News archive 2002
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January 6th, 2003
Happy New Year everyone, as we close out 2002 and relegate that page to the deep, dark recesses of 'the archives', da House hopes you and yours had a warm, wondrous Christmas and a jovial New Year's. Ahhh, here i sit, first note of the year and news is not so good. Goes to show you if you keep fixing what ain't broke, you'll eventually break it, heh.
News on my latest hardware upgrade is forthcoming, as well as a re-visit of Max Payne with a twist--played in Linux! keep watching this page...

November 25th, 2002
Just a quickie update on Max Payne (see my last entry for the url). Wow! This game is, in a word: c o m p e l l i n g. The story and graphics as well as the voice-acting are very strong. It really sets the mood and draws you in, you can really feel the 'payne', heh. There's even an entire map/level that is a dream sequence out of Max's nightmares, amazing work, really well done.

November 22nd, 2002
Received Max Payne (a windows-only game, *sigh*) yesterday. Got it for the paltry sum of 19.95. I't's the first 3rd person shooter i've ever bought. Actually, i thought it was a first person shooter when i ordered it, so my reputation is still sound. Nonetheless, i've been playing it on a limited basis, ie: when i boot to windows, and i've got to say, the story and the bullet-time effects are quite compelling, as are the graphics. i may actually finish this one, my first 3rd person shooter, yippee!. Yet... i still find myself booting back to linux and firing up Soldier of Fortune for the sheer satisfaction-thru-firepower that it delivers so well. so far, as far as sheer violence, sheer firepower and sheer fun goes, nothing compares to SoF, nothing. am i out to get Sof II? you betcha!!

November 3rd, 2002
The HoC steps up yet another time. Yep, that's right folks, da House is now hosted on an additional domain as well! I'm gonna tell you who my new host is but first let me just say, the name is a bit embarassing, so please: no laughing, chuckling, or other derisive activity, as you know my ego is so fragile, heh. Anyway, my new host is Web Hosting for Idiots and the new domain is (shockingly) HouseOfCraig.NET.

I know, I know, doesn't sound like the kind of host that such a savvy guy like me *grin* would be using does it? Never the less, it's true. And folks, these guys are fast and efficient, and I mean it. They got me up and running in a single day. My email support questions were answered so fast and accurately last night that I fell off my chair. Yep, we're talking minutes in some cases, not hours. If ya need/want some speedy hosting at rock-bottom prices, check 'em out (even if you're not an idiot, heh). Of course, I'll keep you posted as time marches on, I'm going to be with these guys for at least 15 months.

here's the complete list of features and all for only $95 for 15 months
which includes a new domain name registration! Amazing, ain't it?
In a related item I think I forgot to tell ya'll that I switched registrars for my original domain name HouseOfCraig.COM. Yep, decided to go with GoDaddy.com. I know, once again the name's a bit funky, but what can I say, they've got excellent service, free web-forwarding and a very easy to use interface, if you're looking for a place of your own, you will love their pricing and features.
And finally, I've been experimenting a bit with XFree86 Modelines and I now have that little Compaq notebook running at a virtual resolution of 1024x768x8bit color! And it's paging a lot less since I'm running TWM and Opera remotely, I must say, I'm rather proud of myself, heh. It's pretty fast when you get the cursor to the edge and it scrolls the rest of the page into view, alot faster than scrolling the page in Opera. If you want to do your own modeline experiments I recommend this web-based modeline generator, it generates a usable modeline for XFree86 3 -or- 4 99% of the time, and the source is available, very nice work.

October 24th, 2002
Just a quickie to let all you web-savvy sheetmetal shop workers know, my Elbow Calculator is up and ready for your perusal. It does every kind of elbow you can make with the exception of cracked elbows, which are 'coming soon'. Check it out guys, it can make even a shop novice look like they know what they're doing. Of course, i welcome any feedback about either the offset and/or the elbow calculator(s) that you'd care to offer.

October 13th, 2002
Oops, forgot to add this bit of news and now look: it's the next day, doh! anyway thought it was about time i upgraded my video card so yesterday i ordered myself an MSI G3Ti200 and, even as we speak the good folks over at Directron are packing that puppy up and slingin' it my direction (figuratively speaking, after all, it's Sunday, heh), i'll let you know how it compares to my current card: a geForce2MX200/32mb.

