Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Techies: Have you noticed an increase in Spoofing/Spam?

March 27, 2008

The solutions company I work for has noticed a large increase in customer complaints regarding email spoofing and spam hitting users inboxes.

A typical scenario so far, is that someone’s legitimate email address will become spoofed and then that user will receive a large amount of NDRs.  Or, spam will appear to be sent internally through fake usernames@legitimate domains.com.  The spam filter is typically set to allow @legitimatedomain.com without filtering.  When doing a typical analysis, we find that the messages are originating from ISPs located in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Spoofing, and spam is nothing new, but I seriously believe that something new is on the rise that is beginning to outsmart current mail security measures.  Reply back if you have noticed this also.

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For The Love of Breed (Breedlove)

January 14, 2008

I played with my first Breedlove last Saturday.  I needed some more strings, so I packed up the kid, and the wife and I journeyed out to Guitar Center on Route. 22 (This is a haven area, because literally across the street from Guitar Center is a Sam Ash).  I walked in their acoustic section (the first room, with the cheap $500.00 guitars) and played some Martins and Takamines. 

I then ventured into the next room.  The expensive guitars.  The guitars that I can’t afford.  My wife said, “Oh, you should try this one.”  It was a Breedlove.  $2300, used.  I played that thing for the longest I’ve played a strange guitar in a guitar shop.  It plays so smooth, and sounds so nice, that it was instant love.

Sadly, I had to leave it behind.  Suddenly my D-03 feels like a redheaded stepkid.  I didn’t even put the new strings on the Larivee after playing the more superior Breedlove.  I don’t have $2300 to put into such a beautiful piece of art.

I wanted to show my wife my next birthday gift: 

Toneworks Pandora

They were out of stock. Actually, they were confused, and thought I meant the Line 6 Pocket Pod. Nope. I have the Line 6 Toneport UX2. I enjoy it, but it requires a computer wherever you go. The Pocket Pod is mobile, but I know that Korg has a great reputation.

Those CFL Bulbs Are Hazardous!

January 7, 2008

As originally predicted, those CFL bulbs that the government is going to soon require everyone use, are indeed hazardous.

The UK Environmental Agency issued an extensive list on how to properly dispose of the CFLs if they become damaged.  You can’t vacuum them up, as the dust circulated in the air could cause the mercury (yes, that poisonous toxin) implanted in the bulbs to become inhaled.  You have to vacate the room for about 15 minutes after the bulb breaks, and then pick up the pieces using rubber gloves.

Those predisposed to skin ailments may suffer more, as these bulbs can cause irritants like eczema to grow.  Also, these bulbs are known to cause headaches.

There you have it, folks.  Our government wants to lower our “carbon footprint” by giving us cancer, headaches, and rashes.  This stupid bill will prove to be more costly than beneficial in the long run.

What is so wrong with the mercury-free lightbulb that Mr. Edison invented?  Can’t engineers figure out a way to develop on this great invention so that it uses less energy?

I am going to hop the border for the Edison Bulb every chance I get.  Screw that stupid CFL bulb.

Resume Updated – Job Hunt Continues

October 18, 2007

After receiving the news on Monday, and after the initial shock, I finally updated my resume.  Some at co plan on sticking out until the end.  Not me.  If I can help it, I am going to be out of here as fast as possible.

I hate, I repeat HATE looking for a new job.  The entire process is long and tiresome.  First off, I have to network with everyone I have ever worked with past and present, and forward my resume to as many people as I can think of with the off chance that their employer is hiring.  Then I am stuck on craigslist, monster, and dice all day searching for jobs, writing cover letters for all those positions, and attaching my resume.  Not that I’m a BS’er, but I am not a good salesman.

While sending my resume, I have to hope that someone calls me.  If I do receive that call, I am then left hoping that I can score an interview.  This means I have to send my suit to the dry cleaners, get a hair cut, and take time from work to go to that interview.  Once at the interview, I have to make sure I remember the names and numbers of everyone I am to interview with, have enough copies of my resume, and be prepared to try and shoot the breeze with someone I have never met, and chances are I will never see them again.

