Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Internal Stupid Error #2

I had to go there. I just had to go there.

SarahK posted about how she was going to get her laptop fixed, which means she didn't have to blog from the den anymore. Which was good, because:

now when Frank and i both want to write, we don’t have to be in separate rooms. we can both be on laptops, wherever. (i can’t be on the laptop sitting in the den where the desktop PC is until it is clean.)

This got me thinking: Does the den need to be clean, or the desktop PC? So I asked:

The den needs to be clean for you to use the laptop there, or the desktop PC needs to be clean before you’ll use that?

But I couldn't stop myself there, could I, dear reader?

The second option gives me visions of Frank surfing those naughty websites. Or looking for pics of Michelle Malkin…

This prompted a quick, decisive, and well-deserved e-mail from SarahK:

the den needs to be clean. and stop talking about michelle malkin!

Great, Jerm. Annoy our Nazi Alliance equivalent of Eva Braun.

JermCool is a Moron! Yeehaw!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Stupid Case Evaluation #007, 008, and 009.

This has been a strong day for stupid. A very strong day.

w32.sober.x@mm is only 3 days old. It's a variation on a theme. E-mail shows up saying something about an e-mail that bounced despite the fact that said e-mail was never sent. ZIP file attached. Smart person looks at e-mail and attached ZIP file and says, "Hey. This looks like a virus. I will delete it."

Not my clients. Oh no, dear reader.

I think it had something to do with the whole Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton subject line. Does it not occur to anyone that MSN sending this kind of subject matter is highly unlikely?! Bill Gates is too smart to like "The Simple Life!"

Gads...It's only three days old. Symantec doesn't have a quick-fix program yet.

I'm inclined to take away their ADSL routers as punishment for them being stupid. "No E-mail for you until you've learned your lesson!"

On top of this, our parent organization that we are now an affiliate of still doesn't have a proper domain. This means that we need to ISP-forward any e-mails that show up under that domain name. So our computer guru is coordinating with our ISP to make my "head-office" e-mail address work.

All well and good IF my name was Jeremy Smitt. Which it's not. It's in the signature block of every e-mail I send to you morons!!! CAN'T YOU READ?!!!

And now I'm getting a call from one of the branches that got the infection complaining that their phone system isn't operating. Yeah - you're not smart enough to figure out how to keep yourself from getting a blatently obvious virus, but you expect me to believe you're smart enough to know that the subcontractors screwed up your phone system installation. The guy who put it in trained me for Pete's Sake!

Count to ten, Jerm. 10...9...8...stupid...7...6...morons...5...4...3...hate them...2...1.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Late Night with JermCool

(A dirty, filthy, stinking lie.)

With Glenn taking it easy on his blog, the question is posed to us...what has he been up to? So in true Letterman fashion, it's tonight's Top 10 list!

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Top 10 List of things Glenn is doing on his computer that we shouldn't know about.

#10: Searching for pictures of Michelle Malkin naked for the purpose of blackmail.
#9: Clicking his own ad links to try and generate income.
#8: On-line ordering of Chinese orphan puppies.
#7: On-line ordering of Chinese-manufactured blenders.
#6: Searching for the best places to locate hobos.

(Mandatory chat with Paul Schaffer)
Dave: He shoots hobos, you know.
Paul: I know! He's evil!
Dave: He is truly evil.
Paul: Truly evil!

#5: Trying to hunt down those pesky nanites that infest the internet.
#4: Reading his new e-book, "The Zen of Heh."
#3: Searching for new link sources as he has already tapped out the majority of the internet.
#2: Typing out the word "Indeed" 100,000 times in Notepad.

And the #1 thing Glenn is doing on his computer that we shouldn't know about is...

Surfing the ACLU website to try and prove his claims that there is intelligent life on their planet.

I told you I didn't feel good.

