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Update On WorkSpot 28

Michelle Kraus of WorkSpot passed along the note below in response to many of the questions raised following the announcement of free demonstration accounts on the WorkSpot server featuring upgradeable Linux desktops. Kudos to the crew at WorkSpot for handling the influx of account requests as well as they have. Getting Slashdotted isn't easy on servers;)

"Dear members of the Slashdot community:

We at Workspot want to thank everyone who has take the time to check out our service (www.workspot.com). We have been operating under the radar for the last year, with lots of enthusiastic comments from those who have found out about us. We have had lots of suggestions about how to optimize our service, which we are incorporating into our upcoming release. We are also implementing a significant upgrade to our architecture and capacity to provide more users with continued access.

We want to make sure everyone understands that we are in early beta with an imminent upgrade to be released soon. Therefore, we ask you to please be patient with us as we register the thousands of users that have come to our door this week. For more information and our initial response to questions raised by the community go to this Slashdot response.

Note,we will post a technical FAQ later this month and will continue to respond to technical issues raised by the community. We are here to serve Linux!"

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Update On WorkSpot

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  • Yeah, I had that happen too. Some trigger-happy maintenance programmer out there needs to tune his perl script...

    I don't think these "free account" places can possibly last. All the old "free account" of any sort usually ends up failing miserably sooner or later. With a limited supply (of servers) and a near infinite demand (of lamers), and no revenue generator that I've heard of yet, this sounds like a real loser.

    So I can buy stock in it, and become a millionaire, right? :)

    I haven't been posting on slashdot that much lately. Is this crap normal now? 17/83? Come on, people!

    First Post Above Score:1, yeah! ;)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • As long as the script doesn't assign UID '0' it should be OK. There's nothing special about the username 'root' other than the fact that most of the time it is attached to UID '0' :-)
  • Cool. Working now.
  • How would this work? A hacker is going to be looking for the account in your / partition. Wheter it's called root or not, this would be fairly obvious. Now if you made the /root account to be a dummy account, and had you're root account be somewhere else. It would be pretty easy to tell the difference between a normal user account, and a root account, but maybe not between a dummy account and a root account.
  • I was there trying to sign up for an account. I tried using two different email addresses. Both times it said that the email address was invalid.
  • Oh, dear -- I only wish I had thought to use that account first!...
  • Yep. I tried about four. :-(

    Try again later...

  • I sent in my email and all, and still no account yet. I don't really care though, I can wait. But I'm just anxious to try it out so I can tell other people about it, and spread the word about Linux. I see this thing as a great and easy way to introduce the average Joe to Linux, before they go through the trouble of installing it on their own computer.
  • I had the same problem. I sent there tech support an email about as well.
  • Too bad my firewall at work has that port closed. but it's nice to play with it from home
  • I used it at school, when VC++ crashed, but gcc didn't. The only problem was lag. The first thing that I did was open an Xterm, so I didn't find the desktop too helpful. If you guys from Workspot are listening: put up a way to acess my account via telnet, this would allow me to use the shell (which is all I need) and solve problems with netscape.

    "huhuhuhh, go away. we're like closed or something"
  • Really, really evil gag:

    1. Do this to a demo Linux (or Unix) box.
    2. Give someone who brags overly much about their ability to screw up systems the "root" password, and tell them to do as much damage as they like.
    3. Brag about your ability to secure systems so much that not even root can mess them up.

    Or, the ultimate way to secure a system (a friend of mine actually DID this): chmod every file so that nothing can read or write to it. Of course, you then can't log in, but that's a small price to pay for the ultimate in security, right? ;-)

  • Same here - I'm glad it's not just me!
  • I found it to be a novel site, but it's real usefulness is yet to show. They were very prompt, I was registered within 24 hours, but the linux desktop was sadly lacking. It looked good, but the mouse and menu response times were horrendous.

    The most useful thing I found was the fact that they gave free webspace with support for CGI's.
  • They really don't have much support for firewalls at all. You really think it wouldn't be that hard to get around a bit of crappy security...
  • What a great site. I think it would be really nice for trying different databases and such when testing new ideas for programming. Being able to rent an informix or oracle box to see how it would perform with your php code.

    Couple things need fixing but for a beta seems to be running nice. There is no php support...sigh... also having mysql on there would be nice if you wanted to use a database. And the one terrable thing...SameGame the spinny stones wouldn't work. I got so excited that i would be able to play it at work.

    But great job to those at workspot
  • I had the same problem! I just sent them an email asking what's going on, so I'll wait and see what happens.
  • http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=00%2F03%2F26%2 F1723202&cid=&pid=0&startat=&threshold=2 &mode=flat&commentsort=0&op=Change

    Check it out! My Comment #77 comment shows up on this page with a threshold of 2!!!!

