21 Jan

Recent Developments

Category:Events, Hacking, Review

So it’s been a long while since i last wrote anything. So what’s been happening lately. Well, a few things.

Dorsia has been replaced by a “slightly” less powerful machine, namely an old P3 rig. Dorsia is my shell machine that i’ve used to hand out shells to people i know. Nothing really special here, it does the same job as before, but with less overhead. The previous Dorsia machine was a G4p HP Proliant, with dual Xeon’s, so it’s best off doing something else. In this case, something else is installing VMware ESXi on it, and using it as a test bench for numerous virtual machines. It’s better suited for that task. This project is stil pending, but, the server hardware is compatible with ESXi, and i should get on that with P at some point. Our plan is to build a kind of virtual lab environment, where we can have different server operating systems, such as Windows 2003 and 2008, among others, and then run a hostile machine,perhaps with the recently released Backtrack 4 final. As soon as we have time..

I’ve ordered a netbook. So yeah, i became yet another sheep and got myself a netbook. Yes, i’m aware they are very slow etc. etc, but i’m just interested in surfing the web and writing stuff down, and for that, i think it’ll be just fine. The one i got was a Samsung N140, which is a 10″ netbook, with a 1.6GHz Atom 270 processor, 2 gigs of memory, a 320 gig hard drive (5400rpm), and various other parts of lesser interest. There are a few things that are of concern. 1) Is the machine powerful enough to run some flash content? I’m not talking about some multimedia extravaganza, but simply youtube and such? 2) The resolution is small, and i know this. But, it has a VGA out, and where i’ll be using it “proper”, i’ll have an external screen to hook up to it.

Basically, i’m not expecting much, but it’ll be interesting to see how it compares with my previous “netbook”, my Thinkpad X41, which has developed some problems with the battery and charging. This puppy has a 1.6 GHz Centrino,  with 2 gigs of memory. I’ll be running some benchmarks to see how the Atom fares against this 5 year old machine. Should be interesting, as there aren’t a lot of benchmarks that compare older hardware with netbooks, and as M pointed out, there are so many different architechtures; comparison becomes difficult on a larger scale. I’ll be reporting on this as soon as i get the machine, which should be next week.

I’m also trying to find out what the perfect linux distro would be to install on this. I’m taking suggestions, if you have them.

Adobe presented me with an interesting perdicamen this week at work. I was fiddling around with trying to get the Adobe PDF printer working under Windows 7. This proved to be a bitch. After countless hours of testing, i found out that Adobe Acrobat version 7, works just fine under windows 7. This is an old old version, from like 2003, which doesn’t even have support for Vista, let alone Windows 7. Adobe 8, which was used in this particular case, just didn’t work, not even with the latest patches. It installed the printer, but you were unable to use it, as Acrobat claimed the product was unactivated (it worked otherwise just fine, so i think that’s just a bogus error message). Again, version 9, the latest version (patch 9.3 released 14th of January) has official Windows 7 support as of 9.2, and that worked fine from the get go.

So Adobe, why doesn’t version 8 work, when the older technology of version 7 works just fine? You wouldn’t be out to get Windows 7 users to buy Acrobat 9 now would you? Tsk tsk.

Glamorama, the recent book by author Bret Easton Ellis (notably of American Psycho-fame), is what i’m reading next. Hopefully, even today. It was shipped out from Jersey, at play.com last week, so i should be getting it either today or tomorrow.I hope it’s as good as American Psycho! I think i’ll be reading his entire bibliography, since i very much like his topics (glamour,  yuppies, decadence and horror), and his writing style.

Ham radio. Me and B decided we were going to become ham radio operators during the year of 2010. We haven’t started yet, but i’m definately going through with this. I have a few ham friends who i’ll be talking to about where to take the exam and so on. The basic level exam isn’t too hard, plus i was in the signals battalion during my one-year army stint, so this shouldn’t really be a problem by any stretch of the imagination.


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