Friday, August 29, 2008

Tale of the Missing FIN/ACK Part II

Yesterday I get home from my busy day at work (which consisted of waiting for the boss to make a decision that is still in limbo as we speak, even though the deadline in sow rotting in its grave), there was a voice mail from GoDaddy waiting for me.

I pick up my cell phone, I call the 800 number, select "1", then "1", enter my account number and press pound, etc.

I know the drill. I'm turning into an expert on this part.

The first level tech answers, I tell him that I have an open ticket, give him the details and he puts me on hold with the Squirrel Nut Zippers music I am so familiar with by now (I love SNZ but they seriously need to get some new "hold" music at GoDaddy).

While I'm on the cell phone, the land line rings (yes, we still have one, Pinky and I being the oldtimers we are).

Surprise. It's the guy from GoDaddy who left the voice mail. He tells me to hang up on the other guy, which I consider kind of rude but I do anyway. (It suddenly dawned on me that "life imitates tech" here... dropping the connection without a proper close... how... cosmic... wow. Just... wow.)

First off, the GoDaddy Guy tells me the new server is EXACTLY the same as the old server.


Except... "it's beefier."

Otherwise, it's EXACTLY the same. EXACTLY. But beefier.

I suppose if he knew I was a vegetarian he would have told me it had more fiber.

I don't get that. If it was exactly the same it would have exactly the same beefitude. Perhaps my definition of "exactly" isn't quite right.

Anyhow, the GoDaddy Guy wants to see exactly what my script does so they can troubleshoot the server by duplicating the problem.

Of course, the FIN/ACK issue has nothing to do with the script at all, and they can duplicate it any time by just ftp'ing a file, but I email the script to him anyway.

Here it is for the world to see, less some private details...

login [my login name]
password [my password]
macdef init
delete data3.xml
put data3.xml

I'm not sure what these Layer 7 details have to do with a Layer 3 issue but I send it to the guy. I explain to him it's the ".netrc" file for the user running the process that uploads the file.

Unfortunately I pronounce it "dot net are see", which immediately confuses the poor fella. I knew it was a mistake the moment after it came out of my mouth. I bit my tongue as soon as I said it.

"I'm more of a Webmaster than a programmer," he says, "I don't know anything about Microsoft .Net programming."


The .netrc file (which should be pronounced "net arse eee" for future reference - the "dot" is silent), for the Linux newbs among us, supplies auto-login information for any ftp site you wish to define within it. So when you type "ftp" at the command line, the ftp program will peal these details out of the .netrc file and log you in automatically, optionally performing any other commands you specify.

A very nice feature, widely regarded as a security vulnerability. But I'm a Big Boy and I can take care of myself. Don't worry about me.

But GoDaddy Guy doesn't seem to think the .netrc file is enough. He wants the script that actually calls the ftp command.

What the heck, I send it.

This script is called "masterxml". What it does is collect all the player data from any UT99 game that may be in progess (BOT House, BITCH House, Classic3, EXP///, or any of the "seledom seen" UT servers I put up every now and then), mashes it into an XML file and sends it to the server. It's not going to do them any good without the script that calls it (which is the Robo-Spectator stuff) or any of the other support scripts.

I mean, if they really, really want to duplicate EXACTLY (there's that word again) what I'm doing, they're going to need to put up a UT99 server and run my scripts on it.

Which could be cool, but there's no point. The scripts don't affect what's going on at the wire level.

This is going to be fun.

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