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The Media on Microsoft's "Crack this..." ploy 162

Greyleaf writes " Check out this ZDNet story that sheds a bit more light on Microsoft's "security challenge" woes. It appears that Windows 2000 didn't even need any cracker help for its first crash and gives a brief mention is also given of the LinuxPPC challenge." MSNBC also picked up the story.
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The Media on Microsoft's "Crack this..." ploy

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  • I expect its because they've got the entire system set up to spew debugging info non-stop.

    Not using NT, I wouldnt know what would cause an event.
  • That's total BS, they said that because routers are voodoo to the average MS "power luser".
  • Are they riding Open Source hype or are they getting ready to embrace and extend the Open Source term?

    IMO, probably both.

  • He never said you can't tweak it. Just that you can't tweak it with anything other than the publicly available information. (No 'secret' registry twiddling, for example, unless its a well-known published twiddle.)
  • Shakes head. I just don't understand how people can still buy into ms's technology. I mean ms is touting wnt2k as the next thing in sliced bread - even mentioning enterprise, hint, hint; but the server they put out for heavy pounding gets whacked by thunderstorms!!!??

    Jesus, I think I just walked through the looking glass, again.

  • Not to mention that even when NT 3.51 was certified on 3 hardware platforms, it was only secure if it didn't have a floppy drive or network access.

  • From reading the other posts, it sounds like it's an automatic shutdown, not a crash. Therefore it's a feature :)

  • This is similar to the test the they put SQL-Server 7 through. Shows up really bad problems (which they always seem to have). Shame they don't test this sort of thing in house more before 'egg-on-face' problems.
  • In any case, a server should be able to survive on zero writeable disk space. It's acceptable, if undesirable, for operations that involve writing to the disk (which does not include static HTML, that being all I saw on the test site), to fail semi-gracefully.

    Under most decent OSes, writes to a disk-full file on a normal filesystem will get bufferred in RAM until free space opens up; when the RAM's full, it has to start discarding those buffers, once it's pared down the cache and forced some processes out to swap. Maybe that's involved, maybe not. The suggestion that the machine has a lot of logging turned on so they could benefit from successful crashes has merit, though -- although I'd be logging it to a different machine with a huge pile of disks that was also logging all the net traffic. Oh well. "Poor MS." :)

  • I am in Kirkland (Two miles East of Redmond) and have had NO down time do to the weather.
  • Oh, man....*chuckle*....You wonder if MS gets tired of wiping egg of its face. One thing after the other. What's even better is that few people even bothered with this free beta testing scam. Don't they have enough $$$ to do their own testing? Well, since this crashed so bad without much effort, I stick to my prediction that this joke of an OS won't ship until 2000.
  • It's now 5:00 EST and I am getting "Server not responding" errors.. Hmmm.... Must be in final candidate form.... (*holding in hysterical laughter*)
  • IIRC, they also put the video code into the inner bowels of the kernel, in order to make everything 'feel' faster. the result of which is the vid. updates having such a high priority that moving the mouse will temporarily halt all background processes, so that the cursor will update more smoothly.
  • I thought MS beta was the shrinkwrapped stuff on the store shelves.

  • For those of you who haven't been able to view the site, there's a partial copy from my cache at: []

    if anyone can send me the other pages, I'll add them ( [mailto]).


  • []

    Just in case you weren't aware, it appears M$ has put the site back up.

    happy hacking. :)
  • Since no version of NT 4.0 has ever managed to be C2 certified, are they allowed to describe a particular configuration as, "C2 certified"?

  • The machine apparently crashed because its security logs filled up. Can the same be done as a DoS attack on any NT box? What kinds of events fill up the log? How many events are required?

    If somebody can fill in the details then it should be released as an official bug report. And it can then be as a vulnerability in existing versions of NT...

    Ben Tilly
  • A major, constant, and heart-felt complaint about Microsoft is the way that they have constantly lowered the standards for what is acceptable quality at each level of release. Why should we let Microsoft rewrite the language? Their rewriting the rules already is what has led to final releases being incredibly instable, and we are in general just plain sick of it.

    No, don't judge them by their language. Judge them by the same rules that you do everyone else. If they are delivering a product that will be competing in the server space, they should be hitting the same stability targets that everyone else does routinely. Particularly if the product is being marketed based on its stability!

    Ben Tilly
  • Put down that crack pipe!

