Older blog entries for dyork (starting at number 355)

CISSP - 3 days and counting - The studying continues, need I say more...

LinTraining - Approved a bunch of new submissions to LinTraining:

  • Estonia (Training Center)
  • Brazil (Training Center)
  • Brazil (Courseware in Portuguese)
  • Malaysia (Training Center)

Interesting that all the submissions recently have NOT been from North America or (western) Europe.

GnuPG and Lotus Notes - I noticed today that Dobysoft has come out with a newer version of their PGPNotes product that is now based on GnuPG 1.2.1 and WinPT 1.0RC2. We'll let it slide that GnuPG is now up to 1.2.3... the key is that PGPNotes is now at least in the 1.2.x series. I've downloaded it to try it out since we are entirely Notes-based at work... and if it would make it easier than it is today...

PGP(GnuPG)-encrypted Jabber IM - Chatted with LenZ today for a minute or two via Jabber. Actually, we started on MSN and then migrated to Jabber (prompted by a comment from him that he was using Psi). So I clicked on the little lock in the Psi conversation window and... ta da... our entire IM conversation was encrypted using GnuPG... very cool stuff!

SCO License Follies - So SCO finally admits they won't sell licenses to small players and are only offering licenses now to the Fortune 1000... Kudos to Drew Streib for continuing to beat the drum....

CISSP - 4 days and counting - The studying continues...

libxslt - DV: Congrats! While I don't use XML and XSLT daily anymore, I still recommend libxslt to everyone who asks me about what to use for DocBook programming.

RFC 3330 - I was not aware that RFC 3330 was issued back in September 2002. (Too many RFCs, too little time! :-) Interesting to see what IP address ranges beyond those of RFC 1918 have been reserved in different ways. Interesting to learn that cable modem providers all have IP addresses in 24.x.x.x. Ah, the stuff one learns from random browsing.

Information Week's Open Letter to Microsoft about Linux - This editorial from such a mainstream IT magazine as Information Week is a pretty amazing step in the continuing evolution of Linux. It would have been hard to imagine a few years ago.

Interior Design - Lori got the call from a local paint store that a "designer kit" was in. This particular paint brand, Benjamin Moore, does a great deal to promote their paints to designers... which is logical, of course. She's been waiting for about 8 months for this particular kit to become available. It will be very useful for her to use with her clients.

CISSP - 6 days and counting - Amazing how time flies... October 25th is right around the corner. Spent a good chunk of time on cccure.org last night and wound up being a bit concerned that I have been underestimating the exam. I think the practice exams that come with the books I have have to a degree lulled me into a false sense of safety. So today, on an absolutely gorgeous autumn day, I'm inside with my laptop paging through presentations and PDF files. My concern is mostly about some of the detail. Much of it I think I'll hit without a problem... but there are some areas where I am weaker. We'll see.

Interesting to see that my 10+ years of volunteer firefighting experience actually has some relevance... there is a whole section devoted to physical security issues including issues around fire prevention and suppression.

Diff with Vim? - As soon as I had to reformat my laptop and install Windows XP (related in another entry long ago), one of the first things I did was go out and install Vim so that I could have a "real" editor on my system. Today I discovered a hidden treat that I didn't know it had.

There have been numerous times when I have wanted to compare two files on XP and wished there was the good old UNIX/Linux 'diff' command. Well, today I had several files selected in Windows Explorer and instead of dragging them to the trash can to delete them I right-clicked and chose Delete. But... in the process, I noticed that one of the choices offered was "Diff with Vim". So of course I had to try it out... what a fantastic capability to include! It works wonderfully... splitting the window in two so that you can scroll through and see what was deleted/inserted/changed/etc. Very cool!

"Ship it!" - Ah, nothing like the excitement leading up to the actual GA (General Availability) of a product! Yesterday, on our scheduled GA date we shipped Release 2.0 of our 6010 Teleworker Solution. This solution, which sits on top of our 6000 Managed Application Server Linux distribution, allows remote workers to have a office phone at the end of their broadband connection with full feature parity to the office phones. The remote phone is simply an extension off of the corporate phone system... that securely communicates across the Internet. All extremely cool stuff... and the Linux advocate in me enjoys that it's running on Linux. The team had been working extremely hard to nail down the final details and final verification, so as product manager it was wonderful to see the final T's crossed and i's dotted... and to give the word...

