how you can use jello as a smoked lens, to view total internal reflection, and as a color filter. I am sure some of you other "Real Genius" fans will get a kick out of yet another use for jello.

Posted by SilverStr at 09:47 AM

April 07, 2003

Diamonds are forever

Ok, now I have seen everything. It seems you can take your dearly departed significant other, or even your pet, and have a certified, high quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one.

Nothing like having fluffy hanging off yer ring finger.

Posted by SilverStr at 09:26 AM | Comments (1)

April 06, 2003

LinuxFest Northwest

Calling all Linux Geeks. On April 26th Madd Dog will be speaking at the Northwest LinuxFest in Bellingham WA. I am thinking about heading down there, and thought maybe a few of you would like to carpool and go down there.

I will fire this to the FVLUG mailing list as well, so we may end up taking a few cars down.

If you are interested in coming with me, drop me a line or leave a comment here.

Posted by SilverStr at 02:38 PM | Comments (1)

April 04, 2003

Meet up with other /. Geeks

Well, coming up on April 24th is the the next Slashdot Meet and Greet in Vancouver. Not sure if I can attend, as its my wife's birthday. However, who knows. If you are interested in hooking up with other /. geeks, why don't you check it out?

If you are going, let me know. Would be good to see some of the old crowd.

Posted by SilverStr at 10:32 AM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2003

Make Sushi like a Chef

Today I noticed Foz had a link on "How to make Sushi". It is a great article. Now I wanna throw a sushi party and have everyone make sushi.

I think I will skip the blowfish though. I will let a real sushi chef prepare such evil morsals of yumminess. Of course, being a guy that loves California Rolls, Dynamite Rolls and Kappa Maki, its not like my palette needs a lot of change.

It was interesting learning in one of the comments about how fresh water salmon should NOT be used for sushi due to parasites that can make humans sick. Being the 'Net, it's always hard to determine fact from fiction, but that made sense. Living in BC and hating salmon (yes I'm an odd ball), I am not to worried about it... but this is something good for Arcterex to know, since I know he has waded in the depth of sushi making himself already.

Posted by SilverStr at 09:43 AM

April 02, 2003

Chris is leaving TechTV :(

Well, while checking out Chris' Blog today I noticed he is leaving TechTV. Sorry to hear that dude. I wish you well in you quest to find the Holy Grail new path of life.

BTW, for those who frequent Chris' Blog, you will notice that the font there is similar to this one. Well, actually its the same font. Chris was nice enough to give me permission to use his font. After fighting with web site access permissions for web fonts, and generating my own EOT, everything seems to be working fine.

Anyways, thanks to Chris for letting me 'steal' his ideas. And I hope you join me in wishing him well as he moves on in life. Drop him a line and let him know you are thinking about him.

Posted by SilverStr at 05:39 PM

Funny /. Quote

I thought this was pretty funny.

The Sco lawsuit agaisn't IBM is proof that anything that looks the original is subject to copyright claim. The main argument used is that SCO is the owner of SysV technology.

C# is not only copyrighted but also patented.

You can iso it and declare it as free as you want to but its still proprietary in my book for this reason. Likewise you can get a pig and put lipstick, makeup, eyeshadow, and a thong on it and call it Britney Spears but its still a pig.

Leave it to /. to actual be able to hook C#, a pig and Britney Spears in the same vein. *sigh*

Posted by SilverStr at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)

Curse the mechanics of the world

So today I was supposed to leave my car for a few days at the mechanics so they could replace the rear main seal and the front brakes. (Lots of work). We scheduled it two weeks ago to make sure I could work it around my life. I made sure I had my meetings in Vancouver Monday and Tuesday this week, leaving the rest of the week clear. I scheduled for someone to pick me up when I dropped the car off, and everything was good to go.

I get there this morning, to be politely told that it wasn't going to happen. The only lift that can support the work needed on my car was still in use, because some poor sap's car was still on there. Apparently a pulley was bad and was going to take three days to get a new one. With the car half apart, they couldn't take it off the hoist. Damn it.

So now I have to wait another week and schedule around it. *sigh* I guess I should be happy its not my car on the hoist right now.

Posted by SilverStr at 10:25 AM

April 01, 2003

Web + April 1 = Can't trust anything you read

Normally you can kinda trust the information you read online if you know the source. On April 1st though, that rule goes out the window. Like come on, are hackers REALLY going to set the "evil bit" in the TCP header when they are attacking you? Think about it bonehead. (/me refers to the stupid comment posted on the vulnerability dev mailing list)

I hope the world understands THEY are the fools if they continue this after 12. Being that its the Internet... April 1st has come and gone in some parts of the world, rendering this whole episode just sad.

Posted by SilverStr at 09:47 AM