3D Print, Meetings, CF Spectrum, PowerHammer, Management, RDMA

  • More 3D printing fun. Making 3D printed emblems from photograp. For image processing I used Inkscape. Cropping, Masking and tracing the bitmap into vector format, with preferable parameters. Next image is converted from 2D vector image into 3D image using Tinkercad. You can set image print layer thickness and so on. File format conversions are easy with Thingiverse svg -> stl. Next the new emblem is sliced with Slic3r. This gcode file can be printed from SD card if printer supports SD cards or printed 'directly' from computer using Repetier.
  • More endless meetings, discussing all kind of technically trivial matters and especially missing the whole point of getting the things done.
  • Cloudflare how we built Spectrum. Yep, nice post. That's the way of doing thing. When you know the details, you can do proper optimizations and take shortcuts, instead of doing it the "heavy and wrong way". Liked the article, but I don't think it's magic at all, optimizing things and making smart choices is the obvious thing to do. And can be implemented in different ways.
  • Why standard I/O windows in Windows hang when being in select mode? Once again, one important process wasn't working? Why? Because Windows hanged whole (single thread) process, because it was in select mode. Somebody just clicked the window, didn't realize that it was in select mode, and that caused whole process to hang over weekend. - Great! That's very nice feature. It's important to know that clicking on Window leads to process freeze. Good job MS.
  • PowerHammer - Exfiltrating Data from Air-Gapped Computers through Power Lines - Nothing new at all. But this just makes it clear, that "any signal" is a "signal" which can be used to transport information and create out of band covert channel. Like I've said several times, anything over anything. If it can carry information, it can be used for whatever needs to be transported. Data rate can be slow, and it can work in specific conditions only, but it still works in some cases. Even in this powerhammer case, the data rate was surprisingly high (1000 bit/s).
  • IT service Management. Lot's of ITSM work being done lately, selecting tools, setting up processes, managing contracts, checking GDPR compliance etc. - In some cases it's interesting to see, how brain dead process models people develop. I guess often the fact is that nobody designed or thought about that process at all. The process ended just to be that way after bunch of people trying to achieve something they don't understand anything about. So, next time if you want to know if your Windows updates are up to date. Ask your IT department to check firewall logs and telling you when is the last time your workstation has contacted the Microsoft / corporate update servers last time. And stuff like that. - Is that really the sane way of doing it? - No. - Pick some random facepalm fail meme picture here -
  • Only defragger which can defrag UDF on Windows seems to be the Power Defrag UI which uses Contig. I just don't feel that the project is properly managed. The application feels very iffy, and is very slow in many cases, etc. It's just not as "solid" as you would expect from application which does such data critical tasks like defragmenting data. Ok ok, it uses Windows API to move the data. But in general, it's scary if programs handling disk data are unreliable or look and feel very badly maintained.
  • Enabled RDMA on a few internal servers used to move massive amounts of data. It remains to be seen if this causes any performance gains. Probably not.
  • About strange and interesting format. One ERP integration used High Bit RLE compression, similar to PCX image format with length delimited data. Interesting choice, why not using CSV directly? It would have been clearer solution. But as said, I don't really mind, I wrote custom encoder / decoder and that's it. Hmm, what a fresh idea from 80's? Sure, there was one difference, 0x80 did mean single instance of repeated value, instead of zero as it did with PCX. I guess it's needless to say, that they only supported ASCII character set. Good old bit stuff, not too dissimilar from UTF-8 encoding.