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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Monday October 18, 2004
09:11 PM

Windows lasted 3 minutes

[ #21399 ]

The Java class I am taking is being run by a professor who focuses on Microsoft software. So when teaching us JDBC, he distributed a Microsoft Access database file (.mdb). Running Linux means that using this not an option (unless I can figure out how to get wine configured and run an ODBC connection through it.) So I figure I'm going to have to boot into my Windows partition. Darn.

I'm running a software firewall on my Linux partition, so I don't have a hardware firewall. Rather than go out and buy a router with a built-in firewall, a coworker pointed out that my DSL modem (Netopia Cayman 330) might have one built in. I downloaded the docs for it and, sure enough, it does. Regrettably, as far as I can tell, Earthlink reprogrammed the modem and the Web server within it to serve the Earthlink configuration pages and, in the process, shut off access to the internal firewall. Calling Earthlink's "technical support" for it was a joke. The guy I talked to told me several times to just read the manual, but naturally the one sheet of paper they sent me had no reference to a firewall. I pointed this out several times, but he kept referring me back to it. It was only when I asked about second-level tech support did he suggest that option. Theoretically they will call me.

So what do I do? I boot into Windows, turn off the modem and install their CD, hoping that it will give me access to the modem's built-in firewall. No dice. I decide to take a chance, configure everything, go out and download an evaluation version of a firewall. I've heard that the average unprotected Windows box lasts about 20 minutes. I can find things pretty fast, so I'm hoping I can beat the window.

I lasted 3 about three minutes. My box is now infected with something (apparently the Sasser worm) and keeps shutting down. Damn.

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  • No need to boot into Windows. Just use MDB Tools [] to extract the data from the .mdb and load it into something more sensible.
    • Regrettably, the instructor requires that we be able to read and write to the file as part of our Java classes. When I turn in my work, he has to run it. That doesn't work too well if I'm using Postgres or something like that :)

      I'm half tempted to send him a link to, but I understand where he's coming from. His job is much easier if he can use technologies that most of his students can use automatically and he has no problem debugging.

      In other news, my box is now clean, a firewall and anti

      • His job is much easier if he can use technologies that most of his students can use automatically and he has no problem debugging.

        Yes, I'm sure it would be. Why is he using Access again? :)

    • I understand where he's coming from. He's coming from an assumption that his students are idiots who only know how to drive the Windows tools that they were taught in secretarial college. This may even be a correct assumption :-)