Sunday, 23 September 2007

Any good reason to have firewall?

I have been in trouble with VMWare so many times, that even now, when I'm deeply under pressure, I've started investigation. So, main question: how to deploy virtual machines host on fresh PC where firewall is used.
The only thing I know is that firewalls are special tools to control and restrict incomming and outgoing traffic within local network and in Internet. Before that I have used it rarely. That's some kind of phylosophical question: Should I it be used on home PC?
It is said that there are very manu malicious things downloaded to local PC from internet. But how can tool that requests if application lsass.exe can access address port 443.
Well done! Challenging question. And what if I say no? Where will I get refuse next time?
Firewalls are all user-unfriendly. To be honest, they are not for common user. Let system administrators have deal with them. Home PC are buried under junk soft normally because their masters want to download this and that. Strange, how some people can proud with their "downloading". Oh, man, stop downloading that suxx video - you have no time even to see worth things!

So, let's come back to my investigation. So I have downloaded version of .PCTools firewall+. Lite and precious thing free of charge. The newest version has some interesting features:
They provide 2 modes of creating rules for the firewall: normal user and expert user.
The latter means that user will be requested for each attempt to connect distinct port and more presice rules will be created. Before that I have tried to use ISA, Kerio, McAfee and this soft looks quite good.
Another advantage is predifined rules that are spread over PC Tools which allow user fast customization with less amount of stupid questions.
So I have installed PC Tools Firewall on my laptop (Acer TravelMate 2700) with Windows XP SP2. Before that I've installed VMWare workstation 5.5. PC Tools install so called PCTools Driver that apparently used to track hardware activity. To my surprise those drivers are conflicting with VMWare drivers. PC Tools refused to work when 4 Windows Services belonged to VMWare are working. That's suxx! I knew that at my job people also have headache using VMWare and firewall. And even worse, that PC Tools doesn't output any presice info why did it fail! Only message "Failed to initialize firewall drivers, please try to reboot your machine. If the problem persists please contact PC Tools support". This case I have posted to PCTools forum.
Another problem I've encountered and also could not resolve is that Firewall don't allow to lock workstation. This is not so critical for me, since I don't lock my PC, but this might grow up into a great impediment for the team.
I have anyway registered my copy of PCTools firewall. I hope those guys won't left my suggestions without answer.

Although firewall doesn't make much distortion to booting process some of booting process are slowdowned. And I have measurements for Microsoft BootVis. After installing Office, Firewall, NetBeans and Visual Studio loading windows services take twice longer time then before.
$Sic transit gloria mundi!

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Requirements metrics

This week the hotest question among Agile Group Ukraine) was discussion about approaches how to measure requirement completeness and feature readyness for shipping. There were basicly 2 basic opinions: Are there any defined approaches to detect if you have ready feature or not.
Strange why people things that business value can be measured before you have money flow?
My conlcusion is that there are tracking methodologies to measure development tasks and there are tracking for business tasks also. But there is no methodologies how to correspond business and development tasks ...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Web application vs. desktop

    Nowadays I can see so many developers leaning to the web development as to something very promising. Being involved in process of development that represented to the end-user as desktop application, once I was quite excited with debates about what kind of application is the best.

    Whenever somebody asks me what kind of application I like to develop, web or desktop, I reply that my style is console application. In fact, lack of moderation became a curse of the modern society. And IT branch is not an exception: Each 2-3 years interface outlook is entirely changing: the most prominent software manifacturer are trying to make people require more and more flashy widgets for the user interface. But I do believe that the basics of all successful systems will be functionality determined by command line. Everything is going to be automated and command line is essential part of this. Look for instance on Perforce - versioning control system that we use. Indeed, P4 has provided very convenient command line that covers all needs of the software developer. Their clients (which are actually 2 desktop and 1 web interface client are secondary.

    Look at the google: simple interface for basic needs, - that's a formula of success. Gmail is preferrable mailer, is the best search machine. You can be novice or master and use this interface in the same way. Oh, how user friendly it is indeed!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Message to IT Gurus

Dear IT Gurus!

I always used your publication to support my thoughts expressed on different meetings, jobs, simposiums and discussions. Whenever I represent community, but not act as a single man, I become more persuasive. I always suffered from the fact, that I can't thank you for that. And since today I have a new hope that situation is going to be changed. On this blogspot I will share my thoughts in software development, architecture, management and philosophy and I hope one day my marginal contribution to world IT communuty will be positive.
I don't fear that I'll have lack of material: my cup runneth over with my own thought, that can supply even more than this blog :)

One day you will know me, why not today?