Think like a virus!

Not related to L.A.M.P. technologies, but a useful quote to remember if you are a net admin:

As a network administrator, you have to think like a virus.
How can I get into a network?
Which points are the most vulnerable?
Once in, what’s the easiest path to destruction?

From the “Windows sources” magazine, July 1997 issue, page 158, “NT admin> Stop network attacks” by David Chernicoff


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Look is like a restricted grep

The look command is for looking up if a word exists in /usr/share/dict/words file, at least for most users. But, as the man page defines:

look — display lines beginning with a given string

which means that, for example, this command:

look what file

is equivalent to this command (with the exception that look ignores all whitespace characters at start):

grep ‘^what’ file

With this in mind, we can search easily for comment lines in all javascript files:

look ‘//’ *.js

or in .bashrc

look ‘#’ ~/.bashrc

For more, there is always grep, of course.


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Focus-stealing applications

I don’t like focus-stealing applications (and I bet that I’m not the only one)! They are like kids who are struggling for your attention while you ‘re working with something else, constantly interrupting your thoughts and work flow.

Is it so difficult for the developers to take this thing into consideration?
Come on people, don’t you get annoyed when you are developing _and_ testing these applications?

An example:
I started using FriendFeed’s desktop application, which notifies me when something occurs in my friends streams. It’s a well designed application, taking very little area in my desktop, except when there are new bubble-notifications. Then, whatever I’m doing I have to stop, because little bubbles start popping up while, at the same time, becoming the top-level window (thus stealing my keystrokes)! Usually, if I’m in the middle of something important I end up unloading this little ghost!

I strongly believe that tray-located applications must be as transparent as they can be. They are there to work silently and (probably) notify the user, but without interrupting the work she’s doing, otherwise they are not useful but distracting.


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3D: Desktop Describing Day

Our desktops are (like) our offices, right?
Well, not for me friends!

Although my 3D (i.e. real life) office is rather messy (at least for other people, not for me of course), my computer desktop is rather simple.

I work usually with my laptop, as most people do these days, and, since I’m rather a CLI person, I like it ‘naked’. I’m using XFCE as my window manager with 2 virtual desktops (featuring a dark, mostly black, photo from my favorite tv-show as a background picture and only 4 icons which I rarely open) and its tray sitting on the lower right corner with a bottom-up direction.

This tray contains (bottom -> up): battery readings, time/date, gwibber, RSIBreak, the sound applet and the open applications bar.

I have only two windows open all the time: xfce4-terminal (with at least 3 open tabs) and Firefox (with 2+ open tabs). Of course, when needed, I may open OpenOffice.org or some other windows, but usually I work with just these two.

Don’t worry about underusing my laptop; it’s actually a full LAMP server, working 24/7 and serving 4 web sites (for now).

You may find this arrangement rather minimalistic, but I find it very work-oriented and I prefer it from a more complicated one.

So, what is your desktop like?


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