Monthly Archives: June 2006

  • I Quit My Job

    Today was my last day at Highland Clinic. It was not unexpected, and if you know me well, you knew about it already. I gave only two weeks notice because I didn’t know whether or not they would flip out and fire me immediately, and I wanted to at least be able to have my vacation money to hold me over between jobs. Keeping a secret like that from lots of people for more than a month is quite difficult, and unfortunately I told one person who doesn’t know how to keep a secret.

    I don’t regret leaving. I left for a number of reasons, both personal and professional. The lack of office supplies is pretty pedantic to even be talking about, but I did bring it up in my exit interview. As an employee who has worked there loyally for three years, I think I deserved my own stapler, tape dispenser, and scissors. My boss felt differently about it. It boils down to money not getting spent where it needs to be spent… in my opinion, of course. I have a limited viewpoint, that of the IT infrastructure and its effect on the business as a whole. The office supplies are merely an analog to talk about larger problems.

    The environment I worked in wasn’t very conducive to working. I had to sit in a room with a bunch of other people who didn’t perform the same job as me. I liked them, but it did make concentrating on my job harder, and I’m fairly certain it had a similar effect on them. The phone was constantly ringing, because my job duties entailed that of a lowly support person (sorry if you do support like I recently did), a programmer (all the intranet applications programming), network support (both LAN and NOS tasks), and anything else “specified by the IT Manager”. Many things were specified by the IT Manager. If you’d like to replace me, see the CareerBuilder post (mirrored here for when it’s deactivated or filled).

    Although I’ve been dissatisfied for awhile, I felt unable to voice my opinions for fear of being fired, as I felt was the case with other employees. I was able to land an excellent job doing what I love to do, programming. It’s a new language and I’ve been practicing it, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ll be working for Morris & Dickson, and more specifically their New Tech Computer Systems.

    I’ve visited the facilities and my office and desk specifically. I feel it will be a much better environment, and a place where I can put my skills to dedicated use in the most productive manner possible. I think I’ll be able to get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing lots of people using something that I’ve written, or at something to which I’ve contributed code. I saw that at Highland Clinic on a small scale, but many more people are affected by Morris & Dickson applications.

    My last day was great, though. I kept pretty busy and worked through lunch and left around 3:50pm. I had a pest control appointment at 4, and I was a little late. A lot of people brought a ton of food for a party for my last day, my boss’ birthday, and Kelli’s birthday. Ashley made me pasta salad, which was great as usual, and surprisingly I enjoyed John’s wife’s chip dip a lot too. I don’t normally like guacamole based things, but Sharon’s dip was exceptional. My exit interview lasted a long time. The HR person listened to everything I had to say, but seemed more interested in defending Highland Clinic against my criticisms, rather than just listening to my concerns. I’m not saying she didn’t listen. I’m just saying I think it would be more appropriate to be less defensive, especially if the person is leaving.

    All my old contact methods remain except my old work MSN which few people knew anyway. I have no hard feelings toward Highland Clinic, but I’m not sorry I’m leaving. I’m incredibly excited about my new job, and I start at New Tech on Monday. I’ll try to blog about it before the first week is over. No promises, though.

    (Disclaimer: None of the text in this post or comments on it represent the opinions of my current or past employers. None of the postings on this site do, but I felt it expressly needed to point out that none of these things should be taken for fact or used for any official purpose. These are my opinions and perceptions.)

  • MySpace Flash Virus Spreading like Wildfire

    I posted the following as a bulletin on MySpace, but I figured it might be best to post here too (for the good of Google). More people need to know about this. Also, here’s a link to my MySpace.

    Several important things before the explanation:
    1) I didn’t post the “Fuck all ya’ll niggas” post
    2) I didn’t post the “Get free laptops” or whatever post
    3) If you viewed the former, you should look at the bulletins “you’ve posted”

    If you actually know me, you probably know I didn’t post either. It appears what happened is that there is a flash “virus” going around via bulletins.

    Normally stupid people are fooled into clicking on “surveys” or whatever like “Do you think Bush is a good leader?” In actuality when you click on those, it is posting back to a form on MySpace’s servers. Since the people who made those forms are too stupid to verify the referrer, that tricks people into having bulletins posted as them. I was actually laughing about this phenomenon with people at lunch on the Friday before last.

    However, I specifically remember looking at Chele‘s “18 and older pics” bulletin that I now realize she probably didn’t actually post. I use Firefox and the Adblock Plus extension, so I see an Adblock tab on all flash applets. One showed and I specifically remember clicking on it and seeing an offsite, invisible flash applet that was titled bob.swf.

    It didn’t do anything, so I figured it was a failed slideshow or something she tried to post. Apparently that must have “infected” me. When flash runs inside the browser, it runs inside the context of the currently logged on user… in this case, me. It also has all the rights and privileges of the logged on user, including posting of bulletins. Since it can read the current url, it can also get the “token” and cookies that are used to identify a user on MySpace.

    So, while I was looking at a page that was seemingly doing nothing, there was a Flash applet posting as me on myspace. So now I have no idea what has been sent because it could have just as easily deleted messages from my outbox after sending them.

    Again, this is not my fault, since I just viewed a bulletin, but I thought it might be advisable to anyone using Firefox and Adblock to block: http://*/bob.swf

    That file name can (and probably will change), but myspace needs to stop flash from loading in bulletins or actually implement some kind of captcha or something for posting.

    If you aren’t technical enough to understand all of what I just posted, you’re probably one of the people who posts bulletins unknowingly because you want a “friends tracker” or something, so it’s not like it changes your life anyway. This is an interesting attack vector, though.

    So, if you use Internet Explorer, you’re screwed. You’re going to be posting bulletins that you don’t want to post. If you use Firefox, do what I’m about to do and install the Flashblock extension. It requires you to click on a flash animation to start it. This will prevent the automatic infections (unless you click on it).

    I hope this helps someone else.


    I hope that clears some things up and I hope that it helps some other people as well who may be less technically inclined. Much to my chagrin, many things have been going out as me, including racist posts, thanks to a combination of MySpace insecurity and Macromedia Flash.

  • Netgear Routers Die from Overheating

    Netgear routers really suck. They get really hot and then just stop functioning until you turn them off and let them cool down. This affects the wireless and not the wired portion usually. I’m only using a WRT614 router as an 802.11g access point, but it’s been totally unstable. I found out that I am not alone. Almost everyone who gets one of these has it start overheating at some point.

    So, I went ahead and modded my router by slapping a fan on top, cutting holes, affixing screws and nuts, and soldering the fan power to the internal power input. It isn’t the best looking thing in the world, but it seems to be completely stable now. Check out the pictures over on my Flickr photostream.

    Router Mod

    PS – Sorry for the blurry picture quality. I’ll probably redo these at some point. I just snapped these in low light early this AM when I got home from a friend’s apartment (where I did the drilling and soldering).

    PPS – Yes, I’m a huge nerd.