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You HAVE the right to remain silent. What you lack, is the capacity.

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Tuesday, November 9, 2004 at 4:46 pm by flerly.

As backstory, the VPN I have to log into for work, which I can usually leave up for days at a time so that my email continues to check and notify me of assignments, has been “quirky” for about a week or so. Quirky, as in kicking me off, forcing me to login again, repeatedly. Perhaps related is the difficulty I’ve had keeping a connection with the Outlook server to check emails. It won’t connect at all if I’m not on the VPN, of course, so add it’s quirkiness to the VPN quirkiness, and I have tended to get work emails in big bunches, spanning hours, all at once, in a “bog down the entire pc while I download” sort of way. I figured it probably wasn’t our network, since my personal pc seems to be doing things fine.

Anyway, today it seems everything is back to normal. VPN has been up since yesterday w/o dying, email dwindling in as usual. Only problem is I can’t SSH into the server to upload any files to the websites. I can ping it, but it simply doesn’t respond otherwise. The sites are up and working fine, so after talking to JamesT about what could be up, he figures SSH is down on that machine, and so that is what I write to the Admin to report….

Now, the Admin, as I’ve mentioned previously, would just as soon not allow me access, so in the past my problems have largely been refused when they come from me directly, but without having heard from any manager-type for a while, I risked it and emailed him directly.

It took hours, but he responded.

After some testing of the Chicago VPN concentrator, I’ve found I don’t have any type of SSH problems. Getting into the VPN has changed, though. The SOX team has been changing all kinds of policies, and so now I can only access through the ACS profile. Try this concentrator, I’ve attached the profile. You may need to put your domain name before your username to log in.

Now I’m not sure what a “concentrator” is or what testing he would have done, but really, how could it matter. He has offered me a solution, so I try it. It works. All my problems are solved. I sent off a quick reply that simply says. Thanks. That did the trick!

Oh, that it could end there. Shortly afterwards, I get an email that says:

Hummmmmmm. Now you’ve got me very curious. Which little tactic “did the trick” ????? =)

Well, let’s see. Of the ONE thing you sent me to try, I tried it, and it worked, so I guess THAT tactic. But, there being the whole “Concentrator” babble section in there and knowing that another short and simple response would only end in more misery, I instead replied:

I used the profile you sent rather than the FNFVPN profile that I had been using. That allowed me to login without a hitch, and now I can access everything as I used to. I am assuming that my problems were caused by added restrictions to users on the FNFVPN made by the SOX team?

I realize now, asking the question in the hope that reiterating what he’d surmised the problem was would get on his GOOD side was too optimistic.

His reply:

Now I’m concerned…. It looks like you’re getting different permissions on that Concentrator than I am. Do you have a FNIS domain account or something else like FNF???? I’ve actually tested with my ACS and FNIS accounts….. The reason I ask is that I’m trying to troubleshoot here …..

I could only reply that I have a FNIS domain account. He’s so totally lost me. I’m fixed. You sent me the fix. I did what you said. It works. What’s the “concern”?

Make it 5 o’clock. I could use some Gilmore Girls.



  1. aoide has made a Comment

    Gilmore Girls Rock!

    November 9, 2004 @ 8:55 am

  2. flerly has made a Comment

    because it’s on twice! Reruns (on Season 2) at 5 and the current season at 8!


    Hope your day gets better, btw. My turn for dinner, btw. Didn’t you need to come by and work on your car some night?

    November 9, 2004 @ 9:43 am

  3. skjarl has made a Comment

    Typically, if a service is down, you will get a connection refused message when you telnet to the port (assuming it is a TCP service and not UDP). If there is a problem with access lists and packets being dropped, you will get something else, typically a connection timeout.
    These are not *always* the case, but 99% of the time they are.

    November 9, 2004 @ 8:46 pm

  4. flerly has made a Comment

    I knew some techy-type would read this and think… “hrm, he was probably worried about blah blah blah”…. and totally not see the irony in him being so upset that something he sent to help me actually helped me.

    The thing that most bugs me about this guy is he seems to have the majority of our conversations in his own head and assumes I was in on them.

    November 10, 2004 @ 4:58 am

  5. skjarl has made a Comment

    The irony was not lost on me and I knew you’d probably respond like that. My response was just an involuntary, dick-waving nerd reflex. I should have repressed it. My apologies.

    November 10, 2004 @ 6:02 am

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