Archive for March, 2005

Bien Dancer

Ahh, dancing… I finally made it out last night after my busy work week. I’d actually done a bit of planning and bought a liter of both whiskey and gin while I was in Senegal and smuggled them in. (I spent the night in jail with them tucked safely in my bag.) About 10pm I headed over to a hotel where some volunteers were hanging out and watching a fine piece of cinematography starring David Hasselhoff.

I was feeling pretty peppy since I’d not seen anyone for almost a week and I’d not really been normal all through Lent. It messes with your brain when you change a habit. Sometimes I’d say things in French when I meant to speak English. Pretty much all the time when I’d try and speak English on the weekends, I’d keep stopping myself thinking, “no, speak French, oh wait, I can talk English, ok.” That process really broke the flow of my speaking quite a bit and it would take a couple of days before I’d regain normal speech. Even now I’m definitely a lot more aware of how thoughts get shaped into words.

Regardless, I was excited. Unfortunately, David Hasselhoff had sucked most all the energy out of the room. After sitting there bouncing for a bit I started to get calm too. Heureusement, the British girls showed up and they helped pull the energy back up a bit. Then came the shots. Between six of us we drank both liters of alcohol in about half an hour. I wasn’t completely fucked up, but I was definitely a bit riled.

There wasn’t anything to do really, so we headed to the club to do some dancing. I personally think that I dance pretty well. I’m not all stiff and self-conscious like some people. I’ll grant you that I’m not the most coordinated person out there, but I feel the music and I’m having fun. Well, after I’d been out there for a bit I noticed Marc beside me mocking how I danced. I asked one of the Brits if I danced stupid and she responded “we all look like idiots when we dance.” Aka. “yes.” Dammit.

Oh well, I like it too much to stop. It’ll just have to go on that sadly long list of things I like but can’t do well. What’cha gonna do?

We kept going for quite a while. A few more volunteers showed up after a bit and eventually things wound down around 3:30am. It was nice to get out and party again. It had been almost two weeks. ☺ I’m off now for COS conference where I figure out what the hell I’m doing when I get back to the States.

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Gave my exams. Most of the students are going to pass. Kick ass. Off to go hang out and put an end to my sabbatical.

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Praise Jesus

I finally got Nouakchott Notes done. Mashallah. It took me over a month to start. Why? Hmm, as best I can tell: I suck. Doing a project like that is something that is hard to do piecemeal. With classes and travel and projects and whatnot it was hard to get a solid block. I only managed to get this one by turning down a birthday party, a day at the beach, a movie and a potluck dinner. Hey, I’m popular. Cool. ☺

I’ve got a webpage project to finish up and an exam to give tomorrow before heading off to my COS conference. I’m supposed to go and be productive. Ick. I just want to go and sleep on the beach. Maybe do some drinking and dancing; relax quoi.

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As I mentioned a couple days ago, I made an account on a quiz site, okcupid. I’ve been piddling around and have since taken two geek tests and have not been satisfied with them. In fact I’ve mailed the authors of both of them because I thought there were errors.

The first one had:

Alright, which command would you use to copy a file:

  1. cp syn@cheese:/cheese /cheese
  2. scp /cheese:syn@cheese /cheese
  3. ssh -lsyn cheese
  4. ???????????????????????????????

As root on a Linux box I can run:

mkdir syn@cheese:
touch syn@cheese:/cheese
cp syn@cheese:/cheese /cheese
touch /cheese:syn@cheese
scp /cheese:syn@cheese /cheese

Which means either #1 or #2 is a legal way to copy a file. I’m not even really sure which one the author wanted to be the right answer. I would guess #1, maybe? Assuming that he didn’t know that the scp command does a local copy if there is not a valid host part at the beginning. I dunno. He never responded to my message.

The second test had:

public void Compute(int x) {
  try {
    int foo = 1024/x;
    foo = 1;
  } catch(Exception e) {
  } catch(DivideByZeroException e) {
    System.out.println("Error 1");

What’s the output of Compute(0)?

  1. 0
  2. 1
  3. 22
  4. Error 1

This one might be fine. I don’t know for sure what language it is written in. The System.outs suggest strongly java, but DivideByZeroException doesn’t exist in java and it does in .NET. Even if it did, you can’t have a try block which catches a superclass (Exception) before a subclass (DivideByZeroException), so this isn’t valid java in any case. I don’t know .NET and don’t have a compiler to test.

So, on this one I’m not sure. I’m still waiting to hear back on what language it is supposed to be.

I heard back from the guy and he told me he knew it was not valid. He just hasn’t had time to fix it yet. He said he was shooting for people to pick 22.

Regardless, I’ve not really been entertained by either of them. I’m wanting to write my own real geek test. I was wondering of the geeky among you, what would you put on it? I’m wanting to try and get some broader conceptual stuff so that someone can’t just google an answer.

What are the destination MAC/IP in a DHCPSOLICIT serviced by a DHCPv6 relay agent?

