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Cox Crow

Asking the Stupid Questions Since 1971
 Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Background Checks

Should State CIOs post their resumes?

New York v. Utah and Virginia. See if you can find the biographies of the people determining how well their DMV databases are integrated. ;-)

(Has the farcical handling of .us by NeuStar rendered www.state.??.us useless?)

6:03:08 PM # Google It!

Hey, Larry, go take a flying ....

The federal government will not have the authority to nationalize drivers' licenses and other ID cards. Authority to design and issue these cards shall remain with the states. The use of biometric identifiers and Social Security numbers with these cards is not consistent with a free society.
Summary: The Chairman's Mark for a Bill Establishing a Department of Homeland Security, July 18, 2002

Mr. Ellison has an absolute trust in his database management system's ability to properly manage data. But, Larry, I've got news for you: the DBMS is only as good as the data. I've been on enough database and directory integration projects to know that there is no authoritative data source. You want to take data from organizations that have trouble distinguishing between persons from two different generations who have the same name, but different birth dates and different Social Security numbers? And you want to merge this data into an authoritative source?

Yeah. Right. Next thing you know, you'll be arrested for impersonating the Shogun, or lobotomized for a typographical error.

5:19:47 PM # Google It!
categories: Directories, Identity, Law

Dear Mr. Hollings,

I've refrained from writing you before this, but your actions are revealing how little you care for the well-being of the citizens of the great State of South Carolina. You are reprehensibly placing the interests of a few wealthy corporations in California and New York above the interests of your State and of the Country as a whole.

Is this the wisdom we are to receive from our Senators?

2:05:48 PM # Google It!

Oops? Did you say "Oops"? What do you mean, saying "Oops" there?

Suppose you are foolish enough to allow Microsoft Windows Update to install the updated drivers for a network interface card. Suppose again that you have two NICs, both by the same vendor, and suppose that though the cards are different model numbers (3C509C-TX, 3C509B-TX), they use the same driver.

It's good that you have two cards, because the driver update killed one of them.

Update: Fixed by installing the current driver from Dell. It also works to install the current 3Com driver: they're the same.

Why didn't the Windows Update installation take? Case sensitivity? One NIC was looking for el90Xbc5.SYS while the other expected el90xbc5.sys. Or is Windows Update simply unable to handle the case of multiple NICs with identical drivers? It would be helpful if we could roll back these changes, especially given the introduction of Automatic Updates.

Somewhat more disturbing now is that the driver properties show that the file is newer than it actually is. I have to get this box out on the floor, otherwise I'd investigate further, but to me this indicates that the Registry data is inconsistent, and doesn't accurately reflect the current state of the system. This is a significant failure.

Trust Microsoft? You must be kidding.

11:41:53 AM # Google It!
categories: System Administration

Important Reminder

System Administrator Appreciation Day, July 26, 2002.

While I won't be in the office for you to bring chocolate and coffee, my Amazon wish list is over there, on the right. ;-)

10:08:52 AM # Google It!
categories: System Administration

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
"The Sounds of Silence," Paul Simon, 1964

9:59:40 AM #
categories: Media