  • Hardly. I sneezed outside last week, which caused those thunderstorms. Really. I saw Jurassic Park which explained the whole thing.

    QDMerge [] -- data + templates = documents.
  • That both of the articles cited in this posting are almost exactly the same? Right to the point of being almost word for word copies of each other.

    I don't know if MSNBC copied from ZDNet or the other way around, but either way it makes one wonder where these "journalists" are going for their info. Almost makes me wonder if someone is spoonfeeding it to them.
  • Ahh but you should see all those Californian's that came here in the 80's try to drive in the rain. :-) That's equally entertaining. Watch out for that BMW or that SUV which the owner doesn't know how to drive!!!!

  • The thunderstorms in Seattle were VERY powerful. The school district I work with
    has schools scattered throughout the Redmond/Kirkland/Bellevue area and numerous problems arose. We also had highly unusual urban power failures, something that hasn't happened since a few years ago when we had 18" of snow. (Douglas Fir's don't like snow if you get my point.) This storm was highly unusual our area. Even with UPSs many many networks and ISPs in Seattle had trouble. Although I doubt that is the sole reason for the crash I would not ignore what MS has said regarding the weather.
  • Good question. why don't you ask them that? I wouldn't know. My best guess would be that is consisdered mission critical and is redundant in many different ways. I doubt that this server is even on a UPS. i wonder if it is a box plugged in under someones desk or in a test lab. ( was two boxes under a developers desk for a long time.)

  • Hmmm.. If all you think was changed between NT 4.0 and 3.51 was the gui and the utilities you really don't know ANYTHING about NT 4.0's development. Aded amongst other things:

    1)Of course the interface. (duh)
    2)Big time OLE "enhancements"
    3)Nearly a complete rewrite of the kernel. Biggest part was the Win32 subsystem was moved into the kernal to increase performance. In WinNT 3.51 it ran seperatly, this is one of the reason why many people percieve 4.0 as less stable than 3.51.
    4) Much much bigger and better hardware support.
    5) Many new APIs

    Whether this was good of course is open to discussion. But can I make a suggestion: you need to crawl back into the hole you came from before you embarrass the linux community with your stupidity. If you don't know anything about something don't talk about it like you do for godsakes!
  • I just noticed that Microsoft keeps adding new features to the status log and so forth. I wonder if one or two of the reasons this site occasionally goes off line is to implement these changes? (I seriously doubt this site has a content staging server for testing...)
  • Ahh but see that's why it has something like 25 servers. :-) In order to deliver continous service they have to have that many to cycle through so they have enough up at any time to garuntee access. I must admit I can always get to when I need to.
  • Oh really? Sounds like a challenge to me. Why don't you prove it. If you are successful, you even get a free machine: []

  • is good the "Open Source" is a trademark.

    Unless they pay ESR enough.... ;)

  • What their excuse now?
  • So what do we have?

    • A stripped down IIS.
    • A stripped down Windows 2000 server, probably a custom build, running nothing but an http daemon on port 80.

    This is a sham. For a *real* challenge:

    Standard install of Windows 2000, IIS, and Microsoft Office 2000, installed according only to information that comes with the manuals included with the software. NO OTHER INFORMATION can be used in configuring the machine.

    Now, put THAT outside the firewall, and see how fast it gets cracked.

  • nermal texaco

    "It's Brazilian"
  • If the processor is only at 20%, then they should have no problem sitting at the console and adding a line.

    But, Windows IIS was nice enough to lock pages, while I was editing pages over smb at a clients site.
    So unless they've updated IIS behaviors, you need to stop it in order to update the status page.
  • Nope, it's you must have a high availabilty, because you need to come and reboot the server when it is not responding.
  • In the not entirely distant past something similar to this happened. When Bill Gates reveiled Windows 98 at a press conference he got a BSOD. But people still bought Win 98, all the OEM's put it on their machines. People will buy Win2k, for no other reason than it comes with more eye candy and a few extra security holes. When NT went from 3.51 to 4 all they really did was change the GUI and add some extra utilities, most of which were really buggy leading to unreliable performance.
  • For the record: Release Candidate 1 for Win2k is out, it seems to be equivalent to or a patch from Beta 3.