With the Bird Flu epidemic rapidly approaching critical mass (it's what...4 deaths so far?) and with everyone on high alert for the smallest sniffle, and with the rest of the world already prepped for the outbreak to end all outbreaks, New Zealand has fallen in line with the rest of the world (2 months late, mind you) and released its course of action when it finally hits here.

Basically it states that 30,000+ are going to die at a rate of 10,000 per week. Hospitals will be overwhelmed, public gatherings will be disbanded by force, schools will be closed, and only the deathly ill will get medical care.

Gosh! I'm comforted!

They've got a list of those who are to be treated with Tamiflu first, which is apparently a who's-who of high society. I guess those who pay the most taxes get to live to pay more.

And pictures like this really make me nervous:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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The preceding was an attempt at sarcasm. I am not worried about catching bird flu. I'm much more worried about losing the plot on a tech support call and going postal.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sorry I'm late!

I've taken a few days off to recover from real life. We're right up into the tourist season here in NZ, so all of the campground/motel/hotel/backpacker owners have pulled their long-range cordless phones out of the closet for the first time in a year, remembering now that they didn't work when they put them in the closet at the end of the last tourist season, and deciding that they need it working now. Right now. Not two days from now. NOW!

There are hundreds of these phones at these locations all over NZ and it's the same story every year. There is no end to the grief and strife I get on the phone from these people who "are losing business being without it." It's the same story every year.

But not this year. I am letting these folks know that they've waited too long and now they have to wait in line. And if they try and give me grief, I intend to let them know that being on the phone with them explaining the situation is taking time away from getting their repair done. And if they get really hostile, I'm hanging up. JermCool is taking a stand (and you he's serious because he's talking about himself in the third person)!

Now enough complaining. I was going to tell you how to break IE!
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So you've tried modifying the HOSTS file. The rats are still surfing those sites they're not supposed to. They've loaded enough spyware and adware on your PC to chew through your bandwidth limit in two days flat. Enough is enough!

It's time to lock your browser so they can't surf while you're not around. This is a quick and easy solution that your average teenager (and most average adults) wouldn't think to check.

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From IE, click Tools > Internet Options. (I can hear you panicking now...don't.)

In the Internet Options window, click the Connections tab. (Honest! There is NO NEED to panic!)

Click the LAN Settings button. (Still not panicking? Good.)

In the Proxy Server field of the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings window, tick the box that says "Use a proxy server for your LAN (these settings will not apply to your dial up or VPN connections)."

In the address window that lights up now that you've ticked said box, enter our favorite IP address: 127.0.0.1 (port setting not required).
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That's it. When you want IE to work again, just untick the box so you're no longer using a proxy server. Another beautiful thing about this is if you are running that webserver we talked about in my last workaround, ALL pages will lead to your custom index.html file informing those snot-faces that you're smarter than they are and they need to get back to bed.

Obviously, this won't work for dial-up connections, but if you're on dial-up you can change your logon options so the password isn't automatically supplied. If you're running a proper proxy server (which most home connections don't), you'll have to change your settings back to whatever works. This is for your average cable/DSL/Wi-Fi user.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sacre Bleu!

(A Precision Guided Humor Assignment)

Paris is burning.

Cars ignited, warehouses burnt, mayhem through the streets. It's chaos.

But why?

I have found the answer, dear reader. And it shouldn't surprise you:

France has run out of countries to surrender to.

After much researching, I've uncovered a vast conspiracy by the French government to surrender to a new country every year in order to maintain internal peace. Apparently the French people aren't comfortable unless they're owned by an outside influence.

This goes back a long way, dear reader. Apparently a similar scare occurred in the 1990s. The French government, with Russian assistance, coordinated the fall of the Soviet Union just so there would be more countries on the map!

Now that those have been tapped, the French have actually started recirculating countries to surrender to. Evidently French President Chirac called US President Bush in order to surrender to the US. Here's a transcript of that call:


Chirac: France respectfully surrenders to the United States of America.
Bush: No way, Jose. You didn't want to support me on Iraq, now you'll have to live with that!
Chirac: Please! We have no one to surrender to!
Bush: Ner ner ner ner ner. *click*
Unfortunately for the French government, certain foreign nationals leaked the fact that no one wanted to accept their surrender to the general public - hence the mayhem.