  1. the DHCP server’s MAC /
  2. FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF / FF05::1:5
  3. FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF / No IP (ethernet broadcast)
  4. the relay agent’s MAC / FF02::1:2

That question is one that just looks complicated. If you know what DHCP does, then you can answer it. It is used for a machine to get initial configuration information. Looking at the name of the packet, SOLICIT, you might correctly guess that this is the first packet sent out to find which DHCP servers are on the network. That eliminates #1 and #4 since both of those use a known MAC address. The machine doesn’t know any addresses though because it isn’t configured to be a part of the network yet. #3 can then be eliminated since DHCP is a UDP protocol (i.e. layer 3, so it has to have a layer 3 address). That address is the broadcast ( in IPv4 or the multicast FF05::1:5 for IPv6 which, as you might guess, DHCPv6 covers.

So someone has probably a 75% of guessing this if they’re just slightly geeky. A more difficuly class would be something so arcane you aren’t going to find it on the web.

What command will locate a file somewhere below the current location on a VMS system?

  1. find $(pwd)/./ -name filename
  2. ls –recurse | grep filename
  3. search [-]filename
  4. write sys$output f$search(“[…]filename”)

Don’t know? This one is trickier. The first one is a valid, if convoluted, way to do the operation in a bash shell. The second is a trickster because it would work in a bash shell except the argument is recursive and not recurse. It is there to trick people into thinking they found the trick and going with the first one. The third one is just made up. It includes the DCL representation of the current directory just for kicks. The last one is the right answer. How you going to get that? That’s what separates the men from the boys. ☺

I want more stuff like the first one though. Stuff that a geek ought to bed able to figure out if they’ve got the background. Putting really arcane stuff on there really just tests what people have run across. My first mainframe was gemini. That it was running VMS was just happenstance.

I need to cover the classes of geekiness. I think there’s a difference between a geek (someone fascinated by a subject) and a dork (someone socially maladjusted) and a nerd (someone who is intelligent). I’ve got a friend here who is a music geek. He knows a shitton about indie groups and he is really snide about it at times. He is a geek about music in the way I’ve got friends who are about computers or chemistry or whatever. So I want information questions more so than, “was canceling Enterprise a travesty?”

Does anyone have any good math or science sort of questions? Maybe internet culture stuff? (googlewhacking, whitehats, war chalking, etc.) I need some gradated questions too. A common one is what OS are you running or what is your MUA.

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Damn Straight

Friend, hope for the truth while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
What you call “salvation” belongs to the time before death.
If you don’t break your ropes while you are alive,
do you think ghosts will do it after?

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Ugh, feel like was hit by car. Spending the night sleeping on concrete after a 14 hour car ride will do that to you. I’ll have to do the details later though. I got into town to find my lab barred and this computer’s keyboard is filled with sand. Typing on it for more than a few minutes starts to hurt my fingers because you have to pound the keys so hard.

Anyhow, I’m off to find some food and maybe a movie. Tomorrow is the last day of French. Mashallah.

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Lenten Bitching

I’ve got something I want to write, but I’m having trouble with how to do so and not have it come out as a bunch of mealy mouthed new age crap. I believe in the validity of these precepts, but at the same time they are easily abused.

An excellent example would be the Kairos Foundation. I’ve done a couple of workshops with them and generally found their ideas useful, but some of the people who work with them get too dogmatic. I wanted to look up a website for them and the first Google Search for “kairos foundation” is a page denouncing them as a cult.

A big part of what distinguishes a cult from more benign groups of like minded people is tied in with exclusivity. One of the things that makes me squeamish about the LT stuff is that they’ve taken several concepts from cognitive and humanistic psychology and repackaged them. I understand that they are selling to a Average Joe and that he isn’t looking to get a psych degree. All he needs is some methods for straightening out problems with his brain.

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I’ve been in the lab quite a bit in the last week getting caught up on the firewall and my classes. The biggest evidence for my occupation is my regular updates. I have a limited capacity for concentrated work; after a bit, I all of a sudden discover I’m not working, but instead recounting my lack of oral pleasuring to God and the internet.

Today I got bored and wandered the net for a while. I took the mythological profile test out of rumielf‘s journal. (I’m a roc, btw.) While there, I noticed that the site, okcupid, is a dating sort of site.

WAIST left me remembering how I like dating and realizing I miss it. Granted, I live several thousand miles from everyone, and I don’t expect to do any dating here, but I made myself an account. I figure just talking to someone would be entertaining. I’ve enjoyed reading the different profiles of people. Still not sure about the general dateability of the fairer sex, but I’m finding two years does wonders for developing willingness to try.

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Can anyone do this better?

(read line; while [ ! -z "$line" ]; do
  echo "$line";
  read line;
  done;) < iptables-rules.forward

I know I can do:

"; for line in $(cat iptables-rules.forward); do echo "$line"; done;

But, I wanted to try and do it only with built-ins. I really dislike the parenthesis and having two reads in that first one though. What I really want is:

while [ $(read -n4 line) ]; do echo "$line"; done

‘Cept that don’t work.

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WAIST 2005 — Part #4

Ahh, all done: one, two, three and this is four. A grand total of:

Words: 7717
Paragraphs: 100
Characters: 40177

Jesus, I’m long winded…

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