Stories by Steve Blass

Converting audio files to text is getting easier

We have a large number of audio files we need to make transcripts from. Are there any affordable, automatic-transcription software tools available or are we stuck using human transcriptionists?

Stuffing up the sniffers

We use protocol analyzers for network troubleshooting, but these are equally deadly to a network if a hacker uses them. Because TCP/IP sends authentication across the network in the clear, anyone listening with a protocol analyzer can eventually learn traffic patterns, and logons and passwords going across the LAN. Aside from physically guarding all conductors in the LAN (not practical), is there any other defense against this kind of exposure?

Tutorial: Tools for troubleshooting DNS

We recently moved a client to our hosting services. The site, http://clientco.com, resolves to its correct IP address. When entered as http://www.clientco.com, the site resolves to its old hosting server IP.

Ask Dr. Internet

My company has just merged with another, resulting in approximately 75,000 employees. The DNS between the two companies varies from Microsoft NT DNS to Unix/Solaris/BIND 8.2.3. We have a project to determine if we should move to one platform consisting of Lucent QIP software.

Ask Dr. Internet

My company has just merged with another, resulting in approximately 75,000 employees. The DNS between the two companies varies from Microsoft NT DNS to Unix/Solaris/BIND 8.2.3. We have a project to determine if we should move to one platform consisting of Lucent QIP software.

Open source alternatives to MS Office

Sun Microsystems's Star Office works and can be used at no charge, although whether it's open source depends on your point of view. Another free usable tool is EasyOffice from e-press.com. There are open source office tools available, and an effort is underway to build a complete open source desktop.

Ask Dr. Intranet

At our ISP, part of our network has a firewall with three Ethernet cards connected to separate networks: the internal network, the DMZ (demilitarized zone) and the outside network. The primary DNS server and mail server are in the DMZ. The secondary DNS server is connected to the outside network. We have a client who wants to set up Internet mail. We gave him a local IP address and put all the entries in our DNS server, but we can only ping the mail server on the inside network and can't do it on the outside.

Ask Dr. Intranet

Our intranet is Windows-based. I used to work in a mixed environment with Unix systems, and I'm looking for something like the freeware nmap network scanner we had on a Unix box that will run under Windows NT. And how about a free or inexpensive sniffer program that will run under NT?

Ask Dr. Intranet

What's up with the new bug that makes Outlook susceptible to e-mail viruses even if I don't open or read the e-mail?

Ask Dr. Intranet

You recently said Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory services may be able to provide address book information for e-mail clients. What's the difference between directories, directory services and metadirectories?

Dr. Intranet

What can you tell me about wireless protocols?

Ask Dr. Intranet

We're using the dynamic host configuration protocol server available from wwwnet. princeton.edu/soft ware/dhcpd/ on a Sun Microsystems Inc. Solaris machine to provide dynamic IP addresses for our intranet workstations running Windows. dhcpd software compiled, and it seems to run now that we've created the files/etc/bootptab and /etc/ dhcpd.conf using the "gen-config" tool that comes with the package. Our Windows workstations get IP addresses from the server, but the subnet mask gets set to 0.0.0.255 rather than 255.255.255.0. The worst part is the workstation can't release the IP address because it can't talk to the network with the bad subnet mask. The bootptab file is a list of entries that look like "dynamic198-150-65-5:ip= 198.150.65.5:dy:gw=198.150.65.101:tc=default:". What do we have to add or change to fix the subnet mask setting problem we're having?

Ask Dr. Intranet

With all the new e-mail viruses going around (Melissa, ILOVEYOU, etc.), how do you protect yourself?

Ask Dr. Intranet

How can we build a Web page that would display the company name and phone number on a wireless Web phone using the Wireless Markup Language (WML)?