Misc and Viruses

Ok, lets get the important things out of the way first. Infamous pr0n stars is experiencing technical difficulties, so I’ll post a few goodies that should be there. Welcome Nick (aka BDR), Bud (aka Shifty), and Jason (aka SapSparky) to ips. We’re very delighted to have you aboard. Now, one of the main reasons we have these 3 newcomers aboard is because both Michael (aka lastwurm) and I have decided Halo is the new ips game of choice. Yes, it’s that good. Would I lie to you? Oh, and we have a server running. Currently it’s called ips_Halo. Its IP is 199.218.8.72 (I believe). It’s full 90% of the time, so keep it that way πŸ™‚

In other news, the exchange migration went, well…umm, well, it’s done. Needless to say it didn’t go as smoothly as I had anticipated, but that was sort of expected since it IS exchange. It took a little (read, a LOT) of finessing, but it’s up and running. It’s one of those things that takes a lot of time to get working right, but once it’s up and running you won’t have to touch it. I suppose I can live with that.

Now, on to not so pleasant news. Yesterday when I went into work, I had a few emails from University Security waiting for me in my mailbox. Never a good thing ;). Apparantly a DIA (Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, where I work) sanctioned spam was sent out to LOTS of people. Thankfully it wasn’t being sent off one of our servers, but since it was about sports, DIA was to blame. It was infact sent by a DIA dept, but that’s just the beginning. When I checked the mail-enabled public folder that the email had in its from field, it was 7MB. This is 7MB larger than it was when Nick and I were checking it the day before at around 3PM. The email that was sent was maybe 100KB in size. Needless to say it was ugly. Apparantly security got wind of the spam because some people had complained to them about this unwanted mailing. Namely all of the students on campus. What happened, was we have an outside vendor that takes care of selling tickets online. Well, a different dept contacted this vendor to see if they could help them send out a newsletter. Needless to say the vendor didn’t contact the lady that’s in charge of ticket sales here, so the vendor just took all the email addresses they had on their ticket sales servers. Normally this would be fine. If somebody signs up for something with an email address it’s fair game. However, in order to provide the student discount to season tickets ordered online, the Office of Admissions and Records (OAR) provided the lady in charge of tickets with a dump of all the current students’ UIN number (the number on their ID card). Apparantly with that dump came with netids/email addresses. OAR explicitly forbade the lady at the ticket office from using the email addresses for and sort of emailing. For all we know, she may have signed an agreement with them. I’m sure you see the problem now…the vendor used ALL those email addresses in the newsletter without even contacting the ticket sales lady. Needless to say she’s in a shit-ton of problems right now. Then to top this already huge fiasco, this emailing was a one time only email which asked if you wanted to opt-in. However, all the links for the vast majority of the people DIDN’T EVEN WORK. This occured because some of the email addresses were sent in all caps. Apparantly the vendor’s software solution didn’t recognize the email addresses when they were in all caps. *sigh* Apparantly there’s a meeting with the CIO tomorrow along with Security. I still don’t know if I’m apart of that meeting or not. Either way it should be fun.

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Halo for PC

Well, if you don’t have HALO for PC yet, go get it. It’s the most fun I’ve had in a video game, I think ever. And I’m just talking about the multiplayer aspect. I haven’t even bothered playing the single player part because it’s exactly the same as on the xbox. All I can say is stickie ‘nades and vehicles. Ahhh, a match made in heaven.

In other news, I finally got paid. I don’t know if I mentioned that before, but apparantly the secretaries upstairs don’t know where the mailroom is and instead keep the paychecks up there. So, it had been sitting up there for quite some time. Oh well, at least now I get paid again in 10 days πŸ™‚ It all works out in the end.

Lets see…anything else? Oh, Colleen and I went to my parent’s place for the weekend. It was nice, we did lots of shopping (it’s a little better in the suburbs of detroit than in champaign-urbana). It was good to get away for a little bit. Lets see, what else…oh, I got my hands on Exchange 2003 final, so my email server won’t be beta anymore (always a good thing). Hmmm…I can’t really think of anything else right now…

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All Official

Well, I’m officially an IL citizen now. Went to the DMV today and got my title change to IL and picked up my IL plates. I originally went by the DMV here in Champaign…HA! At 8:15AM this morning there were about 30 cars already in the lot. Thankfully I know about the DMV in Tuscola (about 30 mins South on 57). When I got there, there were 3 people in front of me. I actually took longer at the counter than I did waiting for my number to be called. You’d really think they’d do something to make the DMV a little bit of a better experience. Oh well, more bureaucracy. What can I expect?! πŸ˜‰

