Archive for May, 2004




princessrugger: we have your kittens. if you ever want to see them again, leave $200,000 in unmarket bills at the... awwww, will you just look at those ears?! nevermind, were keeping the kittens.

we want…information…

For the “benefit” of whatever person will succeed me at my current job, I’m assembling a list of questions that will be presented as a quiz to all applicants. Basically, the idea here is that if you really are a 5-to-7-year UNIX sysadmin, you should probably know a lot of this stuff off the top of your head.

  1. On a Sun Solaris system, how do you promote an NIS client to an NIS slave server?

  2. On Sun Solaris, how do you create a central mail relay smarthost without changing the sendmail configuration on any other machine?

  3. On Sun Solaris, how do you change the order of name resolution between DNS, NIS and the local hosts file?

  4. (Followup) How might you do this on a system that doesn’t support the Sun/SVR4 method?

  5. On Sun Solaris, how do you reset all network-related configuration information?

  6. How do you non-destructively reset the root password on a Sun server who’s root pw has been lost? Assume that you have Solaris installation media.

  7. On Red Hat Linux, how do you assign a static address to an interface which is currently assigned an address by DHCP?

I solicit from my geeky friends: got any other questions that you think should be asked? Think that any of these questions are horribly unfair?

N.B.: I’m looking for questions that can be answered, definitively, by a series of steps/commands. More open-ended stuff like “describe some key differences between FreeBSD and Solaris” is, to my mind, more suited to the actual in-person interview itself.

been too long…

A small shot from what will eventually become “My Commute Sucks (Less Than Yours) v2.0”:


(Yes, that is something I pass every day on the way to work.)

consumatum est

It’s official: on 6/21/04, I will be the new Director of Information Technology at Money Media, Inc.

I am parting from my old job on good terms, and would love nothing better than to bequeath my position to someone I like and trust not to break everything I built. So if you are a mid-to-senior-level UNIX systems administrator who’d like to work for a small, friendly and fast-paced internet company in the New York City area, please send me your resume so that I can hand it over to the powers that be here.

a heartbreaking work of staggering somethingorother

More than one person has commented that Bush the Younger has, unlike his father and strangely like Ronald Reagan, the uncanny ability to drive his political opponents insane merely be being there.

Now, to a certain extent, I think that this line of thought is somewhat disingenius: Bush 43 inspires more vitriol than Bush 41 because the Shrub, on the whole, pursues more despicable policies than his father, and the accusation that his critics are motivated by some irrelevant existential dislike of the man is little more than a (surreal) transposition of hip-hop’s pseudo-crime of “playa hatin’” into the realm of allegedly serious political discourse.

But then again…

Juan Cole is the Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the History Department of the University of Michigan. He is, without a doubt, one of the foremost experts on the history and politics of the contemporary Muslim world, in addition to being a prominent translator of Arabic literature, and is part of the very, very short list of sources I tend to turn to when I want to hear an analysis of current events in the middle east from someone who indisputably knows what the fuck he is talking about.

Professor Cole maintains a weblog of regular observations about mideast policy on his personal site, and to put it mildly, he’s less than completely impressed with the Shrub’s recent performance there. Indeed, Dr. Cole is, for entirely understandable reasons, extremely angry with our beloved President. How angry? So angry that it seems that George Bush has driven one of the foremost American academic authorities on the middle east…

…to filking.

Grapple not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, indeed. Let this be a warning to all of you. (Of what, I confess, I have no idea.)


To the Queen of my Heart, from the King of Nowhere
I have watched you arming, and how you wave your sword in the air;
always fighting the shadows as they move behind you,
and the beating wings that hover around you …
To the queen of my heart, from the king of nowhere
It’s a shallow sky that holds us in; you can reach right out
and touch the edge with just one outstretched hand and feel
the dark come closing in.
And there’s nowhere far enough away from here;
the ringing ears and the closing air, and the cities and deserts all beat the same;
the radio waves crackle and phase, the satellites spinning slowly round.
The radar towers search and call
to the Queen of my Heart, from the King of Nowhere …
This is the great world calling to the last crusader;
In the rush of the lifeblood coming out of the sunrise …
And you’re the Queen of my Heart … and I’m the King of Nowhere.

(—Sullivan/Heaton, 1995)

To Miranda, for ten astounding years.


Is this really the only planet I can live on?

From the AP wire, pointed out by TPM:

LONDONU.S. soldiers who detained an elderly Iraqi woman last year placed a harness on her, made her crawl on all fours and rode her like a donkey, Prime Minister Tony Blair’s personal human rights envoy to Iraq said Wednesday.

The envoy, legislator Ann Clwyd, said she had investigated the claims of the woman in her 70s and believed they were true.


Clwyd said the woman has recovered physically but remains traumatized.

“I am satisfied the case has now been resolved satisfactorily,” the envoy told British Broadcasting Corp. radio Wednesday. “She got a visit last week from the authorities, and she is about to have her papers and jewelry returned to her.”

Well. It’s certainly nice to know that our dear president finds this behavior “abhorrent.” Now, would it be impertinent of me to ask when the fuck heads are going to roll, how many heads are going to roll, and how far they will roll? Because it kinda sorta seems to me that a little bit of that might be called for here.

Remember: we have known about this since February.