Older blog entries for dyork (starting at number 386)

Sickness - Emerging From The Darkness - After 11 days, the good news is that I seem to be emerging from the worst of the sickness. The bad news, of course, is that Lori now seems to have the extreme fever/chills/sweats that I had last week, along with the severe coughing fits and difficulty breathing. Fun, fun, fun. Chloe, for her part, has a cough and has had a bit of a fever. Tomorrow will no doubt be spent in part at doctor and pediatrician offices. Hopefully I am over it... I still cough a good bit... but hopefully that will pass.

Small Caps = Typographic Gravel Rash? - haruspex: You are welcome, I guess. I'm not sure if your comment is a compliment or veiled jab. :-)

I actually can't take credit/blame for starting the use of small caps in headings here at Advogato. There was someone else here who started doing it, and I liked it enough to go in and see what they were using (a 'style' attribute to the 'b' tag).

LinTraining - Approved two more submissions to LinTraining: one for a training center in Virginia and the other as an updated courseware listing for my old friends at Bradford Learning.

It was fun to see that one come through. A little bit of history... prior to moving to Ottawa to work at e-smith, inc., which was then acquired by Mitel, I worked for this little company in San Francisco known as Linuxcare. :-)dsifry and davidm hired me for Linuxcare primarily to work full time on making LPI become a reality. But I was also to help with developing courseware and training classes for Linuxcare. Over time, we had the wonderful opportunity to bring over a gentleman named Jim Lacey from CompUSA to head up the education group.

Fast forward to 2001... I was already up at e-smith... and Linuxcare had shrank back to down around where it was (staffing-wise) when I had first joined it in early 1999... it was searching for what it should be doing... and one of the things they decided NOT to do was offer training/courseware/etc.

So Jim was able to work with the Linuxcare execs to amicably spin off the work that had been done as "Linuxcare University" to develop courseware and a training channel into a new company called Bradford Learning, bringing over a number of the staff. It was quite a risk, but they took it and today they are doing extremely well as one of the leading providers of Linux training materials in the world.

They are excellent folks, and if any of you are looking for sources for Linux training materials (on a number of Linux-related subjects) I would definitely suggest you consider the Bradford Learning team.

Canadiana - With all the warm weather (i.e. around 10 degrees Celsius), we are actually seeing all the snow finally start to melt. The front lawn only has a trace of ice left while the back yard still has a good bit of cover. It will be nice to see the grass again.

Sickness - 10 days and counting - I haven't written here much lately in large part because today is now the tenth day that I have been struck down with the nastiest cold/flu/virus that I have ever suffered. For the first time in my life, I have now been out of the office for seven days! Coughing extensively, headache, fever, fatigue, unable to talk, unable to sleep. Adding to all the fun has been an eye infection that has turned one eye quite red. It has been quite horrid.

Of course, being stuck inside the 4 walls of our house, I passed the germs along to Lori and Chloe, both of whom have caught the bug to different ideas. Thankfully, Chloe hasn't been too badly affected, but Lori has, like me, been pretty much wiped out. I just want it to end!

Babylon 5 DVDs - As part of being wiped out, I spent a good bit of time lying on the couch and watching the Babylon 5 DVDs. Finished watching Season 3 and then watched all of Season 4. What a tremendous season #4 was! So much power. So much emotion. Television has simply not been the same since B5 left the air.

Babylon 5 Gag Reels - Finally decided to do a web search to find out how to access the season 4 gag reel and season 3 gag reel. Pretty fun stuff... albeit rather short. They do make you work for it to get to it, though!

West Wing DVDs - With Lori getting sick, and with us having cancelled cable, and with both of us only wanting to lie on the couch and try to breathe, we wound up renting out DVDs of season one of The West Wing. Since we have been long-time fans of the show, it was great to see the first season as: 1) we didn't see much of it before; and 2) the characters have changed and grown so much since this first season. It was a reminder again of how great this show is!

CISSP - Funny how the little things affect you. As part of receiving the CISSP credential, I had a note that I could receive a free lapel pin from the ISC2's online store. I did so, and a couple of days later, an envelope arrived with the lapel pin. Silly on one level, but it was something that I enjoyed receiving.

