Archive | August 26, 2005

BSD Certification Roadmap

Slashdot notes BSD Certification Group Releases Roadmap. Jeremy C. Reed writes “The BSD Certification Group announced on Thursday the release of their certification program roadmap. This publication introduces the Group’s planned BSD system administrator certifications and the construction of the certification program. The press release is available, as well as the certification roadmap.”

I’ve been a big fan of certification for a long time, as I think it shows a sincere interest in professional credentialling. There will always be “paper CNEs” — fakers who memorize questions and answers and squeak through the exams, so the credential should never be considered alone.

I hope that certification will eventually lead to professional licensing of software developers and other IT professionals. While many see the downside of getting state regulatory agencies involved in the process of determining computer competency, there’s an upside I hadn’t considered. I was chatting about certification recently with a Professional Engineer. He explained that a P.E. receives a license from the state in recognition of study, practice and exam performance, and is required to maintain current licensure by documenting ongoing education. If accused in court, a P.E. is more likely presumed by professional standing to have performed correctly, and the burden of proof is on the other party to prove negligence, incompetence or malpractice. Compared to the current situation in software development, this would be a desirable stance.

FTPOnline registration

I attempted to create an account on the Fawcette Technical Publications online ( web site to get a link to pass on about a recent editorial in Visual Studio Magazine. It prompted for the usual email address, password twice routine. I used my usual password technique, a scrambling of the site with punctuation and letters. It rejected my attempt with a little message "Password must be between 4 and 10 characters" — okay, mine was eleven or twelve. I slimmed it down to nine, and .. "Password must be between 4 and 10 characters" — now I eliminated all the numbers. Still… "Password must be between 4 and 10 characters" . Finally, I just made it a simple obscenity in all lowercase alphabetic characters. That it took. What kind of security does a site offer when you are limited to alpha-only entry? A simple dictionary attack (limited to 4 to 10 characters, of course) will crack this site. Why don’t they bother to tell you what they require for password? They ought to be embarassed. And why do they do this? Is it harder to store a number than a letter? Does an exclamation take more storage than an alpha? Bozos!

Can a Virtual Server be Vaporware?

Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley notes “Virtual Server 2005 R2 Due By Year-End. Microsoft is now going to release Virtual Server 2005 R2 (the product formerly known as Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1) before the end of this year.”

Interesting that since Microsoft has gone to naming their software after calendar years (Windows 95, SQL Server 2005, etc.) that they can’t release a DotFive version. So what do they do? Anything they want, as the joke goes. Windows 98 had a “Second Edition,” Windows XP had a major makeover disguised as “Service Pack 2” and now we have the “R2” version of “Virtual Server 2005.” Next, I hear VB.NET will be renamed “Visual Basic 9.0” dropping the pejorative DotNet and implying that you must have missed versions 7 and 8 as they built upon the success of 6.0, their most successful product ever discontinued, with which this language shares very little in common. What’s in a name?

Introductory Python course in Merrimack NH

At last night’s PySIG meeting at the Amoskeag Business Incubator, Kent Johnson announced that he’ll be teaching a course on Programming in Python for beginning programmers for the Merrimack Schools Adult Ed program. At $120 for 10 nights of two hours each, it sounds like a bargain. Unfortunately, I’ll be teaching LAMP at the NHTI Center for Training and Business Development, otherwise, I might attend myself.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.