Also, since i've been so very slow to get the Las Vegas pics anywhere near 'photo-album' ready, here's a pic to tide ya'll over.

October 12th, 2002
I know, i know...s'been a while, where does the time go?...
Ah, but i have something that's really going to appeal to all you web-savvy sheetmetal workers(oxymoron?) out there...what's that you say? web-savvy sheetmetal workers are few and far between?, heh, now *there's* a giant shock. No matter. Guys, if you're out there you're gonna luv my new Standard Offset Calculator. Yep, really speeds up the whole process, and it's available over on the HoC's Wireless Edition for all you web-savvy-sheetmetal-workers with internet access on your phones (ok, i know, i know: now i'm really pushing it, ehh). And yes, there's more to come: soon you'll be seeing similar calculators for all manner of regular and 'cracked' elbows, tees, as well as all manner of transitions. Plus, the next one up will be for both types of transitioning offsets! Ductmen never had it so good!

Ok, in other, non-sheetmetal-related news: downloaded and installed Slackware 8.1 on a partition on my daughter's machine as well as downloaded and burned Mandrake v9.0, although i have yet to install it on anything. i'll let ya know how these are.

August 20th, 2002
Whew! just got back from wild, wacky, yet very glamorous Las Vegas! yep, me and the wife went there to celebrate (and i do mean celebrate, heh) our 20th anniversary, pics and the complete story, of course, will soon follow...keep watching this page.

in other news... i was able to pick up another copy of Opera (linux version 6.02) for the paltry sum of $20. this is a very lean yet powerful native linux browser, and a real deal at that price (half the norm) go check it out.

August 4th, 2002
Finally! Yep, that's right folks, i actually have a pic of Mozilla v1.1b running full-screen in XFree86 with the Ice window manager on that little laptop! All in 4mb of ram! What? "impossible" you say? Tell ya what, i'm gonna tell you the *secret*: Both the window manager (IceWM) and Mozilla are running remotely on my primary machine, with only the X-Server running locally on the laptop, spiffy, ain't it?

Of course the response is, shall we say, "sluggish" with a heavy amount of swapping going on, but nothing like you would see if these applications were run locally. Here's a link to the mini-HowTo i used as a reference, i must say i'm amazed some of this stuff is possible. i've also got a couple of screen captures made with Ksnapshot (also run remotely) have a look at them here and here. these are undoctored (excepting the necessary jpeg compression) screen captures taken at the native x-resolution of the laptop: 640x480x256 colors. both show a 'ps aux' in the console which is strangely missing icewm, opera and/or mozilla.

July 20th, 2002
Hmmm, so much to learn...
ok people, disregard the previous entry discussing my supposed fix to the lost interrupt problem. turns out that while my *fix* helps, and helps quite significantly, it certainly does not completely eliminate the problem, *sigh*, oh well. i promise i'll expose my stuff to more rigorous testing next time; really. of course i should take this opportunity to point that the author and maintainer of pcmcia card services for linux responded to my email (the one where i'm telling him about my fix, DOH!) telling me, in part:

"Normally I wouldn't recommend using a CF device as swap space. At best, you can only reach PCMCIA bus speeds of 1-2 MB/sec which is rather poor compared to modern IDE speeds. But it may be a good alternative for older laptops with limited HD space"

hmm, folks, don't know 'bout you but i gotta completely rethink my *solution* to the lack-O-memory problem. umm, i'll get back to you...

SoF Revisited
whoa, this game is tough, i mean tough. and i'm only talking about the single-player game. i'm playing on the challenging difficulty setting and my estimated time-to-live (to borrow some tcp/ip jargon, heh) is about 2 minutes max. make too much noise and whammo! more enemies are right behind you, blowing the living crap outta ya with shotguns and .44 automags, ouch!

July 13th, 2002
i didn't mention this problem when i described my 'solution' to the Compaq Contura 400cx's memory problem (ie: it has only 4mb of ram) in my last entry. well folks, i admit it, there was a severe problem with that solution: i would eventually get "hda: lost interrupt" error messages and eventually a "segmentation fault" which would force a cold boot of the machine. the 'hda: lost interrupt' referred to the machine's primary hard disk, a Quantum Daytona 256a, which would somehow 'lose' interrupts (and thus any access to the disk) whenever i would attempt to use the SanDisk PCMCIA CF card reader. the solution? using the utility hdparm to enable the interrupt-unmask flag for the SanDisk 'drive'. this permits the linux IDE driver to unmask (allow to occur) other interrupts during processing of the interrupt on the SanDisk which i suspect has eliminated the primary drive's 'lost interrupt' problems. this problem was in my opinion incredibly obscure. it's solution came as a result of reading many posts on the web which i obtained by doing a search on "hda: lost interrupt", really shows you the power of the web don't it?

