A few weekends ago, I went to Norfolk, to help out someone I care about get their office network fixed. I planned on getting some beach time in, but that didn't happen. I spent the better part of Friday and into Saturday fixing up a severely hacked network in a small office. We're not sure how it happened, but it was apparent this small office was being used as some kind of access point for hackers. We think they either got in due to a very poorly installed cable router, or an unsecured wireless access point. In any case, the whole system was beset by viruses, Trojans, DNS hacks, and disabled anti-virus software. The whole shop was set up on Win98/NT4.0, too, many without any current patches or updates. Luckily, there was only a handful of computers to fix. I did so much work, I ended up getting "compensated" with ... cash, so that took the edge off of it. Plus, I learned first hand about a real-life hacked network.
Another weekend, I finally got to meet Perry Flannagan, the newborn second child of our friends Brian and Lori. Christine and I helped babysit Galen and Perry, while their parents Brian and Lori unpacked a lot of their stuff from their recent move. They have a really nice house with a ton of land (like 5 acres). I educated Brian about septic systems, and they were very grateful to have someone handle the kids while they ran around and unpacked. I hope to visit them again soon. They have great kids.
I saw "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," which was as good as everyone said it would be. I liked some of the "old film" quality touches, like it was a strange dream or something. The fact the kids had grown so much wasn't as distracting as I had thought it would be either (awaiting the inevitable "countdown to 18" sites for Emma Watson ... blecch). Too bad that director's not doing the Goblet of Fire.
Oh, and the big news about changing jobs. An "old friend" tapped me for a position within his group. The opportunity is better, the job skills are definitely down my alley, and the pay will be more. Possibly a lot more. I could really use this job. I am chronicling the changes in my technical blog, so if that interests you, check there.
I also became an employee of Mystic Station Designs! It's official. I signed the NDA and everything, so I will be writing for them. I got to talk with their main editor at a gaming demo in Chantilly a few weeks ago, and got some leads on what they need. I submitted some demos of my own, and they are very interested in fleshing out some fiction outlines they have for adventures and "tales of the gaming table." Good news is they also picked up the last copies of my book, and will have it on their website and everything! Kory also discussed possibilities of printing my next Punk Walrus book sometime later in the year (right now, they are very busy). I will be doing more gaming demos and traveling with them to Gencon this year. I really love working with this group, and look forward to the writing and publishing opportunities they have in store.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000521.html