The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, October 11, 2002

An overheard conversation between system administrators whilst at lunch in a local bar and grill …

“I caught another customer spamming. Very annoying—took me nearly fifteen minutes to figure out how he was doing it before I could stop it.”

“I thought your company was friendly towards spammers?”

“I don't care what corporate says; if I catch someone spamming through our system, I'll cut them off. Of course, I couldn't just delete the account though.”


“But it did get sent to Abuse, and I nearly blocked their IP address from our system.”

“You didn't try mounting their drives and reformatting them?”

“That goes way beyond my ethics.”

“Even just wiping out their WINDOWS directory, assuming they are running Windwows?”

“Nope, wouldn't even do that.”

“What about changing their IP stack?”

“In what way?”

“So that, say, only localhost reponds?”

“Hmmmm, I might have to give that some consideration.”

“Or seeing how the minimum IP header size is 20 bytes, changing their MTU to oh … say … 10 bytes?”

“Would it even work then?”

“I don't know, actually.”

“Would that even crash Linux?”

“You know, I don't know how any TCP/IP stack would deal with an MTU that small. A receiving host would probably just toss such a packet a way as being corrupted or just bad.”

“Yes, but what about the sending side?”

“Might be worth trying on the next spammer … ”

A question of power

Friend and reader Steve Crane send the following to me in email:

Hi Sean,

I recall reading in your blog a while back that you were dissappointed with the battery life of your new digital camera. I came across this article today that might give you some ideas on improving it.


Well, since then, I've found that the Rayovac NiMH rechargable batteries seem to work wonders in the camera as I can get hours, nay, days, of use out of these batteries in the digital camera. I had attempted to use the Rayovac Alkaline rechargable batteries in the camera (since I found they work great for the Newton I have) but they lasted all of maybe five seconds, if that.

But the NiMH ones work beautifully, and I can use the same recharger for both these and the Alkalines.

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