Installing OpenVAS 9 on Debian 8.7 Jessie

I have built several OpenVAS boxes since the project took off and every version comes with some interesting ins-and-outs when getting the packages to build the right way.  Recently I was asked by a friend to run a scan on their site and I decided to build the newest version of OpenVAS 9 on my favorite version of Linux Debian.  The people on the OpenVAS project and working at Greenbone Networks have really outdone themselves with this version.  I will save you the run down but you can check out the release notes if you’d like.

Continue reading Installing OpenVAS 9 on Debian 8.7 Jessie

Its 3:59 AM where did my sleep go?

This weekend was a bit maddening while watching three 8-year-olds on a sleepover and doing all things fun for April Fools Day or as we have dubbed it Prankapalosa. Was daunting yet fun for some reason my Sunday night got long and troublesome and I had a million crazy dreams. I haven’t had a drink in almost 9 months and I Sunday night I started having dreams of drinking mixed with dreams of ex-girlfriends from the past all things that I have tried to put behind me, they all came back beating me up in my dreams.   This woke me up at around 3 AM but eventually I was able to get back to sleep.

I got back to sleep and was able to be at work around 8 AM which is my normal time yet seems like a full day ahead of most people working at a startup.  When I walked in I just got a strange vibe with several of the leadership team that usually weren’t in the office until well after 9 AM were there.  At this time you may have figured it out, yup we had to let people go.  I have seen it happen in small batches before but this was the first time I have seen so much of a company get cut.  I said goodbye to some great friends I have made over the last year and I will miss them.  After working in this industry so long I do understand its a small world and when you have worked with talented people you will see them again, but I just can’t help to have to reflect on them all.

Tonight I find myself not sleeping again at 3 AM and wondering about my friends.  Pushing out their contact information to other friends I have and writing recommendations.   I haven’t been able to dream tonight but believe it or not I wish my head was filled with ex’s and partying and not the tremendous amounts of worry about the road ahead for my friends and their families.  I have always had a very active mind that could keep me up at night for different reasons but tonight is different and I really don’t know what to do except write it down and get it out of my head.

Tomorrow will be another day that this big blue marble spins around a giant ball of gas and we will keep pushing ourselves down roads of concrete and steel to our ant hills… But until then I am going to try and close my eyes now and gets some sleep.


Running Rocket.Chat On your own

As some of you know, I have started my own RocketChat server for my friends to join.  I am hosting it at  It has been a very interesting process.  I started running the server as a side project when their code was in their 0.2*.* releases and it wasn’t ready to run at your enterprise yet.   But it was stable enough for my buddies that used to hang out on IRC to give a shot.  I loaded it up on a Debian box at Digital Ocean and was up and running in about a night.

I really have to say they have upped their game in the last couple of releases to make them a legit competitor with solutions like Slack or HipChat.  With this last update I believe the new LDAP import features and a couple of other extras make it ready to be deployed in your corporate environment.   Bring your data back home to your systems and don’t leave it out in the cloud so you suffer compliance issues in the long run.

In the long run for the Igazine Chat we have loaded up a couple of Hubots to provide help and lulz to users in the channels.  I really just want it to become a place for techies to hang out and talk about work, tech issues, and how fricking great a Wendy’s frosty is!   Swing by and signup for an account and say hello.  If you would like you can try and setup your own RocketChat Server.  If you run into any issues pop in and look for me (eric or stunder) and ask for suggestions.

Till then… See you in the funny pages.


Freedom of speech and the bad words

I wish I could find a way to blog about this and not piss people off.  Years ago two good friends and I were at dinner and we found ourselves dropping f-bombs just about every other word in the conversation.  We were all in the Marines together and at that table we decided to try and not use the word fuck in the rest of our conversation that night.  I don’t think it was a full 2 minutes and we were already right back into using it in every form imaginable.  When I look back at that conversation it wasn’t the fact that the word fuck was being using, it was how often we used it.  We were using the word as a crutch and had gotten lazy with our conversations.

As time has gone on, I have changed my mind about any word being “bad”.  I don’t put a value on words and its madness for us to continue with the idea that a word can be bad.  If you really want to take the value away from a word don’t make it forbidden let it be used.  Most Americans think that the image of Muhammad be so sacred that it can’t be drawn and challenge this as being aginst our freedom of speech.  Yet we frown upon the usage of curse words or derogatory words that have been used as slurs in the past.

I can’t say if I have thought this through all of the ways maybe I am not thinking about it deep enough.  But I believe most people maybe thinking too much about it and letting words hurt them because someone else put a value on the words.  They take that associated value and  let it drive a hatred of a word and then take the attention off of other more important topics and not just a couple of letters strung together to make a sound.  Are we really fans of freedom of speech or are do we have a bunch of Muhammad type rules in our common vocabulary that we refuse to acknowledge?



