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About Zzozzach

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    SE Qld
  • Interests
    I love torrenting MAME and Pinball emulators. One day I may even use the software.


    Queensland Fire and Rescue Service auxiliary firefighter:
    Don't play with matches, only WORKING smoke alarms save lives, if your clothes are on fire then stop, drop, and roll.

    It's the greatest job in the world. Our best days happen when someone else is having their worst one. It feels good to help.


    My day job is primarily concerned with networking and Internet related technologies.

    I'm an email expert: if you want to send a lot of email, talk to me. I know people.

    If you have a question related to sending or receiving email, ask me and I can probably help.
  1. Zzozzach

    Securely boot from SD card?

    It's a standalone PC that wasn't plugged into the network, and we were able to isolate it before anyone decided to connect it (learnt that lesson the hard way last year - see the OP). We suspect the attack vector was an infected USB drive since the primary purpose of this computer is somewhere staff can poke foreign storage media into. It was never backed up because there's no need to preserve any of the data so a rollback is totally unnecessary, nor do I need to spend any time hunting down the infection. Thus, a complete repartition and reformat will be the easiest and simplest method. As it turns out, I was able to dredge up a USB DVD writer from the Cupboard of Mysterious Objects®, plus I had a copy of Bootit-BM on disc at home. I've been able to wipe all the partitions, clear the MBR, and securely wipe all data (on it's 5th pass right now). Once I've got Windows back onto it I'll run some standalone virus/malware scanners across it. If the infection survives that then I've got much bigger problems to worry about.
  2. Zzozzach

    Securely boot from SD card?

    I know that, let's just say that I'm being anally over-cautious. We had an entire domain taken down by Cryptolocker last year...twice (thank goodness we had decent backups, but even they took a couple of days to restore). So, I'm damn well not going to be responsible for that happening again! The USB CD/DVD drive is a good idea, I'll have a fossick around and see if I can dig one up. We have a cupboard full of junk, goodness knows WHAT is in there. I only asked originally because one of the staff here has a SD card reader and an old 2Gb card they don't really care about, so it was a case of materials that are on-hand.
  3. Zzozzach

    Securely boot from SD card?

    Whoa...first post in Tech Talk for more than 3 years! Anyhoo...I just wanted to sanity check something. I've been handed a PC at work that's been hit by Cryptolocker; there's nothing I can do other than wipe it clean, reformat, and put Windows back on. My concern now is how to securely boot it from an external source. As with most modern computers these days it doesn't have an optical drive so a CD or DVD is out of the question. This leaves either boot from USB thumb drive or PXE; the latter is completely out of the question because I (obviously) don't want to plug an infected PC into the network. USB is not attractive because of the risk of infecting the drive, and thus reinfecting the PC, plus I don't have an endless supply of disposable drives. So, I'm wondering if anyone has tried using a USB SD reader with an SD card that has the write-protect switch on. I.e. put all the boot files I need onto the card (Linux live CD? Partition manager? Windows 7 ISO?) which will give me enough to manage the drive and reformat it, and plug that into the USB reader. I'm assuming it should be recognised as Just Another Drive but I wanted to check here first, and to see if simply using the write-protect switch will be enough protection.
  4. Zzozzach

    Where are they now and what are they doing?

