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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 14 August 2001

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.

 


From: Andrew Hooper
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: DOS Attack on DSL

Last Friday I contacted my ISP with the concern that I was
experiencing heavy lag via my Jetstream connection,
Saturday they replied that it was due to an outage at
telecom and that things would be back to normal soon.

Today I decided to take a look at my usage report, on
average I use 400MB Max per month, imagine my surprise when
I found it was close to double that, I'm on a 600plan so
usually have a 200mb safety zone.

Upon further investigation I found that while I was out
today my Jetstream connection received several large
packets, both were around 58MB, and both were received
consecutively.

The contact I had with telecom confirmed that there was no
network problems and that this may have been a DOS attack
on my IP, The informed me that there was no way of stopping
this other than turning my router off and there was little
if anything I could do, However because I'm a home user I
can change to Jetstart.

They also would no reverse the charge for the additional MB
used over my allowed amount, No I realise that this is not
much, BUT I really don't think that this is fair on the
users of Jetstream.

Telecom offer NO protection against this, They admit that
they can not log or trace the offenders, and there is no
software that can detect a DOS attack unless you pinhole
all ports on the router to the machine with something like
Zonealarm on it, but then you cause problems for other
machines on your network.

So Telecom continue to have their cake and eat it.
The contact i had with telecom confirmed that there was no
network problems and that this may have been a DOS attack
on my IP, The informed me that there was no way of stopping
this other than turning my router off and there was little
if anything i could do, However because im a home user i
can change to Jetstart.

They also would no reverse the charge for the additional MB
used over my allowed amount, No i realise that this is not
myuch, BUT i really dont think that this is fair on the
users of Jetstream.

Telecom offer NO pretection against this, They admit that
they can not log or trace the offenders, and there is no
software that can detect a DOS attack unless you pinhole
all ports on the router to the machine with something like
Zonealarm on it, but then you cause problems for other
machines on your network.

So Telecom continue to have their cake and eat it.

Why is it that every other ISP can track DOS attacks but
Telecom don't?.

Under the Consumer Gurentees Act do I have to pay for data
I did not request or did not want to receive this data.




From: Joe Dydowicz
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: RE:Turn Off That DSL Modem!

Heres another shock for you, and one of the reasons I
dumped Jetstream DSL (JS) (besides the huge price
tag)..Turning off your modem DOSEN'T do any good. I had a
long talk with a Jetstream tech and the data that is coming
into your JS connection is counted WAY before it ever gets
to your modem/system. The 'node' or 'switch' whatever you
want to call it that connects you to the internet (on
the 'other side' of your ADSL modem) is what counts your
traffic, if you turn off your modem that 'switch' STILL
recieves data coming into your connection and is thus still
counted. The only thing turning off your modem does is
prevent you from getting it but its still counted.




From: paul
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: DSL in NZ

its obvious, telecom got with the times - who else in the
world offers "128k dsl" with pay-per-megabyte charging. i
could understand it, if it was maybe a 2mb connection. i
moved from the nz to the uk, and the lowest connection you
can get where i am is 512k. my isp use to have a
bandwidth 'cap' - 700mb a day.

its unfair of telecom to expect users to pay for data they
did not request. but we aren't surprised are we?

is telecom the only one offering dsl there? don't telecom
have to allow other companies to offer dsl like over here
with BT?

ps: hi andrew :)




From: Fran McGowan
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Webserver from dial-up

An incorrectly configured Personal Web Server (IIS Lite)- eg. from
Frontpage or other Office packages could let you in for this.




From: James
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Linux on your desktop

I have been using Linux as a desktop now for 2 years and
believe me it works.

The reason that companies have not taken the plunge with the
penguin; to do so costs them nothing, or very little.

The management can't believe that if you don't pay for
something you get crap. It is the same as paying megabucks
to an external consultant that tells them something one of
their own employees could have told them for 'free'. Which
report do they believe? Why the one that cost them lots of
money.

I don't know why everyone is suprised about Microsoft's
dominance.  Remember their used to a computer company called
IBM. It was said that you never got fired for buying IBM.
The same seems to be true of Microsoft. Perhaps if the Board
of Directors could understand the techno-babble spouted by
their head of IT as he ducks for cover over the latest
breach of security in Microsoft software, they would sack
him and buy Linux.



From: Geoff McCaughan
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Linux on the Desktop

The reasons for slow Linux desktop uptake are:

1) Inertia. M$ knows that if they get their OS onto PC's at
the time of sale, most people will leave it there, hence
their strenuous efforts over the years to ensure that
vendors ship windows with every machine. Your average PC
buyer isn't savvy enough to consider installing a new OS.

This is exacerbated by:

2) FUD. Everyone has heard the 'Linux is hard to
learn/install/use' stories. Joe public thinks Linux is for
geeky propellor heads who write new kernel code in their
spare time. These FUD stories are still circulating around
and can be found in the media even today. As anyone who has
installed both can tell you, installing Linux is no more of
a chore than installing Windows.

The reality is vastly differentfrom the FUD. Installing and
using a modern Linux distribution is a breeze. Sure it's
possible to have problems with some esoteric hardware
combinations - Windows has these sorts of problems too. The
big win comes when Linux is installed and running - it's
*very* stable. No need to reboot all the time, no need to
reinstall the OS because something trashed the registry, no
need for eternal virus/trojan paranoia [though new users
would do well to check with someone experienced to ensure
their setup is secure], and no need to fork out a pile of
$$$ next time M$ decide you need to 'upgrade'.

You can even run windows applications under Linux if you
really need a windows application and can't get a Linux
equivalent, and you still benefit from the Linux stability
and robustness.




From: Grant
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Linux on the desktop

I thought I would give Linux a bash recently.  I installed
Red Hat 7.1 that came on the cover of an Australia computer
magazine (total cost = $10), and settled for the KDE
interface (more Windows like). I also kept my Win98
installation on the primary drive.

I am really impressed - the install autodetected
everything, a internet connection was trival to set up
(Ihug & Xtra were already listed in the dialer setup) and
Konquerer web browser & Kmail work well.  Given that it
comes with games, KOffice, drawing/image editing package,
development tools I think it works out at least $1000
cheaper than buying Win2K and Office 2K retail.

Yes, Linux does need more good quality apps (I am
struggling to find good preschool software for my children)
but for average home computer useage (web/mail/games/MP3's
etc) Linux is just about there already.




From: Allister
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Why no Linux Desktop?

So, have you tried installing Linux lately?  Let me give
you a tip.

If you have a "package deal" machine, like my HP Pavilion,
then DON'T install Linux.  Sure Windows has its problems,
but by and large a reboot will fix, or the machine may just
keep working at reduced capability.  Putting Linux on takes
the problems to the more basic level.

My on-board graphics card is crap apparently.  It turns out
that when W98 says the refresh rate is 60Hz, it is actually
running at 59Hz (verified by the monitor itself).  So when
Linux trys it at the "standard" 60Hz, the display breaks
up - worse when a device is active, like disk or mouse.
Ever tried reconfiguring monitor modes under Linux? Not for
the faint hearted.

My modem isn't real - it's a Winmodem.  Good luck getting
that to work on Linux.  I got a new, external modem.  Linux
detected it and now says it won't respond.  Huh?

My sound card is auto-detectable, but still refuses to work
anyway.

The only reason I got as far as I did is because a
colleague has it installed and has done enough surfing and
reading that he knows how to surmount a lot of the
problems - mostly by knowing which obscure command is
needed to do the job.

When Linux gets more automation and more information, then
I'll consider it.  For now, it is a tinkerers dream.




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