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User Journal

Journal Journal: Back from the dead...

Well, since the last time I posted a journal entry.. I've been divorced and remarried. That "great" colo facility had an owner who was a nutjob and fired everybody, and now two jobs later... here I am.

Wow, I was looking at my slashdot ID number(5310), I've been a member of this site for almost 10 years... yea 10. Why? Cuz I used to come to Malda's site before slashdot, to download his cool E apps, and read the news on his news page. I had an ID under 100, but remembering having to re-register at one point.

Well still use RedHat, only it's enterprise on two Oracle boxes, and it costs $1500 a year just to use up2date. I have Mandrake 10 installed at home, but never boot it. Basically all my home computer time is spent playing Matrix Online (MxO). I work for a decent company. I don't say "great" anymore, cuz I'm not as optimistic as I used to be. Spend 10 years as an IT contractor, and you'll understand.

My website has gone thru 3 changes, 7 months of downtime, and now is backup.. I've had the domain since 97' maybe 98'.. can't remember.

My grandfater has passed away since my last journal entry.. Great Man! Missionary/Evangilist for the better part of 50 years. Good man of Faith, and a great example to all. I miss him everyday.

Have a great wife, wonderful kids, truly blessed.

peaCe ya'll.

If you play MxO I'm on the Syntax server, doomicon... of course.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mandrake 9.0

Ok. I'll make this short, cuz im working...

o lot nifty things.
o xine, xine, xine, that works, works, works

Buggy, everytime I logoff the mouse freezes, hafta CTRL-ALT-BS to restart the server. So I dumped it. Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't want to "tinker" with basic stuff to get it to work. So I s**tcanned Mandrake 9. They filed for bankruptcy, so I didn't expect a whole lotta updates to be released that would address my problem.

So, as it stands my OS usage on the workstation.. Still 75% Redhat, all my sites are Unix based so having PHP Dev and a workstation setup that closely mirrors my server environment, really makes things easy.

25% XP Pro... why? Medal of Honor Allied Assualt/Spearhead and Icewind Dale II. Since I am re-reading the Dark Elf Trilogy, my XP usage is actually 0%.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Why RedHat Can SUCK!

Ok I promised a RedHat rpm rant, but never got around to it. Hell I had even forgotten what I was going to rant about. Well it didn't take long to find a f'scking reasons.

The Problem: I am using screem (html editor), and want to use the auto ftp function to upload to my site.

The Solution: install wu-ftpd.

The Headache: Easy breezy, ssh to my server. Fire up 'lynx' (text based web browser), take a ride over to Search and find the package for RH 8.0. Btw, I utilize this over Redhats add program app becuz my way is quicker. I download the package... and then...
sudo rpm -ivh wu-ftpd...blabla.rpm...

package installs.... and hangs... and hangs... and hangs.. Open another term, check /etc/xinetd.d, wu-ftpd conf is there. enable, restart xinetd.d, ftp localhost .. TLS error.. hmm... TLS, im installing f'scking ftp not ssl.
back to orginal term.. still hung.. kill -9.. not hung... but now comes the best part... rpm won't install or upgrade packages... nothing nada... I can query the useless fscking database all day long, but that's it. /usr/sbin/up2date.. not havin it! rpm -e wu-ftpd..."not installed".. WHAT!?? i just installed the f**king thing. REBOOT (oh gawd, im having NT flashbacks). Up comes the system.. /usr/sbin/up2date... works ... rpm -ivh wu-ftpd..rpm (im a glutton), installs, hangs... hangs... hangs... oh f**k this... I'm checking email... Fire up evolution.... cannot initialize database.. what!? it's my SECOND TIME OPENING THIS APP!!! thank goodness I didn't actually have an address book created... oh well new system.. rm my account/homedirectory... add my account, same error...f**k this, time for a cigarette, some sleep, and a reinstall of WinXP, at least the damn email client works more than once...


User Journal

Journal Journal: Email Black Lists

I've come to the conclusion that most email blacklists are NOT concerned with Spam. I am currently under the impression that most (not all) blacklists are run by geeks that got picked on waaaaaay too much, and now use they're sites to belittle and talk down to those unfortunate enough to land on one of these lists.

Case in point. I just started working for a GREAT Colo facility. We have a client using exchange (read previous journal entry), who landed on some blacklists. I don't dwell on "the how or why", I am paid to solve problems, not tread on past mistakes and misconfigurations. I solved the problem by implementing a correct Postfix mailexchanger. The exchange server is now regulated to stuff that it can handle. Hell it no longer has an "MX" entry in DNS.