    No, I don't work for the Enemy, but we have the beta ware at the office, and will be putting it through the wringer in the next few weeks...
  • If you've seen any Ziff-Davis computer-related magazine, it's pretty obvious that they grease up and bend over whenever Microsoft is involved. It should be no surprise if one just copies the other. Either way, it all comes from the same source: Microsoft's memetic engineering (i.e. PR) department.

    Have a Sloppy night!
  • I could be wrong, I haven't really been following this, but isn't this the same software that MS has been "selling" to people?
    Yeah, I know, it's really a lease. Yeah I know, it says it's beta. But if they hand it over in exchange for money, I say they sold it. And if the sell it, then I say that it's released software.
    So no, I won't cut them any slack for beta software.
  • Though this may be true for COMMERCIAL software (IE who wants to call the new super release 2000.0b.3 SE "beta" when it's on the store shelves), it doesn't for GNU/BSD/Free software. There beta actually still means something. (Of course I won't have to mention that BETA IBM serveraid drivers allowed for a machine with more uptime and less, ahhh, "thunderstorms" than that W2K machine. Anyone know the hardware stats on that sucker?
  • YEAH! Gerald Holmes will be able to explain that this is actually a very smart move (TM) on microsoft's part because now that long haired crazy linuz guys are doomed!
  • It responds to my ping. But no evil lynx h4x0rs can access p0rt 80. Because we all know people want to steal your information from port 80. Maybe the webpage was something that you "weren't supposed to see"
  • Perhaps this should be an "Ask Slashdot" topic.

    So when does the M$ Offical Weather Compatibility List (WCL) come out, and where do I get it? Trial and error can be a frustrating thing. However, I have learned that warm rainy evenings and hot humid Sunday afternoons are NOT good Service Packin' Weather conditions. God knows what a thunderstorm would have done to my Sexchange swerver!
  • Microsofts lacing marketting hype with the word "Open" is an appeal to the open source community.
    Most open source users who use open source operating systems do so becouse: It's open, free, Unix based, or Not Microsoft.
    In all thies cases Microsoft dose not have a flicker of hope.
    Windows isn't open, isn't free, is Microsoft and is so diffrent from Unix that it makes Dos look like a Unix wanabe.
    Microsoft forgets to quickly it's bad name and expects casual open source users to switch to Windows as quickly as casual Mac users did with Windows 95.
    In short I feel comfortable sitting back and laffing at Microsofts "open" marketting. It shows we are winning :) and some day soon we will all be using MsLinux..... just kidding....
  • We weren't ignoring what they said about the weather.. we were just laughing about it :)
  • Is "Thunderstorms" listed on the BOFH excuse calendar?
  • But, there is a simple fix - either set the size of the logs to be really really big and/or set the "get rid of really old events" check box. I do both on the NT boxes I have running.

    Why on earth they did not have them set that way to begin with is beyond me. That is always the first thing I do when I set a box up for the first time.

    My guess is the same guys that set this machine up are the same guys that said "it is the weather".

    Heh. Gotta love it :)

    Mister programmer
    I got my hammer
    Gonna smash my smash my radio
  • It's also the same thing that all the trolls on comp.os.linux.advocacy swear they've had running for months under heavy load without a crash. "It's even more stable than NT4 (which was rock solid to start with)!"

    Or perhaps it's a more recent build, if I read the articles right. Still, one would hope that by the time you got to Beta, the more recent builds would be more stable than the earlier ones.

    Oh, and I especially liked the part about everything not coming up right when they rebooted.

    Windows, your days are numbered. (And no, I'm not just talking about up time.)

  • > Granted, this all might be just bad luck for Microsoft. But "unstable beta software" and "thunderstorms" hardly explain it away

    I'd almost believe the "thunderstorms" part. When your ego gets to be the size of a planetoid, you tend to attract the hostile attention of the gods, and then things like inopportune thunderstorms follow.

  • Now they think the 'high' in "high availability" means "put it on high ground".

  • Couldn't you blame Redhat or whomever you bought the software from? This would be one of the strongest reasons to actually buy it, rather than just downloading it off the net. RedHat makes money, Alan Cox gets paid, PHBs are happy, the Penguin marches on .................
  • REDMOND, WA - Today, Microsoft, the world's largest software company, announced a new technology called ActiveOpen(TM). "ActiveOpen(TM) is designed to pick up where OpenSource(TM) left off", said Microsoft Product Manager Dewy Chetumorwhut. "It will enabled users, designer, developers, and managers to collaborate on software projects in a free and open way more productive then the existing legacy models, such as GPL and BSD". Microsoft officials said the product will initially be available for Windows 2000 Advanced Super-Duper Server, with releases for "legacy operating systems such as Linux" being made available "real soon now".

