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What Was New: July - Dec. 2000

- What Was New: Jan. - Mar. 2007
- What Was New: Jan. 2001 - Nov. 2003
- What Was New: April - June 2000

Homegrown Intrusion Detection (12/02/00) has a significant new section on adapting the scripts to other systems titled Monitoring Your Systems.

Homegrown Intrusion Detection (11/27/00) is another new section that describes simple shell and Perl scripts that automate remote system notification of file changes and unauthorized processes executing on the monitored systems.

How-To Harden OpenBSD (11/09/00) is a completely new section on making the most secure, general purpose operating system, more secure. This section opens with an Introduction to Hardening Concepts that begins with OpenBSD specific references but is mostly applicable to all operating systems. There are then three very OpenBSD specific pages that lead through the process of installing an OpenBSD system, hardening it, and creating a recovery CD ROM. The recovery CD ROM also contains programs deleted in the hardening process so that they may be used when the CD ROM is in the drive and mounted but are otherwise not available.

Hardening OpenBSD closes with a page that is not OpenBSD specific Users, Groups and Security but genrally applicable to UNIX. It's included here because restricting file and directory access via user or security groups is often considered part of the hardening process.

There are several links in Hardening OpenBSD to, a Perl password generator including the source code.

Security (10/20/00) in the Guide to Building an Association Web Site explains what security is and gives some examples of really poor security. Several specific exposures faced by web sites are discussed with the emphasis on exposures unique to associations. Some ways that an association's web site security needs are likely to differ from other web sites are covered. The final large page, Overview of Internet Related Security Techniques is general and not specifically related to associations. It explains the basic concepts of host and network security, firewalls, proxies, network address translation and intrusion detection systems. Some of the key steps in hardening a computer into a bastion host for use as a firewall or Internet server are described.

Reorganizing (10/13/00) discusses splitting the large "Making This Site" directory into "Designing GeodSoft's Web Site" and "Building GeodSoft's Web Site." It also covers creating a new How-To section from the existing Cascading Style Sheets section and the Computer Time Synchronization page that had been in "Making This Site." The mechanical details of splitting "Making This Site" into to directories is discussed in Splitting a Directory.

The Myth of Electronic Publishing (10/12/00) in the Guide to Building an Association Web Site explains how the electronic publishing concept creates problems in designing web sites. The top ten web sites are examined for common design characteristics to show that they avoid print like graphic design. Some of the key differences between the web and print media are examined.

The Basics chapter (10/11/00) of Guide to Building an Association Web Site provides a high level overview of technology important to the web and also Internet technology important to communicating with association members. Common terms are defined. A speculative look into the future is included as well as a highly condensed history spread through several sections of the Basics chapter.

Guide to Building an Association Web Site (10/10/00) I've begun putting up parts of my book titled Guide to Building an Association Web Site that's been in progress for some time. The Introduction describes the intended audience and explains some of my biases and premises. My fundamental premise is that a web site is a computer application system, even when its primary purpose is information delivery. It defines what I mean by web site design and touches on some of the characteristics that differentiate an association web site from others.

The Stupidity of Windows NT Installs, Backups and System Recovery (10/5/00) Two days with the NT server down, despite the availability of good backups and suitable hardware provoked this long discussion of the problems recovering from a system failure with Windows NT unless identical hardware is available or backup servers are pre built. The sheer stupidity of Microsoft's forced multi step installs is also discussed.

Web Site Redesign (9/28/00) Research on submitting web sites to search engines prompted additional changes. This long page describes a redesign that optimized page design for both search engine placement and display results, significantly improved accessibility for the visually impaired and those few still using text based browsers and emphasis of unique page content over standard page components.

It's not visible to users, unless you view the source code but most of the important pages on the site now have meta tags. In preparing for search engines I wrote some scripts for analyzing word and phrase distribution and for generating and fixing meta tags.

Site Redesign: Between 9/12/00 and 9/18/00 I redesigned the site twice moving the standard page components to the right side of the page. The effect is to make the unique page content more immediately visible and keep it on the screen in a greater variety of browser window sizes and proportions thus reducing horizontal scrolling in small browser windows. Accessibility for the visually impaired and those using text only browsers such as Lynx has been significantly enhanced. Many pages have been successfully validated at the HTML Validation Service as well as achieving excellent ratings for HTML, browser compatibility, and download times at both Web Site Garage and Net Mechanic. I've started work on a page describing the changes in detail.