If after multiple interviews with a variety of companies maybe one of them will seek to hire me.  This is where the negotiations begin.  I must know if the benefits are comparable to my current package, and the salary is a fair salary.  If both are not met to my desire, I am back at square one.  Also, there are also factors to consider when on the job search.  Commute time cannot be longer, and I hope the job does not have more office hours.

Once hired to job, I then become the new guy.  Everyone knows who you are, but you have no idea who anyone else is.  The first few weeks are spent in a whirlwind trying to figure everyone’s names and job roles, the IT infrastructure, and the company culture.

I’ve been through this a few times in my life now, and I have a couple years before I hit thirty.  I don’t despise work, in fact I enjoy it, but I am like most others, and get used to my job, and my company.  The comfort zone set in a long time ago.

Most here have seemed to reach the resigned stage of grief.  We all believe that everything will be all right.  With each month, there will be fewer and fewer people here.  I was asked to stay until the end, but again, I can’t take that risk if I can help it.  Thankfully, I am left with plenty of time to try and find the right fit for me.

Now that things are quiet, I am wondering if I should brush up on my technical skills.  I was thinking about learning SQL during the downtime.  I am not a programmer by trade, but if I want to get a job working as an admin, it seems that SQL knowledge is a must.  I will be in the city in about a month for SMS training.  That will be a nice respite from the office.

This is something I have never experienced before.  For the time being, I am going to use this medium as a way of venting about the job situation.  Also, I am finding it increasingly difficult to put the same amount of pride and effort into my job.

March 28 Severance Package Will Be Issued

October 16, 2007

My company announced to the majority of employees that major job cuts will be occurring in the next few months.  The entire IT department will be phased out with the mother ship in Boston assuming the regional roles.  So, in March, my job will be done.  The package is so small that I can’t afford to wait for the end. I am on the job market once again.

Having recently purchased a new home, and looking at my 1 year old daughter, I can’t help but feel a bit anxious about everything.  I do believe that God will never leave us hanging, but I am only human and with that comes the emotions attached.

Thankfully they are keeping me on until the end of March.  This gives me the opportunity to find a different but comparable position with a different company.

If you know of any companies looking for a Network Specialist or 3rd level support analyst, please feel free to comment here!

LISTENING: Social Distortion, “Live at the Roxy”

WordPress Lost My Image Header

September 17, 2007

I looked at my header today and noticed that it looked more boring then usual.  For some reason, my image header was missing.  It is back up now, but I somehow feel violated…picture was taken by your’s truly.

Systems Management Server 2003

June 21, 2007

My company put me in charge of our SMS 2003.  We have not implemented it yet, but it will need to be installed and configured using our Active Directory Schema.  I have been slowly studying the concepts and practice of proper systems management, but it is a far cry from my usual job.

I was required to have a testing environment by June 29th, so now I’m in panic mode.  Luckily for me (unlucky for our network specialist), they have misplaced the SMS disk.   That will hopefully buy me some more time to finish studying and get my plan in order.

Anyone with experience using SMS?  If so, what was the most practical way to install and deploy the Advanced Client?  Any common problems that I should be made aware of?  My initial plan is to get this installed and using on a few machines.  We will not be using this on our servers.  For SMS admins, what is the most common part of SMS that your company uses?

Any help is appreciated.

Tech Support is only good as the training

May 31, 2007

I am a tech support guy. Not a geek squad, or some other lowly support guy, but one of those guys that is required to do everything with little or no training. There are certain avenues that I fair well with, but then there others that I don’t. If the company releases a new product, they usually give us a basic synopsis of the product but that is where it ends. So we then have our sales reps and marketing agents training the clients on how to use the product, but they neglect to provide us with the same type of training.

For the most part this is ok, because I am not required to log onto our helpdesk phone system, being that I am a higher level support. Occasionally, I am required to fill in when we are short handed. Fine, this gives me a break from projects. Except when I get a call that I have no idea what the product is intended for, how it works. The client expects me to help them troubleshoot the issue, but unfortunately, I have to bs my way through the call until I can escalate to some other team.

Provide some basic training! Going in on something blind is not a smart way to run a business.

My company has decided to go the pay-per-click route. Without proper SEO, they decided that it would be a good idea to dump buckets of cash on web advertisement. The company’s site does not even have proper meta tags. Oh well, when the ship sinks, I’ll probably have jumped ship long before.