Helllllooooooooo.... Philadelphia!

15 January 2008

Well, I'm the field again, back in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to fight the good fight.

Or get myself so worked up that I'll blow through an incarnation, I'm not sure which. It's too early to tell.

My cow-orkers picked me up around 1000 EST5EDT on Monday morning (so written because it'll be well after midnight when I get around to posting this) - apparently my vehicle is distinctive enough that they found my apartment building without too much trouble. Apparently they like the magnets on my car, something that I find endlessly amusing because so few people mention them. After a quick stop off at the bank to take care of business we hit the Beltway headed northward once again, and after three hours or so found ourselves in Pennsylvania during January once again. The trip was unexpectedly rapid - I got a considerable amount of reading done on the way up and didn't even realize that we were within spitting distance until we got lost somewhere between Philly and the Delaware border. Thankfully, we just had to turn around and keep going an extra few miles until we found the right exit.

I see that Pennsylvania misses me. That means rain, cold, and wind, and not necessarily in that order.

The hotel's wireless network is flaky as all get out - no one on my team can access their e-mail from behind the wireless routers they have in place, nor can they hit any SSL-protected websites. I did some poking around this afternoon with TCPdump and its sister application SSLdump, and discovered that the wireless access points are attempting to proxy SSL connection attempts, and then immediately dropping the ball. Cipher strengths are renegotiated with smaller and smaller key sizes until the router gives up and the application in question takes ten minutes to figure out that it's not getting anywhere. I don't know who set these things up but they really didn't know what they were doing, and consequently they're screwing everyone staying at the hotel. The only reason that I can check my e-mail (or even post this) is because I've set up a bunch of SSH tunnels to smuggle traffic back to the Network by way of the OpenSSH protocol, which the local proxy servers don't know how to handle and thus let pass through freely.

I don't know what tomorrow has in store for me, but I get the feeling that it's going to make me cringe. I really should get to bed to rest up for whatever lies in store for I and my team.