June 30th, 2002
Just getting this in before the month ends...been so-o-o busy it's not even funny. coupla of quick updates:

Soldier of Fortune
How congress managed to miss this game in it's witch-hunt for teen-violence scapegoats is a mystery. SoF is absolutely without question the most violent, (and graphically so :) ) game i've ever played in my 10 years of first-person-shooter gaming. that said, it's also really, really fun. as an aside i should point out that like RtCW, it crashes occasionally, although between the two of them the machine's only locked up once, but anyway, SoF is really fun, did i say really fun?
Compaq Contura 400cx - revisited
As of now i've got Slackware 8.0 running nicely on it. i really like slackware, it's seems to be cleaner and more streamlined than mandrake, although to be fair i've got a very basic installation running on the laptop and a rather extensive installation of mandrake 8.2 running on my primary workstation and a fairly complete installation of mandrake 8.1 running on the server that serves up this very page to the world-at-large. the memory problem was finally solved by purchasing a pcmcia compact-flash card reader ($19.95) and using an old 16mb cf card as swap space, pretty clever ay? so now the laptop is on the network and able to access the internet using lynx in textmode. X-windows is still not happening, but who knows? give me a coupla weeks and maybe i'll have a pic of the HoC displayed on this little notebook's 8.4 inch screen, heh.
Am i a linux-guru yet?
Umm, no. *but* today marks my first successful compilation of a custom linux kernel, yay! the new kernel is a v2.2.19 stripped down to conserve memory on the aforementioned compaq laptop here is a look at the .config file for it.

June 8th, 2002
Received Soldier of Fortune for Linux by Loki Games yesterday, ordered it from LinuxMall, haven't played or even installed it yet, it's my first purchase of a game "not designed for any version of Microsoft Windows", to quote the box, sadly, Loki is out-of-business now.

in other news, i've posted a document outlining how to install Small Linux to a hard-drive, strangely enough, it's entitled Installing Small Linux on a hard-drive-HOWTO, heh.

May 26th, 2002
wow, been sidetracked for a while now...a friend gave me an old compaq notebook computer last week and i've been consumed with attempting to get some distro of linux or bsd to run on it. "what's so hard about that" you ask? heh, the difficulty here is the age of the machine and the hardware it's lacking, here are the specs:

you begin to see the problem...4mb of ram literally halts the installation of virtually all major linux distros. seems they have a real fetish with rather large ramdisks. after a little bit of looking i found a quasi-distro that is actually running on the machine right now, and rather solidly, i might add; it's aptly called: Small Linux. a very nice piece of work, it uses the older libc5 libraries and a 2.0.0 kernel, so add-on apps have been a bit hard to find so far, but overall it's doing quite well, and unlike the dos62/win31 software that *was* running on the machine, which had absolutely no networking support, i believe i'll be able to find/compile the necessary drivers for the 2.0 kernel to allow this little machine to *join* my network, although time will tell.

May 12th, 2002
As you may have surmised, theCraig doesn't quite have the free time he used to...it's all good though, sometimes too much work is necessary. Ok, you may remember that it's been since April 7th since i switched my main workstation over to Mandrake-Linux 8.2, gotta tell you, i'm really likin' it. Yep, does everything i need a desktop to do, and comes with loads of free (yes, free) software to boot, things like an extremely capable image editor that is scriptable, a very complete IDE for just about every kind of application you would want to write, 5 (and counting) different web browsers, many choices in mail clients, well, you get the idea, it's got choices galore. To sum it up: after 5 weeks of exclusively using linux as my desktop, i'm quite pleased.

As far as gaming goes there are far less choices than the windows' platform offers, at least in terms of the FPS's that i play. The good news is that i'm a one-game kinda guy and Return to Castle Wolfenstein runs very well on the linux platform. I can't speak for other 3d accels, but my very modest nVidia card works flawlessly both for the 2D desktop and for the 3D game. One of the nicer things about playing it under linux is the ability to restart the sound (and actually have it work, heh) without quitting and restarting the whole game, the linux architecture actually allows this kind of thing for every subsystem, for instance if you change a networking parameter such as from dhcp to a static address, all you have to do is stop/start the ethernet subsystem, not reboot the whole machine, for someone like me who's a constant-tweaker-of-things, it's a real time saver.

