2012

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I spent part of the last two days solving a fun billing problem (if such a thing exists). We had a voice customer on the wrong rate plan, and had to correct the billing using his call data records (CDRs) in CSV format. I had the correct price list, also in CSV format. Enter Super Python Man!

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Merry Christmas!

It’s that time again … Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a special card just for you:

http://www.tolaris.com/xmas/xmas2012.php

(In case you miss it the first time, try reloading or clicking the button.)

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I recently packaged MikroTik Winbox for our company desktops. We use RouterOS devices for many applications, and Winbox is the easiest way to manage them. It is a windows application, but it runs perfectly in wine. This package includes a desktop launcher, icon, and winbox.

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Over the years I’ve written a number of search providers for Firefox and Chromium. Since most browsers now support the OpenSearch format, I only have to do this once. Here is a list of handy ones that you might want, along with the search keyword I use for fast searching in the URL bar.
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When sizing communication links, especially costly satellite links, I am frequently asked to answer two questions.

  1. Given a carrier capable of x Mbps throughput, how many gigabytes could I transmit in one day?
  2. What is the minimum number of megabits per second (Mbps or Mbit/sec) necessary to transmit x gigabytes (GB) in one day?

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In “Internet Doom” news, RIPE estimates it is within one month of reaching its last /8 IPv4 allocation. As the CTO of an ISP, I regularly deal with overly-large IPv4 assignment requests from customers. You wouldn’t believe how many people think they need a /24 subnet for their Internet cafe. Most of the time this is simple ignorance, but sometimes it’s laziness too; they can’t be bothered to install a NAT-capable router for their PCs. We refuse these requests for the obvious reasons of IPv4 exhaustion, and for the less-obvious reason that you must be insane to leave a horde of pirated, non-patched Windows XP PCs on public IPs. I estimate the mean time to botnet infection to be less than 15 minutes.

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I’ve updated temper-mon and my Cacti templates to better work with the TEMPerNTC device, which has an external temperature sensor in addition to the internal one.

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Late last night, someone began using my home Internet connection in DNS amplification attacks. My Virgin Media cable link was hit with several megabit of “ANY record” DNS queries for ripe.net.

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I graph the temperature of my server cabinet (at home) and colocation room (at work) in Cacti, using TEMPer USB thermometers. I wrote a handy guide to doing this last year. Unfortunately that guide, and the software I wrote, only worked to query one device. Today I modified it to graph more than one device, and started graphing the ambient temperature of my house.

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Tonight I had a quiet night in, leaving Hackers* running on the TV while hacking a power switch into my Keysonic wireless keyboard. It’s hard to justify modding a £35 keyboard, but I didn’t do it because it was a cost-effective means of solving my problem. I just wanted to do it.

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