xiven.com stating the blatantly obvious since 2002


Yes I am still alive.

It's my first weblog entry for 2006 and lots of things have happened so I guess I should write something about at least some of them.


Well that was a long time ago now! It was the usual 'travel down to England to be with the family for a week' kind of thing. I met up with the uni crowd in Bath where good fun was had by all.


Came back to work straight after the Christmas trip to find out that our intranet server (the one I'd set up over 2 years ago) had been compromised in my absence and was filling up our bandwidth with connections to various IRC servers and apparently performing random port scans. It had been done through an old copy of AWStats that I'd forgotten was even installed on it (previously we didn't have port 80 open so keeping things up to date wasn't a top priority for us). What a nice Christmas present that was - still, I clearly needed a good kick in the teeth to knock some security sense into me.

I cleaned up the damage as best I could, but ultimately the only way to ensure that all backdoors etc. were removed was to completely re-install it (as far as I could tell they didn't get root access, but there's no way to be sure). Given this and various other issues we'd been having we decided to buy a brand new server and start afresh on that. Naturally it being all new hardware, getting Debian to work on it was a "fun" process, but it's all up and running now. Which is nice.

Things are still busy as ever at work, juggling fixing bugs and adding new features to our intranet with creating websites for various clients, doing contract work on another company's "extranet" and occasionally helping out with order processing and stock control.


I'm still playing World of Warcraft which has been consuming a rather large portion of my free time (partly responsible for my lack of activity on this weblog). I was recently promoted in our guild to Class Leader, which means I do the same thing as before but have extra responsibilities which consume even more time. Still, it's all good fun ☺. Our guild has now taken down all the bosses in the 2nd 40-man dungeon known as Blackwing Lair and is now busy working through the new Ahn'Qiraj instance.

Well that's about it, hopefully it won't be another 4 months till my next entry.

Posted: 2006-03-23 01:26:29 UTC by Xiven | Cross-references (0) | Comments (10)




  • Kai Hendry (2006-03-23 05:23:57 UTC)

    Glad to hear you are using Debian. =) Are you using `stable`?

    Was awstats a Debian package?

  • Xiven (Registered) (2006-03-23 10:19:54 UTC)

    Actually, because of the problems with hardware support, particularly with the SATA controller, I gave up trying to get Sarge to work, so we're using 'unstable' (aka etch). Since it's not serving out any live websites I can get away with that.

    The copy of AWStats originally installed on the old box was not a Debian package (one was not available at the time I installed it). Fortunately we now live in enlightened times and there is a package available (apt-get install awstats - well actually I tell a lie, I use aptitude).

  • Kai Hendry (2006-03-23 12:54:46 UTC)

    I wouldn't use an in-development OS such as etch. I think Ubuntu's 5.10 "Hoary" release probably fits your needs and it's pretty stable and only 6 months old.

    I would still use apt-get from the shell if I were you too. :)

  • Xiven (Registered) (2006-03-23 13:12:48 UTC)

    Ubuntu for a server? Seems a bit daft tbh, I'd only end up having to remove Gnome and all its associated crap. 6 months old is probably too old anyway, Sarge is newer than that. Of course I meant 'testing' not 'unstable' though you probably gathered that.

    What I can tell you is that this server performs perfectly and it lets me use decent up-to-date versions of PHP and MySQL without having to resort to backport sources like http://www.dotdeb.org which I was forced to do with the old server (MySQL 3.xx anyone?).

    Oh, and aptitude rocks, so there.

  • Kai Hendry (2006-03-23 23:49:39 UTC)

    Aptitude is good. Though this post spooked me: http://blog.sesse.net/blog/tech/Debian/2006-03-21-19-27_aptitude_isn_t_stable.html

    Can you automate aptitude?

    Ubuntu has a server install option, so you can avoid bloatware like Gnome.

    I did think etch was unstable. I guess testing is alright, esp. since it now has security updates.

    Still use PHP? Haven't you poked around Rails or Webpy.org? ;)

  • Ian Hickson (2006-03-24 02:00:32 UTC)

    Xiven goes dark for four months and all you guys can talk about is what distro he uses at work?! I'm just glad he's alive!!!!

  • Xiven (Registered) (2006-03-24 02:09:23 UTC)

    Aww, I'm touched by your concern for my well-being Hixie, thanks. ☺

    Yes Kai, I still use PHP, don't really have the time or the inclination to learn another language at the moment. I've just started using PHP5 as one of our clients is keen on the object-oriented side of things and we needed all the juicy new OO stuff in 5.

  • Tom Oliver (2006-04-19 07:26:21 UTC)

    Why are you ignoring me Xiven. I really really need the mower on your page linked in my name. Why are you not letting me have it. It would solve all my lawn problems.
    My lawn is 6 foot tall, and infested with snakes (many poisonous). Do you really want me getting bitten by them?

  • Xiven (Registered) (2006-04-22 01:36:13 UTC)

    "Do you really want me getting bitten by them?"
    Well it would solve a great many problems.

  • Tom Oliver (2006-04-24 07:03:22 UTC)

    How could you say that you heartless bastard. When I am in hospital from many bites, I will make sure to sue you. I'll see you in court