Blogrotate #14: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Posted in: Technical Track

Happy Friday and welcome once again for news from the whacky world of IT. Big Thanks to Tim for pushing out last week’s edition. I was busy banging my head against a particularly nasty wall. If you think my head looks bad, you should see the wall.

I was at the Ottawa VMWare Mini Conference yesterday. It was quite interesting. There were some good keynotes by some good speakers. I especially enjoyed the breakout speaker from Cisco about their direction in the years to come, and I think I drooled a little when he was talking about the Nexus 5000 switch (578 ports ought to be enough for anyone). Also news to me was the Nexus 1000v virtual switch which is a plugin replacement for the standard vSphere 4.0 virtual switch and includes a full Cisco IOS for management. I also really enjoyed the breakout with the Ottawa Senators IT team describing their progression from physical to virtual servers, their challenges, business needs, and lessons learned. There was a lot more, including an enjoyable one by the EMC rep. I’m trying to get my slides and notes together and will likely post more on the mini-con at a later time. I won a door prize! Go me!

Now on to things that are not about me.

Operating Systems

Luke Dicker at Likewise has posted in his blog that their Likewise 5.4 Release included in Ubuntu 10.4 Alpha. We’ve been using likewise with a couple of clients here and it works wonders. Now there will be no reason not to use linux in your company’s AD infrastructure.

A critical vulnerability has been discovered that has been with us since the Windows NT 3,5 days. That’s 1993. This is an exploit against the legacy 16 bit emulation code used to allow old apps to run natively in Windows NT. Check out [Full-disclosure] Microsoft Windows NT #GP Trap Handler Allows Users to Switch Kernel Stack for the full details on the exploit. is going on in Wellington NZ this week. If you want to get the rundown of events, check out the coverage over at Linux Journal. Start with Linux.Conf.Au – Day One. You can get links to the other days from there.


Linux Magazine has a nifty article detailing all the cool stuff you can do with the VirtualBox command line interface. From the articleI was surprised at how many things you can do with it, very useful stuff. Check out VirtualBox’s Little Secret: The Command Line.


FireFox 3.6 was released today. This new version is a performance release, claiming to be 20% faster than 3.5. They have also made improvements to their Java engine, faster awesome bar and a theme like system called personas. You can read the full press release on the FireFox site Mozilla Delivers Firefox 3.6 to Millions of Users. You can download it from here. You can also find a review or 3.6 at Ars Technica, check out Review: Firefox 3.6 brings joy to Web devs, not just users.

It’s that time of year again. 90% of IPv4 address space used; IPv6 move looking messy!!!!!! Scream with meeeee!!!!11

Microsoft is releasing a patch for their vulnerability, found in every version of IE. Please see their Advance Notification for Out-of-Band Bulletin Release for full details.

If you are a perl developer and had trouble accessing cpan mirrors recently you may want to check out MSNBOT must die! on the CPAN testers blog. It seems some bots from Microsoft were hitting the mirrors creating a DOS effect, the bots ignored the robots.txt which is supposed to stop this sort of thing for compliant bots.

I am sure that there are other good stories I have missed here, so don’t be afraid to add your own into comments. Now I’m off to play with all the pens I got from vendor booths yesterday. Mmmm vendor pens. The sweetest pens of all.

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About the Author

Brad is just a guy, you know? I fought my way up in the world tooth-and-nail. Starting in broadcasting and music to travel to computer support to development of mid size xBase programs. Finally I settled into the wonderful world of system administration where I have honed my skills doing many diverse tasks. I started using Solaris in the mid 80's and built my first Linux system on a 386 using 30-some floppy disks and never looked back.

1 Comment. Leave new

Yanick Champoux
January 22, 2010 10:50 pm

> If you [..] had trouble accessing cpan mirrors recently

Just to clarify, from the original blog entry and the various snippets of information I’ve gleaned from other sources it’s the CPAN Tester site[1] that has been hit, not the CPAN mirrors[2]. Having the former slowed down is a pain in the neck of the Perl developer community, but wouldn’t affect casual CPAN users in any way.

And while Microsoft should be ashamed — ignoring robots.txt? Is that how their mothers raised them? — at last news a member of the Bing team was talking with the CPAN Testers to try to fix the issue. So with a minimum of good will, everything should be fixed before too longish.



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