Category Archives: Life - Page 2

mail work, or, what Ben does at night

One might ask themselves what excatly I do when I get home from work that keeps me so busy and prevents me from getting things done such as writing that VoIP review or working on my Mac collection or the other dozen projects I have going on at any given time.

Take tonight for example. Several months ago I installed a scaleable SQL based mailserver solution for a client. As part of some regular maintenance I was applying security patches to the server tuesday night. I knew there was a problem with the sasl2-bin package that broke PAM authentication so I had avoided it in the past but for some reason it got included in this update, my suspician was that the newer version was a dependancy for some other package.

In any event the newer version got halfway installed and errored out, at this point you couldn’t fininsh installing it or removing it, I spent some time on it but had to get to bed so I could get to work in the morning. Yesterday I had another committment to go help setup a PPP modem pool for a friend and by the time I got back I could only spend another hour or so on the problem and spent most of that cleaning up the install.

So tonight after dinner I finished cleaning up the old install, removed the package from the dpkg database by hand, reinstalled the package successfully and then made all the changes so that the package would work correctly with the client’s SQL database backend. Of course I then found out that the password crypt style had changed so I had to expire all passwords and change the imap server, pop server, webmail, and backend administration program to use the new crypt style which was as easy as changing some config files for some of the programs but for others I had to hand edit php code. Fun stuff. At least I’m done now, well sort of, I hear there’s a new version of the MTA availible too so a postfix upgrade is in the future as well… I think I’ll save that for another day.

busy but not forgotten

Sorry for the lack of updates, I really do mean to update this with some new research I’ve been working on. I’ve been quite busy with a number of other projects such as transferring about 40 hours of Square One TV to DVD, designing a database driven website for a customer, launching a non-profit organization, updating the blogging software on three sites, launching a new online community and a number of other things, you know besides the 40 hour a week job and living life. One day I will get around to updating this though. I do have pent up research on both VoIP systems and enterprise anti-spyware systems that merits articles.

Webcam Lives Again

I’ve been really, really busy getting settled in back home for the summer and working on my internship, mode updates on all that at a later time. Because of my internship I was able to get a 3Com HomeConnect webcam that is compatible with my current OS so my webcam is back up. Click this link to check it out!

almost done

I’m almost finished with the first semester of my senior year! Classes ended Wednesday, I have a final Monday, one Tuesday and one Wednesday. I’ve been really really busy as of late, mostly finishing up the school year and preparing for CurrentJam. More on that at

one and only one

Tonight I went to a concert on campus. The first one (other than band and choir) I’ve gone to in my three and a half years here. This is because normally they get some really bad bands and a lot of bands that don’t appeal to me. Apparently they don’t appeal to many other students either because they usually get a terrible turnout for them. This one was different, over 500 tickets were sold. They weren’t all college students by any stretch of the imagination, but there were still a lot more college students than usually go to concerts on campus. I think this shows pretty well that the committee that selects the live music on campus has no idea what students want to hear. The students who want to hear the kind of music they bring to school are the ones who won’t show up, either because it’s school sponsored or because there’s no alcohol. In any event they just don’t get a turnout like this. So what was this hoppin’ band that everyone turned out to see? None other than the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Who says college students don’t appreciate real music?

two fewer teeth

Today I have two fewer teeth than yesterday. The wisdon teeth extractions went even better than planned, compared to my previous dental adventures (stories for another time) this was very straightforward. I have no pain and am on no painkillers including ibuprofen. Hopefully I’ll continue to feel well the next few days as my gums heal. As for now, I’ve been eating anything I feel like and have just been careful not to irritate the area.

So what did I do today? I came home from the extraction (way early in the morning for me) and took an hour nap, watched some steam train documentaries that I got for Christmas read a few books and tore apart the laser printer at home (twice) to replace a gear that had stripped and was causing paper jams. All in all a fairly normal day.


Just a Quick Note: Wisdom Teeth (2) come out tomorrow morning at 7:10am central, I can hardly wait…


We got some snow today! It’s about time, although the meterologists suggested we may get up to a foot, all we have right now is a dusting. I’ll take what I can get though. I went out and did some winter photography this morning, it wasn’t as nice as the snow we got at the beginning of the month, but maybe it’ll stick around this time. I’ll be sure to post the photos once I get them developed.

Speaking of photos, I know I promised and haven’t posted photos from our summer trip to Boston. Fear not! They are on the way and I haven’t forgotten, I just haven’t had the time yet, it’s been quite busy lately as you might imagine and I promise sometime soon I will get them up.

Stay tuned.

and the music plays

Update on the Battle of the bands!
I got to listen to eight bands play tonight the names are:
Bahookie Jacobs
Fetal Funk Bass 3000
Organized Dysfunction
Throw the Fight
Yak Farm and the Atomic Downbeats
Drafting Room

They ranged from very good to pretty bad and represented a wide spectrum of music; however, there are three that I would enjoy hearing again:
Bahookie Jacobs – your typical jam band with fairly good musicians and lyrics
Yak Farm… – Instrumentalists
Prihoda – Included a great lead singer and flutist

In other news: It’s the top of the 11th in the Boston/NYY game and the score is tied 5-all. Personally I’m rooting for Boston. After the Twins were eliminated I was really looking for a Cubs/Boston series, but even with that no longer a possibility I think it would be great fun to see Boston win a series for a change. Anyone but the Yankees…

Hard at Work, or, Hardly Working

What an interesting night! For those of you who haven’t heard I’ve been team teaching one of the mid-level networking classes here at UW-Stout on Thursday nights. Tonight I had an hour of lecture planned for six to seven PM after which I was scheduled to work at Event Services for a “Battle of the Bands” as it’s homecoming week here.

Let me tell you, it’s quite a shock and difference to go from being the authority figure in a classroom to a “normal” student job in a matter of mnutes. At 7:00 I was finishing the last sentence of my lecture on the Cisco Network Designer software and by 7:15 I was helping to change over a band on stage. It made quite an impression on me. I think a similar example would be if you were working as an upper level manager in a Fortune 500 company and then, instead of going home at the end of the day you went to a grocery store and stocked shelves. It’s a strange feeling.

In other job related news, I gave my two weeks notice to Event Services today. It’s been increasingly frustrating for me to work here as they made some bad hiring decisions at the end of last year and a few people not doing their jobs has caused a lot of paperwork and hassle for the rest of us. After deciding the job was going nowhere and finding I wasn’t having any fun showing up to work the vast majority of the time I asked my other employer (the Telecom Department (academic program))if they would like to take my hours from Event Services and they said yes I thought about it a few days and decided that I shouldn’t be workingat a job that wasn’t fun for me anymore.

On the plus side I will have added responsibilities in the Telecom department and really love the people I work with there. It’s too bad that Event Services took the turn it did because I initially loved the job. Unfortunatly soem poor decisions on the part of a manager caused a number of problems that will likely take a long time to straighten out. When we are able to all pull together (like tonight for the battle of the bands) we still work very well, but for day to day operations it just isn’t working anymore.

All’s well that ends well and I look forward to the new challenges presented to me. I also love teaching my class, but more on that another time!