So much for security

Well, I remember reading all the recent hype about the bike locks you could defeat with a ballpoint pen.

I’m just catching up with news this afternoon – because apparently the laptop locks are easily defeated too (via engadet).

I just proved this by ruining the little Fellowes barrel-lock thing I bought for my office at work (and successfully unlocking the lock in about 5 seconds).

Hooray for technology.

Well, it *is* Friday Afternoon

Received at our support address mailbox today:

Dear Web Manager,

I visited your Web site at and would like to let you know that your Web site could also be presented in other languages for broader recognition.


We specialize in Website Translation and URL Submission in 10 languages – Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Our Web translation package includes:


I just had to pull this one out of the trash queue for an appropriate response:

Dear Unsolicited Commercial Email Sender,

We have received your offer for website translation services. You do support an impressive number of translations.

However, you do not offer Pig Latin. We feel that your language translation offering is therefore incomplete and we must reply to say that we are not interested.

Should you offer Pig Latin translation service in the future, perhaps we will lengthen the time we take to reject your spam offer.


  • OurYay PamSay EcipientRay

Little joys my friends, little joys

Thursday Post

Hmmmm…. It seems like Thursday is “post day” Thursdays are relatively unappreciated days. In fact, back in May, I went searching through the iTunes Music store for all songs that have the day of the week in them and found that Thursday is clearly under-appreciated.

  • Sunday: 680
  • Monday: 274
  • Tuesday: 107
  • Wednesday: 38
  • Thursday: 37
  • Friday: 190
  • Saturday: 280

So it’s back at work for the first full day of work for the week. I was on Vacation on Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in prep and travel for the 2004 UNC-CAUSE conference – where I gave a presentation about the VCL Project that Engineering and ITD are involved in.

It was one of the very rare presentations that I have felt positive about. Which is not terribly bad considering that the epiphany I had about how to structure what I would say came at 8:30pm the night before. That’s an improvement over most of my College presentations though.

There’s something to be said for presentations for the effect on the presenter. My vacation was spent camping with my girlfriend in the Shenandoah mountains in Virginia. Some of the more amazing overlooks are those of Shenandoah valley – you literally get a bird’s eye view of the farms in the valley below, almost like they are a model train set:

Presentations often give you the chance to step back and look at the project that you are involved in, day after day after day, and see it with new eyes. Our next generation Eos project is two years now in the making, and sometimes progress seems to get lost in itself. It’s good to see things from the outside sometimes

But the best part of the day for me came at two points: 1) I had the opportunity to sit in on a presentation from Jason Austin, a web developer over in ITD working on a part-timer tracking application. If Jason is any indication of the future of ITD and Computing Services, it’s in good hands. He had quite the posse of co-workers there for moral support (i.e. good-natured harassment). I had the chance to sit between Susan Klein and Bill Padgett, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit honored and nostalgic to be sitting between the person that hired me into the University community, and the gentlemen that served as both management and mentor for the first several years I was here.

The second came at lunch where I got to sit down with Steven Jones and talk with him about what’s happening in CNR. Steven is a good guy. We talked about technology – but more about the important things like family and people. Also had the chance to meet ITD’s “new guy” – on the hook for the rather challenging LITRE project for the G108 classroom. Greg seems like a good guy too.

I think it reminded me for a moment of something that I hold as a core value – people make the difference in technology. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about that in future binarypage posts

News Announcements

Today is a busy day for campus announcements!

Campus Mail Service moves to Exchange

Peele Hall, NCSU – In an unexpected announcement today, NCSU Email Administrators announced that both the Academic and Administrative email systems would be migrated to the Microsoft Exchange product. “We feel that Microsoft Outlook is a best-of-breed email solution, and the only one that can scale to the well over 60,000 email accounts at NC State. We’ve had a little trouble with our IMAP data, and we think that the Access/Jet database format that Exchange uses will help us there.” NCS Staff also spoke to campus during the press conference: “We know that Administrative users love their Groupwise, but Outlook has that PowerPupPaperclip thing that people really seem to respond to.” Security officials felt that Exchange offered the best protection against viruses and email- borne worms. “Most of the industry, both large and small business, runs Exchange, and well, it’s like National Geographic – there’s a lot more safety in numbers” While some were skeptical of this “wounded gazelle” security strategy, others were excited about the growth and in servers and tape archive devices needed to change over to the new system. An unamed operator commented that “We’ve got lots of floor space coming online with the new server building – and I am really looking forward to being warm in the winter.”

New Linux Kit Announced

Harrelson Hall, NCSU- Campus Linux Services announced today that it was completely abandoning the Red Hat product, and shifting completely to Novell’s SUSE Linux offering, announcing the new “SomethingSomewhatRelatedToTheRealmKit for Redbox Linux” “While we felt that Red Hat’s proposed support roadmap was completely clear with this whole Enterprise/Fedora thing”, CLS administrators told us, “we just felt that it just wasn’t the future. We know they have Enterprise Linux, but Novell has Open Enterprise Server – and we really liked the word ‘Open’” In related news, the Department of Electrical Engineering announced it was shifting it’s entire infrastructure over to NetWare, a move that insiders reported was closely related to a decision to convert completely to WordPerfect.

Zip-pee-dee Doo Dah

Raleigh, NC – Luke Swalkersy, a processing assistant on the campus of NC State University today reported that he did not and would not open a .zip file sent to him by “Mr. Rocks actually sent me two .zip files, one that said it was the document I requested and another inviting me to a party. I was like No Way Man! I didn’t request nothing from you! I figured it was some tomfoolery and just no good” Mr. Swalkersy said it had been awhile since he had been to a party, and that one was very tempting, but he resisted “for the good of the team”

ACS Certifies XP for PeopleSoft

Hillsborough Building, NCSU – Today, the Administrative Computing Services division announced that PeopleSoft does indeed run on Windows XP, and that they would “fully support it and any group that needed access from Microsoft’s leading-edge operating system.” Unnamed sources in the group reported that while PeopleSoft, Inc. still wouldn’t consider it “certified” – that was just a marketing decision that was “out of touch with reality, and besides they always gave us crappy support anyway, it’s not like we are going to be missing anything” Campus users hailed the announcement saying that it gave them the chance to “run their favorite programs on a modern operating system”. Officials would neither confirm or deny that this year’s shipment of PeopleSoft coffee mugs, painted in Carolina Blue, and marked to “our good friends, the NCSU Tarheels” contributed to this announcement.

ITD Renounces Use of SLAs

Hillsborough Building, NCSU – Information Technology Division officials announced today that they would no longer be writing any new “Service Level Agreements” for the services it offers to the campus community. “We found that we were really spending too much time creating them. It just seemed to go overboard when we created the SLA for guaranteeing ourselves that we would produce a new SLA every week, it’s also been a tight budget year, and we are running out of storage” A senior administration official added, “No one was reading the damn things anyway.” ITD staff denied rumors that they had lost the SLA Master Template.

Habitual Email Abuser Kicks Habit

Page Hall, NCSU – In a surprise announcement today, Jason Young – Systems Manager for the College of Engineering, in a brief note wrote, that he had “given up email notes for good” When pressed for more information he refused to elaborate on the matter “I said what I said and that’s all there is to say.”