    Anyways, this thread used to filled with comments of scores 1 and 0. Until you came along. Get your karma whoring ass out of here. We don't need your kind in this thread.

    And wasting a score of 2 on such a lame ass reply. If I had mod access right now, you'd be sitting at (1: overrated).

    Gawd has slashdot ever gone down hill. Thanks timothy and emmett (I wonder if there the same person? They both spell their names without capitals...).

    Oh well, off to download more pr0n.

    Pr0n K1ng
  • Eagerly set up my linux desktop, tried to upload some files, but ran out of diskspace. df revealed that all of the available filesystems were full! Ughh. Hopefully this will be fixed soon. mitomac
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently, the account generation is done automatically by a script. This is very nice and efficient, BUT it's not foolproof.

    How do we know this? Let's just say that someone applied for the username "root". And it went through.

    Now, I'm sure you can see why it is that they haven't been responding as of late.

    --AC to protect myself
  • I've heard of machines with several accounts with uid 0, but that was machines used for Unix training - When the student messed up the r00t account, there was still a way to get in for the instructor.

    Actually, changing the name of the administrator-account is recommended practice on NT, from what I've heard...

  • I'm trying to sign up, but it keeps telling me I have an invalid e-mail address. I've tried a couple, anyone else having these problems?
    • Are you sure that's the only thing that's special? I suspect that if that script ran "passwd root", the effects would qualify as "special".

    Nope, still nothing special about the name "root". It's a character string, nothing more, nothing less. The problem, though, is that Unix searched through the password file line by line and stops when it reaches the name it is looking for. So, "passwd root" will do what you think it will if the admin hasn't changed the name associated with UID 0. Many, if not most, good sysadmins change the superuser's name.

    By the way, even Microsoft recommends, as part of the standard "NT hardening", changing the name of the Administrator and Guest accounts.

    But, just as an aside, if you use a system with shadow passwords (good idea) and you want to change the name of the root user, be sure to do it in both /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow (or run /usr/sbin/pwunconv first) before you log out as root, or you'll in a world of hurt (have your installation media close by if you do this!). Experience talking here...


    Cthulhu for President! [cthulhu.org]
  • by Teferi ( 16171 ) <teferi&wmute,net> on Sunday March 26, 2000 @09:33PM (#1169131) Homepage
    You bet. :P
    Actually, there're probably a few poorly written scripts that depend on the username, but in general, that should work...
    Heh, makes me wonder why more people don't do it - "Hey! I rooted this box, but I can't rm -rf /!"

    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • by Symbiosis ( 39537 ) on Sunday March 26, 2000 @08:35PM (#1169132) Homepage
    So, does that mean I could assign root a different UID, and give a different username UID 0? Ya know, sorta set-up a "dummy root", as a security measure? Or is this not a feasible task? i.e., would this account function fully as root, or do some tasks expect the username "root"?


    My mommy told me never to take my sig out in public.
  • As long as the script doesn't assign UID '0' it should be OK. There's nothing special about the username 'root' other than the fact that most of the time it is attached to UID '0' :-)

    Are you sure that's the only thing that's special? I suspect that if that script ran "passwd root", the effects would qualify as "special".
  • by Nik4 ( 125512 ) on Sunday March 26, 2000 @06:37PM (#1169134)
    This story got me to VNC [att.com] and it has made a big difference to my working. Cannot recommend it enough.

    Workspot is good for people to tryout/use Linux ...but for people who already have Linux ...VNC is THE thing to run.

    I run VNC on my home DSL connected Linux PC. To take care of dynamic IP addresses on my DSL connection i use the superb DNS service from DHS [dhs.org], these guys are great!

    Now, where ever i am, using VNC-SSH-DHS combo i can easily and securely reach my home Linux desktop with it's GB's of space and all the sw/code/tools that i have installed.

    btw, a great SSH client for Windows without any crypto restrictions is TTSSH [zip.com.au].

    i have reached Nirvana (atleast for some time :)
  • by nutty ( 70104 ) on Sunday March 26, 2000 @05:42PM (#1169135) Homepage
    I've been using Workspot for almost 3 months now, and its great.

    As a student in an NT school, i'll often set IE to full screen and code away on some perl scripts.

    The coolest thing about workspot is the fact that it offers the whole free storage thing too. Now some of you may think this is old news (X drive [xdrive.com], etc), but to all the geeks out there, you can access this storage space via a Palm VII app! Basically, Its a wireless storage space like that.

    And you also get free web hosting @ http://www.workspot.net/~username. With CGI! Mmmmm...

    O ya, and the KDE kiks ass too. But don't try to run it in Netscape/MacOS. *crash*.

    The only constraint has been bandwidth. The coolness loses its touch when the menu's are jerkin around on a 56k.

    All in all, a perfect OS gateway for those with network access to the internet.


"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"