Good Deed For the Day

Went by the office to pay rent. This woman (learned later it was Rose) in a bathrobe and ‘jammies asked the woman leaving the rent drop if she works in the office. The one paying rent said what she was doing. So, Rose asked if I could help her. I asked what is the problem? The “Business Center” computer would not save the drivers she tried to download to her CD. She had bought a Belkin USB Wi-Fi adapter (antenna) which is supposed to be Mac compatible but the CD the installer would not work. The computer repair guys were confused why her ancient Mac didn’t have an internal Airport card. So they sold her and external antenna. She really needed it to work so she could mooch wireless off her neighbors and deal with the school.

Rose used my computer to download the drivers. Typically I burn CDs and even DVDs on the other computer, so I could not easily figure out how to burn a CD, so I ended up dragging and dropping the files onto a CD. I didn’t think that burned the data to the CD so much as wrote in a proprietary stupidity such that only the computer which wrote it can read it. So, I let her borrow my 1GB USB thumb drive where I put another copy of the drivers. It is the oldest and smallest and slowest of 4 I have. Every time someone says they have an issue of moving files I think I ought to just give them that drive, but I never remember later to do so.

Hopefully Rose will get it all working so she can mooch wireless off her neighbors?

Suck It Up And Pay the Price

Doesn’t it always look like this?

  1. User runs script against service.
  2. Script operates so quickly and sucks so much traffic its obvious its a script.
  3. Service’s automates systems detects the abuse.
  4. User gets automated notice about violation of Terms of Use and prevention from accessing the site.
  5. User pitches a fit because he is “famous”.

Services lock out abusive users because people conducting this kind of activity cause slowness. I’ve personally caught people doing this. How I got them to stop usually depended on my ability to contact them. People I knew or others directly knew, a phone call was enough to resolve it.

People outside of my social circle usually got an email and found their account locked. Doing so prevented their scripts from working. At Valdosta State, I would leave instructions at the Helpdesk for the offender to have to contact me in order to regain access to the account. Tyrrannical, I know.

UPDATE: So, it turns out Scoble was using an alpha of Plaxo Pulse. The ideas was to download ~5,000 images of Scoble’s contacts’ email addresses, text names, and text birthdays. Then the software would match them against people in Plaxo. He could then sync Plaxo with his Outlook address book for a good contact list.

He accuses Facebook of singling him out as others have not been caught. (Were the others trying to download and push 5,000 in a few seconds?) He also accuses Facebook of being hypocritical… They import contact information from other sources, but they do not allow anyone to export the same information.

I still think a user hitting 5,000 images for email addresses look like a spammer. Of course, I think Scoble is a spammer … Maybe its confirmation bias? 😀

Better Way to Count

Our awesome sysadmins have put the user agent into our AWStats so we are tracking these numbers now. They discovered something I overlooked. Netscape 4.x is 10 times more used than 7.x or 8.x. Wowsers! Some people really do not give up on the past.

Back in the Netscape is dead post, I used this to count the Netscape 7 hits.

grep Netscape/7 webserver.log* | wc -l

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! The above requires running for each version of Netscape. This is why I missed Netscape 4.

This is more convoluted, but I think it its a much better approach.

grep Netscape webserver.log* | awk -F\t ‘{print $11}’ | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

It looks uglier, but its much more elegant. Maybe I ought to make a resolution for 2008 to be elegant in all my shell commands.

This version first pulls any entries with Netscape in the line. Next, the awk piece reports only the user agent string. The first sort puts all the similar entries next to each other so the uniq will not accidentally duplicate. The -c in the uniq counts. The final sort with the -n orders them by the uniq’s count. The largest will end up at the bottom.

Tweets for Today

  • 08:45 ctxhx cores w/o any evidence of crashing. Someone's been doing some downloading? #
  • 08:58 hahahahaha I have no sense of temperature. It was 24F this morning. I thought it was about 40F (aka still shorts weather!). #
  • 09:04 8 responses to a Dec 27th email in an hour. Yup, school employees are finally back from Christmas Break! #
  • 11:12 Oh, right… Its 2008 not 2007… #
  • 14:12 Wowsers… Don't make me think about CE 3.8. Desupported! Desupported! #
  • 14:53 2 out of 3 DBAs agree: No unnecessary gatekeeping. Let the clients decide password security strength for themselves. #
  • 15:06 @dgcombs clients = the administrators at the campuses who are the data owners. #
  • 15:21 My poor ears… Head phones wents nuts… A constant stream of noise 2x louder than the podcast. #
  • 15:28 LOL Programmer: "I've always thought an Oracle user WAS an instance. That's what it is in Toad." Poor data warehouse DBAs. #
  • 16:05 Resending the logs send Dec 21 (13 days ago) because the were lost…. #
  • 16:40 Great… wiki was moved, but now we cannot reach it. Can from another server. Gotta love "telnet host.domain.tld 80" #
  • 17:11 Looks like I'll be home for two weeks. Waiting on the word from Mom. #
  • 17:20 They want a commercial web site, but they want the users to PRINT the order form and mail it to a PO Box? Walk away! Its not worth the $80. #

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