CISSP - Received a nice present at the end of last week with an envelope from ISC containing my official status as a CISSP! Very cool. Definitely a nice credential to have.

makefaq - Finally got a chance to merge the CVS branch for makefaq into the HEAD so that the CVS repository is more easily browsable via ViewCVS. Been wanting to do that for most of two years now... I just never made the time to do it. Nice to be back in sync.

Network World article on Jabber - Actually the article is really about XMPP, the protocol Jabber uses... but it's good to see it being covered by Network World!

SPF Now Equals "Sender Policy Framework" - I read an InfoWorld article about SPF that said the name was "Sender Policy Framework". I was all set to write them a letter saying they had the name wrong. But when I checked the main SPF web site, I found the name changed there! (And a news item from Feb 11 noting the change.) It seems they wanted a better name than "Sender Permitted From" when they created the official RFC draft.

Understanding OO - ncm: Thanks for the link... entertaining read!

CIO Article on Open Source - Interesting article in CIO Magazine about the The Myths of Open Source.

LinTraining - Approved entries to LinTraining from:

  • Saint-Herblain, France
  • Fortaleza, Brazil

Three Ways to Stop Spam - Good article in Windows & .NET Magazine about SPF, Microsoft's Caller ID for E-mail and Yahoo's DomainKeys initiatives.

Leap Day - Figured I should write something today... hey, it will be another 4 years before I can write on February 29th again!

makefaq release 2.5 - The same logic applied to getting out a new release of makefaq. I figured... why not? I had one annoying warning that I had been wanting to get rid of - so I did. makefaq release 2.5 is now up on the site and ready to go.

Security and VoIP - The Register had an article on VoIP vulnerabilities recently. I had a couple of issues with it. First, the issue in question with Cisco was reported back in August and was resolved then. (Was it just a slow week for news at the Register?) But my larger issue is that it tars all VoIP solutions with the same brush.

FOSDEM Jabber Server - Was very pleased to see that FOSDEM had a Jabber server. I logged in but missed the talks that I was interested in. Good idea, though, for conferences.

LinTraining - Approved new training center submissions to LinTraining from:

  • Bombay, India
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Wien, Austria (Vienna)

Excel 2000 and automatic link creation - Was rather annoyed to find out that there is no easy way to disable automatic e-mail hyperlink creation in Excel 2000. Quite annoying. So now I am putting apostrophes in front of all e-mail addresses. Sigh

AVDL - Not sure what I think yet of the Application Vulnerability Description Language. Sounds interesting, as this article indicates, but it does seem to really only have support so far from vendors of security investigation programs.

Bush - On Guard or AWOL? - Good summary in the Memphis Flyer of the whole Bush issue. I also enjoyed Doonesbury's take on the issue as well as their $10,000 contest to find witnesses who saw Bush there. Quite sad, really, that it has to occur at all.

18 Feb 2004 (updated 18 Feb 2004 at 03:43 UTC) »

LinTraining and German Linux Training Centers - There must have been an article about LinTraining in some German magazine or web site, because I've approved probably 6 or 7 new Linux training centers in Germany in the past week or so. That was the majority of recent submissions, which is just unusual. Whenever there is a grouping like that, it makes one think there must have been a mention of it somewhere. I just don't think that a bunch of people in Germany suddenly found LinTraining!

--refresh-keys - 687 new sigs across 208 keys in my keyring... guess I hadn't updated it for a while.

'script' for Windows - Was trying to find something as simple as 'script' in the Windows environment. I just want to log a series of commands and their results without having to have a high buffer on the command window and copy/paste the commands/results into another window. I did find a great repository of UNIX utilities for Win32, but alas, no 'script'. There is, however, 'wc' and a number of other good commands! Another good repository of Win32 tools over at Interop Systems (but again no 'script'!).

The list of tools that Interop Systems has for Microsoft's Services For UNIX 3.5 is quite nice, too. (But again, no 'script')

identd - Needed some background on identd today and so wound up reading RFC 1413. Was mildly amused to see an acknowledgement at the bottom thanking Dan Bernstein. I have known of him for qmail and djbdns, but didn't realize he had a historical connection to identd.

