This Space for Rent

Idle hands are the devils playthings

At work, we've got a IT department that's mainly concerned with keeping the windows machines running. This usually keeps them out of trouble, because Windows is traditionally a nonstop supply of bug-ridden fun. However, it appears that we've finally got a version of Windows XP supersupremo + patches that's moderately stable (== the antivirus scanner doesn't detect any bugs), so they've got time to go back and work on some of the executive-level punchlist. Like, oh, making it possible to audit network traffic by the simple expedient of forcing all outgoing network connections to go through some horrible microsoft proxy server which makes you log into it before it will route your traffic.

For web traffic, this is no problem™, even when the stupid server flakes out and makes you login for each item on a webpage. But if you've got a telnet or ssh connection, it's not quite so easy, so they just blocked them altogether. Which is tremendously useful if you need to get offsite for any reason, like if you want to download Linux source code that's hosted on a webserver on port!=80.

If my old management was in place, it would have been much more annoying, because my old management allowed me to do some work from home and I would use ssh to retrieve files that I forgot to copy in when I was using the stupid rube goldberg remote access method that Microsoft uses. Fortunately the new management doesn't allow working from home (or flextime, because programmers are much more productive when they have to punch a timeclock!), so I'll never write code at home and then forget to copy it over to the dark satanic coding mills.

It's like I'm being managed by a bunch of ferrets. Sharp teeth, short attention spans, and .... Ooooh, shiny! If it wasn't for the sucky American "healthcare" system, I'd say that this is G-d's way of telling me it's time for me to have my midlife crisis.


You do a great injustice when comparing management to ferrets. Ferrets are cute.

Francois Wed Jul 12 18:23:38 2006

It’s pretty much the same story at my shop, other than we have an annoying Cisco proxy that forces you to log in far more than it should… sigh.

Aaron B. Hockley Wed Jul 12 21:15:29 2006

The MS proxy server will use (passthrough) authentication from the domain. Piece of cake. Users trying to go to blocked sites get the login box. Some of those blocked sites are links on pages. I block only malicious sites like doubleclick.

Ken Parks Tue Jul 18 08:07:50 2006

Well, it’s a piece of something. I don’t know if I’d call it cake, though; when the proxy goes stupid and asks me for a login and password for every single item on TSFR’s homepage, I don’t think it’s passing any authentication through.

They’re planning on putting net nanny in to filter web traffic, too. It’s lovely working for a company that has decided to treat me like an adult, isn’t it?

David Parsons Tue Jul 18 21:26:45 2006

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