SDL Tutorial #2

I’ve added a new tutorial about SDL. This one is called Moving Sprites with SDL. Beginning programmers frequently ask how to make things move around using the keyboard with SDL, so I thought I’d attempt to explain it.

If you’re a programmer, take a look at it. Also, let me know if you find any silly mistakes. Believe it or not, I have been known to misspell words from time to time…

Saved by Open Source

Like most people, we’ve been fighting the latest Windows worm at work for the last few days. We never got the Blaster worm that seemed to cause most people so much trouble. Instead, we were hit by Welchia (aka Nachi), a variant that was actually designed to clean up after Blaster. Welchia was designed to infect vulnerable computers and automatically download the patch from Microsoft. Instead, it just killed our network.

We’ve been installing the patch and cleaning off the worm with a program from Network Associates called Stinger since last Wednesday. This has been pretty effective, but there were still a few infected computers on the network. We tried using the “process of elimination” to find the infected machines by unplugging different parts of the network and waiting for our connection to improve. That proved pretty much impossible since there were several infected computers in different locations.

After fighting it this way for most of the day, I finally decided to do something different. I had played with a packet analyzer called Ethereal in the past and decided to give it another try. After a few minutes of downloading and installing I had it going. Within the first minute of capturing traffic I recieved over 6000 ICMP queries from only two computers. These two obviously had the worm. Two phone calls later these were patched and cleaned.

After that our network connection was almost perfect. I sat around and surfed the Internet for a while longer waiting for the connection to go down again. When it did, I captured another minute’s worth of data and quickly found two more infected computers.

Tomorrow morning when everyone gets back to work, I should be able to easily track down any remaining infected computers. After that everything should be back to normal on our network. All thanks to an Open Source program.

In case anyone’s curious, I did the same thing with my home computer that I do everytime a new WIndows virus or worm comes around. I smiled and laughed, because I’m running Linux…

Cool new program

I just stumbled upon a nice new program called BloGTK. It’s just what I needed to easily update this page.

This post is pretty much just a test to see if it’s working…

Junk Mail

Do you know why we get so much junk mail these days? It’s the same reason we get so many telemarketing calls – because it works. People are actually dumb enough to buy the things they see advertised in spam.

This article in Wired talks about a security flaw at a spammer’s website that made their log files available. According to these logs, this one site has received about 6,000 orders for their “magic” pills since July 4. Even worse, most people ordered 2 bottles at about $50 each.

According to the article, the site is owned by a 19-year-old high-school dropout. He buys the pills for $5 per bottle and pays other people about $10 per order to send out spam. So if each order was for only 2 bottles (some were for more), that means he made ($600,000 – $60,000 – $60,000) $480,000 in about the last 30 days. That’s nearly half a million dollars for doing nothing.

I’m definitely in the wrong line of work.

It seems to be working

It looks like my forum is working so I added a link to it under navigation. Now if I ever find time to add any new material to the site, people will have a place to go and talk about it. I guess for now, people can just go talk about how lazy I am…

There’s one thing about the forum that I need to change, and then I’ll be uploading the source in case anybody else wants to use it. If you want to take a look at it, check back sometime after my Advanced Database final on Thursday.