April 21st, 2002 :: Linux On My Desktop Part 3 - two weeks later...
Am working my way through Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Again. This time running natively under linux, so far i've noted two differences between playing under Windows98/DirectX8.x and under Linux-Mandrake 8.2/nVidia:

  1. The distance-fog, smoke, and similar effects are all much better under Linux. i'm actually seeing some of these effects for the first time although i've completed the game under win98, who knew?
  2. The framerate is definitely better under linux, this surprises me a bit, but i guess it shouldn't ay?

More family pics coming soon....

Yep it's gonna be pics of Aimee in her very last (she graduates June 5th) high school production: Hello Dolly. and pics from our visit this weekend to Durham, NC to visit our recently departed son, Christopher. (he got promoted and moved down there in January).

April 14th, 2002 :: Linux On My Desktop Part 2 - one week later...
Ok, check it out, only took 10 minutes to get RtcW and the nVidia linux drivers installed and working under linux! Yep, really easy, and here's the kicker: the frame-rate is better under linux!. Gotta hand it to ID software, they are one of a just a handful of game publishers releasing linux binaries for their games, of course, they are one of the best also, heh. Also gotta hand it to nVidia, they too are one of a handful of video card vendors releasing native linux drivers for their cards, and like ID, they are one of, if not the best, kudos to both.

A couple of other things: found partial support for my parallel port scanner (a Plustek OP600P) under SANE, but the docs outlined enough non-working or partially-working features as to make me not even bother, as of now this scanner remains the only piece of hardware that i was using under Win98 that i haven't been able to use under Mandrake, not too bad ay?

stay tuned for part 3...

April 7th, 2002
Installed Mandrake 8.2 (Bluebird) on my primary workstation yesterday, here's the report so far:

Prepare yourselves for the most hype yet. hehe, j/k. Actually, so far, so good, the only thing that used to work under win98 that i haven't got working under mandrake 8.2 is my parallel-port scanner, a PlusTek OP600P. xSane refuses to recognize it so far, and i haven't spent a lot of time trying to get it to work yet, since i rarely use it. Everything else is working famously, kudos to Mandrake and their team, /me loves Mozilla almost as much as Netscape, heh. The only glitch i've seen so far is a strange *disappearing* of an application as i'm sizing it, i think it's related to the video driver. Improvements abound: the most visible one is that i'm now running at 1280x1024 resolution and the picture is better than win98's 1152x862 resolution, nice!

Of course, i'll be keeping you posted as soon as i get the really important stuff working; namely: RtCW.

April 6th, 2002
Received the latest upgrade to my internal network yesterday: a Netgear RP114 router. So far, I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a broadband router. Easy install, easy config, and a rather cheap solution too, only $69.95 after rebate at Outpost.com.

So...with the router handling all the, well, routing, i was able to take my main machine offline long enough to add another 20g drive to it and promptly installed Mandrake 8.2 (Bluebird) on it. Haven't had enough time with it yet to really make an assessment, more on this later...

March 23rd, 2002
Ok, *finally* finished ftp-ing and burning the latest, greatest, Mandrake-Linux last night, err, this morning actually. I expected the mirrors to be jammed last week, but folks, they are still very jammed, as in can't-even-login-without-30-retries. here's a tip: try an ftp server in europe somewhere. yep, i finally had to give up on the servers located here in the US, and i'm talking about servers in neighboring states here, anyway, gave up on them about 3am and tried one in finland and one in germany, got right in, great response too. i'll let ya know how it is when i get around to installing it on something, from everything i've read, it looks to be the best ever, my expectation is high.

in other news: just as i thought, i have officially finished RtCW. this game really takes me back to the reasons and roots of why i started playing (read as: "became obsessed with") first-person shooters in the first place, love the flame-thrower and of course the venom, a really fun game, you will *still* find yourself physically jumping back at certain points, nice. next up: daBeaV returns to the return to...err, umm, ok: daBeaV is gonna be back; online; soon. i'll keep you posted...

