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.plan Archive 2001

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Current Project: Mighty's SETI@Home Sig/HTML

Previous projects:
Ripmax RC Simulator
Fighter Squadron: Screamin' Demons Over Europe


Oh, shit.  It has been a horrible weekend.

First, Friday, one friend of mine had an appendectomy.  Luckily, that went very well.

Then early Sunday I learned that another friend of mine who was pregnant and due this week lost the baby.

And a different friend woke up with one side of his body numb.  He thought he had just slept funny, but it persisted and he ended up learning he has a brain tumor.


Visited my dad last week and got to go flying in his biplane everyday.  That rocked.


I've been pretty lazy, lately.  Playing a lot of hockey.  Visited friends in Florida.  The trip back was interesting.

First, I missed my noon flight.  The airline first wanted to put me on a flight with two connections that would get into Dallas at 11:00pm.  I gave the agent a pained expression and she found that she could put me on another airline direct to Dallas, leaving at 4:00.  I had lunch with my friend, and eventually got on the plane.   They backed it out one plane length, then pulled it back to the gate.  The pilot came on and said, "We have an electrical smell that we're not comfortable with up here, so we're going to have it checked out."

So I got to read my book for a couple more hours.  I was sitting in a seat one row behind an emergency exit door.  After sitting there for so long I happened to look up and notice that the seal near the bottom of the door didn't line up with the piece of seal just above it on the bulkhead.  And I could see part of the latch mechanism in the gap.

I sat there for a few minutes trying to decide if I should tell anyone.  Part of my reasoning was that the door had probably been closed for hundreds or even thousands of flights.  I assumed that it was rarely opened.  But after a few minutes I noticed a worn spot on the carpet, about where the seal would rub, implying that the door was opened fairly often.  Or that air was blowing through.

About the time I figured that out the pilot came back on and said that they were going to take us off the plane.  Well, that solved my dilemma.  I made a point of telling one of the crew about the door as I got off the plane.  The door was probably okay to fly, but it sure would be a bad day if it popped open in flight.


Got some work done.  Lotsa distractions the last two weeks, though.  About the time I was going to do my taxes the machine that my financial software is on started to lose the hard disk.  So I decided to finally bite the bullet and switch to Quicken.  I haven't got the online payment up and running, yet, so I don't know how painful that's going to be.  CheckFree customer service sucks rocks.

So, there's changing financial software, plus taxes.

Also, my grandmother is in town.  I've been spending a lot of time over at my mom's.

Oh, and I got a new geek box.  My Palm III is dying.  Got a color Visor.   It rocks.

I hope to get some time in this week.


Been playing some Thief II the last few weeks.  OpForce and UT run great on my new Gigger machine.

Went on a short ski trip last weekend.   Got home in time for a hockey game, which we actually won.  That was only our second win of the season, so we're 2-17.

Still getting over a cold I caught on the ski trip.


Overslept and missed lunch with Michael and Chad.  Need to get my schedule back on human hours.


Got new firewall software running on one of Bruce' P133s. Went in fairly painlessly and worked on the first try. It has an okay web interface so we can check it from any machine. And it's no Red Hat, so hopefully the hole used by the hacker has been plugged.


A bit of a strange sequence of events. My roommate got an email from some guy saying, "You should add port scanning to your resume."

We thought, "Huh?"

So we switched the monitor over to the Linux firewall, and there on the screen were several error messages listing failed login attempts. I'm not a Linux guru, so it took me a few hours of thrashing around to figure out that there was a user named "core" logged in and that he was spawning and killing dozens of processes every second. Eventually, I figured out how to kill the account, and it appears that it hasn't come back.

Then, today, I got an email from my cable modem ISP stating that my computer had been caught port scanning other computers.

We're still not sure how the first guy connected my roommate to this IP address. But it seems clear that someone took over my machine to hopscotch his way into finding other vulnerable computers.

We're trying to decide what to do about this. The alternatives we're considering are:

What a pain. The security hole is still open (I don't know how the guy got in in the first place) so we have to decide what we're going to do quickly.












Current .plan
.plan Archive 2004 - Start of JCI
.plan Archive 2003 - MightySETIInfo
.plan Archive 2002 - MightySETIInfo
.plan Archive 2001 - Inertia/RC Sim, MightySETIInfo
.plan Archive 2000 - Inertia/RC Sim
.plan Archive 1998-1999 - Digital Chicken, Parsoft/SDOE, beginning of Inertia/RC Sim

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