captpackrat: (Facepalm Jesus)
I was in my roomate's car the other day and he had the radio on to a talk station which was broadcasting some tech program.  An older-sounding woman called in complaining that she was having trouble with her e-mail and I immediately knew this was going to end in lulz.

Host:  "Are you using Outlook?"

Caller:  "No, it comes up as Windows"
captpackrat: (Fail - Bob Barker)
The Wii has a feature called the Check Mii Out Channel, which has contests to see who can design the best Mii (avatar) for a certain theme (wicked witch, surfer dude, soccer mom, etc) or a specific person (Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespere, King Arthur, etc).  And more often than not, the entries are really, really bad.

The current contest being judged is Benjamin Franklin.  You have to go through the user-submitted entries, ten at a time, and select the three that best match.  And they are just absolutely awful.  I'm going through page after page of Miis and it appears nobody has any concept of what Ben Franklin looks like.  Ben Franklin is not black.  Ben Franklin is not Asian.  Ben Franklin is not female.  Ben Franklin is not complely bald.  Ben Franklin does not have dreadlocks.  Ben Franklin does not have pigtails.  I had to look through hundreds of entries to find 3 that were close.

When there are so many bad entries, I have to wonder why I even bother trying to judge the contests.

captpackrat: (Ratphone)
It's very strange, out of the dozen or so people here who have RAZR phones, all but one have been putting the phone into the plastic holster backwards.

The phone quite easily fits into the holster with the screen facing outwards, and indeed, the way the clip is designed, it looks like it's made to do that (the prongs on the clip wrap neatly around the bulge of the camera.)  It actually snaps in slightly easier this way

Today I received a double-capacity battery for my phone, which makes it about 1/3" thicker and no longer able to fit into the holster.  Until I turned it around and tried to put it in screen first.  It fit perfectly.   Better, in fact, that before.  It's now plainly obvious that's the way the holster is designed:  the holes line up with the buttons, the shape of the clip fits perfectly into the bulge for the camera, and the slight slant at the base of the holster matches up perfectly with the slightly slanted bottom of the phone.

I noticed someone else putting their phone into the holster with the screen out, so I went around and asked everyone how they holstered their phone.  Only one person said screen inwards, everybody else was putting them in backwards.

I was wondering why we were having an abnormally high number of broken holsters, now the reason is obvious.

IT Rule #2

Nov. 1st, 2005 02:49 pm
captpackrat: (Weasels Ripped My Flesh)
It's never the novice users who cause trouble, it's always the ones who claim to know what they're doing.

I set up a computer for a new user, including setting up their e-mail account in Outlook. Shortly after leaving the remote office where the guy is working, I get a call. He was "setting up his e-mail account in Outlook and it doesn't work". Uhh, I already had it set up and working correctly, why did you have to screw with it??? So now I have to drive all the way back to Temecula to fix something he shouldn't have been messing with in the first place.

Meanwhile, the total computer noob I set up with a Linux machine has asked a grand total of 2 questions in the past 6 months. He's managed to keep his system updated and has managed to teach himself Open Office, Evolution Mail and Firefox, not to mention Ubuntu Linux.
captpackrat: (END OF LINE)
I got a call from work today. The entire office was in a panic because the mouse on the receptionist's computer seemed to have a mind of its own. It was supposedly moving around, clicking on things, opening menus and copying files. Everyone was certain it was a virus or a hacker or something. I had a pretty good idea what the problem was, and it had a very simple solution, but they wanted me to come in anyway, and since my car was in the shop, they sent a cow-orker over to pick me up.

I get into the office and find that someone had disconnected the cable to the T-1 line to prevent further 'hacking'.

Of course, I knew all along what the problem was.

The day before I'd replaced the receptionist's mouse with a wireless mouse. There was another user with the same make and model of mouse, but he was a good 25 feet away, with several walls in between. I'd hopped that was enough distance between the machines to put them out of each other's range, but apparently not. Sure enough, moving that person's mouse would cause the pointer to move on the receptionist's machine. All the activity was just coincidence. There was no hacker, no virus infection.

Still, just to be on the safe side (and justify my timecard), I ran some virus and spyware scans. Nothing, just as I suspected. Nothing unusual in Sysinternals Autoruns. Nothing in RootkitRevealer. Nothing out of the ordinary in Process Explorer. Nothing unusual in the firewall logs. If it's a hacker or a virus, it's something incredibly advanced. (Of course, if it were that advanced, why would it need to take control of the screen and use the mouse to do things like copy files?)
captpackrat: (Fruity)
I laughed out loud at this article:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/05/p2p_leagal_letter/
captpackrat: (Homer Strangling Bart)
I needed to spend some time working on the file server today, so I stayed late hoping everyone would leave so I could take the machine down. 3 hours of OT later, nobody had budged, and they're going to be working for several more hours. So I headed on home.

