johncs's blog

HP Z400

Some time ago I purchased an HP Z400 with a quad-core XEON processor, 2x500 Gbyte disks, 8 Gbytes RAM & Quadro 600 graphics from a Mandurah HP dealer, now defunct. (The dealer is still listed on your website:
Supernova Computers
Unit 1 58 Reserve Drive
Mandurah WA 6210).

I did so believing I was purchasing a computer of outstanding quality that would serve me for many years, and certainly longer than HP's consumer computers and office desktop computers such as its DC7900.

At some point I upgraded the system to 16 Gbytes of RAM.

HP Z400 six beeps problem

I have an HP Z400 workstation with the problem described here.


Bunnings is driving me crazy. When I visit its website, it insists I choose a store. It's not as if Bunnings accepts orders over the Internet, so I can't buy stuff from the shop except I go to one of its physical shops, and I don't need the website for that.

I note that some websites can easily figure out where I am without me telling it, so obviously the Bunnings webmaster isn't very capable.

Windows in the Enterprise

This document relates in particular to the school where I work, but would generally apply to any business that runs Windows in conjunction with Windows Server.

I am writing this document because of a concern I have with some free (see for the meaning of "free" as I use i here) and no-charge software. On reflection, the problems occur with pay-for software too.

Theef: BackDoor Trojan

This, Theef: BackDoor Trojan, is the title of a web document I happened on when I was investigating traffic on a network I manage.

Some computers were sending traffic across network boundaries to TCP port 2800. This struck me as curious, and so I did some investigation. The possiilities were that

  1. The traffic was innocent, harmless and useless.
  2. The traffic was innocent,and useful.
  3. Some malware is doing something bad.
    1. In the first case, I might cease logging traffic in some circumstances.

Buggy software

I cannot believe the amount of buggy software there is around, even in mission-critical applications.

Well, I suppose I must believe it, because I see it.

Before I name names, let us consider what constitutes a bug in software. For some, it is a coding error. Whoever commissioned the software said, "It must do this," and if it in fact does do that, they would say it's not a bug. It does not matter how unreasonable "that" is.

Antispam, how I do it.

I manage some servers that provide mail services. Because of the nature of the organisations I support, there are some things I can do that larger organisations cannot.

The servers I manage all run distributions of Linux, but they don't all run the same distribution.

One, for a school, runs Debian. Until recently, it was Debian Stable, but Debian has released a new "stable," so it will need to be updated sometime soonish.

On others, I use clones of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Securing your computer

I've been using computers since 1969. I have experience on Control Data and IBM (and compatible) mainframes, and on microcomputers/personal computers.

On microcomputers and personal computers, I have used CP/M, Concurrent CP/M-86, MSDOS, various releases of Windows to Windows XP Professional, OS/2 and various distributions of Linux.

I have worked for large Australian departments, software and hardware vendors, and a small school.

Free software

The term "free software" means different things to different people. To a lot of people, it might describe the software that comes on the one or more CDs that accompany their digital camera, their printer or their computer.

In reality, this is not free software at all, it comes bundled with your latest toy and its cost in included in the price of that toy. You have paid for it.

About me

I am a beginner woodworker. So far, I have established space for a workshop, and equipped it with some of the equipment I anticipate I will need.

At present, this includes a compound mitre saw, a table saw, various powered hand tools such as routers, a jigsaw, belt sander (bought mainly to trim a door that had some steel visible at the bottom), random orbital sander

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