Comfort Zones and Alcoholism

90 days of recovery is what they say is needed when you are working on sobriety.   I am not sure where this 90 days number was thought of but seems good to me and I am not going to question it.  I only know about this 90 days rule, because a good friend of mine has decided to attend meetings on his own accord without being forced into the system by the courts or others.   I will leave his name out of this, but I have to admit I really proud of him for seeing out the last couple of days.  My friends all drink at some level or another, but this guy is one of the worst.  My worry for him had been growing over the last couple of months but I hadn’t given him any major grief on it.

If you want to change things you have got to get out of your comfort zone.  Drinking alcohol doesn’t start off as a problem, but it begins getting people out of their normal comfort zones it allows you to release some inhibitions and step outside of yourself a bit.  You start drinking and you forget the problems of the world that are bothering you and this becomes your comfort zone.  When the drinking becomes your comfort zone this is alcoholism and what your life has become.  This is where the 90 days comes into play no matter how stupid you think things are or redundant the meetings maybe, you are trying to break out of this alcohol induced comfort zone you built over time.   Coming to that understanding and breaking out of that zone is what the program is trying to establish.  Then hopefully you have a new comfort zone, one of just being the normal you that is back to dealing with the issues we all have in this world and not trying to put it in the bottle that is trying to kill you.

You, my friend, are one of the reasons I am working on my side projects again.  You having the guts to step out of your comfort zone and build a new comfort zone is inspirational and you are doing a great thing.  Keep with it man and by seeing you keep with it I hope it inspires others to push their limits as well.  Take care and I hope this finds you well.

There is no better or worse, there just is

A couple of weeks ago, I was in a conference room with with three others going over my performance at work.  I have done these 360 type reviews throughout my career.  I have never liked handling my reviews in this format.  The Wiki page on the 360 review points out a couple of issues with the process, but these aren’t even my issue with it.  I can see why the HR groups at companies would use 360 reviews it seems to be the defacto system in most businesses and it’s easy to say “everyone else does it” and just use this method.  Well if I had to rank that on a scale from 1-5 I am giving all HR departments that are using 360 reviews a 1 in your performance.   You aren’t doing anything innovative and being successful you are just replaying old methods, at best you are the 3 (average) across the industry.  I tell you the truth I don’t even read my reviews, I never have you put the piece of paper in front of me and as long as it isn’t saying I am signing my soul away to some deep dark underworld then I just press accept.

Speaking of average this is one of the subjects of my post.  Not just my current management, but almost all of my past management I have been talked to about rating myself as a 3.  Every time I go into my review I am ready to talk about how average I am.  Being average Eric is all I have ever known, I don’t think I could be anything else but average Eric.  That makes me happy I am not trying to be more than happy.   I mean can you really be more than happy?  I don’t think there is such a state.  A week ago I ran across this article on the BBC website “How to be mediocre and be happy with yourself” and finally started to feel like I am on the right path in life.  I love average me and it has taken me a long time to understand that it is ok to do that.  I credit the working environment I am currently in and the events (wins and fails) in my life that have made me this happy.

Maybe it’s just me but I know if I am doing a crappy or a great job at work and I am pretty open with it I will tell you if I am unsure about something or if I think it is not going to pan out.  Maybe others don’t know how they are doing and aren’t honest with themselves or lie to themselves and think they are doing great and need to be reviewed to bring them back down to earth.  I see this as a leaders job where they know at almost any moment how the rest of the team is doing.  It is the leaders that stay in touch with the people and understand their weaknesses and how to get the most out of those people.  I know I know… this puts the work back on the leadership or HR folks that have been pushing the 360 methods for years.  But I really think it is time to look at a way to scrap the 360 method and come up with something more innovative to reviewing and providing feedback to your staff.

Places like Bridgewater Associates seem to do this with process of transparency and open ongoing reviews of where each and every employee is strong and weak.  I don’t think you can deny their success as a company so I guess you can say it works but the inner office bashing games don’t go away.  So yes I think Bridgewater is a great company and meeting industry expectations but I don’t think  their process is doing much for the employees that are their at a personal level.   Maybe I am wrong and at the end of the day it is just all a formality to build a ton of documentation on us and keep feeding the machine.  At the end of the day that is all it is about the company makes the money we get the paycheck and life goes on…. Pretty average if you ask me.

So the ball is back in your court HR stop being so average with the reviews make it part of the culture for leadership to be able to say who is exceeding their expectations and not on our peers.  I love the people I work with and just feel like I am betraying them by speaking about them in another forum besides to their faces.  I don’t like my words being tossed into a web form and then given to others possibly outside the context I intended it to be presented in.  The 360 review is literally the he said she said of review processes.