French politicians are quickly trying to ammend the constitution so they may surrender to private organizations. Microsoft has expressed an interest in accepting a French surrender, but Bill Gates was quoted as saying "Not until they take a shower first!"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Stupid Case Evaluation #006

I am at a loss for words. This has just come in via e-mail.

Afternoon jeremy,
Could you contact me 07 xxx xxxx re our computer - no
working
thanks
[Name Deleted]

I don't know how to respond to this. They only have one computer.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I guess I should think of it this way: A world without tech support would be a world where stupid couldn't be showcased.

There are smart people too!

I am a World of Warcraft addict. Whenever free time permits, I am on-line with my Human Rogue (now level 34) running through the kingdoms, killing only that which gives me XP (or is chasing me to the point of annoyance), and questing to my heart's content.

For those of you who are familiar with the game, I give you this story:
-----
Arthurius of the Realm Alleria (Me) is running through Stormwind City talking to the cheese shop owner on a quest to look for some missing diplomat. As usual, the general chat channel in the city is being clogged up by kiddies with very little in the way of typing skills. Typos and grammatical errors abound and no punctuation to be seen.

Of course, this prompts others to hop onto the channel to inform these poor souls of their spelling mistakes (c'mon - they went to public school) and the mudslinging begins. Taunts of "stupid" and "dumb" prompted retaliation of "shutup" and "yur stuped."

This went on for a while and I reflected on how not so long ago, our Alliance was accused of being Nazis and how - at least according to Usenet groups - a discussion would be over if such an accusation was made.

So I piped up on the general chat and said "At least no one has resorted to calling anyone else a Nazi yet."

And I'll be buggered. The response: "GODWIN'S LAW! I WIN!!!"

...Then, silence.

Blessed silence.

I could have wept.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Stupid Workaround #001

As an ammendment to my last post, here's how to keep the snotfaces from visiting sites they're not supposed to be going:

A Host by any other name...
Spyware writers love a little file called "HOSTS". It's a little file that can be used to translate URLs into IP addresses. So if I were a spyware writer, I could create a program that manipulates say - google.com - to point to an IP address of my choosing where I would then install more spyware, slowing down your computer and chewing up your bandwidth.

I am not a spyware writer, however. I am a discerning parent who would like to keep his kids from rolling around in internet filth (that and it freaks me out what they might be doing on the chair I use when playing World of Warcraft).

There's no place like 127.0.0.1
For those of you who aren't IP savvy, the IP address 127.0.0.1 is your own machine. It's a universal thing. If you want to do an internal loop test of your computer open "[Start] > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt" and type "ping 127.0.0.1". You'll get this:

Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms ttl="128"

Exciting, no? No.

We're on a road to nowhere...
This is where the fun begins. Find your HOSTS file. For WinXP users it's under C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC, but for other versions of Windows you'll have to run a search. If you're running Linux, I can't help you for I am too mainstream for my own good. Double-click it and open it with Notepad, ensuring that the box labelled "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" is not selected. Once you're in, you'll get "detailed" instructions (*cough cough*) of how to use the file. Ignore anything on lines starting with a #. What you're really interested in is down at the bottom:
127.0.0.1 localhost

What does this mean? It means that IE is going to think that http://localhost/ and http://127.0.0.1/ are the same thing. And we know that 127.0.0.1 is our own computer...so localhost is our own computer.

What if we added this on the next line down (remembering to save, of course)?
127.0.0.1 images.google.com
It means that IE will now think that http://images.google.com/ is our own computer (this is another way the kids were surfing porn). But since we're not running a webserver off our own computer, all we get is a 404 error.

That's how I do it. I take the kids' frequently visited URLs and point them...nowhere.

