Resurrection

Wow, it's been almost a year since I posted last.  Shut up, I've been busy.

Here's a list of crap that has changed or happened in the past 9 months:

Toliver turned 4 in November, Carter turned 7 in April.  I turned 30 a few weeks ago.

I've started dating again, believe it or not.

I took a new position at my full-time company.

I got to see a Google StreetView car up close.

I came down with pneumonia.

My company moved closer to launching its first web-based project..

I've had about 20 new ideas for new products for my company.  Unfortunately I'm still working on the first one (see above).

At my full-time job, we recently completed a multi-year systems refresh.  It was interesting, but now that it's done, I can start taking vacation time again.

So... while there has been a bit of silence lately, expect that to change.  I plan to convert this blog over to new software shortly, so that'll be my next big thing to accomplish.  I'll probably publish some articles on some of the above things when I get some time, too.

Philanthropy by Wristband

Okay, seriously.  The wristband fad is over.

Firstly, I'm tired of trying to figure out what the different colors mean.  Secondly, yeah sure, it's nice that you support a cause or a charity or something else that helps people out.  That makes you feel good.  It eases your conscience, makes you feel about yourself, and an angel may even get its wings.

But just because you're wearing a wristband doesn't mean I have to care.  Nor does it make you a better person for advertising your philanthropy.

The company I work for has chosen to support a particular charity.  As part of the incentive to raise money, a wristband was distributed.  To everybody.  In the corporate color.  With the corporate logo and whatnot on it.  Jesuchristo!  The pressure!  If I don't donate, it's entirely possible they'll move me to the basement.  Without my stapler!!

What ever happened to just helping people out without looking for the angle?  I donated money last year, but you probably didn't know that?  Why would you?  It's something I chose to do, but I don't need your confirmation that I've done a Good ThingTM.  I do it because I felt it was the right thing to do and I wanted the chance to help somebody out.

Why is that so many people need some kind of validation before doing the right thing?

A Collective WTF

I was at today's spectacular Green Bay Packers game (thanks Brian!) against the San Diego Chargers and watched the two teams battle it out.

I expect that there are three things I will remember from this game for quite a while:

  • The fact that the Packers have started out 3-0 when nobody seems to have expected it.
  • The two Chargers fans who also happened to be beautiful blonde twins.
  • The sound the stadium made when the 4th down pass was incomplete.

Hearing 70,000 fans essentially say "What the fuck was THAT?" all at the same time was pretty impressive, even if the reason for it was not.

Even though the Chargers lost, they've still got the Charger Girls.  And the twins.

Passive FTP and Firewalls

For the last few months, I've been receiving complaints from some of my customers that they were having trouble with the FTP services being offered through Cartoli.  Problems included being immediately disconnect from the server upon connection, fast timeouts, occasional problems with file transfers, etc.  In other words, the transfer portion of File Transfer Protocol wasn't working so hot.

The one thing that remained constant is that I could get transfers to work when the firewall was shut down.  Obviously not a permanent solution, it at least allowed the FTP services to be useful again.  As always, it's the firewall that's causing the damn problem.

Oh yeah, SSL uploads via port 990 were working beautifully.  That threw me for a loop, too.

After a ton of trial and error and investigation, I found some information on the Application Layer Gateway Service that is installed by default on Windows servers.  Apparently it's sole purpose in life, besides messing with me, is to assist with Internet Connection Sharing plug-ins and whatnot.

It appears that it was acting as a proxy of some sort which was breaking the connection.  This wasn't happening under the SSL sessions as the information was encrypted through the certificate.

I disabled that service on the server and immediately Passive FTP began working as expected.  Mind you, this is after a few months of digging into the problem off and on.

Up Up Down Down

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could use the Contra Code in real life..

Up up down down left right left right A B select start.

Damn, didn't work.  Stupid thing.