Now to the blacklist removal. Now here is the fun part. Reading thru FAQs stating "not our problem", "don't ask us", "you figure it out". They don't want to help administrators. They live off spam, they love it. It gives them their little forum to berate those unfortunate enuff to be on one of these lists.

One of my personal favorites has a removal process like so....
enter ip address => select user to receive removal confirmation => sorry can't contac the mail server... OF COURSE YOU CAN'T!! IT'S FSCK'ING LOCKED DOWN!!! and they readily admit that they do not verify that the relay is even closed or not. Why, cause they don't care. How do I know this? They say they dont' "Don't bother us, Don't ask us" .. now some may say, "Hey, they ain't got time!" I agree they don't have time to answer a flood of "Help me" emails, BUT how much time does it take to provide ONE ... JUST ONE URL that points to a site that will assist in configuration.

If you go to most Blacklist sites, you will see many rants on "how we're getting sued", or fighting the good fight.. bla bla bla... And that's true, they fight a good fight. It just seems that they don't want any allies in that fight.

Now, time to open this relay, so I can receive this "Confirmation" email...


User Journal

Journal Journal: MS Exchange 2000 Woe's

Using this to jot down some notes, that I will add to my website. This is NOT intended to be a 'MS Sucks' theme, but would like to air some of my problems, and see if others have experienced the same....

Project: Implement Postfix MX server for MSEx Customer
Problem: Customer has POP3 users, and an open relay.
Solution: As the platform is Ex2k, I can't go the POP User route as with 5.5. (smc) gives the "solution" of starting an SMTP instance on a high port for POP users. I find this a bit amateurish, and figure to do a Postfix Mail Exchanger. This may be extensive, however the customer wishes to have mail stored should the Ex2k server go down (customer has some experience w/ ex2k ;-) Postfix will handle this. So here is a BRIEF summary of the "issues" encountered.

o RH8.0 has been installed. Postfix installed, configured, and prestaged.
o Maint Window is open, start finishing touches, everything goes smoothly. pam_smb works great, and the DC isn't giving us problems.
o Test SMTP works
o move to testing with relay restrictions works ... skip ahead...
o all testing done. changine dns, and moving to production. Smooth.
o Test... POP3 is hanging.
o restart restart POP3 FAILS Error 1053
o search smc.. nada for POP.
o options to do anything in services for POP are
greyed out.
o ExcSysmgr has stop option avail.
o Stop service.. FAILS, no error nothing in eventvwr. Message indicates that Service is stopped, that it must be started.
o Start option is greyed... reboot.
o System comes up (meanwhile postfix is storing the mail wonderfully, just waiting for Ex2k to come online.
o POP hangs go back above and repeat to the reboot.
o perfmon open, monitoring pop. nothing that helps.
o install procexp.exe, inetinfo.exe is bogging everything down.
o restart inetinfo.exe (thru procexp.exe, task mgr won't allow)
o all 'protocols' go down... POP is working.. until... SMTP comes online.
o further investigation thru procexp.exe shows that inetinfo.exe controls ALL protocols in the exsysmgr. NNTP, IMAP, POP, SMTP etc.
o SMTP is bogged with spam from the open relay, and grinding inetinfo.exe and the box to a crawl.
o view smtp queue... takes forever to load. Start deleting spam. (this task is a horrid one, no multiple selects.. one at a time.
I could stop smtp and delete the dir storing the info, but that would remove production emails (this was recommened via a Q smc article, however I feel deleting legitimate email traffic is NOT a solution. I could go on and on about some of the other "recommended" "solutions" but that is for another day.
o at 3am I stop deleting messages, restart smtp and will look at it in the morning.
(note: I also limited connect computers to internal block earlier to prevent new connects, this is important if you want to get a handle on it. If you disable relay, but do not limit who can connect, exchange will queue the mail, and then apply the rules..)
o 6am POP3 was responding in a reasonable fashion, still had about 30k spam emails, but it was better. By 11am everything was running smoothly.

Final: The platform is obvisouly Intel (1.4G) with 1Gig Ram. There are about 100+ users on the host. Latest SP's and hotfixes were applied and tested weeks prior.

I haven't had to work NT Admin specific stuff in awhile. Primarly been focusing on Network Security, Unix, NT etc. But I just started working for an Awesome small Colo, so I don't mind getting my hands dirty :-) I was surprised that in two years, the MS support articles seem to have gotten worse. I was surprised as to what MS believed were acceptable solutions to Enterprise level problems. Reboots, downtime, reinstalls. Going thru the MS newsgroups and message forums was worse. The general consensus among admin's seemed that downtime and data loss were acceptable, they just wanted the product to RUN!

oh well, babbled enuff... and if you think I am a Linux Geek or something, just wait till my rant on RH RPM DB corruption :-)


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