Sunday Feb 12, 2006

Sun Ray @ Home Updates

Well, another year has passed for my little Sun Ray user. In Septmeber, I talked about a few updates that we had done to our Sun Ray environment, and I wanted to mention the latest. In late January, we upgraded the operating system on our x86-based Sun Ray server to Nevada (build 32). No issues to report - gotta love the stability of these builds! We are still running SRSS 3.1 as a preview of the next version is not yet available. Certainly, once it is available, we will give is a try.

My son has been using Firefox (from Blastwave) with plugins for Java and Macromedia Flash and has been happily able to access his favorite sites, listen to sounds, play games and puzzles, etc. He is getting more web-savvy by the day and has even been learning to type using gedit for about six months. In fact, he is coming along quite well. I will have him coding in no time now. ;-)

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Sunday Aug 28, 2005

Sun Rays and Nevada

By way of an update, over the July break (yes, I know it is nearly September!), I completed the upgrade of my laptop to Nevada (build 18). Add to the mix, Casper's frkit, Darren's netprof, and packages from the good folks supporting Blastwave and my laptop is a force to be reckoned! Since then, Nevada has been my only desktop. It has flawless performed on both wired and wireless networks, at home, at the office and at conferences (being projected), ... you name it.

So, since everything has been going so very well, I decided to expose my family to Nevada ;-)

A few weeks ago, we completed the upgrade of our home Sun Ray environment. My family has moved off of the Ultra 10 (running a pre-release of Solaris 10) to a eMachines PC (Pentium 4) system running Nevada (build 18) and SRSS 3.1. I have to say that the transition was completely painless - the SRSS software installed on the Nevada-based x86 platform with no problem and has since been running flawlessly. Gotta love things that "just work".

Isn't technology grand!

Friday Mar 25, 2005

I'm not dead yet!

It has been a very long time since my last post and for that I apologize. I have a good excuse honest! I was off for most of January with the birth of my second son. Following that, as you can imagine when I came back I needed to spend a good deal of time unburying myself from e-mail, v-mail and project deliverables. So, now that I am nearly unburied, I can safely proclaim that I am not dead yet!

I wanted to take a few moments to catch you up on a few things that I have been doing over the last two months or so. I will also preview a few things that will be coming up...
  • Upon my return from leave, I presented at the RSA 2005 Security Conference held in San Francisco, CA. I had the honor of presenting on the topic of "Adaptive Security for Dynamic and Consolidated Environments" with Dave Walker and Peter Charpentier. It was quite a blast!

  • I have continued my work as a member of the Unix Benchmark Team for the Center for Internet Security. Most of the recent work has been on the development and refinement of the Solaris 10 Security Benchmark. I have to say that in large part due to the teamwork displayed by that organization, the Solaris 10 Benchmark has come together very quickly and should be ready to release soon.

  • I have also been working on converting some of my Solaris 10 Security blog articles to become Sun BluePrints Cookbooks. The first of such to be converted was the Automating Solaris 10 File Integrity Checks. It was published this month. It looks like at least one more will be published next month. Don't think that this is just a rehash of the blog however. We did actually go in and add new clarifications, examples, and other content! Also, I would like to acknowledge Darren Moffat and Scott Rotondo for their careful technical review of the article. Thank you very much.

  • I have also been working on new material. Hopefully in either the April or May edition of the Sun BluePrints, you will see a new article titled something like Limiting Service Privileges in the Solaris 10 OS. The paper is done, it is just a matter of getting it through the necessary processes.

  • I have been doing a lot of customer briefings on a variety of topics. Most of my briefings are deep dives into Solaris 10 security features and capabilities. In fact, just last week I presented to over 300 customers in both New York, NY and Somerset, NJ on those topics. It is absolutely incredible the things that you can accomplish with Solaris 10 in the security space.

  • I have also been preparing a talk that I will be giving on April 4th at the EDUCAUSE Security Professional's Conference in Washington, DC. The subject of my talk will be "Systemically Secure Architectures". If anyone reading this will be there, please be sure to stop me in the hall and say 'Hi'!