The 3050 ICP Rides Again - For a period of time, we had a product in Mitel's portfolio called the 3050 ICP that was a small SIP-based PBX targeted at small and medium-size businesses. It was actually developed by a separate company, Mitel Knowledge Corporation, that is, like Mitel Networks, owned by Terry Matthews. The 3050 ICP was, to me, a very cool idea. I will admit that part of my bias was certainly that it was Linux-based and sat on top of our 6000 Managed Application Server product. But another part of the attraction was just that it was SIP-based and was entirely done in software.

In any event, for a number of reasons the relationship changed and we stopped carrying the 3050 ICP. The folks at Mitel Knowledge then formed MKC Networks and the product became the MKC Networks 7000 Communication Server. They also moved away from basing it on our commercial "6000 MAS" product and instead based it on our open source developer release called the "SME Server" and now supported through the community site of contribs.org.

The whole reason this came back to my attention was the news posting to the contribs.org developer site where MKC Networks is offering the software to developers who are interested. I hope some folks take them up on it. We need more stuff like this. I wish them all the best and do so hope the product evolves well.

Cisco INFOSEC Certification - Was passed along the link for the Cisco INFOSEC Professional which has some backing from the NSA. Interesting stuff.

The Chloe Journals: Tea Parties at 6am - So after listening to her talking in her room since about 5:30am or so, I finally roused myself out of bed a bit before 6am to go over and do the morning diaper change, etc. Before I could do that, though, I had to of course sit on the floor and accept the plate and fork from her, along with the mug and spoon (all small plastic toy ones, of course) and then participate in her little tea party. It was quite cute.

Security Fun - A good chunk of time this week was chewed up in issues around the Microsoft ASN.1 flaw. At one point this week I wasn't sure which I was receiving more of: spam, or security advisories about the Microsoft advisory! Sheesh... it's like all the creators of those various lists don't realize that anyone who has a clue about MS security is also on the MS security bulletin list!

LinkedIn - So now I have been invited to the LinkedIn social networking site. I did accept the invite to see what the buzz was about. Interesting, although I find some things harder about it than Orkut.

FOAF, plink.org, etc. - In the midst of that, dmarti asked if I had a FOAF file at all, as he finds that far more useful than any of these social networking sites. So I went to FOAF-a-matic to create a file that is now on my website. He also suggested I check out plink.org, which is a social networking site without any membership, etc., all based on open standards such as FOAF.

Wireless Certifications - Found out that several wireless vendors we work with are now asking for wireless certifications from their VARs. I didn't know of these certs, but their existence makes sense.

LPI Outreach to LUGs - LPI has announced a new outreach effort to Linux User Groups through a web site called LPI-LUG.org. As noted on the site, LUGs that register and have a number of people LPI-certified can obtain discounts off exam prices.

Python video - A friend sent me the link to this python video. I haven't watched it yet, but it sounds interesting.

Free Standards Group and ISO - Nice to see that the FSG received ISO recognition. Assuming this goes forward and they are able to get ISO recognition/certification for Linux, it will go far to help with government sales of Linux-related products. Good stuff.

Enigmail with Thunderbird - Started using thunderbird with enigmail at home for my personal e-mail. Wonderful to see how well it works with GnuPG to let me very easily sign and encrypt e-mail. Very nicely done.

Chinese WLAN Standard - The controversy over the Chinese proprietary WLAN standard continues. This decision makes it difficult for other companies to be able to sell into the Chinese market. Unless, of course, you partner with one of the 11 Chinese companies. :-) Fun, fun, fun...

Cisco Likes The Teleworker Market - Nice to see that Cisco sees the teleworker market as an opportunity. Good market validation, although our solution solves some of the security challenges posed by VPN-based teleworker solutions.