    Further details about ActiveOpen will be made available to Microsoft Certified Developers under NDA for a fee, Microsoft said.
  • One little problem. Lightning strikes typcially go into the *millions* of volts. A direct lightening strike is going to go through consumer-class protection devices like a hot knife through butter. In those cases, APC or whoever pays off the $25K in insurance. It doesn't happen that often.

    However, a top-ten site like Microsoft should have more available to them then a simple UPS. Such places typcially use online power conditioning, electrically isolated systems, lightning arresters, and such.

    One way or the other, Microsoft loses. If you are a e-commerce site, then it doesn't matter *why* your site goes down -- it is still down, and you still lose money. A $50 billion dollar software company could not create a site that stayed up. Would you trust *your* site to them?
  • > the BOFH excuse calendar

    Ha ha! Is this an actual product? I seriously need one.
  • At the bottom of the MSNBC article...

    "(c) 1999 ZDNet. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of ZDNet is prohibited."

    I'm not saying permission was given, only that the MSNBC version most likely originated at ZDNet.
  • Having two expressions (open source and free software) for essentially the same idea means that we are still left with one of them working while the other one is under market pressure. I don't remember that this was on the list of motivations when ESR started using the open source expression.

    The word open has a track record of being misused in exactly the way Microsoft does now: i.e. pretending to be a nice neighbor while retaining as much control/power as possible. On the other hand free has an matching track record of always being in need of explaining.

    Between the two the pendulum will swing back and forth while the idea keeps working just fine.

    Therefore, no! I'm not getting nervous! Words will continue to get misused and we will continue to explain the idea.

  • Beyond 2000 me's thinks. I've got an offical OEM W2K Professional copy (from my distributor). It is valid for 415 days - hence late 2000 at the very earliest. If they "discover" the problems I have they will need significant work on it. Since Microsoft didn't provide a contact number that works I might post the stuff here ;)
  • okay so how come didnt crash then?
  • Microsofts lacing marketting hype with the word "Open" is an appeal to the open source community.

    Not really. It's an appeal to the naive* public. No need to remind you that "Open Source" is getting a lot of positive press (MS FUD notwithstanding). MS knows that OS developers and enthusiasts won't fall for cheap buzzword ploys (as this site so clearly demonstrates). They also know that joe computeruser and his PHB will, especially with the media's cooperation.

    *Note that naive is not meant as a put-down here... it just means that the general public is not well versed in the issues surrounding open source vs. proprietary software development, nor do I expect them to be.


  • I've worked in enough small shops where windows screws itself up, and I can get away with blaming windows for a little while. They use windows on their desktop, they've seen it before. But when it happens all the time, they look to me for a solution. If I'm still running windows and it screws up, I can blame microsoft all I want, but it won't make them any happier. If I run linux and it screws up by my own fault, I can just fix it in a short manner of time, apologize, and be on my merry way. Little/no blame on yourself is better than having to blame MS all the time. Nice point of view, btw.
  • This whole episode exposes the major flaw at Micrsoft concerning secure and mission critical systems. They don't know what one is. Being secure and mission critical implies near %100 availability. It's an obsessive attitude.

    A thunderstorm took out the server? A periodic, naturally occuring, predictable phenomenon? Puh_lease!? They've never heard of a UPS? Backup telecom links? Give me a break. Microsoft wouldn't know a mission critical system if they had one.
  • "I once got major gloat points when, less than two weeks after I had recommended UPSes as a safety measure to them , one of my company's customers lost upwards of $100,000 of equipment to a thunderstorm."

    The thing I don't understand is.... what use is a UPS in a thunderstorm? Sure, if you have a power outage, you're fine. However, you're screwed if you have a power surge of any kind (particularly if you get a direct hit). Also, if the phone lines are down, or the phone lines get hit, your network will be screwed anyway...

    *shrugs* maybe it's just me, but with over 1000 lightning strikes in an hour, I'm not surprised that the machine got hit hard...

  • "ok i don't want to be all one sided here...but isn't this MS stealing from Apple again...didn't apple have the OSX client and server thing first. Now there is win2k client and gay."

