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hacks & plans

·480 words
Andy Jackson
Andy Jackson
Fighting entropy since 1993

Here's the plan. In order to distract you from the fact that there have been no updates to this site in ages, I thought I'd stick this video in the page to keep you busy. It's a highly efficient folding technique which went round the net a year or so ago, but it's been given a new lease of life by Google Video.

Google's service allows me to easily embed the video into my own pages, thus allowing me to distract you from this site's overall lack of content. If it doesn't work, it means you'll have to install Flash to see it, and my cover will have been completely blown. Read on for more cajoling and pathetic excuses...

Apart from the usual problems of finding time to update the site, a third-party has contrived to make the situation even worse. One or more hackers managed to get into my site (via a security hole in an old copy of Drupal that was knocking around) and the damage they did swallowed up what little time was available for updating this site.

They were using my server to sent spam, forcing me to delete all the mail queuing up on my server and quite possibly deleting some of my own incoming emails in the process. Once they realised that I was trying to stop them using my server, they also changed the administrator password and deleted all files beginning with 'log' (i.e. this deleted logo images, log files, database files - all sorts of stuff). I was able to undo most of this damage by replacing the deleted files with copies that I had backed up, but I could not be sure that I'd identified all the stuff that was hit. Thus a complete reinstall of everything was in order.

You can probably see now why this will have consumed so much time. You should also be able to estimate my emotions towards the hackers, and easily guess some of the names I've been calling them.

!!! Status Update !!!

"Enough of the geek nonsense!" I hear you cry. Well, for those that know me, here's a brief update on what I'm doing at the moment.

I'm still in Edinburgh, now in the School of Physics doing research in the Condensed Matter Group. I'm doing one project that has grown from my old PhD work, and another one that is more closely related to the stuff I was doing in New Zealand. On the more personal side, things are going very well with Eilidh, and generally life is good. I'm almost enjoying my first winter for a few years, and I'm still no better at emailing people. I am not expecting the latter point to surprise anyone.


p.s. If you really need a distraction, try this alleged Mensa test. I got 27/33 before giving up due to my head a-splODe!