Toorcon anyone?

September 5th, 2005

Since I’m starting orientation at a new school on Sept. 19th and have not even been to a con this calendar year (21C3 was just before new years) I thought I’d check out Toorcon (Sept. 16-18th) for the first time. My major incentive to go was that my main hacker-con buddy of mine was going… but then she bailed out (something about a new job – how lame is that? -j/k).

So, anyone want to join me in beautiful San Diego? Allow me to assist the decision making process for you:

  1. Cheap Flights on Southwest.com (and kayak too)
  2. Cheap Stay at Downtown San Diego or USA hostels just blocks from the con!
  3. Great Lineup of speakers including Dan Kaminsky (whose presentations always rock) so you’re sure to enjoy!
  4. It’s in S a n   D i e g o

Check it out and register now online by the 7th for only $70! (and a free T-shirt!) Drop me a line if you plan to be out there!

Dumb Admins = Your Lost Data

September 1st, 2005

This post fits nicely about my last one about always being sure to save your data… but as you will see, that’s not protection from ill-conceived computer network policies! [editor note:] To refine the headline, I know the admins are not “dumb” in the academic or technological sense, but upon implementing their latest technology features onto an unsuspecting userbase (with dire consequences) they have certainly failed to think about the users beyond themselves. So, I’ve been a student at UNO in the College of IS&T for a good 4-5 years (1 semester off to study abroad). I’ve always been proud of our network admins because we have several great features that make our computer labs better than the ones on main campus:

  • No student login/password required to use – so you can sit down and go straight to work – print that file or submit that homework assignment fast
  • Mozilla Firefox – for people that want a serious web browser with tabs
  • Other software – specific for IS&T students not found elsewhere on campus
  • Efficient printing w/o hassle – this was just last year, but you print, name the print job “whatever” and you swip your print card and choose the job to print, simple and fault tolerant
  • 1 Setback – No OpenOffice.org Yet – this really should have been out once OOo hit 1.0 in 2003, I should hope 2.0 final gets put on the desktops

Some other noteworthy properties of our lab:

  • Your files stay on the computer – even after you leave the lab, your files will be there all semester long if no one has deleted them, so a backup copy is in the lab if you ever need it
  • Lab closing announcement – the lab monitor always goes around 10-5 minutes before closing to tell students (usually in a middle-eastern accent) that the lab is about to close, so finish up your work

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