    Try looking at the history of these things -- OSX only came out recently; MS has been working on Terminal server/client since at least 97 (which is when they licensed the WinFrame technology from Citrix).

    Provided, of course, that that's what you're talking about.
  • MSNBC and ZDNet have a content sharing agreement; on MSNBC if you look at the top of the article [at the ZDNet logo] (and the copyright at the bottom), you'll see that it's a ZDNet article being published on the MSNBC site.

    So that's why the articles look similar - they're the same article!

  • But don't shift the blame for the integrity of your server based on weather. How long your server stays up is based upon (sit down now) your CODE!!!

    Not if it's raining out side geez.. So will the world get a guarentee that W2K will be stable only when it's sunny outside -with a slight breese- while I rub my stomach and pat my head??? Power failure is NO excuse...

    Every major hi-tech company has a redundant power supply. How many millions does a large company loose if there's a surge or an outage. Don't tell me that when the power goes out in Redmond everyone takes the day off cause the MS campus has no power?

    [sarcastic voice] ohh... is that thunder .. shut everything down and let's go home![/sarcastic voice]
  • 6. "Time Out" Rule for bad weather conditions
  • "'re screwed if you have a power surge of any kind (particularly if you get a direct hit)..."

    You're wrong. Go look at APC's web site and you'll see that all of their UPS's protech brownouts, blackouts, and surges up to several thousand volts or more, and most of them even come with a warranty that pays you if your stuff gets fried.

    The cheapest UPS you can buy is usually better than just plugging in your computer!

  • What kinds of events fill up the log?

    In this case I bet it was Slashdotters saying "First Crack!"

  • I thought they actually managed to get NT certified -- yes, to the C2 level. However, it was a workstation that was not connected to a network!

    Therefore, all this networking BS is a moot point as far as certification is concerned, because as soon as you plug in that modem or network card, there goes your certification!

    I've played with these C2 tools that MS puts out. After they get through with a system, your job as an administrator is not fun at all. You'll have so much reading (in the form of audit logs) that you run the risk of going insane! That, and users asking for more (temporary) rights so they can... click the start button, empty the trash, etc.

    For those of you really concerned with security, this appears to be Microsoft's interpretation of C2:

    • Lock the damn thing in a room, post an armed guard. Check the IDs of everyone that wants to even
    • look at the computer, and tell him to shoot everyone that he hasn't known since birth. Lock the CPU away in another room, with another armed guard, this time with orders to shoot everybody.

      Useful computer, huh?

    Sorry for the sarcasm, I got a little carried away there.

    ...and on the 8th day, the Corps of Engineers started changing everything.

  • I'm not sure about NT 4, although NT 3.5 passed C2 testing using NSA's Orange Book procedures instead of the tougher Red Book procedures. The catch is that it is C2 certified only when it doesn't have a network connection.
  • As of 1506CST, it's not answering any http request, tho it does ping. nmap shows no open ports. Gee, useful box.

    I don't know what kind of security test this turned out to be, but I fully intend to use this as a reliablity test if/when the PHB start asking for win2k

  • Whoever cracked Microsoft's router, play nice and put it back the way it was.
  • Though even experts in the field disagree on exactly the best conditions, general concensus is that the best software is the result of a mild season with moderate rainfalls separated by relatively dry periods, and aging in casks made out of Tiki wood which has previously held fine literature.

    The casks should be turned at least once a fortnight, to ensure that no bits have become lodged in the crevices.

    Upon bottling (preferably into extremely flat, aluminum flasks), the barrel residue can be separately processed into a second aging batch. The result will be slightly more refined, and should be served in smaller SP glasses (for "Service Packs" -a term of uncertain origin). These are not typically available in cases, and are much prized by collectors.

  • Well, actually I haven't seen Titanic for obvious reasons, but I see similarity anyway (after watching far too many Discovery Channel shows about it...blah blah). Build the best there ever was, say it's un(crash/sink)able, and risk lives(reputation? haven't they done that already?) on it. The REAL problem here is that there won't be a nekkid chick being painted in the movie about MS's downfall. There is still the Super Duper Bonus: Celine Dion won't sing about MS.
  • Haven't they ever heard of a decent UPS? Even I have a mid-grade UPS. You'd think Bill G could just put one on his corporate credit card ...

  • Oh, ok, Redmond. But we had storms here in Seattle and our UPS worked fine. No backup generators like they have, either.