This is also a great way to keep tracking cookies from clogging up the Temporary Internet Files folders. For more information, go here. Just make sure that you're not blocking off anything Sitemeter related or we'll end up screwing up our plans to destroy Evil Glenn.

All roads lead to Home
Most webpage designers run a localhost webserver so they can test the pages they create before uploading them for the world to see. When you go to http://localhost/ or http://127.0.0.1/ it actually does something. So for added fun, install something like the Abyss webserver on your machine and edit the index.html file that comes with it to say something fun, like "Before you spank that monkey, ask yourself why the monkey needs spanked" or "How can you choke a chicken that small?" While the server is running in the background, anything that points to 127.0.0.1 will display that page.

The beauty of this is: because the browser actually went somewhere, it records the URL in the history. So you can see what they've been trying to do even though they can't do it. Insert evil laugh here.
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In my next workaround, I'll show you how to quickly sabotage your browser to keep the kids offline. And trust me, they still can't figure out how I do it.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Repetition of Stupidity

*sigh*

Two computers this week have crossed my desk for a second time in their short lives. Why?

Because the users are refusing to listen to the masses.

Like bulletproof teenagers, they race into the seedy underground of the internet without sufficient protection. They are then shocked and amazed that they have become infected with a virus that will require taking their computer back to the stoneage.

What I need to do is set up localhost webservers on their machines. Then after checking their history, I redirect their frequently visited "naughty" pages to this localhost page that informs them that they are dirty, filty people and their mothers have been informed of their activities.

I did that to my step-kids. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Tawneestone.com became a page that informed them that their parents were smarter than they were and that they needed to go back to their homepage. Scared the living snot out of them.

They figured out how to turn off the webserver, but they never did figure out how to bypass my hack. So I still won. Heh.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Instamusicalpundit

(A filthy lie)

That's right, folks - an Instapundit Musical is in the works. And speculation abounds at the up-and-coming musical genius of Glenn Reynolds. Here are some of the likely performances Glenn will be putting on for Broadway and I don't know about you, dear reader, but I would rush to see any one of these!
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Wicked Blog
(Music and lyrics by Glenn Reynolds)
Synopsis: A young Glenn Reynolds has his first meeting with Beelzebub and is instructed to start his own weblog.
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Spam-me-alot
(Theme from Monty Python's Flying Circus, music and lyrics by Glenn Reynolds and John Cleese)
Synopsis: The Alliance of Free Blogs gangs up to wipe Instapundit off the internet map with huge amounts of advertisements for herbal male supplements at a new low price. Hilarity ensues.
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The Li(nk)on King
(Based on the Disney animated feature film, music and lyrics by Glenn Reynolds and Elton John)
Synopsis: A young Glenn is banished from blogging after publishing original content. After befriending two misfits, he must grow physically and mentally to take his place in the Circle of Links.
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Pundit Mia!
(Based on the music by ABBA, music and lyrics by Glenn Reynolds and ABBA)
Synopsis: There's really no story to this musical. It's all of ABBA's original music with the words "Heh" and "Indeed" inserted every few lines to make it sound original.
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Dirty Rotten Bloggers
(Based on the feature film starring Steve Martin, music and lyrics by Glenn Reynolds)
Synopsis: Can Glenn attract enough website hits to con Google's AdSense out of $50,000 before rival websites do?
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The Pundit of the Opera
(Music and lyrics by Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Lloyd Webber)
Synopsis: A mysterious blogging genius haunts the depths of the blogging realm. Can Glenn stop it before it bewitches his beloved? The song "Think of Heh" will have you humming long after leaving the theater.


(My sincerest apologies to the genuine producers of the fine musicals I've parodied here...Except Mama Mia! I mean seriously! What were you thinking?!!)

Public Service Announcement #002

New Blog Carnival Showcase #36 is now up at Steve the Pirate's place. As a new (well...recycled) blogger myself, I recommend checking it out, perusing the fresh meat, then visiting the noobz like myself and leaving lots of comments. Ya' know - make us feel important.

Please?