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 Linux Zealot - My thoughts about him

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jun 08, 2002
This is a Dislamer: have not screened this diary entry and therefore I must stress that it may contain innaccuracies or blatent lies. A full disclaimer can be found at the end of this diary. I would put it here at the top but it's rather lengthy. Those who use Linux and don't have scroll bars will have to recompile the kernel.


If you really think about it, Linux Zealot is quite happy and secure. He doesn't have to worry about his job because he is into open source and works for nothing. A concept which I can't grasp but it still seems a novel idea.

He also doesn't worry about finding a women. This is the usual mentality of a geek. I guess that while we see mating as an important part of life, he just sees it as trivial. Just imagine that.

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Why US bombs should be banned
The Hunt for God
My vacation to America and what I found there
Are you an Enemy Combatant?
Rock vs Pop
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One Year since 9/11 and Americans haven't changed
Linux Zealot's life obviously revolves around Linux as well as protecting Open Source, the new cornerstone of the First Ammendment.
Things which we, supposedly normal people do in our lives such as drinking, partying and dating are all irrelevant to Linux Zealot. Just imagine the consequences of that! If we didn't care about all those things, we would be so much more productive. We could say that Linux Zealot is a superior human in a way, devoting his entire life to progress and cooperation of the species rather than throwing it away to nights of drunkeness and sex.

We even deduce from this that the Linux Zealots of the world make up the next step of human evolution. I mean im not like Linux Zealot but I am beginning to wish I was and I think we should all aspire to be like him even if we don't like Linux.


Disclamer: This Diary Entry has not undergone's usual screening process in which nothing lame and innacurate can pass. It has not been Certified and is not liable to any mental damage or condition which you may recieve while reading it.

This Diary entry definitely does not represent the views or opinions of any least none that I can think. In fact, none of the information in this diary could be found inside the heads of any member until they read this.
This Diary has not been read or editted by anyone but me at the time of writing but may be read or editted before I finish this disclaimer. cannot be responsible or take ownership for any innaccuracies, spelling mistakes or lies in this article as they are the sole property of me, PotatoError. All my lies are open source so you may use them if you want as long as you post this disclaimer with them and pass the rights to the new owner.
My opinions may be wrong but this is not the fault of as they have not applied their usual screening process.
Read this at your own risk. I will put a disclaimer at the top of the article too to make sure you read it first.

This disclaimer is not an official disclaimer. Therefore the disclaimer itself does not contain the views or opinions of and cannot be held responsible for any injuries you may sustain while reading it. To prevent an endless ammount of disclaimers disclaiming disclaimers I will state that this disclaimer of the last disclaimer also covers itself. That is, this disclaimer of the disclaimer disclaims this disclaimer.


Next stage of evoultion? (none / 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jun 8th, 2002 at 11:44:00 AM PST
Thankfully the Linux zealots never get anywhere near a female to pass on their saddoe genes so their mutation is likely to die out.

You forget one critical thing (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by PotatoError on Sat Jun 8th, 2002 at 11:49:46 AM PST
Only within the last 40 years have Linux Zealots begun to appear and they have grown an exponential rate.

It must be the very computers themselves which are causing the mutation from primitive Homo Sapien to Linux Zealot.

So I deduce that Linux Zealots are the result of human-computer cross breeding.

This way we come to my theory of cyborgs ruling the planet. which will one day happen.


You'd be surprised. (none / 0) (#5)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat Jun 8th, 2002 at 01:03:03 PM PST
I know two of highclass kernel developers, in person, from local Faculty of Math and Physics. One of them has a girlfriend, the other one got married couple weeks ago - she is a math ace and skilled in informatics. I know about many more cases, though I know them only over the Net.

Female geeks are rare. Painfully rare. But they exist and their numbers are growing as the field of IT and electronics slowly ceases to be almost exclusively male domain.

I have a girlfriend (none / 0) (#10)
by Virtual Mage on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 10:30:56 AM PST
I have a girlfriend who is actually pretty attractive and is what you would probably call a geek. She programs in VB, C++, and I think she's learning perl now. That's just her computer knowledge though. Due to her intelligence, she skipped three whole grades in elementary school and is going to be able to skip her first year of college because she tested out of all the classes, which include Calculus and Physics.

Disqualified (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 07:43:31 PM PST
It doesn't count if she doesn't know she's your girlfriend.

Who will think of the children? (none / 0) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 09:11:58 PM PST
According to my calculations, your "girlfriend" is, at most, fourteen years old.

Where do you live? We may have to report you to the appropriate authorities immediately.