    Seriously, if you can't hack the rain, move back to New Mexico, Bill.

  • That's 24 minutes uptime per week, 7 hours a year, and 99% downtime.

    Far exceeeding usual MSFT standards.

  • (Sorry, couldn't resist the Darth Sidious quote) NT 3.51 was certified, and I believe that 4.0 is still undergoing testing (although I'm not positive it's ever even been submitted). Microsoft is breaking something here, if not fradulent advertising laws they're breaking their agreements with the certification authorities. And yet... for some reason... they're allowed to get away with it. Hmm. Wonder why? I admit, it'd be interesting to see how a class action false-advertising suit against MS would fair. Wraith "I was with Al Gore in the early days of the Internet. To this very day the Internet runs on many algorithms."
  • have my carriage returns gone? Oh where, oh where can they be? With my post real short and my pharagraph long, oh where oh where can they be?

    "Trying to explain his technological approach to divisive issues, Al Gore has to delay a telephone interview twice because of problems with his cell phone."
    -- Wall Street Journal

  • Did the "rules of engagement" cover thunderstorms?

    I think this just puts a modern spin on what fire-and-brimstone preachers have been saying for decades... God is the ultimate hacker. Phear G0D!

    MS better get something in the rules about "acts of god" real quick - I'd expect floods or locusts next. ;)

  • Hey all,

    Well I must admit that the excuse on the weather is about one notch up on BR's "Wrong type of leaves on the line" excuses...

    However, I for one am glad that two of the main news site (for me anyway) have picked up the story and publically denounced. What did Microsoft honestly expect ? A wave of applause and motivation from possibly the most anti-Micros~ group of people ? They chose to ignore the fact that crackers have previously ignored high-profile offers from the media, even with an incentive. Surely the whole point of cracking is for the thrill and the fun of being able to get in ? I wouldn't know, of course, but being paid for it is more likely to make it a chore.

    What are the odds that come the press release -

    "Windows 2000 stood up to x hackers trying to hack the system blah blah blah"
  • Before people go lambasting them, I HAVE heard from several people, some of which work for ISPs, that an extremely nasty and rare electrical storm DID occur, and DID cause some urban electrical outages, which is very rare for the area. MS may have been affected.

    Now when they bring it back up under normal whether and it falls over dead, THEN you can resume.

    P.S. I'm not a MS troll...
  • What interests me most about this story on ZDNN is that it uses Slashdot as a source of news information.

    While Slashdot is basically Press Releases for Nerds and their reaction to those press releases, ZDNN (I would imagine one or two beat reporters) considers it a viable source of opinion for a "community."

    While it is neat to be able to so directly influence a respected news organization, it is kind of unsettling that the collective opinions of people overreacting to press releases are considered gospel opinion for the open source, geek, or digerati community.

    Personally, I would prefer that ZDNN find another way, probably more time-consuming, I admit, to gauge the opinion of what they consider Slashdot to represent. At least for a while.

    Or maybe the Slashdot user community should spell out exactly who they are in some sort of declaration. Are we nerds? Are we IT professionals? Are we the technocracy? Do we speak for the open source community? Like it or not each of those has different implications, but I'd rather pin ZDNN down to one of them than to just gauge unscientifically the reaction to a given news event based on a handful of fanatical ACs that managed to have an opinion stuck somewhere in their "first post."

    Who are we? None of the above, I expect. So why should ZDNN feel so confident in using Slashdot as a reliable source?
  • Yes, but he was referring to Microsoft's nasty habit changing the configuration of NT in ways most people outside of Microsoft didn't even know exist (Re: Mindcraft NT vs. Linux benchmarks)
  • ok i don't want to be all one sided here...but isn't this MS stealing from Apple again...didn't apple have the OSX client and server thing first. Now there is win2k client and gay.
  • The UPS recently had Windows CE installed. Unfortunately, due to someone playing minesweeper on it at the time, the switch-over took rather longer than expected.
  • I would like to official take respnosibilty for cracking the W2K test site. I used a new method called 'stealth psychic brute force' where by the sheer force of my will I was able to bring the site. It was my telekinesis that caused the lightning in Seattle that lead to this disaster. I personally willed the electrons along the path towards the machine. When these electrons travelled through the processor controlled by W2K code the crash occurred. If these electrons did not flow into the machine, it would not have crashed. I understand Microsoft is evaluating this type of attack and will release a hotfix to fix it. This hotfix is rumoured to recommend that the machine be unplugged in high load situations.
  • Would just love to hear from Gerald Holmes on this.