Jabber groupchat - One of the interesting internal dynamics to watch since our re-org in mid-September has been the use of Jabber groupchat by our team. Yes, we could have used an IRC server, but we support the use of jabberd on our product, so we used that. Basically, we opened up a conference room and now have all our developers in there, as well as members of our operations, product support and training groups. Given that they are spread out in 4 different locations within our building, it's really turned out to quite a useful tool, even just for saying 'hey, I'm going to lunch... anyone want to join me?' I've been quite impressed to see it as useful as it has been as people have quickly stayed in touch with what's going on.

makefaq, postcards and OpenOffice.org - Someone using makefaq actually read my little blurb about enjoying receiving postcards... and so I got a nice little card from Melbourne, Australia, telling me that makefaq is being used to construct the OpenOffice.org Unofficial FAQ. Cool to see... I'm glad that makefaq helped him out!

CISSP - 8 days to go - My CISSP exam is coming up in just 8 days... how to spend 6 hours on a Saturday! Been doing a good bit of reading but now starting to kick into high gear. Have taken some practice exams at ExamWeb that came free with one of the books I bought. Currently scoring about 86%. I've been pleased at how much of the material I have known, but duh... I've been working with network and Internet security for most of 15 years in some fashion... I should fit into the profile of the CISSP. A good number of details around the edges that I need to hone my knowledge of. With all the good practice questions, there are, of course, stupid ones. However, having done all I did with LPI, I certainly know how incredibly much goes into making an exam of any type. Much more than I ever knew!

MS and PlaceWare - Somewhere in things I missed that Microsoft had acquired PlaceWare. They plan to rename it "LiveMeeting" or something on that line. Interesting acquisition given that it is mostly Java-based (with, I thought, some UNIX floating around). Just another interesting acquisition to see. (And we use it all the time for webinars to our resellers and customers.)

Patch and Pray - Found this article an interesting read.

The Panther walks - Good news on the Apple front. I've become quite a MacOS X fan now, I must say.

MS and IM activity patent - So now Microsoft gets a patent on the 'Fred is typing a message' message... amazing what you can patent... one can assume that IPR suits are now being prepared for AIM and Yahoo Messaging. Sigh.

The Chloe Journals - Amazingly the wee one passed the 18-month mark this week! She is such an ever-increasing delight! So much to say and write about... each day just brings new additions to her repertoire... new words... new actions... it's all so amazing - and fun - to see!

8 Oct 2003 (updated 8 Oct 2003 at 02:16 UTC) »

Five Years of the Linux Professional Institute - As we were driving through rural New York very late on Friday night (actually early Saturday morning), I realized that I had missed celebrating a little anniversary.

It was October 1, 1998, when I wrote this little article about the need for professional certification for Linux in the Linux Gazette.

I had no idea how much that one little article would dramatically alter my life.

The mailing lists that evolved out of that article (offered by a random stranger, Dave Sifry (sifry) who was one of the founders of this unknown startup called LinuxCare (note the capital C... it still had it then)) brought together an amazing group of people who banded together and ultimately created what is today the Linux Professional Institute (LPI).

There's a longer story (man, are there stories!) that needs to be written some day, but the net of it is that the Linux community came together - Linux advocates, vendors, developers, training companies, publishers - and pulled off the creation of an independent certification program, something we were adamantly told simply couldn't be done. Now, there were a good number of factors that worked to our advantage (like the dot-com boom that opened VC-funded checkbooks), but in the end, we all collectively did it.

For me, personally, that article inadvertantly launched me on a path that brought me into Linuxcare (no capital C by then ;-), Linux International, and to Canada for a startup then called e-smith (now part of Mitel Networks). It also brought me into contact with Dave Whitinger and led to the creation of LinTraining.

Heck, it brought me here to Advogato... and brought me into contact with so many incredibly amazing and wonderful people throughout the Linux community. maddog and others in LI circles, Evan Liebovitch, Tom Peters and everyone involved with LPI, Jon Corbet and the other wonderful folks at LWN, LenZ, csm, hacker, davidm... all the great folks at OCLUG... and so, so, so many other great folks that I will inevitably offend someone by leaving them off of a list... what a wild, wild, wild and very strange trip it's been!

All of which began for me when I finally got off my tail and wrote a little article... (and was ready to follow it up with action)

Kill Your TV - "It's dead, Jim." The plug has been pulled... with one phone call we have disconnected from the popular mind. No more CNN, SciFi, HGTV, TLC or any of the other channels which have consumed so many hours of our lives. We'll see how it goes as the days get shorter and weather gets colder.

FrontPage-like programs for MacOS X - hub: Thanks for the suggestions, but if you look at my previous diary entry you'll see that I'm looking for a whole lot more. If it were just me editing the site, I'd probably do the whole thing in vim under CVS control and just do occasional scps or rsyncs of the site.