March 13th, 2002
Ahh, today's news is all good. Yep, received my copy of RtCW in a most timely manner, dove right in and have been enjoying ever since (yes, i am death incarnate! heh). Other than a short learning curve in getting used to controlling a Quake-Engine based game again, (the last one i played at any length was Quake II) i've got no major problems with the game. Despite the many reviews i've read touting the online game play over the single-player game, and since i've yet to play online, all i can say is the single-player game rocks! reminds me alot of GoldenEye, yep, get a lot of GoldenEye deja vu, there's some really fun weapons in there :D, i may actually finish this game, something i never bothered to do with HL.

A coupla minor nits:

that said, there is very little wrong with this game, the map's are very well done, very well done, the mood and ambience are striking, reminiscent of, dare i say it? half-life. run out (figuratively, of course) and get a copy for yourselves, this game is definitely the past, present and future of online shooters, and with built-in, ID-funded anti-cheat technology, it just may exceed HL/CS in longevity, i can't wait to see the mods for this.

March 5th, 2002
and once again i begin a news entry with: "just downloaded/installed", heh. this time it's: Opera 6 beta 1 for linux, up from the previous 3 "technology previews" (whatever that means...) of the past. It's definitely getting there, however, unlike mozilla or netscape, Opera seems to be obviously targeting the windows platform with the lion's share of their effort, that said, Opera 6 beta 1 for linux is totally worth the download, nice work, and a very easy install since it comes in RPM format for Mandrake 8. At the risk of sounding like a skipping-cd, my favorite browser to date for both linux and windows is still Netscape 6 due to it's strict adherence to the w3c standard.

Today's "What do I love about Netscape 6"
You know that annoying frames thing Hotmail does with that "you are viewing a site outside of hotmail..." crap? Well, NS6 has a nifty "show only this frame thing" on the context menu that gets rid of it, ummm, Yay!

March 3rd, 2002
Just downloaded/installed Netscape 6 for Linux, very nice work: super-easy to install, works well, in fact the mouse-wheel works much smoother than the windows version, fluid; almost reminiscent of a touchpad, i gotta tell you again, i likes Netscape6!... also, just ordered my copy of RtCW over on the Activision Store website, id is releasing binaries for linux for this game *almost* in tandem with their win32 counterparts, bravo! i'll let you know how it plays on linux. In other news: the February issue of Carty's Corner is up, check it out.

February 27th, 2002
"Th-th-th-th-that's all folks"...Yep, it's over: no more Half-Life or Counter-Strike. daBeaV is finally hangin' up the Mac10 and is off to find a new game, most likely Return to Castle Wolfenstein because that's where the PunkBuster people have apparently had the warmest reception, while, sadly, along with Valve, they've completely abandoned CS to the cheaters. No regrets though, it's certainly been fun, and not since the original DooM have i gotten so much mileage out of a single game, HL/CS are true classics, and will be remembered as such. were it not for the rampant cheating CS would probably continue to dominate online FPS play for years to come. Sincerely: thanks Valve and thanks to the CS Team. More on all this is forthcoming, meanwhile, as you may have noticed, all Half-Life/Counter-Strike related items are off the main menu and will soon be archived. On a minor note, i've decided to lose the downloads page as at last glance the programs there are rather dated. when i get some of my more recent stuff in decent condition i'll put it back up, although most likely i've written my last windows' program, anything new will be for linux or similar-type os's.

February 23rd, 2002
Ok, you may have noticed a couple of new icons over on the left-side menu area. These are links to the World Wide Web Consortium's free validation services for HTML and CSS. I urge any of you out there who put anything on the web for public consumption to go there and validate your stuff. Validated HTML and CSS guarantees you that all browsers on all operating systems that are standards-compliant will display your pages the same, and if they don't, at least it's not your fault, heh, and yes, there are actually browsers out there in-use today that are not Internet Explorer! and there are operating systems in-use that are not Windows, imagine that!

February 22nd, 2002 - Happy Birthday to the Craig!
Happy Birthday to Me...heheheh. Ok, a bit narcissistic, but it's not everyday you celebrate the day you were born. It's been a good day: No work, and I got to gorge myself on Long John Silver's fish, shrimp, clams and chips and then browsed Walden's Books (the computer book section, of course) as long as I wanted. All in all, a good day.

