Archive for February, 2010

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Mass Virtual Posting in Apache 2

February 25, 2010

The mod_vhost_alias module allows the document root and CGI script directories for all matching virtual hosts to be specified as templates, into which parts of the hostname or IP address are interpolated, as indicated by the specifiers listed below:

%p – Replaced with the port number of the virtual host.

%n – Replaced with the nth dot-separated component of the hostname or IP address. If n is zero, then the whole string is used. If n is preceded by a minus sign, then it counts from the end of the hostname or IP address. If the specifier is suffixed by a plus sign, then the rest of the hostname or IP address is used.

%n.m – Replaced with the nth character of what would be selected by %n.

%% – Replaced with a single percent (%) sign.

Virtual Document Root

mod_vhost_alias (E)

VirtualDocumentRoot directory-template

URLs for a matching virtual host are translated to file names by prepending a document root directory formed by interpolating the value of the server name into directory-template.

VirtualDocumentRootIP

mod_vhost_alias (E)

VirtualDocumentRootIP directory-template

Identical to VirtualDocumentRoot, except the IP address is used rather than the server name.

VirtualScriptAlias

mod_vhost_alias (E)

VirtualScriptAlias directory-template

URLs for a matching virtual host that start with /cgi-bin/ are translated to filenames by prepending a script directory formed by interpolating the value of the server name into directory-template. The handler is marked as cgi-script so that the file will be processed as such.

VirtualScriptAliasIP

mod_vhost_alias (E)

VirtualScriptAliasIP directory-template

Identical to VirtualScriptAlias, except the IP is used rather than the server name.

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Book Review

February 24, 2010

For this posting, I thought I’d give my honest opinion to a book I ordered, called “What All Network Administrators Know: Answers to What you Need to Know About Being a Network Administrator.”

This book, written by Douglas Chick, starts out defining what a network administrator is, and relative salaries you can expect to make as one. This is a tricky area, considering there are many factors to the level of salary – experience level, certifications/college degree (if any) – make this a grey area.

There is one section of the book that I and other readers have issue with: “Being a Brave Liar.” The author gives several “tips” for dealing with tricky questions posed by an interviewer.

The tips I have a problem with are:

2. “During the interview, appear laid back, confident and somewhat arrogant. Kind, meager and too polite will give you away immediately. An experienced network administrator is a slightly bitter one.” – I have a problem with this tip because I have met many network administrators (current and former), who were VERY nice, friendly and, most important, accomodating with information. Having been a systems administrator in a former life, I am most certainly not bitter. Regarding the bit about “giving it away” because you appear kind, meager and/or polite, that, to me, is complete b.s. I’ve never gone into an interview laid back, or arrogant. I always go in confident, but that confident only shows that I’m completely comfortable in my abilities to do the job that I’m interviewing for. In my experience, arrogance or a laid back attitude gets you one thing… More free time to interview.

7. “If asked why you are no longer employed, blame it on the economy. Your interviewer might show compassion, as he/she may also be afraid of losing their job.” – I find this to be incorrect also. Depending on the circumstance, DO NOT LIE. While it’s true that a company’s HR rep cannot disclose why you left (this is not always the case, however), it’s sometimes better to let the interviewer know – unless you had a particularly nasty exit. If you’re the type of person who can lie through your teeth without showing a solitary emotion, then go for it. Most of us, however, cannot. You can always say that you left due to a lack of opportunity for advancement.

9. “If asked about your networking certifications, trivialize them by saying that you only got them to put on your resume. Harping about your certification only agitates someone that does not have one, and insults those that do.” – Again, I have issue with this. If you have certifications, especially if you have several, why would you trivialize ANY of them, when you worked so hard to obtain them? I agree you don’t want to harp on having them, but admitting you do and admitting to being proud of having them will not harm you or your chances. Again, it goes back to confidence.

10. “There is always someone in the computer department that is not well-liked, and because he/she does not know this, if asked if there is someone like that in your department, answer yes. Because if you answer no, your interviewer will know that it is you. – Again, b.s. In the over eight years I have worked in IT, I have NEVER been asked this question. You’ll get job scenarios, problem scenarios, and other “typical” HR questions, but I don’t see this question coming up.

The section “What Server Operating Systems Should I Know?” contains O/S’es such as Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Novell. Not many companies are still using NetWare, although some still do (a company I did Level 2 Tech Support for used NetWare to reset passwords for some hospital admins). One O/S I would definitely add to this list is Windows Server 2003/2008. How this O/S was left out of a 2007 edition is beyond me.

Another section of the book asks “What types of attacks can I expect on my network?” While the standard types are here – DoS (Denial of Service), Buffer Overflows, E-mail Spoofing, Worm/Virus, Logic Bombs, Password Cracking, and Confidentiality Breaches – there are some that are not present, which I feel should be. In particular, IP Spoofing, Wardriving, War Chalking, Malware/Spyware/Scareware, Web Spoofing, and DDos Botnets (Distributed Denial of Service). Of course, there are others, but you get my point.

All in all, it is a pretty informative book, worth the $12 price (amazon.com). Just be cautious when reading and absorbing the information contained within.