    Steve 'Nephtes' Freeland | Okay, so maybe I'm a tiny itty

  • A network error occured: Unable to connect to server ...

    How's the weather up there today?

    ("Mst Cloudy" with scattered showers early this afternoon, otherwise partly cloudy).

    Guess that excuse won't work this time.


  • I seem to recall reading several comments that BackOrifice got installed on the machine. They're trying to sweep that under the rug by implying that the thunderstorms killed the server.

    Nice try, but I think it's important to note that in a test where they held all the marbles, the relatively small part of the Slashdot community that took the test seriously had little trouble getting in.

    After all, if it was just thunderstorms, they'd be repeating the test now - right?


  • I have a Windows NT 4 system I use for work. Whenever I reboot the machine, it complains "The Event log file is full". But it doesn't seem to cause the system to crash.

    Maybe this is a new Windows 2000 bug?


  • Rules of engagement:
    1. Sitting back and waiting for the machine to crash by itself doesn't count.
    2. If it does go down by itself, it's for periodic (every half hour) maintenance.
    3. It's not a crash, it's a prank paging.
  • I guess this is what happens when you leave the contest open to EVERYBODY...

    Eternal struggle between good and evil, anyone?

  • At first I got a chuckle out of this. Of course, I find lots of things funny even if they're not supposed to be. So on the odd chance that this WASN'T a humor piece....
    Do remember that this is _beta software_, coming from microsoft, a company that considers beta "software not ready for release". As opposed to the linux community, where everyone uses beta.

    Over the years, I've becomme convinced that in software industry terms, "beta" simply means "we haven't started selling this version yet". All software is in development, or "beta", even after it is released to the store shelves. The only difference is semantics.

    I'm pretty sure MS has put out their "release candidate" of W2K now. If so, they should be pretty darned close to "stable" as its going to be. Furthermore, lets remember that this is a Microsoft installation on Microsoft picked equipment. This is not some untraned admin trying to install W2K on some obscure hardware. If Microsoft themselves are unable to put out a stable test case, what does that say about W2K? This comes to the second point...

    They should be excused for the technology not being ready to fully go up on the internet, especially since they technically aren't done writing it yet.

    If MS' technology is not ready to be publically viewed "up on the internet", why are they launching an obvious publicity stunt on it?! This shows a serious lack of judgement.

    Granted, this all might be just bad luck for Microsoft. But "unstable beta software" and "thunderstorms" hardly explain it away.

    MS set up a nice little publicity snare and promptly stuck their foot in it. Expect the Marketing department to roll in and declare that they're not twisting in the air by their foot, but are actually flying.

  • Sun may be pretty "open" with their use of "Open" but it's not their invention or monopoly. Lots of the over30's may remember the whole "Open Systems" corporate Unix related hoopla of the late '80's, it comes from that.

    Open Software Foundation (hence OSF/1 if you dinna recall eh), OpenWindows, OpenLook, it's all corporate speak for "Our Unix is Open, but it's better than their Open Unix."

    And BTW, OpenWindows came from Openok which was an AT&T development picked up and mutated by Sun, not something Sun came up with on their own.

    If you ask me, MS is being terribly retro with this allusion to 80's era Open Systems Computing whilst peddling a Closed System. In that respect, they're very similar to those OSF corporate suits.

  • System is Up! How about ZDNet post a small sidebar with this info. They make is sound like the system is down and staying down. Sounds great on a bash-Microsoft story, but very misleading for a neutral news story (if that exists anymore)!
    Hackers are bastards anyway. If you are, don't you have something better to do than mess with other peoples computers. Get a job, get a life, go find a real woman instead of that deflated one under your bed....
    To Mike West... no, there is no such thing as an objctive story from ZDNet when it comes to Microsoft. This became obvious to me when they wrote that 'story' a while back about how big, terrible Microsoft dared to make the Java VM an optional component of IE5's minimal installation. It was obvious to anyone who had 2 brain cells to rub together that it was a (poorly and easily countered by truth) manufactured piece of MS-bashing. And now I see ZDNet has stooped to quoting hacker groups as if they were legitimate sources of information. How sad.
    What a fabulous (and extremely brave) move by Microsoft. Bravo. This kind of open challenge takes enormous guts and nerve that few in the technical realm are capable of endorsing. Now hopefully others (the UNIX mafia -- SUN, IBM, HP are you watching, listening - do you have the chutzpah?) will follow suite. Lets only hope that rampant mediocrity does not blindside technical brilliance and innovation. ..DM..
    Cheap shots at MS are easy enough. I'm sick and tired of all these whiny, self-proclaimed gurus talking about "big brother" being so clumbsy and inept. Microsoft has been the most significant factor in the information technology revolution. I make the really big bucks because of MS, and I love to develop using MS. A lot of what I am hearing amounts to sour grapes and really insignificant mud slinging. Especially, those of you who think that only Unix, or some look alike thereof are real, Get a life!