    My turn. Still with Mrs. Z, we celebrated 27 years in January this year. Kids have moved out and doing their own thing, we're both immensely proud with how they're turned into Really Nice People. I just had a birthday recently and realised that 50 is getting (very,very) close...uncomfortably so. Been with one employer now for 13 years, have had jobs with 2 or 3 other employers as well. Currently working with a national accountancy firm as a Systems Administrator, but it's really just a glorified helpdesk position. I thought I'd hate it and it turned out to be just the opposite: I absolutely love it, it's a job at the pointy-end of I.T. where you get to work closely with the users, solving their issues and helping make their day a little bit better. I put that down to my being a real 'people person' vs. a tech-head. Having two jobs over the last 3 years is what made me drift away from Atomic; I made a concious decision that it was taking up too much time so I put it down and didn't pick it up again 'til today. I paid off a really, really large debt to the ATO. That sucked balls big-time, but I'm the only person to blame for getting myself into that position so I was the only one I could expect to get me out of it. Very tough for a couple of years, and the worst has passed. It also taught me that a good accountant who actually understands tax law is worth their weight in platinum. (Tax law is not meant to be understood by normal humans.) I recently made another decision lately that's had a big impact. I was with Queensland Fire & Emergency Services for 11+ years as an auxiliary firefighter and retired from that in February. Again, it came down to a choice of how much time I had to devote to things, and I'm a sucker for not being able to say 'no' at times. So, for the sake of my sanity and spending more time with Mrs. Z it was time for me to say goodbye to the job I loved doing for so long. I wanted to walk away when I was still enjoying it rather than wait until I became jaded and resentful. I miss it, but it was absolutely the right choice. I've moved house once. Still have the same dog - he turns 11 soon. Still drive the same car. That's one Hyundai Getz which won't die. (I do look after it, though.) Lost my Mum last year to cancer, brother-in-law from heart attack 4 or 5 years ago. This year I'm taking my first overseas holiday (as opposed to travelling for work or to visit family) and meeting up with my Dad in the UK. We're going to hop over to Ireland and take a cruise on the Shannon River, and he's bringing some of my Mum's ashes with him. They were actually going to do that last year, but the cancer got in the way. Now we're making sure she actually gets to go this time. It's gonna be awesome! I've taken up drinking whisky properly. After 30+ years of drinking Canadian Club and Coke I decided it was time to become mature (just bit) and start drinking it the right way: neat. I'm loving the journey of discovery - so many whiskies and only one lifetime! Oh, and I still drive by Director's house twice a day. Edit: speeling (still sucks)
  5. Zzozzach

    Roll Call!

    Damn! It's been nigh on three years since I was last here and I actually remembered my password. Must've been muscle memory, I guess. Anyhoo...Just over the ten-year mark for me. First post as Chazzozz!! was early '06, when I had a whinge in the Feedback forum (some pissy rant about the mag, IIRC). I went into self-imposed exile in 2013 because I found the forums were eating up too much realtime, and work commitments kept getting in the way. Or, maybe it was the other way around? I was never a heavy poster in the Green Room, but I was tickled pink to win POTM once. I got mentioned in Feedback a couple of times for winning IOTM in the mag, too. Each time it was some really sweet tech gear. In fact, the Corsair PSU that I won for IOTM sometime in 2009 is still powering my son's desktop computer to this day. The tech forums were more my thing, and I hope I was able to add to the value of them over time.
  6. Zzozzach

    Atomic Meet 13: Brisbane

    Cool, I'll be in this. I think I'm supposed to be doing some driver training with QFRS on one of those weekends so I won't nominate one just yet. Once I have a firm date I can commit to one. Anyone thought of a venue yet?
  7. Zzozzach

    Post Your Latest Real Life Purchase!

    Nice. I played alto sax for nearly 6 years in school, I might even be able to still manage a G-scale but I suspect my embouchure would be absolutely terrible. :D What kind of mouthpiece and reeds are popular these days? I had an el-cheapo Yamaha saxophone but I used a Selmer C* mouthpiece and a brand of reed of which the name escapes me, but they cost nearly $10 each back in the mid-eighties.
  8. Zzozzach

    Post Your Latest Real Life Purchase!

    I didn't actually buy it myself, but it's possibly the best birthday gift Mrs. Z could have gotten me. I can see the lounge will be graced with my presence for quite a while in the near future...
  9. Zzozzach

    First impressions

    LOL...I used Mrs. Z's sewing machine last weekend for the first time in, oh, twenty years or so. Man, those things couldn't possibly be more difficult to figure out! Give me a malfunctioning printer or a misbehaving motherboard any day, far more logical things to work with. Aaaannnnyway, back on topic...I've bought 2 of the PCTA mags since the merger and I can see a difference already. I was hella pleased to see the Hotlist is back, a nice contrast to the A-List. I'm quite enjoying the in-depth articles that feature in the middle parts of the mag, the writers you've got for them obviously know their stuff and do much more than hand-wave at the latest tech. I found the article on geo-blocking surprisingly quite useful as I've been looking into just that topic lately. I still find the DVD highly annoying. If anything, it makes reading a magazine, which is meant to be folded over, quite difficult and awkward. It has both times been promptly ripped out and discarded. You've already said that it's here to stay so I guess there's no point in whinging, I just feel better afterwards. :) So far, so good. I'll buy another one when there's a cover topic that grabs my attention, and let you know what I think after that one as well.
  10. Zzozzach

    New member - Ahoy!