OCLUG GnuPG Lightning Talk Now Online - After the OCLUG talk last night, I put the presentation online on my site. Enjoy.

makefaq and PGP Signatures - Since I was talking about things you can do with PGP keys at last night's OCLUG meeting, I figured the least I could do was actually create some PGP signatures for my own packages. So I created detached signatures for each of the makefaq packages that I put out with release 2.4.

makefaq and Python 2.3 - After receiving a couple of reports that makefaq generated a warning about a deprecated character when run with python 2.3, I finally got around to trying it out myself last night. The error message was very helpful in that it provided the URL for the Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) that speaks of defining the source code encoding. It turns out that all I need to do is add a second line to the top of the file such as shown below:

#!/usr/bin/python # -*- coding: UTF-8 -*-

and my code will now run perfectly fine with python 2.3. The PEP gives more info about the rationale for this. So now it would seem that I need to roll a makefaq version 2.5 to incorporate this change.

OCLUG keysigning - Also had a mini-keysigning at the meeting last night. Wound up signing about five more keys.

Orkut - What the heck, I created a community there for DocBook users.

VoIP Snapshot - Interesting VoIP/SIP Industry Snapshot about the status of the current world of VoIP. Nice to see our logo in there with the other industry players (slide 6).

IBM Patents Developer Payment Method - I don't know yet quite what to make of this. It will be interesting to see what IBM says about it.

OSCON Call For Papers - O'Reilly has the call for papers for OSCON 2004 open until Feb 9th. Still deciding if I will submit a proposal. It's definitely a great conference.

Dave W rides again! - As we are both involved with LinTraining, whitinger let me know that he has started up a new Linux news site. I'll be curious to see how he'll differentiate his site from all the others.

2 Feb 2004 (updated 3 Feb 2004 at 01:22 UTC) »

VoIP Watch - Found a blog about VoIP that I should probably monitor from time to time. Some good links there.

And another one - Found out that Jeff Pulver has a blog. We have people that go to VON, a VoIP industry trade show that his group runs.

PGP Public Key Servers - While I have always used this page for a list of public key servers, I also found this page from David Ross which has a nice table listing various public key servers.

Rants Against Orkut - Interesting to see this criticism of orkut and links to many others. This piece at Headshift I found more thought-provoking than others with some interesting points about "social networking" sites in general. Other links I found interesting include: Many2Many, Conversations with Dina (toward the bottom), Marc Canter on being banned from Orkut, Marc Canter on 'gaming the system', anti-mega on the "fatal flaw of formalised social networking", "How Many Social Nets Are Too Many?". I am sure there will be even more posted in the days ahead as "Social Networking Sites" (SNS) seems to now be the topic of the day on the Internet... at least in the "Blogosphere".

I did enjoy the humor in this posting for a personal social assistant to manage all the person's social networking site subscriptions.

Blogs for Dean - Interesting piece by simonstl about technology and the Dean campaign.

Curling - dcoombs: Very cool that you are playing in the same speil as Guy Hemmings! Should be at least fun if you wind up playing him! He certainly makes the game entertaining.

Americana - Superbowl - We had to watch the Superbowl, of course. Not just because it is the quintessential "American" thing to do, but also because the New England Patriots were playing, and, well, yes, we'll admit to the ties to back where we grew up and lived.

All my life I was a "seasonal" football fan, in that I generally tuned in around the end of the season when the playoffs started. I used to be a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan (in the Terry Bradshaw heydey), but haven't really been a fan for years. Of course, living up here north of the U.S. border, we haven't really payed much attention at all to football given that there is so little interest.

Ah, but what a game yesterday! Even a hard-core anti-football person would have to put aside the fact that these guys are paid obscene amounts of money and just enjoy that second half. What a nailbiter to come down to the final kick in the final 5 seconds of the game. Truly an worthy championship game, and a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Canadiana - Skating on the Canal - With a beautifully clear sky, strong sun and temperatures that were actually around -5 C, we had a wonderful afternoon skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway. Had a "Beavertail" for the first time since we moved up here 3 years ago (and enjoyed it)... and just had a fantastic time out with some neighbors.

Who Will Pay Off Bush's $1 Trillion Deficit? - Powerful stuff!

Ranting Aussies - Was surprised/amused to find a former colleague at Live Journal. He's a great guy and his LJ user name is just so completely appropriate.

A Lot Of The World Left To See - So of course I had to create my map using this site to create your own visited country map. A lot of places in the world still to go!

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