Next Semester Co-op

After an early morning interview on Tuesday, I accepted an offer to go on a co-op to Assured Information Security! Even though it will be tough to leave my friends (especially the seniors) as I move 2.5 hours away, and disrupt my class schedule (pushing things back a semester), I think the hands-on work experience of applying the things I’ve learned, and learning more will be worth it. I now have the frantic task of trying to find a place to live, and thinking about what I need to take with me over winter break. I will be sure to visit Clarkson pretty regularly over the weekends so I won’t become a distant memory to those at Clarkson.

Peace and Chow,

Ranok

10 Songs From My Music Library

Following Matt’s lead, I thought it would be fun to post the 10 first songs that Banshee plays on random. Without further ado:

  1. Forever – Kindervater & Nadja
  2. I’d Rather Be A Man – Alan Parsons Project
  3. Crashing Around You – Machine Head
  4. 50,000 Watts of Power – 12 Inch Thumpers
  5. One Summer – Alex K & Dee
  6. Regression (Act I – Scene One) – Dream Theather
  7. Bass Beats and Melody – Brooklyn Bounce
  8. Another Brick in The Wall (Part III) – Pink Floyd
  9. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) – Apocalyptica
  10. Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Peace and chow,

Ranok

Lulz of the Day: Ark

Well, it’s about time for there to be another Lulz of the Day! Today we’ll be lulzing about Ark, my IRC anti-floodbot script. As an IRCop on a network, I am constantly figthing floodbots who join, /msg everyone on the network some spam and then disconnect. I figured that there must be a way to stop them, and so I diligently started working on Ark. Ark is a perlscript that connects to an IRC server as an IRCop and joins the most popular channels (which you specify). It then waits quietly, bidding its time until it gets /msg’d. Once it receives a message, it springs into action, checking the received message against a list of regexs. If any of them match, it will /kill the bot and resume its slumber.

This very simple, yet oddly helpful script can be downloaded from my code site

Peace and chow,

Ranok

Lulz of the Day: Cesspool

While cleaning up my hard drive, I’ve come across many old projects that are pretty interesting, and I thought I’d start a mini-series of these little pearls (perls?) I come across as I find them. Without further ado, lets start with our first Lulz of the Day (LOTD)!

Cesspool

As many of you know, I’m in the systems biology class this semester, and recently we spent a week or so looking at the genetic algorithm and its applications. I immediately began hacking on a genetic algorithm to ‘breed’ a Corewars warrior. The code for this is pretty simple, and still needs much revision, but it’s bred some programs that are pretty good. I’m going to run it a few times and try to put together some statistics in the next few days, but for now, you can download the source and play around with it as you wish. Basically what it does is:

  1. Generates some initial warriors with random commands and arguments
  2. Pits the warriors against themselves in battle using the corewars-cmd command
  3. Ranks them by their scores
  4. Cross breeds the best 20% of the population, and mutate the rest (with 5% chance of mutation)
  5. Repeat from step 2 for the number of generations.

Todo:

  • Modify the cross-breeding algorithm so it doesn’t just append one program to the other, but mixes up the commands of both
  • Small bug fixes with the scraper for the corewars-cmd results
  • Run a number of times, and then pit the best generated warriors against some made by humans

Peace and lulz,

Ranok

OIT: Omitting Intelligent Technology

As many of you may or may not know, recently Clarkson’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) implemented a firewall that blocks all incoming traffic to most machines. Being a Linux junkie, I have a number of machines in my dorm that act as servers of many types, from web servers for my projects and web development server, SVN/DARCS repositories for my code, a number of OSP servlets that I’ve been testing and having to connect to distant OSP instanced to test latency. However, OIT seems to want to stop me from being able to experiment and play around with networking and servers. Perhaps there is a psychological flaw for all IT administrators that makes them all be control freaks. I emailed OIT to have my servers removed from the firewall 2 weeks ago, and heard no reply. I re-emailed on Monday, and finally I heard back, that I need to fill out this form (for each machine), and get it signed by a professor before they will unblock me.

I find this absurd, do we now need professor’s permission to use our computers? Is OIT going to implement a list of acceptable websites we can visit? Do we need an academic reason to think certain thoughts? I find this completely off par with Clarkson’s condoning of partying, however, we need a professor’s consent to open a port on our computer to the outside world?

I hope that OIT will rethink their firewall policies, and see how it affects students. Also, when they make network wide changes, they should notify the students, and also update their website which still shows that only a few ports are being filtered.

Peace and no packets,

Ranok