OpenBSD Documentation Update (9/10/00) After six weeks, a post in comp.unix.bsd.openbsd.misc prompted me to again try to mount a floppy disk with no more success than I had previously. Finally I asked how and quickly recieved two replies that provided the piece I'd been missing.

More Microsoft Management Console Problems Update (8/28/00) One week later (the next time I needed it) MMC couldn't find the IIS configuration data again. And once again on 9/07/00.

Terms of Use (8/27/00) A new Unauthorized Use section has been added. The original Terms of Use was entirely content oriented. That section has not changed. This new section defines acceptable and unacceptable methods of access and network behaviour that will be regarded and treated as intrusion attempts.

Time Synchronization: A Beginner's Guide to Network Time Protocol (NTP) (8/26/00) Over the past few days I've found and installed ntpd on both my Unix and Windows NT machines. Ntpd is an open source implementation of a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server. It can synchronize all the computer clocks on your network with a network of public time servers to achieve an accuracy within a small fraction of a second of the correct UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). Client solutions are available for other platforms. Because of the effort I had to go through to figure out the basic install information, I wrote a tutorial that should help others set up NTP in much less time. Numerous links to authoritative sources are included.

Incompatibilities With Non Windows OSs (8/22/00) Everyone who's worked with non Windows operating systems knows you need to be careful about hardware selection to avoid hardware for which there is no software device support. You might think that a keyboard, mouse, video (KVM) sharing box that has no drivers and sits between the computer with the OS and the controlled peripheral would be completely transparent to the OS. Unfortunately, practical experience shows this not to be the case.

Update to an Apache Problem (8/22/00) I think I understand what caused an Apache error message that appeared after I re-installed Red Hat Linux 6.2.

More Microsoft Management Console Problems (8/21/00) Once again MMC has lost all the Internet Information Server configuration data. A search of Microsoft's web site found no information on this problem. I had to again reinstall IIS to get access to the data. Fortunately no data was actually lost but was just not available to MMC, IIS's management program.

Linux / UNIX / Open Source Beats Window (8/7/00) This is a big contrast to the problem I had recently mounting a floppy on an OpenBSD system and where I never found the necessary documentation. Today I came across a document that I wanted and it was only available as a Postscript print file and I don't have a postscript printer. On my Linux system I quickly found documentation for a utility that did a perfect conversion the first time even though I'd never used this or any related utility.

Cascading Style Sheets (7/30/00) After more false starts on this section than I can remember, it's finally up. The introductory page needed substantial rewriting to accomodate the changes from print (for which it was first written with its enclosed sample section) and browsers that I did not have when it was first written. I wanted to keep some of the flavor of the original test page with the various techniques that were tried and abandoned as it was found one browser or another would not display style sheet code in an expected manner. Further, I wanted some record of the appearing and disappearing browser problems (Netscape) as the test page was developed. As it was written it simply didn't make sense if you hadn't seen the evolution. Then trying to wrap the original test a page, which had nothing to do with the standard page, inside a standard page presented more issues. By far the simplest page was the new page explaining the use of style sheets on standard pages.

OpenBSD Documentation Problem (7/28/00) I searched man pages and the OpenBSD web site for an hour and half or more, trying to figure out how to mount a floppy and never found an answer. Open source projects must solve basic usability issues if they hope to achieve mainstream acceptance.

Performance Surprise (7/7/00) I've just finished the first pass at the About GeodSoft: Large Project section with the addition of a new page describing how increasing loads caught me by surprise and forced an unexpected server upgrade under the pressure of clearly declining performance.

Electronic Document Sharing (7/7/00) A description of one of the larger ATLA NET projects I worked on has been added to the About GeodSoft: Large Project section.

Site Synchronization Script (7/6/00) I finally have a working (sort of) process for synchronizing new and updated pages from the development to the public sites.

- What Was New: Jan. - Mar. 2007
- What Was New: Jan. 2001 - Nov. 2003
- What Was New: April - June 2000
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