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.