February 21st, 2002
Well, last night's "upgrades" and i use the term loosely, by my cable provider Adelphia seem to have left me with *surprise, surprise* a MUCH slower connection. Let's just hope that all this is temporary, shall we? By the way folks, tomorrow is theCraig's birthday! please make sure those truckloads of presents get to me on time, however, if they're late, i will still accept them, as long as they are accompanied by a well thought-out excuse.

February 19th, 2002
I must apologize for my cable provider, Adelphia. To their credit they are in a "continuous upgrade cycle", to quote the IBM phraseology of old, anyway, wouldn't you know it, my new preferred email address just happens to be in the path of those "continuous upgrades" and as a result getting my email from that server lately is a 20/80 proposition. Allow me to provide an alternate email address that you *probably* should use, at least until after Feb. 20th, and especially if you suddenly find me mysteriously unresponsive, heh.

February 16th, 2002
Good news...Bad news...etc
9 days have passed since I tightened the security-screws a few turns and there have been numerous security-breach attempts on my site since then.(about 100 attempts on port 27374 alone, over 3100 on just that port since may of last year), that's the bad news. The good news is that none of these attempts succeeded, heh. I'm really thinking of putting up a page documenting all the attempts, maybe then people will take securing their networks seriously. Thanks to ZoneAlarm, Gibson Research Corp and WinRoute Pro, the HoC is only giving up the information I actually intend to, how about that!

February 10th, 2002
Ok, the HoC is now hosting a new monthly feature page entitled: Carty's Corner. Movie reviews and editorial opinions from long-time friend, and writer, Barry Carty. Check it out here. Additionally, frequent visitors to the site (and I know you must be out there somewhere, *grin*) may have noticed there's now a "portal" type opening page for the houseofcraig.com, since we are hosting 3 distinct sites now, and there may be more to come, I thought it best to require people to only remember houseofcraig.com and not the sometimes obscure additional information required to go to other places besides here. Also of no little importance: I am phasing out my hotmail account, 30 days from now or so I won't be checking it anymore, anyone in my 'address book' will be getting a notification, everyone, please use my new address, thanx.

February 7th, 2002 : 11.45pm If you haven't read the first of these three installments click here
45 minutes or so later... Ok, I wasn't gonna go here, but I must. This is to all the parents out there who have computers 'for the kids'. You know who you are. Perhaps you've 'handed down' a machine or two for the kids to use, or perhaps you even went out and bought them their very own shiny new P4's. Bravo. So now when they're up in their rooms for hours on end, perhaps laughing and cutting up with friends, you think "ahh, this is good, they're learning about computers"...or maybe "Naw, they're not surfing porn...". The question theCraig has for you is: What level of digital parental supervision do your children have? Would you freak-out and sue the school if your kids managed to gain access to some nasty porn there? So then, do you have any idea where your kids are surfing IN YOUR OWN HOME?, ie: when's the last time you checked the history on your child's browser? do you even know how to check it?. How 'bout: who are the people they're chatting with all the time, what are they talking about 'til the wee hours?, don't count on the FBI to catch your kids, DO IT YOURSELF! As the father of a now 25 year old boy and an 18 year old girl, I've certainly been there, we've had computers here at the HoC for a very, very long time, thanx in part to my father, a long time IBMer. Ya know what? I know what comes and goes on ALL the machines here. Yep, I check the surf-history, chat logs, and monitor as best I can all new files on all the machines here (4 at last count). Have I caught everything? naw. Can I recognize a malevolent or porn-related download? You betcha. Parents: get. a. clue. DO NOT remain ignorant of the computers in your own homes. Do not for a minute believe that the healthiest thing your kids could be doing right now is using the family computer. Obviously, human nature transcends technology. If your kids are, shall we say "mischievous" at school or outside with their friends, they will be no better, and most likely far more unbridled in the blissful anonymity of the internet. Just because a child is using a computer at length DOES NOT mean they are LEARNING ANYTHING, get it? Here's an example: One day my kids told me they wanted a CD burner. "hmmm, what for?" I responded. Turns out they wanted to 'burn' on CD the copyrighted music they had been downloading from Napster. At that point no CD burner was bought and Napster disappeared from my network. (it came and went a few more times after that, heh.) Having heard the same request, would you have asked why? or would you have thought "wow, my kids are so *smart with computers*, they can now burn cds!", yeah, cuz burning cds takes a lot of intelligence, umm, not. Actually, much like launching a massive distributed-denial-of-service attack on a completely innocent target, all it takes is the right connections and ignorant and/or apathetic parents. Folks, believe it, as the resident neighborhood "computer geek", I went and 'rescued' more than a few parent-friend's machines. I found plenty of porn/porn-related items on them, and I don't think it was mom or dad surfing it, get it? K.