Now I'll have to come in insanely early tomorrow morning so I can work on the server before anyone gets in. Bunches more OT tomorrow. Yay. :P
captpackrat: (Homer's Brain)
In April I warwalked this office park, and found some disturbing results.

So 3 months later, I went out warwalking again, and found things haven't improved any.

Offices in this complex: ~30
Total Access Points: 29
Total Infastructure Networks: 28
Total Peer Networks: 1
AP's not using encryption: 13
AP's on the default channel 6: 15
AP's on a non-standard channel*: 4
AP's using a default SSID: 5
AP's using the SSID "linksys": 4
Most AP's detectable from one location: 10
Fewest AP's detectable from one location: 2

*Non-standard channel = Anything other than 1, 6 and 11, the only 3 channels that do not suffer frequency overlap.


In 3 months, 10 new access points have appeared. The percentage of insecure access points has also increased slightly from 42% to 45%. The number of AP's using channel 6 has skyrocketed from 26% to 52%! Interestingly, the use of default SSIDs has remained the same, and the use of non-standard channels has actually dropped.
captpackrat: (Argh!)
Our primary copier/printer/fax machine ran out of toner, and whoever used the last cartridge never told anyone, so the machine is down until the supplier can get some new carts out here.

Which means no one can print from this machine, no one can copy from this machine, and any incoming faxes cannot be printed. There is a second laser printer/copier in the office, so people can continue to do their work. But that machine was never properly wired up to recieve faxes.

However, having had trouble with these Canon printers before, I've got a spare fax machine sitting around for just such emergencies. It's a cheapo inkjet Canon Faxphone, a real piece of junk, but it's better than nothing.

I dug it up and moved the phone cable from the big Canon to the little one. That way any incoming faxes can still be printed without delay. Then I made a sign warning people that the printer was out of toner and taped it to the printer.

That was yesterday.

I came in this morning and noticed there were no faxes. At all. Nothing had been recieved lately. Which is really unusual, because most people here are REALLY lazy about picking up their faxes, they usually sit on the printer or in the INCOMING FAX box until the receptionist or someone distributes them out.

So I check to make sure the little fax machine was still plugged in. Nope. Someone unplugged the Faxphone and plugged the phone cable back into the big printer, which now has a whole queue of unprintable faxes. Brilliant.
captpackrat: (Argh!)
The main office copier/printer is complaining that it is low on toner. So I go to my office, open the Sacred Cabinet of Printer Supplies, and find it's been ransacked. And, of course, there is no toner for that model machine. None. Someone grabbed the last box and never let me or anyone else know so more could be ordered.

And to make matters worse, the other machine is flipping out and losing print jobs YET AGAIN.

God, I hate Canon printers.
captpackrat: (Default)
After scanning the WiFi Access Points located around the office complex where I work, I decided to try the same thing at home. I walked up and down the street, which is about 325 meters long and located in stereotypical 1960's suburbia, using my PDA's wireless and a copy of WiFiFoFum. The results were even scarier.

Number of Access Points scanned: 10
AP's not using encryption: 8
AP's on the default channel 6: 5
AP's on a non-standard channel*: 1
AP's using a default SSID: 7
AP's using the SSID "linksys": 3

*Non-standard channel = Anything other than 1, 6 and 11, the only 3 channels that do not suffer frequency overlap.
captpackrat: (Default)
I found some better scanning software, so I walked around the office complex here, hunting for WiFi access points. Here are the rather disturbing results:

Offices in this complex: ~30
Total Access Points: 19
AP's not using encryption: 8
AP's on the default channel 6: 9
AP's on a non-standard channel*: 5
AP's using a default SSID: 5
AP's using the SSID "linksys": 3
Most AP's detectable from one location: 12
Fewest AP's detectable from one location: 2

*Non-standard channel = Anything other than 1, 6 and 11, the only 3 channels that do not suffer frequency overlap.
captpackrat: (Bubbles)
Went warwalking with my new PDA today. I circled around about half of this office complex, and discovered about 15 different companies using wireless. Of these, 5 were totally unsecured, and 3 of them I could get a strong enough signal to not only connect, but access the web.

Nearly all of them were on channel 6, which makes for a rather noisy environment. Only 2 users bothered to try 1 or 11 (I'm one of them), and there were a couple jackasses using 4 and 8 (for those not familiar with 802.11, each "channel" actually overlaps the 4 above and below, so the only channel selections that allow for the maximum number of channels is 1, 6, and 11. Using any other channels reduces the available clear bandwidth down to just 2 channels)

Fortunatly the construction of the buildings here seems to drastically cut down on noise, you have to stand right in front of the door to get a strong enough signal to connect.