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Need Money

Still haven’t been paid. *sigh* Apparantly a check was cut for me on the 24th, but it still hasn’t made it to my office mailbox THROUGH CAMPUS MAIL. I could have sent it via USPS and it would’ve been here (and possibly back). Thankfully Nick (and Lori :)) have fronted me some money for the time being. That way I can go tomorrow and transfer my title to IL and get an IL license plate. I kinda need to do that soon, since my plates expire at the end of the month. Needless to say when my check didn’t come on Wednesday, I wrote an email to the lady (Rhonda) that I’ve been corresponding with about it, and then carbon copied it to my boss, the head of DS, and the two DS HR people. Thankfully I recieved a call from Rhonday promptly after the email, and my boss even expressed some interest. That was about it. Large bureaucracies make me happy, no, really. The new hire page hasn’t even indicated that my check was cut, so it makes it VERY hard to believe it’s somewhere in campus mail. I figure I’ll give them (another) work week to fix it, so come the first I will have had about enough. At that point, I’ll probably schedule a meeting with my boss and the head of DS, voice my thorough disgust and ask how THEY are going to make it right. If you can’t tell, so far my experience with DS has been less than savory. If only I had recieved other job offers…stupid economy…

On other notes, I’m almost done with KoTOR. However, since I decided to go the way of a light jedi, the end boss is about impossible. All the people I know who have beaten it have done it as the dark side, which allows you beat the final boss A LOT more easily. Speaking of the xbox, just ordered a 200GB harddrive for ~$22 today. Gotta love when dell screws up and has 2 $100 rebates on a product. Hopefully dell will uphold their end of the bargain and I’ll be able to have a place for backups (off of my main server).

Last weekend Ann came to town. I hadn’t seen her in awhile since she was in Spain for the last year. We had a good time catching up. Since Colleen worked all weekend, Ann and I went to the football game and did some other stuff. It was good to see her, and she hasn’t changed much at all. She still isn’t sure what she’s going to be doing now that she’s in the “real world.” She’s heading back to TX to stay with her parents and make a little bit of money. After that she wants to head to AZ and just start anew. Who knows with her though.

Colleen’s looking for other jobs because she can’t stand the little bit that she makes. I totally agree with her, she is definitely getting the shaft working there. She’s had an interview and she’s been keeping an eye out. I’m glad she started listening to me about applying. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen, they say no and she still has the same job? At least she has a job…

I’ve been getting back into climbing. I asked Ann to bring me back a pair of climbing shoes from Spain, since that’s where the vast majority are made. Got a nice bargain on a awesome pair of shoes: La’ Sportiva Mythos. Can’t complain when I got them for $90. Till next time…

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Modding the Xbox

Wow, it’s been awhile since I updated. Lots of fun (and not so fun things) have happened these last couple of weeks. Where to begin, where to begin… Well, I’ll start with why I haven’t been updating the site. Just the pure fact that I’ve been busy both with work and playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on the xbox. Definitely one of the best games I’ve ever played. If you own an xbox, go get it. Don’t even bother renting it, just go buy it. Now that I’m looking at ebgames, I see that it’ll be released for the PC too. I’ve got about 30 hours into the game, and I can’t put it down.

So, from the above, it’s obvious that I have my xbox up and running…with the modchip. It took a little fighting with to do it, but overall not too painfull. Just had to open the xbox up, solder a row of pin headers on, then solder one other tiny wire (the hardest part) on. The nice thing is that if I ever get xbox live, it has a switch to disable the modchip, so Microsoft doesn’t block me from using it. I just need to put a bigger harddrive in it, and get a wireless network going in my apartment that I can connect the xbox to.

Work has been crazy busy. Three weekends ago, the first homegame we had, the gameday server went down, which is what they use to print of credentials for the staff working the games. Needless to say, I got called at 6:30am. Thankfully, since I’m not a student (aka partier) anymore, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We knew the server was having problems because it had been doing funny things, but we (and hp) had diagnosed it to being the ram. We replaced the ram, and thought, “Great, we’re all set now.” Yeah, it wasn’t. After awhile we couldn’t even get it to post bios without screaming beep-codes at us. Nick and I pretty much narrowed it down to the motherboard, so we gave HP a call. The guy we had went through a few basic tests with us, and also narrowed it down to the motherboard. So, HP sent us a new one. Talk about easy to replace. All it was, was 1 thumbscrew holding it down. And sure enough, it seems to be working.

On other side notes, I have STILL yet to be paid. I was supposed to be paid on the 16th (with everybody else). However, for some unknown reason (even the the HR dept), I wasn’t. Apparantly my pay has been bumped back to the 24th now. I’m very looking forward to the paycheck, since if i don’t get it, rent’s going to be difficult to pay (I’ve already paid all the bills I need to worry about for a month).

Sorry about the laziness on my part, I’ll be sure to attempt to update the site a ‘lil more often than 2x a month πŸ™‚

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Xbox

Well, I bought an xbox yesterday. I had already bought the mod chip for it online, so yesterday was as good as any other day to buy the console. Obviously I plan on modding it and then using it as a little server downstairs by the tv/reciever. I’ll get a wireless AP and card for the xbox so that once I mod it, I can stream music, video, etc down to it. That way I can listen to my music that I have on my server up here, down on the big speakers and receiver. I’m psyched about it, should be good times.

