How wireless security should NOT be done.

CTI shares the building with two other business, one of which recently decided to install a wireless network. Given that we have a wireless networking module, that can only mean Bad News. And sure enough, on Thursday I learned that our students had successfully gained access to their network. When I went to investigate, this is what they told me:

“I noticed their network in the network selection page, and noticed that they were running WEP security. I then thought – what’s the stupidest key that I can put in? Let’s see… 12345 seems to be stupid enough. So I tried it… and it connected. I was so dumbfounded, I did it again just to be sure.”

Well, $company has made two fundamental errors here. Firstly, they’re using static WEP, and anyone who knows anything about wireless networks will know just how insecure WEP is. Secondly, if you make your wireless key “12345” or something just as easy to guess, you’re really asking for it. Particularly if a college of IT students is just up the stairs from you.

Our network administrator, once she was done laughing at $company’s stupidity, attempted to notify them of their errant ways. They put the phone down on her. So, we’ve decided that if anything happens to them, that’s their own dumb fault. Not ours.

We’ve got another LAN happening this weekend, so $company is probably going to be in for a hard time. Conveniently, my new computer is finished and working perfectly. I would have taken some photos but someone in my family seems to have conveniently misplaced the digital camera. Anyway, if you’re a gamer in the Durban area reading this and you want to come, here’s the details: it’s happening at CTI (36 Essex Terrace, Westville) from Friday evening until Sunday morning. R40 gets you playing. If Chris and Steven can procure a Gigabit switch, then it will cost you an extra R10 to get on the Gigabit portion of the network (and places on that network will be strictly first-come, first-serve). If you clean up your litter when you leave, you get R10 refunded to you. Expect the usual games: Counter-Strike (ugh!), WarCraft 3 (that includes DotA – ugh again), Natural Selection (if I can get enough people playing that), Call Of Duty, and the like.

I’ll be using this as a practise session for the rAge LAN. I’ve organised tickets, transport and friends for that. Now I just have to wait for the date to arrive.

I’ve found something worth talking about for BarCamp Durban – the IRC server to server protocol. I know that the_5th_wheel is interested in that topic: if there’s anyone else interested that’s going then let me know. The last thing I want to do is give a talk on something that doesn’t interest anyone.

I’ve been asked to learn C++, as CTI wants to offer it next year. Of course, I said yes straight away, as it gives me the chance to learn a very substantial and capable programming language. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against C#… it’s just that I’d far rather be hacking with C++ code than with C# code. Besides, I’m told that the language is quite challenging, and there’s nothing I like more than a good programming challenge. At the moment, I can do not much besides use loops and write simple programs of the “Hello World” variety, but it’s a start, and there’s some pretty nifty things that I’ll soon be learning about.

Meh, I think I’ve said enough for one post.

He flamed Linux. Let’s flame him back.

I picked up my copy of the August PCFormat, and headed off to the “letters to the editor” section. The following letter was there:

Once again Cameron [the guy who does the PCF cover discs – Ron] surpasses himself with the cover DVD. Wow, a double sided DVD, and what does he do? Dedicates the WHOLE side 2 to Linux. WHO THE BLOODY HELL IS INTERESTED IN LINUX??? Windows XP is good enough – thank you. What about all those movie trailers, game trailers, game patches, drivers, game mods and applications to make your PC run faster? Millions of stuff out there and you give us Linux. You give us one measly WinOptimiser, for which you need the Internet to activate, (so it’s useless to me) a few demos, two pathetic patches, (I wish you would forget about BLOODY Battlefield 2) and the rest is all useless crap. The only thing your double sided DVD is good for, is a bloomin’ frisbee. Walt, you have the right idea in your soap box. WAKE UP, CAMERON!

Frisbee Pro

No, Windows XP is not good enough, thank you very much. Windows is generally buggy and generally crap, and I’m looking forward to the day when I can play Natural Selection on Linux. As to “who the bloody hell is interested in Linux”, well, I am, and most of the other PCFormat readers are – Linux is apparently top of the request list for the cover disc. (I just wish that they’d stick Gentoo on, but that’s another story.)

I don’t know what your impressions of “Frisbee Pro” are, but mine are that he’s a 13-year-old spoiled brat. If you don’t like the magazine (or it’s cover disc), then either offer constructive criticism or don’t buy the thing in the first place.

I’m just about ready to send a tactical nuke in the general direction of Nelspruit. Who’s with me?

The courtesy car, and Why Girls Are A Waste Of Time.

About three weeks ago, my dad’s car was involved in an accident at the intersection of Krantzview and Winston, when the other driver failed to stop at the stop sign. There was a fair deal of damage to the front of the car. Anyway, to cut a long story short, his car went in for repairs yesterday (after sorting out the red tape and bureaucratic mess that is car insurance). My dad was given a courtesy car – an old VW Golf with 200,000 kilometres on the clock. Now, this car is really something else. For starters, it’s a Golf (and an old one at that), so it struggles getting up Field’s Hill. But that’s not all folks – this car has a will of it’s own. Think “Herbie” or “K.I.T.T.” and you’ll be getting there. The choke (yes, ladies and gentlemen, there are still cars with manual chokes in this day and age of electronic fuel injection) occasionally decides to switch on by itself. But that’s nothing compared to the rear windscreen wiper. It switched on by itself on the way home yesterday, and no amount of frantic lever pulling would turn it off. I have no idea how my dad finally got that thing to stop. Now, for the other things wrong with it: the accelerator pedal conveniently detaches at high speeds, none of the four wheels are the same, and dashboard illumination? What dashboard illumination? We’re stuck with this thing for around two weeks, by the way.

I wouldn’t mind a Golf as a cheap, second-hand car (when I’m earning enough money to afford a car, that is). But please, dear Lord, may I never own a car like this one…

In the meantime, I have reached an important conclusion in my life, that being that Girls Are A Waste Of Time. I forgot to switch my cellphone on this morning; when I finally remembered (a few minutes ago), I was greeted by three messages. The first two were sent by some girl that I know and were of the “are you interested in me” genre – sent when I’d already turned my phone off for the night (I tend to be an early sleeper and a late riser). The third was sent at around 9:00 today, by $girl, and was a rather rude “forget it” message. Yes, I know that I should have remembered to turn my phone on that morning, but still, you’d expect $girl to show a little more patience (I mean, if $girl was really interested in me, then surely $girl wouldn’t mind waiting for me to switch my phone on?). I did respond with a jerith-style reply (which I will refrain from posting, for reasons that I’m sure you’re all aware of). Girls are simply a waste of time, effort and money.

Anyway, that’s enough ranting from me for one morning. Time to hit the submit button and watch as the RSS feeds go crazy over the larger-than-average number of posts that I’ve been submitted lately.