- Don't ask me to delete your windows partition, which allowed me to use the license on another desktop, then come back to me six months later and demand I immediately install windows onto your computer. You'll find my lack of interest in your panic anything but charming. I'm funny that way; the more you push, the slower I go. Right now I have a helper monkey sorting through all of our windows licenses to find yours, and when I do find yours, I'll shred it and we'll take two more weeks to buy you another one, because it takes two weeks to buy anything here. Yes, we're a geographic oddity: we're a fashionable two weeks from anywhere in the world.
- Banks will oftentimes have external signals that something is wrong inside the bank. These signals are subtle and different for each branch, but they are used to signal approaching employees or security if there is something wrong with the branch. These signals are only used to cover the time between "employees in" and "customers on." For instance, if an armed assailant takes one of the early arrivals hostage or manages to plant a bomb or something, the employee will do something innocuous...like, fail to open or close a set of blinds or drapes, or fail to turn off an outside light. Other employees and/or security will then spot these signals and know to call the police and not enter the facility. One of the banks I worked in had regular drills. Since I was overnight shift at that bank, I would sit with the security guard and watch him bust people who didn't catch the signal (in our case, a set of drapes that needed to be opened if all was clear). It was funny, though, how many people caught the signal and called the cops (who'd been alerted to the drill); fully 98 percent of the employees were aware that something was amiss. I mention this because this morning, I drove by a bank branch that is normally buttoned up until customer hours start. This morning, though, the blinds on one side of the building (facing the parking lot) were open.
- Talked to my brother for the first time in months on Sunday. He's a good guy, my brother, who has worked through a lot of crap in his life. His oldest son, my nephew Chris, was supposed to have graduated high school this year, but failed to do so. They did go to the graduation ceremony to see a family friend graduate. I wonder what Chris thought, seeing all of his peers and friends who are about to start their lives? I hope it was an encouragement, but I have a feeling that it may not encourage much. I'm not sure how to motivate a 17 year old...that's the target demographic in the US, right? Everyone over 25 wants to be 17? So, how to motivate an unmotivated American. I say, the draft.
- I have an ntop box that parses all of our network traffic and gives me the lowdown on who is doing what. There's not much in the way of "illegal" activity. We have a couple of users who stream music or movies at high bandwidth rates, so I've throttled them back. We have a few others who download a shedload of zip / rar files. Probably media of some sort. I did have one user who kept trying to email pictures apparently taken via cell phone. I don't have any problem with amateur porn, but not at work, please. Heck, I'm OK if you hit a porn site once or whatever, but if it starts taking actual bandwidth and billable time, then you're going to meet our security folks. That being said, this ntop box now locks up when I start capturing traffic. It will capture 99 percent of the packets on the switch, but it won't allow any other service to run while doing so. The ntop box is running debian, has a multi-core Intel proc, has 4GB of RAM and a ridiculously well-made Intel PCI-E NIC. But our backbone is now handling several GB per second average. My question is: how do people monitor extremely high utilization networks? Distributed access? One monitor per vlan? How? HOW?
- My sister-in-law was laid off, a couple of friends were laid off, one was shuffled down to minimal hours, and two people that I peripherally know are violently dead in a war that continues to make little sense. I am selfish in my happiness, apparently, and will do my best to farm it out a bit, get the word out that hey, you, over there! It will all be OK in the end. What we have, all we have, is this right now.
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