Friday, February 11, 2005


I found a really really fun toy yesterday. I noticed early in the day that internet connections to many of the servers we frequently use were very slow. Further research showed ping times to the servers to be averaging around 600 ms. The usual ping times to these servers was around 100 ms previously. In addition ping times across the VPN to our other office were around 400 ms up from around 90 ms.

Clearly something was up. Traceroute information showed me that the congestion began at the first internet hop on the other side of our T1. Prior to that all hops were very responsive, however, since each of those devices is on a 100 MB switched network I concluded that someone internal to our network was overloading the 1.5 MB T1 connection.

I use a Netscreen firewall at the border and brief research showed me that the software running on it was woefully unable to show me who was using our bandwidth. I configured the switch to deliver a copy of all packets to the firewall to our old firewall, a system running LINUX. I found a program called NTop. After compiling and installing the program I ran it. Within ten minutes I was able to identify the workstation hogging all our bandwidth. The firewall was by far the largest user of all our bandwidth, that makes since since all traffic goes through it. The next highest workstation had nearly 75% of all traffic originating from it. NTop indicated that the workstation in question was running file sharing software.

I contacted the user who sheepishly admitted to running a file sharing program. He was politely informed that he was hosing everyone else and it was in violation of company policy to use company resources as he was. He turned the software off and promised to never do it again at work.

Since then I’ve run NTop all night and through out the day. I keep checking on it from time to time to see how it’s working. It has managed to resolve almost all the workstation names by sniffing the traffic to and from the internet. I’m very impressed by the program. I don’t think I’ll run it all the time but it was definitely useful yesterday and I can imagine it continuing to be so in the future.


Filter: 7
PCI: 28

What would an ideal day be like?

Wake up close to someone. I like physical touch and I dislike waking up alone. Ideally I could start my day by being physically close to someone.

I like time to myself and mornings are a good time for it. It would ideally I wake up in time to avoid having to rush right off to work. I take some time to study and be alone. Ten minutes with the newspaper. Ten minutes to eat something (ideally something easy to prepare or prepared by someone else.) I would like someone to have prepared a lunch for me to take to work.

I dislike having to think about what to wear and what to make and what needs to be done today. I prefer to take care of those chores the night before so that the mornings are more peaceful and contemplative.

I like to get to work before most others do. I find that time of the day to be highly productive for me and I can accomplish many of my daily goals in the morning. I like my job to be challenging and interesting but not stressful. I do well in work crises by responding calmly but my internal stresses go up. Ideally, work challenges would be evenly paced and have reasonable deadlines. Ideally, the people I work with would understand the reasons why I balance jobs the way I do and not complain that their particular job is not given enough priority. In an ideal work day I would have moments of relaxation between jobs. I think a brief moment to read a web comic or check out the headlines before turning back to work is refreshing.

I like to leave work at 5. I don’t like to think about work when I’m not there.

I like to see my boys and play with them. Ideally I would be able to see them every day and spend some time on the floor playing with them and finding out about their days. I like to hear about what they have done and what they want to do and what they thought about things.

I would like to be welcomed home. I would like a wife that appreciated my hard work to provide for the family and that liked to be around me. I would like to be touched when I get home. I would like to share the challenges of my day with someone interested in them. I would like a wife that shared her day with me.

I enjoy just being at home. After work I would like 15 more minutes with a newspaper. I would like to help with homework. I like the house to be orderly and I would help by straightening rooms, doing dishes or other chores that I thought would help. I like reading stories to the kids. I would like them to settle down when it’s time for lights off.

As the house settles down I would like to sit on the couch next to my wife and watch a TV show or movie. I would like to be able to talk about our days calmly but with genuine feeling. I would like to be touched and not feel isolated.

Before I get to tired I would like to prepare for the next day by setting out anything I need to take to work. I would like to take a few moments to read something in bed as my body and mind relaxes.

I would like to go to bed with my wife, not before and not after but together. I would like to be cuddled or cuddle and feel close and not pushed away. I would like both of us to feel free to propose further intimacy and for either to accept or postpone it freely.

Bah, this seems a bit silly since life rarely is so orderly but there is a glimpse into how an ideal day might go. I’ll have to work up some ideal weeks, moths and years too.
Site Meter