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Journal Journal: More 419 scams

I am an optimist and I keep hoping that if everyone was doing like me, spammers would just stop. But they don't. Anyway.. Here's my standard answer to 419 emails:

Not interested, but thank you.

On the other hand, you may be interested to hear that I have quite a subsequent backup to perform on our system (/dev/random seems to be the largest file or all) and I am asking volunteers all over the internet to help me keep a small portion of my backup for me.

You see, if everybody keeps a few megabytes then I can with no problems store my huge files simply by asking you (among others) to take care of a small quantity.

You do not need to do anything, the transfer will commence automatically and very soon. If you are not interested in helping me backup my files, can you then email 'unsubscribe' to uce@ftc.gov.

Kind regards.

I do send /dev/random to these guys, in chuncks of 32K all the way up to 4MB. Some of them make it, some don't. It's like playing tennis :-)

I haven't had an answer to any of these emails, but who knows. Also, sending multiple big files is a good way to sort out which email accounts are active (mail delivered) and which are bogus or abandoned (delivery failure -- mailbox full). I sit on a fat link and have tons of disk space so bouncing multi-MB emails around isn't really a problem here.

The Internet

Journal Journal: FireWire point-to-point link for networking 12

Windows ME and XP support FireWire (ieee1394) for networking. Linux too says this page. I never really thought about the usefullness, until this morning.

Out of the 5 in total, my main 2 computers are on separate networks: one for VPN to work (my email), and one directly attached to the ADSL router for my wife's personal email and browsing. The problem is that the PC's cannot see each other since they are in different networks, yet they stand two metres apart and I wanted to share my printer and scanner for the other PC to benefit.

This morning I bought a 4.5m FireWire 6-6 cable for 25 in order to connect the two PC's back-to-back using the firewire ports. The setup was very easy: assign a static IP address each from RFC1918, and the link was useable just after that at 400Mbits/s. The joy of copying files at OC-3 speed at home is great =)

Anyone else has tried this yet ? If not, and if you ever need a quick, cheap, reliable and easy to setup networking solution for a couple of PC's, think about it. These guys have thought about it for quite some time, it seems.

Update 13 May: Someone posted Apple: IP over Firewire Updated.


Journal Journal: Cisco to Acquires Linksys 8

The Boston Globe is reporting that networking giant Cisco Systems will acquire Linksys later this year for $500M, thus entering the consumers market. Linksys press release is here. The good news is that those who bought a Linksys access point now have a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price ;)

Journal Journal: Certifications ? 12

So, which certification(s) do you have ? Are you damn proud of it ?
  • A. Adobe
  • B. Cisco
  • C. Compaq
  • D. IBM
  • E. Juniper
  • F. Microsoft
  • G. Novell
  • H. Oracle
  • I. Red Hat
  • J. SANS Institute
  • K. Sun Microsystems
  • Other (details ?)
  • None (Too good to bother / I don't work in the Tech Industry)

I deliberately left the actual certification titles off because there are way too many to list here, and because the level can vary widely. But feel free to brag if you like 8*)

The Internet

Journal Journal: Turning 419 schemes around to waste scammers' time and money 8

This person Brad Christensen has the best 419 page I have ever read till now.

I get a few pieces of 419 fraud myself every week, and I normally respond to them trying to be funny and informative (turning one against another for example, or asking the fraudster to ask my trusted CFO (whom I randomly pick from my list so far) for the bank details)... I thought I was clever, but this one has to be the best of all.

This person is basically social-engineering the senders into meeting him at various places for rendez-vous, lurking them and wasting their money and time (I assume that he wastes a substantial amount of his own time as well). Just read it, it's huge, it's funny, bold and subtle and always hilarious in a weird way.

On a related note, you can get this 419 t-shirt from The Register. (I have no affiliation with el.reg whatsoever)


Journal Journal: New Nokia 2

I was kindly given a new Nokia 6310i at work to replace my ageing 6150.

Isn't it amazing the technology they cram into cellphone these days. And mine is a mid-range business model, not one of these fancy high-end consumer models with camera and MMS or those organizers-like. It's tri-band, has got GPRS, WAP, Java and Bluetooth... The list of features is rather long. All this in only 111 grams, and that buys you 2 weeks autonomy while idle and over 3 hours worth of calls. Not bad :)

The Gimp

Journal Journal: I praise you, my loyal fans 17

189 friends and 133 fans to this day. That's 41% of my 'users base' who like me as much as I like you, and other people. Not too bad at all !! :)

Are there people out there who also keep an eye on your fans list once in a while ? I am, for two reasons that I can think of:
- ego :)
- I like to list as friends all the people who took the time to list me as such to start with.

So all my fans, with no exceptions, I also befriend with. I think that's the least I can do to thank them, and because I like the whole zoo.pl system since the start. Too bad we're limited to 200 entries, I hit the limit all the time.

What do you do ?


Journal Journal: How many characters in your password ? 7

From Microsoft KB article 276304:
  • Your password must be at least 18770 characters and cannot repeat any of your previous 30689 passwords. Please type a different password. Type a password that meets these requirements in both text boxes." (emphasis mine)

With an infinite number of monkeys, we should manage to type both passwords identical eventually :)


Journal Journal: Webwasher 4

What a splendid piece of software Webwasher is. In case you have never tried it, I urge you to download and try for yourself. It's totally free for personal, non-commercial use and what you get is a full, non-crippled version.

There is a Mac, a Linux and a win32 version of the software. The latest win32 version (classic v3.3) now even works with XP....

The Courts

Journal Journal: How lame: posting at +1 14

Whatever happened to me, I'm posting at +1 instead of my regular +2.

This kind of happened overnight, for whatever reason only known to the admins (and even that point remains to be proved :) Of course I checked my preferences, and I did post with +1 Karma bonus. I wasn't meta-moderated, nor did I moderate anyway: that was disabled by the admins a long time ago. So I really don't have the slightest idea...

Anyone else shares the same experience ?

The 2000 Beanies

Journal Journal: Searching for family-oriented blog 3

I want to setup a blog for my family (got domain name already), but I can't decide between the various software packages available out there. I definitely don't want to run slash or other news-oriented software. Yet, the blog should obviously be presented in a sort of journal format in order to share family events with visitors and family members.

I need the blog to allow images upload, possibly organized in a photo-book ala Yahoo images, allowing photos to be sorted and handled by event. This is required IMHO to share family life moments through pictures.

The software should obviously allow members to register themselves (possibly with an admin approval step), and manage their personal details as a family and as individuals.

I am considering Moveable Type for the moment as my best choice, but I don't know if MT does all I need or want since I haven't had time to play with it yet. Anyone has experience with this ?

Has anyone heard of something else that fits my description ?

The Media

Journal Journal: EU to grow to 25 member countries in 2004 11

"Thirteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, 10 states have been deemed ready to join the European Union. The historic move would enlarge the EU to 25 nations by 2004", report CNN and the BBC.

Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Malta and Cyprus -- have been deemed ready to compete inside the EU's single market from 2004 following often painful economic and social reforms.

Bulgaria and Romania have been given a date of 2007, but Turkey has been left out until the country establishes a better human rights record...

Update: some more links to ABC News - Voice of America - Deutsche Welle - Radio Free Europe - Radio Netherlands - Forbes

Meanwhile, the editors don't think this is important news (after all, it isn't for geeks) ( * 2002-10-09 18:15:48 EU to grow to 25 member countries in 2004 (articles) (rejected)), but tend to think that we care for what's in this guy's toolbox or if some senator gets sued for $80. You may also notice that /. doesn't even have a EU section yet. Pathetic.


Journal Journal: Married life update 49

As some of you know, I recently got married. It's been little over two months now.

My wife and I want to begin having children, but it seems it's not easy. In some cases it comes unexpectedly, but sometimes people wanting to have children wait several months (or more) for it to "work". We shall see.

A couple of weeks ago we did something interesting: skydiving. You can see pictures of us here and here. Skydiving is _really_ scary. I tried bungee-jumping before, and the fear is about the same. But once in the air, OMG... It all happens very quickly, then it's plain cool :) Highly recommended. Not for the faint of heart, though !

I was once told that whatever energy you spend trying to date or chat-up other girls, you will gain 10x more if you spend this energy in your own marriage instead. I think this is very true, for having spent hours cooking and caring for my wife during special occasions (birthdays, etc.) and sometimes for no special reason at all. She does the same to me and likes to offer me flowers and comic books once in a while ! So I tend to spend less time at the computer than before. I even gave up IRC (after so many years sucked-in...)

How's life for all of you soon-to-be-married, wish-you-were, been-there-done-that, etc.? Write in here and tell us what's up for you !


Journal Journal: Getting married 41

This should be happy times, I guess. In little over one week, I'm getting married. That's right. Proof that the Slashdot readers aren't just nerds and college dropouts.

I'm an old fart, and I also have a social life after IRC and Slashdot.. So anyway, she promised that she'll yes and now we're busy preparing the ceremony and stuff.

I'm actually looking forward to it very much, for multiple reasons.

First, we want to have babies. Lots of babies. We'll start with one, of course, but then there is no stopping us. But we couldn't have children without being married first, so that was the logical move.

Then, we've been preparing this event for over a year and frankly, I'll be happy when we'll be through. I am tired of not having an hour to spare at home in the evening, because there are always things to prepare. Once we'll be done, we can get together in the evening, and say `this feels odd, we don't actually have anything planned for tonight'. This hasn't happened to us in weeks.

I'm still a little nervous about the number of guests invited. There should be ~370 at church, ~225 at the dinner and ~200 at the barbecue on the next day. That's quite a crowd and I will feel a bit nervous when the time will come to say `Yes' in front of this crowd...

Wish me luck :)

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