One of four possible results. (none / 0) (#18)
by Illiterate Bum on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 02:30:56 AM PST
He is either:

1. A pedophile (possible, but unlikely).

2. Between 14 and 16 years old, and therefore exempt from most statutory rape laws (somewhat likely).

3. 18 or over and pulling this out of his ass, too stupid to realize that his imaginary girlfriend is Kelly bait (very likely).

4. Under 18 years old, pretending to be older, all the while spewing shit out of his mouth on the fly, too stupid to realize that his imaginary girlfriend is Kelly bait (I think we have a freakin' winner!).

For whatever reason, however, it might be safer to just turn him into the proper authorities anyway - just in case, you know.

"...normal, balanced people do not waste time posting to weblogs." --tkatchev

In his defense... (none / 0) (#20)
by gzt on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 06:33:05 AM PST
...He hasn't been pretending to be older. He's always claimed to be (and always seemed to be) a young man.

However, that still doesn't make it right. Anybody under the age of 17 should not date, simply because 17 is a nice prime number and I'm feeling crochety. It is positively immoral to deal romantically with the opposite sex before you have this arbitrarily assigned number attached to you.


Well done (none / 0) (#3)
by iat on Sat Jun 8th, 2002 at 11:56:16 AM PST
I'm glad that you've followed my advice by adding a disclaimer to your diaries. I have also taken the liberty of using my editorial powers to display your disclaimer in blinking* red text, to further ensure that there is no confusion about your diary.

*Netscape (TM) browsers only - love it or leave it.

Thank you (none / 0) (#4)
by PotatoError on Sat Jun 8th, 2002 at 12:35:33 PM PST
My megre Microsoft browser shows it up only as unblinking red text. Still it looks good! Better than just plain italics.

Confused? (none / 0) (#8)
by First Incision on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 12:13:07 AM PST
Yet again, PotatoError, you are helplessly confused. Linux Zealot does try to find women. Quoth the Zealot: "... wanna come to the bar with me and see if we can get laid?"

Linux Zealot also once had a girlfriend.

And true to Open Source Software, he may be happy, but he is not secure.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

wrong (none / 0) (#11)
by Virtual Mage on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 10:40:20 AM PST
I would like to see where you people get your idea that open source is any less secure than closed source software. Yes, there are cases in which that is true. One of the common arguments about open source being insecure is that anyone can see the code, and therefore will be able read through it and look for possible exploits. The thing is, the people who find those exploits will either report them or use them. As soon as they are used, everbody knows about them and they get fixed. Meanwhile, in the case of closed source software, people can't look through the code, and therefore may not be able to find all the exploits in it. The problem with that is that whatever exploits are there take longer to get fixed. A perfect example of this is Qmail and Microsoft Exchange. Go to and search for qmail and then search for exchange. Only three exploits show for qmail, while more than a page show for Exchange. (I feel sorry for you windows people whose computers freeze while scrolling).

no duh, qmail doesnt do very much (none / 0) (#12)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 01:11:25 PM PST
not compared to exchange, it doesnt. If I abused reason as nonchalantly as oss pundits do, I could claim Microsoft's version of helloworld.c was three times as secure as qmail.

Who needs... (none / 0) (#13)
by The Mad Scientist on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 04:59:46 PM PST
...all those "features", anyway?

Do you prefer a simple, sleek system with plenty of external modules, whose you can write yourself if necessary and tailor them exactly to your needs, or would you pick a closed, cheesy (not only because of the holes) overbloated monster?

Corporate America sez... (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 07:46:14 PM PST
We prefer the features.

Corporate America chooses... (none / 0) (#19)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 04:02:26 AM PST
...holes and worms then.

What I find odd is that they bitch and moan about them and about all the associated "losses" - when it is what they asked for!

Yes it does. (none / 0) (#21)
by dmg on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 07:46:32 AM PST
Corporate America is a very pragmatic entity. Instead of living in an open-source ivory tower, it chooses the proprietary software route whilst fully cogniscent of its pitfalls yet preferring them to the open source alternative

Its called the Market. You cannot buck it.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Corp. America chose sendmail?! (none / 0) (#22)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 07:53:34 AM PST
Meanwhile, the only Lenix boxen that havent been rooted are oss toasters.

Corporate America... (none / 0) (#23)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 08:49:40 AM PST
...(and not only America) chose qmail.

When I was deciding about my corporate IT policy, or more accurately about the email infrastructure I will have to support, I chose the same. I hadn't a reason to complain from then.

...and if you install everything without judgement and don't switch off the services you don't really need and don't limit access to those that aren't about to be used by everyone, you get exactly what you ask for. I run a half-dozen of Linux servers and got hired to tune some more, and no one of them was broken into yet - though there are dozens of attempts[1] every day.