  • Is anyone else getting nervous about how M$ is starting to pepper their press releases with the term 'Open' more and more. They are pushing for Open messaging standards, their W2K site was an Open test.

    Are they riding Open Source hype or are they getting ready to embrace and extend the Open Source term?

  • Microsoft has been shooting themselves in the feet for years now. Tests like these won't bring the giant down and won't cause their meat and potatoes market segment (ie the business peeps who make the tech decisions) to wither away.

    No one is surprised that the test box crashed. I mean, people who've been using Microsoft machines for years think computers are /supposed/ to crash on a regular basis. Obviously this kind of marketing won't turn a Linux user into a Microsoft user, but I highly doubt you could find anyone who's looked at the past few months of scrambling my Microsoft and decided to switch to Linux.

    The only real reason people switch brands in the tech world is accountability if you ask me:
    (1) If you're running Windows and someone hacks/crashes your box, you just tell your superior that it was Microsoft's fault. You can tell him lots of big companies use it (business types love name dropping) and so its not your fault something went wrong.

    (2) If you're running Linux you /can't point at anyone/ when something goes wrong. This is what makes the business people shy from it. There's no one to blame when it fails. What they completely disregard is the fact that Linux will fail you far less often than WinSomething and that when it /does/ fail, you can /fix it/.

    Just my social take on this whole mess.
  • by Raetsel ( 34442 ) on Thursday August 05, 1999 @05:56AM (#1764602)
    From Microsoft's security site [] comes this bulletin [] (it's a Word document). Page 30 (of 37) has this to say about crashes and Audit Logs

    • Shutdown option on Full Audit Log

      In a C2 configured system, auditing system of Windows NT provides an option to the administrator to shut down the system when security audit log is filled up. To enable this, use the following key value in the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Lsa:

      • Name: CrashOnAuditFail

      • Type: REG_DWORD
        Value: 1

      With this setting, the system will shutdown itself when the audit log full is detected. The value in the registry is reset to 2. When the system is rebooted, it only allows the administrators to log on to the machine (locally or remotely). They will be required to clean the audit log (or archive it), reset the value to 1 and reboot the system before any other user is allowed to log on.

    The log is whatever size the administrator chooses. By default, the logs are limited to 512KB (Max setting 4,194,240 KB), and events older than 7 days get overwritten (this can be turned off). It is very easy to change these settings, and obviously Microsoft has done this. Then (as above) NT automatically crashes when any of the event logs fill up (System, Security, or Application).

    For those of you interested enough to read this document, it is referring to NT4 service pack 0. A lot of the holes that it would have you manually patch are automatically fixed when you apply the various service packs. (Remote access to the registry, for example.)

    My favorite quote from this .doc: "...the default out-of-the-box configuration is highly relaxed, especially on the Workstation product. This is because the operating system is sold as a shrink-wrapped product with an assumption that an average customer may not want to worry about a highly restrained but secure system on their desktop..."

    I'm sorry, these pictures [] are so good I gotta post a link again. Hey, it deals with NT security, right?

    Note: I'm not a MCSE, but I play one at work.

  • by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Thursday August 05, 1999 @04:41AM (#1764603) Homepage Journal
    A Microsoft spokesperson attributed some of the difficulties to thunderstorms in Seattle on Tuesday but had no comment on the site's status by press time.

    Ok, I am really impressed by this guy. I've been working in this industry almost twelve years now, I have not once thought to blaim problems with my software on the weather. I'll have to remember this.

    "Sorry, boss. The weather was too dry when it went to QA".

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant