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Submission + - Network Strings for Linux v0.20 Available (

jjrff writes: NetSTR is an open source small, fast and easy to use port scanner and packet sniffer. IPv4 scanner can perform ranged, single or use an internal top ports list plus it has a flexible timers/port capability. IPv6 single port single host is supported. The tcp and arp sniffers print an easy to read dump format and have a full packet decode capability. Additionally netstr sports a fuzzy passive network scanner.

Submission + - RAD Infrastructure (

jjrff writes: Can the same methods as Rapid Application Development and Prototyping be applied to infrastructure? Or does infrastructure always have to be engineered? The real answer is of course (as usual per my essays) it depends. Instead of conjecturing when it might work this text will look at three examples. One where it did not work, one where it kind of worked until it went off the rails and one where it worked like a champ.

Submission + - Building a Program from Core Data Structures (

jjrff writes: In Eric Raymond's "The Art of Unix Programming", within the section called "The Basics of Unix Philosophy" there is a rule quoted by Rob Pike:

" Rule 5. Data dominates. If you've chosen the right data structures and organized things well, the algorithms will almost always be self-evident. Data structures, not algorithms, are central to programming "

At face value Rob's rule number 5 makes sense. But what is Rob actually saying? In complex software systems it might be difficult to track down and identify how the rule of evolving functions to deal with data worked. So why not use a small microscopic example instead. Taking a small program, a passive network scanner, from data structures to operations on the data structures illustrates Rob's rule number 5 perfectly. This is an interesting experience from my perspective as most of the programs and scripts I have written deal with transitionary data. What I mean by transitionary is simply find it, operate on it and/or print it then move on. Not an unusual trait in system administration centric programs. While working on a passive scanner that could also verify a port I witnessed rule number 5 occur right before by fingertips.

Comment A minimum of some college is good. (Score 1) 438

College doesn't just teach a given profession or skill sets at the associates and BS levels; it also helps broaden the view(s) of the student. Some college is good because it helps round out not just general knowledge but personality as well. I went to college after the military and it really did change the way I look at things for the better. I also stumbled across topics that I never thought I would be interested in but now I like to track (physics being one of them) as a hobby. Additionally just socializing with people far out of the circles I was used to helped me out a lot when I communicate with peers and others where I work. I have met some so called wunderkinds who skipped out on college and went straight to work programming or doing administration. For the most part, their communication skills were horrible, their social views myopic (or ethno/socio-centric) and a basic understanding of how to take another perspective outside of their wise ass know it all view lacking. Of course that is not always the case, but I have been doing this since 1989 and it does seem to be the majority. I also know, for a fact, at some places the door will not open unless you have a degree. Period. So it is good just to have it. Hiring people who are in school of some sort works out well too I have noticed even if it is just part time. They are growing in many ways at school and have the opportunity to take all of those skills, socializing, improved communications, their core degree - and really nurture them on two fronts.

Submission + - NetRecon 1.78 Released (

jjrff writes: Taking inspiration from the dnet utility netrecon has undergone a lot of redesign. The dnet utility a rather cool test program that can be found with libdnet. Yes a shameless plug on my part. Nevertheless, the way the dnet code plugs in each smaller test program proved to be the best way to change netrecon. All of the programs in netrecon have been merged into a singular front end. As such the syntax has changed drastically. However, the speed is the same and duplication of code, mainly between elements that use libpcap has been commoned up. There is likely still some deduplication of effort to be done. Lastly, for some odd reason, it seems to execute a lot faster too. I can't really account for that but I am not complaining.

Submission + - Enlightenment Transform utility 0.1.8 Released (

jjrff writes: A lot of changes with this release of the one and only graphics program I maintain. No remarkable user changes though so if your installation still uses the epeg library then there is no need to upgrade. That said, if you are tracking enlightenment then the current version will not deal with jpeg image formats at all and may be using legacy libraries (if it actually works).

Comment It seems like at every turn... (Score 1) 228

I'm not a huge fan of Ubuntu because of its kitchen sink installations (which I know I can change or I could just track debian...). I'm a huge fan of Ubuntu for others ... because of its kitchen sink installations :) That said, one thing I will give Canonical is at every technology turn they take a real crack at it.

Submission + - What happened to Rootprompt? (

jjrff writes: I was a long time reader and contributer to rootprompt, a very frank yet fun site about — seemingly — all things UNIX. Then all of a sudden sometime in 2009 it sort of ... died. Anyone have any idea what heck happened?

Submission + - A Nagios Meta Check Script Part 3 (

jjrff writes: In part one of this series the basic trusses needed by the Nagios check_systemhealth script were put together. In part two the actual checks themselves were coded. In this the third and final part of the series compulsory checks are added, the main loop is constructed and the finall full source listing produced.

It is worth noting that this is only one of many methods to achieve the same goal. There exists at Nagios exchange plugins and scripts that can do similar actions such as aggregate groups of checks, services and so on. The code presented in this series is just a touch upon a single idea designed to make the reader think about their monitoring deployment.


Comment Then There is Non-Compete ... (Score 2, Interesting) 223

My story and a very close friend of mine story is opposite. We were working for a research arm of Proctor and Gamble as contractors on their Linux High Performance Computing Cluster. Someone in upper management at P&G decided a managed contract would be a better way to do business, what they did not realize (and they did not care) was that we would have to leave because of non compete law. In fact, our users (primarily PhDs) wanted us to stay and maintain the current systems because we delivered great service. We had to leave and that is that. Sure, my friend and I are fine (I mean with that on our resume, it is kind of hard not to be) but we really enjoyed our work and did not want to leave. We tried to stay, we tried to find a way to even work for the new managed services company but it just could not happen.

Submission + - Rolling Back the Clock: Shell only Programs (

jjrff writes: System Administrators who remember the day when they did not have a graphics display rarely think about wanting to time travel for the pure joy of using a terminal. It is possible, however, to virtually do so by using either all or mostly text only utilities and perhaps a retro looking X windows desktop. In this text a look at a small experiment to see how well that went in one particular instance.

Submission + - Linkin Park's 8-bit Rebellion (

jjrff writes: When I first saw this I didn't know what to think, after watching the trailer and accidentally huffing some coffee, it looks hilarious. Linkin park has created a hilarious iphone app where the hero joins the fight against high definition. The game even converts many popular tracks to an 8-bit midi sounding version and purports its number one feature as actually being able to finish the game. This is another sign that some musicians really get the digital age. Nine inch Nails and Radiohead are some other bands that seem to have a good grasp on leveraging the power of the bit.

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