I was tempted to try poking around on our neighbor's networks, port scanning and whatnot, but that would take more time and battery power than I have at the moment.

Now the question is, should I tell these people about their security problems, or should I let Darwin weed out those who don't understand the technology?
captpackrat: (Argh!)
The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc. I keep telling him I need the latest organizational chart before I can update it. The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc. I keep telling him I need the latest organizational chart before I can update it. The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc. I keep telling him I need the latest organizational chart before I can update it. The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc. I keep telling him I need the latest organizational chart before I can update it. The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc. I keep telling him I need the latest organizational chart before I can update it. The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc. I keep telling him I need the latest organizational chart before I can update it. The company VP keeps asking me how the website is coming along, when's it going to be done, etc.

ARGH!!!!
captpackrat: (Argh!)
I love it when someone just leaves their laptop on my desk at work, and doesn't bother to leave a note or anything. Since most of the computers here are Dell or HP, they all look alike, so I don't even know whose machine this is. Fun fun fun!

Holy Hell!

Mar. 29th, 2005 12:48 pm
captpackrat: (Argh!)
While installing software on a user's computer I noticed some suspicious activity. I noticed some apparent spyware on her machine, so I installed the Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta.

THIRTY FOUR different spywares were found. GAAAAAAH!

We've got antivirus software, and I'd been waiting for MS to release the final version of their antispyware, but it looks like everyone will be getting the beta version now.


(I've been using it for months now myself, and I've never gotten any infections. 22 years of computing and I've never gotten a spyware or a virus. How is it everyone else gets burned so badly?)
captpackrat: (Whoo)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3639679.stm

More than 70% of people surveyed would exchange their computer password for a bar of chocolate, and 34% would give out their password freely.
captpackrat: (Default)
Part of my job at this company is to keep inventory of all the tools and equipment. Currently we have 5 expended fire extinguishers in inventory.

That's a hell of a lot of fires.
captpackrat: (Grrr)
I got up at 5 am this morning so I could get to work early, 6:15 to be exact. Put in 8 hours, dash home, do a last load of laundry, pack the car, and be in bed early so I could leave early on Thursday. Easy-peasy.

Of course not!

At exactly 2:10 the company VP comes into my office and complains that Outlook won't launch. In a bizarre twist of luck, the company VP has the OLDEST computer in the company, and it takes 2 hours to repair his .PST file and show him how to archive stuff. Argh!

So now I'm 2 hours behind. Traffic is at it's worst about now. And then I remember I need to check my PO box. And I notice the gas tank is down a 1/4 since Sunday. Feh. More crap to take care of.

I get home about 5 pm, toss most of my stuff in the car, then I notice how dirty the windows are after the rain, and decide to clean them. Then I notice the bottle of glass wax that I forgot I had, and decided to apply some since it'd been a while. Big mistake. That wasted an hour of my time.

It's 6:20 now. Dinner will be rice with chicken bullion. The rice maker will take at least another half-hour. And the laundry will take at least another full hour to wash and dry. And I still have to pack my clothes, wash the dishes, make sure the house is locked down, do my daily VCL hunt, sync the furry porn on my laptop ;) and pack up the laptop and the last few odds and ends.

Then I can go to bed. @_@
captpackrat: (Fruity)

For such a busy day at work, I'm awful bored.

MySQL and eGroupWare suck major ass.  I've been fighting the two of them for a couple days now.   They don't play well together.  But the bosses want a service website, and this is the cheapest and easiest way to go.  It's either that or pay big bucks for a dedicated programmer.  Can't do anything else on that until I can reboot the server, which I've set up to occur overnight.

Company VP brought in his father's computer for me to work on.  You just know it's going to be fun when the desktop pops up completely covered in icons.  Naturally it's infested with spyware and viruses and crapware.  His father was having trouble connecting to Road Runner.  Maybe it's because the computer doesn't have a NIC...  The VP also had me install a DVD-RAM drive.   WTF?  People still use those?

I STILL don't have the DVD-R disc I requisitioned over a month ago.  I can't set up my computer until I have a DVD-R to backup the current configuration.  Stupid Compaq.  So I'm still having to drag my laptop to work every day.

Got my ThinkGeek order last night, so I've brought more crap into work.  I've now got an Albert Einstein action figure on my desk, doing battle with Usaji Yojimbo while the two are being watched by a plush rabbit screen cleaner.   O_o   Now all I need is a USB fishtank...

I also got a Wireless PC Lock, which promises to be very useful.   You plug the key into the computer, and wear a small transmitter (about the size of a stack of 5 or 6 quarters).  Step away from the desk, and the computer locks itself.   Return, and it unlocks automatically.  You can manually lock the computer by pressing a button on the transmitter.

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captpackrat: (Default)
Captain Packrat

December 2015

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