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Journal Journal: Complex Solutions to Simple Problems

Well, my Z-Modem idea seemed really intelligent a couple of weeks ago (see my last journal entry). However, after drawing the company network admin's attention to my high-bandwidth usage, he was nice enough to point out a brilliant little utility called "scp" that I neglected to notice. scp (Secure CoPy) uses ssh to copy files across a network (yes, I'm the class idiot when it comes to UNIX). Futhermore, cygwin apparently has some nice windows tools that support this feature (although I haven't been able to scp to work under cygwin yet). Since TeraTerm has a tendency to crash when running ZModem, this seems like a nice alternative (plus, it's faster). &ltsigh& and learn.

On a totally unrelated note, I've started listening to Geeks In Space. If you haven't heard it, give it a try. I've never known three guys who are able to ramble so long about next-to-nothing, and still make it interesting. :) Kudos to Rob, Jeff, CowboyNeal and Nate.


Journal Journal: Old protocols CAN have a useful role in society. :)

FTP bugs me. Actually, any protocol that doesn't function nicely through a NAT-enabled firewall bugs me. I used to think that passive mode was the answer, but as I discovered yesterday, even passive mode transfers won't work when you have firewalls at both ends of the connection (as I do when I'm trying to connect to my Linux box at home from work).

Futhermore, since I have both FTP and SSH enabled, I have to FTP as anonymous so I don't end up sending my password in cleartext through the big, bad Internet - which greatly restricts my ability to access files on my machine.

Then, for some reason I started thinking about the old BBS days (probably due to the fact that my birthday is coming up). If you were born before 1980 (and a computer geek) you'll probably remember those days too. did we transfer all those porno gifs to our machines before FTP became the transfer protocol of choice on the Internet? Answer: Z-Modem. (Or X-Modem, or Y-Modem, or Kermit, or &ltinsert favorite transfer protocol here&gt).

Actually, if you think about it, these protocols were pretty advanced for their time. Unlike FTP, these protocols had no TCP/IP layer to handle transmission errors and retries. Plus, they actually compressed the data so that it would only take 3 minutes to download a gif at 14.4 bps instead of 10. :)

But I digress. How can I take advantage of this forgotten knowledge from the past? Enter TeraTerm Pro, my favorite Windows-based telnet/ssh client. As a stroke of brilliance on the part of TeraTerm's programmer, Z-Modem, X-Modem, Y-Modem, and Kermit protocols are all supported natively within TeraTerm. Cool! Now let's just find Linux support for Z-Modem...a quick google search found the rzsz application, which only took a couple of minutes to install and compile (all of which I did over ssh from work). Now to give it a "./rz"...start Z-Modem send from beautifully - even supports long filenames! The protocol overhead (of TCP/IP, SSH, and Z-Modem) means that transfers are a little slow, but not too bad, and I can do all the file transfers I please from within my secure ssh connection, so all those packet-sniffers at work can snoop all they please.

Once again, I'm reminded at how versatile Linux can be...I've had very few regrets since switching over from Win2K - and my Gnome desktop looks 10x better than Win2K or XP. I think I like this Linux thing. :)

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