[1] I am not sure if I should count a mere vulnerability scan as a real hack attempt, but snort reports some each couple minutes. There was very very few of more serious attempts, maybe because we aren't important target. I am going to manage one more server, maybe more attractive, so maybe the logs will become somehow less boring.

your comments apply to every os (none / 0) (#24)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 01:58:06 PM PST
you just dont get it, do you?

Of course. (none / 0) (#26)
by The Mad Scientist on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 06:20:05 PM PST
They were meant to be so.

You cannot prove this, (none / 0) (#27)
by dmg on Tue Jun 11th, 2002 at 06:47:01 AM PST
I run a half-dozen of Linux servers and got hired to tune some more, and no one of them was broken into yet

I am interested to know how you can prove this negative. Indeed if you can, its possible you have inadvertently stumbled upon the holy grail of computing...

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

Audits. (none / 0) (#28)
by The Mad Scientist on Tue Jun 11th, 2002 at 08:53:12 AM PST
You have executable files, you have config files, you have logfiles.

If checksums of executables and configs are unchanged, there is reasonable certainity they weren't altered. (The checksum checker has to be run from trusted media, if you want to be sure, though. Hint: bootable CD to start from, USB drive to store the checksums on.)

The logfiles are known weak spot; tampering with logs is a crucial part of Blackhat 101. Remote logging alleviates this concern quite a lot. There are also logging daemons that cryptographically sign the files, so tampering can be revealed.

I suppose my machines can be broken into. However, I know about only one person capable of doing so (though there are more I don't know); he is one of the world's best handful and makes very good money as a penetration tester for a big security company. Without initial insider knowledge about the machines, I doubt even he would stay undetected.

Vast majority of threats are only just script kids; they rely on automated tools and vulnerability scanners, like Whisker or Nessus. I am using both (and more) routinely in order to assess security of my machines; hey, everyone can do a typo in a firewall setup.

My machines themselves typically aren't worth of the effort to get inside. If you want just a machine to control, there are softer targets around. If you want the data, it should be far easier to physically break into the offices or my home, or sniff on the lines. If you want to prove to me there are holes, yes, I am reasonably sure there are some there - but you have to be quite good to find them, far better than the run-of-the-mill nuisance-level script kids; if you will manage to do so, and will not be destructive, I will buy you a bottle of whiskey.

If you will mess around the machines, searching for the weak spots, you will get detected. An attempt to portscan any of my darlings or to bruteforce the passwords will light up my IDS console like a Christmas tree. Your attempt to go through an apparent vulnerability can be just stepping on a mine - you can't be sure a service with a known-vulnerability banner isn't a trap to catch the intruder. Yes, I faked some system banners; if you will believe them, you will be logged and if you will ignore them and bruteforce through, you will be logged as well. Yes, I am fucking paranoid.

The weak spots I know about are local exploits; if you get into the machine, you have your chance - but you have to get inside first. Even then, you would have to disable the logs first. The feasible route how to get undetected into one of my machines and stay there for until the next audit is to reboot the machine from a floppy or a CD; the other one is to DoS the other machine on which the logs are consolidated and do the job during the time I am blind - which can make me suspicious. There are other ways to disable or weaken my security means, but they all require deep architectural knowledge of the systems I am using. Another way in would be through a kernel-level bug, but I hadn't heard about any remotely-exploitable one for ages. You can get in, but hardly unobserved. Yes, I read the logs daily. In realtime, when I am awake. When I am downtown, the machines page me when they don't feel good.

You can't disable logging until you are inside, you can't get inside without getting logged. Fascist and control-obsessed? Yes.

the people who need them, that's who (none / 0) (#17)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 01:48:18 AM PST
Try not to change the subject, OK? And speaking of abusing reason with nonchalant abandon, "write yourself if necessary" is nothing less than the wishful rhetoric of someone pining for technocracy.

You sir, (none / 0) (#25)
by First Incision on Mon Jun 10th, 2002 at 03:20:02 PM PST
need a girlfriend.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

Linux Zealot is not superior - here is why: (none / 0) (#9)
by yeap on Sun Jun 9th, 2002 at 08:42:10 AM PST
Firstly, if he was a superior human being like you say, due to spending his time "furthering the human species", then obviously he would realise that partying and sex are essential to life. If everyone was like him, like you wish, then that would mean that there would be no sex on the earth, therefore no reproduction, therefore the human race will die out. So from this we can conclude that supporting open source means that you are supporting the extinction of the human race. And secondly, if he was superior, he would have heard of something known as a shower.
I rest my case.


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