    Sounds like Toowoomba ;) Correct, indeed. Both kids go to uni in Brisbane, though, so barring other commitments (sometimes suddenly appearing) we're often travelling down to see them.
  11. Zzozzach

    Espresso Drinkers of Atomic

    We used to drink store-bought pre-ground coffee put through a French press, all the time. We thought we were pretty sophisticated since everyone else was still using International Roast from a tin. How wrong we were. Mrs Z and I decided one day we'd step it up a bit and bought our first espresso machine, a Breville model that I can't find a photo of any more. It was one of their top models at the time and cost us the princely sum of $325. Wow, we thought we had it made. Much nicer coffee, a cappucino whenever we wanted, and it really looked cool as well. But, we still used store-bought pre-ground coffee. We didn't have a clue. I actually posted here on Atomic about coffee around that time, and someone made the point (I believe it was Virtuoso) that grinding fresh beans was the only way to go. "Bah!", we said, "A waste of time and money. If the store-bought pre-ground stuff is so universally awful they'd never sell any of it." We still didn't have a clue. I played on my mind, though, and one day when browsing the after-Christmas sales at David Jones in Brisbane I saw they had a Breville grinder on special for what seemed to be a non-stupid price, the Bar Armoa BCG450. "Okay," I thought, "let's give it a go." We got some beans at the same time (still store-bought!) and gave it a try when we got home. Nirvana! We realised how wrong we'd been all this time. Never had coffee tasted so nice and fresh! We were coming out of the dark. Well, the old Breville coffee machine, despite being one of the better models, wasn't lasting the distance. After a couple of years it started showing its age, so Mrs. Z took it to work and gifted it to the tea room; the International Roasters were thrilled with it. We had been looking around, reading reviews, and generally tossing up between a Nespresso or another proper espresso machine. We felt we liked the ritual of the coffee making by hand, so we ended up with the Sunbeam EM6910. At nearly $800 it was a lot of money at the time, but after years of faithful service I can confidently say it was money well-spent. This machine is still with us today, and since we've looked after it so well it still provides an excellent cup of coffee. So, hardware sorted...but what about the coffee? One more step to go. Shortly after we got the Sunbeam we discovered that Toowoomba had its own coffee roasters in town. I can still remember our first visit, they had a roast going at the time and you could smell it from a hundred metres away. Such aroma! Stepping inside the shop offered even more wondrous tickling of the senses. We bought a couple of different varieties and went home to try them. Bam! Instantly we discovered a whole new level of coffee appreciation. What we thought was fresh before now instantly paled in comparison to become old & stale. This was fresh coffee! We took it upon ourselves to work our way through their entire range of coffees, trying blends and single origins of all types. We found many we liked, some we didn't, and learnt an awful lot about the differing varieties and regions. Sadly, the original founders sold the business about 2 years ago and it hasn't been the same since. However, it turns out one ex-employee loved the coffee business so much he opened his own roastery. He's even begun to import his beans directly and gets some amazingly nice varieties in. Once, he managed to secure a Cup Of Excellence winner, which was a splurge for us to buy (nearly $20 for 250g, more than twice the price of regular coffee), but it sure was an experience to drink. As for technique, we haven't changed anything since we got used to the machine. Everything gets a good clean on a regular basis so we don't get buildups of sludge or old coffee. Probably the next purchase for us will be another grinder when this one gives up. We've still got plenty of learning to do, but at least we're now well on our way. I'm at the point now where if I'm at a workplace where they only have instant I'll politely decline and drink black tea instead.
  12. Zzozzach

    Programming in 1985

    This is really cool, I only posted what I thought was some interesting trivia and it's turned into quite a worthwhile discussion. :-D If you're interested, John has posted some more historical information on his early coding efforts. Seems he was a very busy boy!
  13. Zzozzach

    Anyone know what this fungus is?

    ...and that, boys & girls, is why you don't eat the mushrooms growing in your worm farm....
  14. Zzozzach

    New member - Ahoy!

    Greetings Ben, from elsewhere in SE Qld. I used to be a web developer many, many years ago but I've moved on to email applications. Like MasterScythe said, we have the odd meet in Brisbane that we try and herd all the cats along to...not always an easy thing to do, but we try. Heck, I've even made it down The Range a couple of times to be there. Stick around and post often.
  15. Zzozzach

    Anyone know what this fungus is?

    Strange. I've never seen that growing in my worm farm. If you're in Qld then try send the photo to the Queensland Museum Discovery Centre discoverycentre -at- qm.qld.gov.au. I've sent them photos of weird plants and insects a few times and they've always been really helpful.