  • I have also been accepted to present at the New York State Cybersecurity Conference. The subject of my talk will be "Lessons from the Trenches: Solaris Security Best Practices". Hope to see you there!

Those are just a few of the things that I have been working on recently - that I can talk about of course. ;-) I hope to do another posting with yet another Solaris 10 Security tip in the very near future.

Also, before signing off, I have to send some kudos to the Solaris Security Toolkit team. Thanks to their hard work and determination, we can now proudly say that the Toolkit has become an official Sun product that is supported under the Solaris Support contract. Great work everyone!

Take care,

Friday Jan 21, 2005

World's Youngest Sun Ray on Solaris 10 User

As I talked about previously, my son received a Sun Ray 150 for his birthday this year. He took to it like a fish to water and was easily navigating several of his favorite sites. He had a lot of fun playing games and even brought some of his friends over to his "office" and showed them how to use it.

For those who may be interested, the Sun Ray 150 is connected to an Ultra 10 workstation (440Mhz, 1-Gbyte RAM, 9-Gbyte disk) running Solaris 10 (build 74) and the Sun Ray Server Software 3.0.

I had the Sun Ray configured in its normal and controlled access (kiosk) modes to see which would be more managable. In its normal mode, we used the Java Desktop System interface. Each mode has its benefits for a home system, and I have not quite decided which way it will end up. It does not appear to matter, however, for my son who simply enjoys surfing the web with Mozilla and playing Java and Macromedia Flash games.

Now if I could just get him to file bugs and RFEs! Maybe next year...

Monday Jan 03, 2005

Solaris 10, SunRays, and even JDS3 Linux...

I realize that it has been a while since my last posting, so I wanted to provide a quick update as to some fun I had over the holiday break. I am planning on providing some new security content in the very near future. As an aside, for those who prefer a more structured format, the Sun BluePrints will be publishing a few of my articles (with new and updated content) later this month.

Anyway, during the holiday, I decided to tackle two things. First, I upgraded my home Ultra 10 to Solaris 10 (build 74). The installation process was completely smooth and without incident. I had everything up and running in a hour or so. With that out of the way, I then installed the (version 3.0). This too worked out of the box (or CD has the case may be) without any problems. So, in just a few hours, I found myself with an Ultra 10 with SRSS 3.0 on Solaris 10 - ready for action.

To go with this setup, I recently purchased 3 Sun Ray 150 clients. My goal is spread them throughout the house so that people can have easy access to the network using a comfortable user interface. In fact, my son, who is going to be three in a few days, is going to get one for his birthday! (Sssh! Don't tell him!)

Using the Sun Ray Server Software kiosk mode, I can give him easy access to the web content of his choosing like PBS Kids and Noggin making him have to login to a system, start a browser, etc. Quick and painless. The only thing that I needed to do beyond what I have described above was install the Macromedia Flash plugin for Solaris so that he could play some of the games at the sites above.

Now that all of that software and hardware had been tested, I turned my eyes to my laptop. I have been running beta (pre-release) versions of JDS Linux on my primary (read: only) laptop since the very first release of the software. As such, I jumped at the chance to participate in the JDS3 Linux beta program. So, with reckless abandon, I wiped my laptop and dropped down the JDS3 Linux bits. I am in fact typing up this blog entry from my freshly installed system. For those who are curious, so far so good. I installed JDS3 a few days ago and have already seen a significant improvement a number of areas including support for hardware devices. I am using a Toshiba M2 (1.7GHz, 512M, 60G, NVidia GeForce FX Go5200, 1000BT, 802.11abg).

I have it running currently using an external monitor (@ 1280x1024), but I have also been using its LCD (@ 1400x1050). Both the wired and wireless network adapters were recognized and worked out of the box. In fact, the only software that I loaded on the system (beyond what was available on the JDS disks) was the Cisco VPN client and some networking and security utilities that I use for my "day job".

Anyway, I have to run - post-break work pileup. If you have questions on any of the above, please let me know. Take care!



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