Yesterday was the first Illini homegame, and of course I got a call at 6:30 in the morning because the credentials server went down. We thought we had fixed the problem by replacing the ram (that’s what the led codes on the motherboard said was bad), but apparantly it is something a little more complicated than that. Nick and I were on the phone with HP for awhile, and they are going to send us a new systemboard for the machine. Thankfully we don’t have another homegame for 2 weeks, since the part is backordered for at least 5 days.

Don’t be surprised if you see a different site layout in the next few weeks. The current one is a little to bloated for my measly connection (especially if I’m using it when people are trying to navigate the site). Plus the current design doesn’t play nice when I look at the logs. I highly doubt I’m getting ~1000 page views a day :).

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A Real job

First week of the new job’s done. Wow, is it so much better not being the one that runs around doing all the remedial tasks. It’s nice not having to run to 3 different buildings 8 times a day. I went to my benefits orientation on Wednesday, and WOW do state employees get the hookup. I get 2 paid vacation days a month (bankable to 48), 11 paid holidays, 5 sick days, Health, Dental, and Vision care, retirement plan that either I or the university can maintain (8% of my salaray and the university matches it with 6.5%), life insurance (the university covers the amount equal to my salaray, and i can increase to 4x that), and free tuition. Now I just have to sign up for all this stuff.

Ohh…Ohh, THE BED CAME!! It was delivered yesterday morning. Wow, is it comfortable. Definitely WAY better than the futon that we were sleeping on (no offense Bree). When I came home from lunch yesterday Colleen had taken one of our flat, full sized sheets from the linen closet and just layed it on the bed so she could sleep. She also took my comforter (also full/queen size) that we had on the futon and used it. Needless to say, when i saw that stuff on the king sized bed it made me chuckle. The bed is huge, and the sheet and comforter just barely cover the top. So, last night we went and got a matress cover and a cheap fitted sheet for it so that we could at least use the bed. When I get a digital camera, I’ll have to take a picture of it. The thing is definitely the main piece of furniture in the room.

It’s so nice not having to worry about school now. I go to work everyday and pass all the students going to class at 8 in the morning and just laugh to myself. Oh man, does it feel good to be done, and have a job that I enjoy. No more nights staying up cramming for a test, or trying to figure out what exactly the teacher was trying to get us to learn from those stupid assignments. Ahhhh…

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Friggin Attic

Wow, these last coupla weeks have been busy/wierd. However, to start off with, I’d like to mention that I just signed my paperwork for DS, so as of Monday, I’m employed fulltime! It’s a great feeling. I’ll also be staying at DIA for (at least) a few months working as the DS consultant. I have more info on this, but I’ll refrain. Last week was HORRIBLE because of the stupid blaster worm. Of course none of our machines were patched on a regular basis, and so we were hit pretty hard. Needless to say I was there till 1am last Tuesday. A lovely 17 hour day…grr. However, now that all the machines have been patched to SP4 and the blaster fix, they can and have all been put behind an SUS server. Thank god for auto-updates.

I’ve finally gotten the cable jack upstairs, but I had to do everything myself. Grr, I hate Insight (cable company). Apparantly they wouldn’t install an extra jack in my apt because it was an “apt,” but they had no problem doing it to the 4 other apt’s in my building. All I can say is that I believe (as does Colleen) that I did a better job than Insight had done on the other jacks. Shit, and I did it for about the same price (and I have about 30 extra of everything ;)).

Oh, and so the bed came last thurday (the 14th). However, the boxspring wouldn’t fix up the friggin steps. BY ABOUT AN INCH. Joy. So I told the delivery guy to just return the matress and boxspring. So, I’m fuming as I drive to the furniture store to find out my options. Luckily, Nick (used to be my boss, now he’s my coworker) just purchased the exact same bed, except king sized, from the same place I did. Low and behold the king sized boxspring comes in *2* sections. Unfortunately, it costs 300$ more, PLUS Colleen and I will have to buy new bedding for it. Joy. So I buy it and now we’re waiting yet again for the stupid bed to come.

It gets better than this, right?!?!

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All Done…For Now

Alright, so Colleen and I are moved all in, and are starting to settle in. Unfortunately, it’s hard because we have no furniture. Thankfully, tomorrow, our new bed comes (WHOOT!). I’ve been wanting to update the site, but I’m still on my server here at the apt instead of my normal workstation. There’s only one cable jack in the whole apt, and it’s in the living room in a retarded spot, so I need to call insight and have them install a new jack. However, to do this, I need some free time. Yesterday I worked 17 hours (with only a 1hr lunch break). All of this because my bosses never thought patching machines would be a good idea. Well, they think it is now. Oh, and speaking of the bosses, I’m in line to start my new job as one of the bosses on Monday!! WHOOT!! Oh well, using notepad sucks for this, so I’m done.

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Moving Part 2

Moving sucks. That is all.

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