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issue 08/15/2000

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vCity 1.0
by Dr. Adam L. Gruen

20 days in the life of a 21st century virtual city simulation.

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Mondays Are Hell: A (Mostly) True Internet Adventure
[page 2 of 7]

Fred called around noon. I could hear him cracking the first Coke of the day. Geeks. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

"NT server?", he said. You could practically hear him sneer. "I'll peel it like a can of sardines. Back in an hour." Forty minutes later he called.

"Got a pencil? Login is 'tuttifrutti'. Password is -- get this -- 'mymomma'. Ya owe me one."

I FTP'd in straight away and started downloading everything in sight. That might sound reckless, but if there's one thing I know about designers, they don't check their logs.

Well, I downloaded almost everything. This being February, we weren't going to need the .gifs of holly leaves and Santa Claus. You could see this site was orphaned bigtime, with not a file date newer than November. I left Donder and Blitzen too.

There were too many weird directories, even for an NT server. I could see the writing on the wall. Opened a couple of exec files, and sure enough -- binaries only. I was expecting stupid Perl tricks, but this rescue was going to be a doozy.

I wondered why so many filenames had the word "hazel" in them. This stunk. I went looking on Google and had it nailed in two minutes. Bad news all the way. The designer had used a proprietary shopping cart from some yo-yos in upstate New York. That explained the site's bizarre URLs. I downloaded the cart to my hard drive, and snapped up the activation keys. Who knows, maybe we'd be stuck with this beaut awhile.

I was almost home free when my FTP client burped downloading admin files. Thought a sys ad had spotted me, but no -- the cart's config files were chmodded so tight a rat couldn't crawl in or out. I guess NT users call CHMOD permissions or something.

End of this download. It was time to check the client's bank balance. I was going to owe Fred more than a favor....



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