February 7th, 2002 : 11pm If you haven't read the first of these three installments click here
and later on that same day... Whew! this is the first time I've updated the news twice in the same 24 hour period. The occasion? yep, security concerns, I have now completed around 10 hours of research and subsequent implementation to thoroughly lock-down my network, these measures go way beyond the rather lame measures I already had in place, namely about half a dozen packet-filters on my NAT router. Who knew how lame my security really was?...sadly, not me! (Steve Gibson did, yay!). Think I'm paranoid? Think again; go check out some of the horror stories on the 'net from the poor sysadmins who lived them, make sure to read far enough to know just how young the perpetrators of these attacks were, how lowly their hardware/connection, and how scott-free they got off, if they actually got caught. Then ask yourself: "can I afford to live in ignorance or denial any longer?" I hope the answer is NO. Hello!??

This isn't an issue of "hey, I don't have anything on my machine(s) anyone could/would use or even really want..." nope, the issue here is: "hey, is the hardware and connecton that I finance here being commandeered by hackers to harm others, without my knowledge?"

For thousands of unsuspecting adult computer owners, the answer is yes! Anyone and Everyone who has an "always-on" connection to the internet that is actually always on also has a responsibility and a civic duty to secure their machine(s)!! Ever wonder why the internet slows to a crawl sometimes? I was just wondering what nearly 500 "zombied" computers on broadband each sending packet after packet of 64k apiece in the attack on the Gibson Research site did to the internet that night? I'm trying to remember if I was cursing my cable provider that night, who knew? hmmm...I also wonder how the owners of these machines didn't suspect a thing? I have been saying for years now how "you can't have a computer and remain totally ignorant of it...". Well, ok maybe if you're my wife, but that's ok, she's got me. You know, when I see the green lites on my cable modem goin' nuts and I'm not actually doing anything (and it has happened), I want to know why!, it makes me suspicious; sadly, it's taken this long for me to find out. Whatever. Folks, we MUST be more aware! There is no excuse for any more apathy or ignorance here. While we work and play on our machines in a blissful fog of false security, young, bored, barely-teenage kids are able to take down portions of the internet, without knowing how! Not because they are "geniuses", but simply because they fell in with the 'right crowd' on the playground or on an irc channel somewhere and found out how to download and use a 'bot program that to this day they still don't understand the inner-workings of, sadly the zombied owners who are their intermediate targets don't know any more than them!!. As the adults who actually pay for our connections and hardware, dare we remain ignorant or apathetic? Don't we have a responsibility, now that we know? Time to take responsibility! Time to get educated! These attacks are very real and commonplace, are your machines/network part of them? Find out! Don't be unwitting pawns any longer.

For the people that know me, and whom I know well, be ready! If you remain vulnerable, I will hack you myself (benignly) until you lock down your machines/networks!!

February 7th, 2002 : 3pm
What's the latest newsworthy thing here at the HoC? *lengthy exhale* Security. Yep, I want each and every one of you to run on over to the Gibson Research site and go to the Shields Up! area and check your machine for vulnerabilities! after that go with the "probe my ports" also. Most of you with always-on connections to the web who are running some form of MS Windows will be shown to have huge, gaping security holes, please close them! Why?...Why should theCraig care about your security holes? Read furthur on the GRC website's account of it's "classic denial of service attack" and you'll see how your personal computer can be readily (easily?) used as part of an "army" of unsuspecting, attacking computers to completely knock sites off the web, not a pleasant thought is it, being used by a rather ordinary 13 year old? Additionally, and please read the entire page describing the denial of service attack that the gibson site has experienced to see that being "used" by hackers isn't the only danger, any and all personal(or otherwise) info on your machine can and will be transmitted across the internet unencrypted to the hacker's machine(s) to do with what they will, super. Additionally, go get ZoneAlarm and install it, I'm mainly talking to broadband and other users of "always-on" connections here since we are the prime targets for these "zombie" programs, "zombied" (in the control of another) computers on broadband connections are able to generate quite a bit more of a problem for the victim of these attacks than dialup users, however, dialup users are certainly not immune and are known to be part of these attacks. One last thing, run over to Tucows and get AdAware and rid your computer of those system-crashing spyware-phone-home programs on your machine, don't think you have any? I run a very, very lean config and yet I had 34 components of these spywarez on my main machine and 57 on a secondary machine! funny, the linux box is fine..., they're gone now, but "they'll be back". Gotta go to work now, but when I get back it's gonna be obsessive-compulsive-security-central, in spades.