But the challenge is that I need a general computer user (i.e. my wife) to be able to use it. She just wants to use the computer to edit... she has no interest at all in learning the intricate workings of it all... she just wants to edit text and publish it. I need something that works for her (as well as allows me to work on it as well in code if I wish).

Leaning more and more toward Macromedia Dreamweaver. We'll see.

OpenSSL - Since we've already had SSH and FTP issues in recent weeks, of course this week we have to see OpenSSL issues. And gee, the issue isn't exactly going to be low-profile when Cisco issues an advisory, along with Red Hat and a whack of others. Sigh. It would be nice if we could just have a week in here without some core program announcing some various vulnerability.

The Chloe Journals - early mornings - The U.S. Army was running an ad campaign a number of years ago where the tag line was "We do more by 9 am than most people do all day!" I wonder if they have it on a T-shirt in size 2T? :-)

LinTraining - Approved another submission to LinTraining for a Linux training center in Hong Kong. A bunch were approved last week as well by Dave for training centers all over the place.

MacOS X and Dreamweaver - Didn't receive any feedback from my last entry where I was asking about MacOS programs similar to FrontPage, but I decided to download the trial version of Dreamweaver to give it a spin. We'll see.

Any feedback is definitely still welcome. (See my last entry for details of what I'm seeking.)

Security updates - The last weeks have been weeks full of security updates for our product. First there was OpenSSH week.. last week it was ProFTPD (which we are not vulnerable too in a default config, but the system could be enabled in a way that we potentially could be).... when I saw an Apache alert this morning, I just said, "no, let's please not start the week this way!" But, of course, it was Apache 2.0, which we're not using, so things seem okay on that front. But then again, the week is only partly over....

A colleague shared his view that the escalated number of security alerts in the last month or two is because of "Linux fanatics beating on Windows to find holes, followed by Microsoft fanatics beating on Linux to find holes, with all of us stuck in the middle just trying to deliver products on both!" There may or may not be any grain of truth in that, but it sure has been a crazy period of time.

Pen turning - We have spent some time moving things around in our basement so that I actually have a small workshop area where I can use my miniature lathe. Last night was the first time I could work there and it was with great joy that I turned a pen.... it came out quite nicely... I intend to be making many more for gifts this year.

Curling - Starts soon... very much looking forward to it!

The Chloe Journals - the joy of the unexpected - As the wee one continues to grow and becoming the incredibly energetic and unique little girl that she is, it is those unexpected moments that are the most endearing. Like when you walk out of the kitchen into the dining room and find that she has climbed up into her high chair all on her own - and is now sitting there with a big smile on her face waiting patiently for you to come out with her food! Or when you are leaving for work in the morning and she gives a big wave and says "Bye!" several times... it's just so cute and wonderful.

27 Sep 2003 (updated 27 Sep 2003 at 17:13 UTC) »

FrontPage-like publishing for MacOS X? - So now that we have the iMac in the living room, we're actually using it more... and so now I'd like to update our web site that has been maintained using FrontPage since about 1996 or so (and quite frankly, shows that it is seven years old or so - since when FrontPage was a separate product from a company called Vermeer Technologies.) I still maintain it using FrontPage 98, as that was the last version I felt stuck to standards... then it starting getting very MS-specific.

But I want to do it on MacOS X. Here's what I want:

  • simple editing - While I would be perfectly fine maintaining the entire site in raw HTML using vim, Lori does some of the editing as well, and doesn't want/need to get into the level of tagging that I'm at home in.
  • site-wide text - FrontPage does a really nice job with headers and footers that I can easily modify - and all affected pages get automagically updated. By the same token, individual pages do not have to have the header/footer.
  • auto-generated nav bars - FP has a navigation panel that lets me set up the relationship between all my different pages. When I then insert nav bar 'objects' in my pages (or in my footer), each page has a nav bar based on where it lies in the navigation layout
  • standards compliance - Don't laugh, but FP98 actually did a decent job of standards compliance. Of course, it's old now so it doesn't deal well with CSS or many other newer elements. But I don't want funky tags (or more tags than necessary)
  • HTML editing - While WYSIWIG editing is desirable, as I mentioned above, I also want the option to dive into the HTML code when I want/need to and fix things - or enter my own code.
  • offline editing - I have a local copy of the web site on the system here and can make tons of changes to it, test it in browsers, etc.... and then upload it all.
  • easy publishing - when I'm done updating text on the local copy of my site, I press "Publish", enter my password, and FP connects to the FTP server at my ISP (still back in NH), checks the pages there, and then automagically FTPs all the changed files up to the server. I don't have to do anything other than press that one little button and give a password.

