Happy New Year!

     Have a Happy New Year!

     If your celebration involves intoxicants, please be responsible and don’t drive under the influence.

     May the coming year, 2016, be your best yet!

Eskimo North Users Meeting

     The next Eskimo North Users Meeting will be held on January 16th at 2PM at Razzi’s Pizza on the Northwest corner of 85th N ST and Greenwood Ave N in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle.

     In spite of all the e-mail I got from people who would be out of town traveling at Christmas, the turnout at the last meeting was still around 20 persons, more than I expected, and warranting a banquet room.  Spiro’s was unable to accommodate us for this next meeting so it will be held at Razzi’s, another location suggested by one of our customers.

     I got a LOT of feedback regarding the last meeting so I will attempt to come better prepared for your questions.  It’s been a long time, I’m out of practice.


     I have installed ownCloud, provides similar functionality to dropbox but it’s all here and included with your ordinary account. I’ve set the file size limitations to a rather large 4.9 GB enabling sharing of full DVDs such as Linux distributions, etc. If this gets a lot of use I may need to resize some partitions.

     There is much functionality beyond what I presently have enabled as I am still learning it. But if you need a particular capability please let me know and I will focus on that.

     It is available at https://www.eskimo.com/owncloud .. or https://www.eskimo.com/ Web Apps -> ownCloud

Reboot’s 10pm 12/24

     If the weather holds today, I am going to go to the co-location facility and reboot the host machines tonight at approximately 10pm, which will reboot and interrupt everything.  This is necessary to load new kernels.  This will interrupt service for approximately 15-20 minutes.  Not all machines will be rebooted simultaneously.

Phishing Scam

If you receive the following:

Dear Web-mail User

Your Mail quota has reached limit, You might not be able to send or get
updates until you re-validate your mailbox.

To re-validate your mailbox reply to this mail and fill your.

{user-name :
{Password :
{Confirm Password

… know that this was NOT sent by us. It is a scam attempting to get your account information.

Strong Passwords

     The old ‘eskimo.com’ SunOS server is the NIS (Network Information Services) master where passwords are kept and distributed.

     It is so because Linux is backwards compatible but passwords generated on Linux would be unusable on that machine.

     However this arrangement presents some problems.  Chief among them is that there is no means to enforce strong passwords and passwords are limited in terms of significant characters to half of what Linux allows.

     A secondary problem is that because of incompatibilities, in order to change a password, it is necessary to login to the old machine and change it.

     A near term fix for this will be setting up a Linux based NIS master and maintaining an independent database on the old machine, probably. There are some replacement password systems for these old machines which I am investigating for compatibility with Linux.  If one can’t be found then access will be via special request rather than available automatically.

     In the longer term I hope to move away from NIS altogether and switch over to LDAP.  I have not had success in getting LDAP to compile under SunOS thus far.

     I need to ask you folks please choose more complex passwords. A word, or a word with a number after it, is NOT secure.  Dictionary attacks will find these in about five nanoseconds.

     It is advisable to choose a rich character set in your password, preferably UPPER and lower case, numbers, and punctuation.  Your password should be at least eight characters long and preferably longer.  It is best that the letter portion not be dictionary words, choose say the 2nd letter from each word in a sentence or something else you can remember but won’t be in a dictionary.

     When an account is compromised and used to send spam, it results in remote sites with crappy spam handling, blocking all e-mail from our site.  Yahoo is most problematic in this regard.  For this reason it is important that you secure your account with a strong password.

Today’s Meeting

     I want to thank everybody who honored and blessed me with your presence at Today’s Meeting.  There was about 20 people or so.  I would have reserved the banquet room if I knew the turn-out was going to be this big but I had received 3 or 4 e-mails from people who said they would show and about a dozen who said they’d be traveling to spend Christmas with relatives.

     We will have the next meeting on January 16th at 2pm, but may or may not be at the same location.

     Your input with respect to this is requested.  Please join our forums if you haven’t already.