As a result of the information I've been gathering, and the rather frightening scenario presented over on the gibson research site: that any young, motivated, unsupervised child who has the time and desire can actually flood the internet from a remote control "army" of unsuspecting adults' computers means: the server here is going down tonight so I can thoroughly check my own security, especially outbound threats, ie: programs planted on one or more of my machines which "phone home" and download who-knows-what to my machine(s), yechh!

February 4th, 2002
Got a new recipe up, make your own hotdog buns! And...after several days using the new Netscape for both web-surfing and email, I totally recommend it! Nothing against MSIE 6 because the automatic image scaling is very nice, but they don't write one for linux, heh, sorry.

January 31st, 2002
Yep, i know...this page's beginning to look like a diary again, heh, whatever, work's been a bit slow what with the really warm weather we've been having this week, sooooo, i'm gonna type some more invaluable stuff for public consumption. Ok folks, this may not sound like much but i finally got the digital camera *working* on my linux box, i say *working* because the camera's always worked fine, it was the getting-the-pics-out-of-it thing that i couldn't seem to get, however no more. thanks to GPhoto and gtKam it's a breeze. this is important as i edge ever closer to the day when all the machines here at the HoC will be linux only. why? you might ask, well in my own informal testing and experience linux is faster, more stable, and needs fewer resources like cpu speed and disk space, which is just what i need with the older boxes i'm running now. of course there's the added benefit of linux being free, *grin*. as of now the last thing i need to get going is using a linux box as a NAT router, or perhaps break down and just buy one. more on all this later.

Got a new page up though it's not complete regarding Counter-Strike client-side settings a work in progress, although from what i've seen i suspect it's information that alot of players could use.

January 30th, 2002
Just downloaded and checked out the latest netscape, version 6.2.1. very nice work, you know i'm a bit biased against these guys even though i really like Mozilla for linux, nonetheless, i must say at least at this early juncture, i likes it! try it out for yourself here, here's a tip for windows users: don't make it your default browser, but do try it as your default mail client. regardless of how much you may have heard about how windows is browser-neutral, i personally have not experienced it, stay with ie as your default browser (incidentally, the upgrade for ie to version 6 is out check it out here, and do yourself a favor and completely uninstall outlook and/or outlook express, the security holes are gaping and continue...

January 28th, 2002
As noted in our last news paragraph the latest CS Screenies are up, check out the daBeaV on a rampage!

January 27th, 2002
*As advertised on TV!*, hmmmm, well not really, but how 'bout "as advertised in our last installment"? yes? well here it is: password required The Many Faces of Ashton Little, of course to protect the innocent this area is password protected, the usual suspects know what to do, however obviously ashton herself will not be using her last name as password since we've given it away. soooo, ashton you yourself must use your dog's name. (lower case)

New CS action pics are just around the corner...yep, da BeaV had a good ole time the other nite winning the top spot for 4 maps in a row on a server to be named later, keep watching this space...

January 9th, 2002
Happy New Year to all of you from the House of Craig! somewhat belated, i realize, however no less sincere. Been working up a site for the book club my wifey's in, check it out here if you like, still a work in progress. Coming soon: a special feature presentation from the HoC of the Many faces of Ashton Little. For those of you unfamiliar with this photogenic wonderkind, she's a cute-as-a-button girl who likes to ham it up for the camera and now the House is gonna make her pay...hehe, just kidding. Actually, i was browsing through some pics of New Year's Past and ran across some good stuff of her and decided to give her something to do with her brand new compaq notebook (thx mom!).

In other news, AnalogX is BACK! after around a 18 month hiatus, one of my favorite internet personalities, not to mention program authors, is back. head on over to the completely reworked site and check out all the new stuff as well as an explanation for the absence.

yet another shameless plug...that's right, check out this article over on ExtremeTech's site regarding the Craig's choice in Linux distros: Linux-Mandrake, go drake go.