I don't use any of the FrontPage Server Extensions... I just use it to edit and mantain a site of a couple hundred HTML files and images and easily publish it.

So... my question is... do any of you working with MacOS X know of a program like that? I see a good number of people talking about MacroMedia Dreamweaver.... and Adobe GoLive... any suggestions would certainly be welcome to my e-mail. Thanks!

Security - A good chunk of this week was consumed with the openssh security issue. We did finally issue a security advisory to all of our customers, although it took a bit longer than we wanted. Had a good post-mortem and figured out what the issues were (mostly related to just new post-reorg roles and coordination) so that next time we'll be that much quicker to respond. The alert for our unsupported developer version is available online. The other alert was sent earlier to all our resellers and customers.

Canadiana - My wife was talking to someone she knows about the fact that we are planning to cancel our cable TV. My wife said "There is one thing that I'll miss without TV." The other other woman seriously said "The hockey games?"

It's a Canadian thing... you have to live here to appreciate it. (And no, my wife meant that she'd miss the educational programming, which we may or may not be able to get on broadcast TV. I think we have watched maybe one hockey game in the 3 years we have been here (and that only because it was the Olympics).

The Chloe Journals - We have other parents who say "Oh, yeah, my daughter/son got up so early this morning... 8am!" And still others who talk of being able to bring their child into bed with them in the morning and get another hour or hour-and-a-half of sleep.... not our beautiful little girl! 5:30 or 6:00am and she's up for the day! Most days that's fine, but some Saturday mornings.......... good thing she's so darn cute! :-)

15 Sep 2003 (updated 15 Sep 2003 at 01:57 UTC) »

Out of the dark and into the light - Friday morning I looked at what I was planning to wear and found that I had dressed entirely in black. I realized that it was not exactly appropriate. I had dressed in black on Wednesday, the day we did have some layoffs... it was an extremely painful day, as some incredibly talented and wonderful people had to be let go. At this point (after a couple of previous re-orgs), there are only solid, excellent people left, so any cuts hurt. It was VERY painful personally for me, and I'm hopeful that those who left us can find work in a very tough economy.

But being in management means that you can't dwell on those changes long, so I doffed the black and went for blue jeans, a white shirt and a somewhat-Hawaiian overshirt. And I stopped by Tim Hortons for a party pack of Timbits. It was a crappy week, but it's time to move on.

The funny thing was that in random conversations I found that several other people had done the same exact thing Friday morning.

CISSP - So after about a week-and-a-half of debating it, I finally pushed the Submit button and signed up for the CISSP exam coming up in late October here in Ottawa. I've been working with network and Internet security issues for many, many years... but it was often never part of my formal job description and so was only a casual mention in my resume. Before the re-org when rumours were rampant, I had started looking around and found that many of the jobs that I would be interested in all either required the CISSP credential, or it was at least "preferred". While I'm quite happy where I'm at now, and do hope I can be there for quite a long time, it's definitely a good thing to have options in this crazy economy we're in these days.

Blogging by co-workers - Found out that current and former (here, here and here, this last one the new home for skud) co-workers have weblogs over at LiveJournal. Glad to catch up on what the others are doing. Interesting as always. ;-)

Disconnecting from the popular mind - Lori and I have decided to cancel our cable TV... pull the plug and regain our evenings from being sucked into the mindless drivel on TV. We'll miss the few excellent shows that are on there... but we've finally decided to do it. Stay tuned.

Autumnal raiment - It is, indeed, that time of year. Hints of yellow and orange tinge the edges of the trees.... the full oranges and deep reds won't be for a few more weeks, but you can tell it's coming. Amazing that it's already that time... but what a magical time it is... I love it every year.

Enology - and a bad harvest - Well, it's not going to happen this year. We were really looking forward to harvesting the grapes growing on the vines in our backyard. Big, full grapes... we were hoping to either make wine - or grape jelly - but instead we'll get nothing at all. The grapes were looking great... and then about two weeks ago I noticed some being eaten from the tops of the vines. I immediately blamed the pesky black squirrels that inundate our neighborhood, but last week I saw birds there on the top... and closer inspection found that the grapes are all gone! I guess if we are still here next year and the grapes grow well again, we'll have to cover them with netting or something like that. Quite a shame, as neighbors tell us that the previous owner was able to make wine some years.

The Chloe Journals - The wee one passed 17 months today... we saw a 3-month-old this morning and it was a reminder again of how much the little one has grown. Today she's walking all over, babbling nonstop, climbing on everything, smiling and saying "hi" to everyone she can and just generally being the high-energy extrovert we've come to know and love! It just is amazing to see each day.

346 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!