Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Web host.

The one I use in this instance is excellent at everything they do. Excellent in their service. Excellent in that their uptimes are better than most in their category. In fact they are quite simply brilliant. Maybe not the absolute best in a big market but they are the best for the market they aim for and that is people like me who just want their hosting to work.

But, (isn't there always one of those?) the one single thing they fall down on. The one single thing that shows a total lack of security nuance. The one thing that makes a Linux or UNIX user spit out his or her coffee. The one single thing that I personally could never use and that is they offer telnet as a connection service. That is right. Telnet. No SSH at all.

When I tried to prompt them about this I got some garbled reply about how to use the telnet service. In my reply to that I asked again why they offer the much maligned and insecure telnet over the much vaunted and secure SSH. This time I got an answer and that answer was "telnet comes preinstalled on most computers so we offer that as a service." Or words to that affect.

Now, colour me blue and call me Mandy but that smacks of pandering to their Microsoft Windows using customers and being Windows users this sort of makes sense in a perverse sort of way.

In case you don't get that let me explain it to you. We all know how insecure Microsoft Windows is and we Linux users know how insecure telnet is. So, the fact that my hosting provider says telnet comes preinstalled on most systems and those most systems are Microsoft Windows can you see why their is a sort of perverse irony going on in that? And can you see how it all makes sense in a perverse sort of way? Good. I knew you would get it in the end.

They are really very good and cheap to boot for a casual hosting needing person/company. I guess if your site is getting millions of hits per week then they will not be for you. They offer one, yes, just one, package in the true meaning of "one package fits all" mode but what they actually offer is very very good for the price. But telnet? Come on Web Mania you know better than to offer a telnet service over an SSH one, fix that and you will be by far the best of breed.

Oh and my (preferred by far) hosting company is Web Mania. I will let you Google that rather than give you a link to click on.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Linux support.

I am thinking about hardware, be it and internal card or external thing. It is becoming rarer and rarer for anything to be plugged inside a tower box not to be working. Sometimes one has to hunt down a driver but that is a rare event too these days. External hardware, especially in the printing area is as bad now as it ever was for us Linux based operating system using folk.

My wife went out and bought a Lexmark 6550 all-in-one printer thinking that Lexmark were like Epson or Brother who either do have a Linux driver for their printers or the PPD file is included with Cups or the foomatic collection. Lexmark however do neither.

On some of their printers Lexmark use some proprietory thing that they have never released the specifications for so that some bright spark in the Linux collective can write a driver. When emailing Lexmark customer service, if it can be called that, and complain about owning what openprinting call a brick then you get a boiler plate replying that basically says we know but we don't care. Lovely.

Avoid Lexmark stuff that is not known to the openprinting database of working printers. Oh and do not bother Lexmark customer service with Linux queries of any kind as they simply do not care and a growing band of users.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh it does annoy me!

For the last 12 or so years I have created a mariad of bash scripts that do all manner of tasks. Some are very simple while others are huge and complex monsters but the underlaying theme across them all is that i have shared almost all of them.

This can and does create problems when other people with less scruples than myself take some script I have done and rework it claiming it is all their own work. Now, given the time span over which these scripts have been written it may be that those people assume the script to be a lost work where the author of has long since disappeared. Even so, that should not mean the original author should not get at least a nod for his original code and even a cursery nod if the idea behind the original and new is used as a basis for the new work.

Instead what I see is various people who simply create a new work either based (forked) off the original script or a new work that is simply a stolen idea behind the original idea. This goes completely against the ideals of the GPL a license I use for all distributed works, but does sadly show the times we now live under where theft, of any kind, is considered perfectly acceptable.

It does bloody annoy me all the same.

A simply attribute that says "this script is based on a script by <blah> called <blah> which can be found <blah>" or  even as simple as "the idea behind this script came from <blah> by <blah>". But no, instead there are no such attributes and instead either the idea or actual code chunks are lifted and called their own.

It sucks but is a part of all those aged under 20 who see everything as being free even when it so clearly is not. And that goes for every country on this lump of rock we call Earth. And, it really does annoy me.