December 29, 2000

Looking at IDS systems this past week. I've implemented two of them, a personal IDS called BlackIce and another one on Linux called Snort. As far as BlackIce goes, it's a pretty solid inbound firewall. It doesn't have any outbound firewall functionality (yet), but its IDS system is very nice, and it's incredibly easy to use, while still allowing power users to configure it with the config files.
Someone else had set up an interface that takes Snort output and makes pretty HTML output. It's called SnortSnarf. I'm going to try to implement that next. If anyone has any experience with these tools, let me know what you think. It looks nice and has links for different hack attacks so you can just click on them to jump to descriptions, etc.

December 24, 2000

Unbelievable...I knew that our cable company has one of the worst service records, so WHY did I think their Road Runner service was going to be any better? I've had the service for 8 days so far, and I am more than just displeased. It's starting to border on disgust. I've had problems with speed fluctuating (from 1k-1Mbit over a period of 10 minutes - up and down, up and down) and now a 6 hour (ongoing) outage. Right now, I am dialed into the Net through a modem connection because my network connection is down.
But THAT'S NOT THE WORST OF IT. The worst of it is that I was given an estimated up-time of 5pm, then 5:30. Then, at 5pm, their customer service went home for the holidays, without telling the national Road Runner service desk what the problem was, or when it is expected to be fixed. For all I know, we may be out until Tuesday because everyone left for Christmas.
It's all about maturity. The Internet just isn't mature enough, folks. Until the ISP's deliver the type of service we expect from the phone company (not that they're perfect...), the Internet will be a toy.

December 19, 2000

Called and cancelled my Sprynet account today. It's amazing that noone has thought to provide email forwarding for deleted accounts. I mean, sure, I've left as a customer, and you don't want to make it easy for someone to leave your ISP service, but some do-gooder at the IETF should have added email forwarding to SMTP (or ESMTP) to provide forwarding options, complete with reply to originators as to your new email address. Even snail mail provides for this option.
For those of you thinking about changing ISP's, I would suggest BigFoot's email for life. It's a nice service [when it's working...I've caught it being down twice in the past month]. Of course, you get what you pay for - case in point the big HotMail fiasco.
Changing email addresses can be cleansing though. Gives you a chance to get off all those SPAM mail address lists and force you to clean up all your online memberships. Maybe I'll actually get organized this time, and document all my online memberships this time....nah!!

December 17, 2000

Got my cable modem! I'm not too impressed with the speed thus far, though. I'm seeing throughput of 150-250 KB/sec. A T1 can spit 1.5 MB/sec and I know in some areas, a cable modem can run maximum around 4-6 T-1s. The cable guy recommended an in-line amp to me because the cable is split 5 ways in my house. I may try that, but first I'll ask a neighbor of mine to compare speeds with me. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

December 15, 2000

Wow! I haven't blogged in a while. Been busy lately with trips out of town and the Christmas season. Had a pie stuffed in my face at the office Christmas party, but I also walked away with what I believe to be some of the nicer gifts, too. If you'd like a picture of me and the dripping cream, email me and let me know.
I get my cable modem tomorrow (CHEER!) and may put up a webcam out the back window in my house. (or a fish cam...) We'll see what happens. I just can't wait for those 3MB/sec downloads from Happy Puppy. Speaking of games, I've been having a hell of a time making Ultima VIII run on my Windows 98 box. If you have any hints to stop it from crashing, let me know....[yeah right..notice I didn't tell you anything about my machine]