November 9, 2009
I’m about to give up. I know that’s what they want me to do. Between MSC turning off POP and IMAP, their trying to ram WebCT/Vista down my throat, and now trouble with my Cox, my technological endeavors have been stymied as of late.
Over the weekend, I brought my dead sever home from campus. It used to be LitMUSE.maconstate.edu, but its boot drive crashed early in the summer, just as I was about to go to London. Since it wasn’t mission-critical, I didn’t do anything with it until now. Prompted by a Lifehacker article, I easily swapped the dead drive and installed the latest Ubuntu, a Linux distribution based on my beloved Debian. The install was a pleasure; the only issue I had was enabling the root account, which I found out how to do with a bit of Googling:
sudo passwd root
Just set the root password, and you can log in with
su -; you don’t have to do this, but I just got used to using the root account on my Debian installs. I even installed netatalk to use this server as a Time Machine backup. Sweet.
Ubuntu is awesome. And, if my machine wasn’t so old (nine-years), it would probably run much better. Check out this list of essential software. In fact, it runs so well, I’m considering getting a netbook. Thinking about it.
Anyway, one of my motivations for getting a Linux box working at home was the promise of setting up a domain name through DynDNS. Which I did, quickly and easily: lucas.homeunix.net (lucas.homelinux.net was taken). I set up my Airport Extreme to shuffle port 80 (web) and port 22 (ssh) traffic through to the Ubuntu machine. Nice.
The only problem is that Cox blocks port 80 (and others) on residential accounts. As you can see, if you follow the link, is that they only care about their customers’ safety. I say it’s arbitrary. All of it. Here’s another reason to support net neutrality. My question to Cox: why do you need a an acceptable use policy and blocked ports? No, no, let me answer. Reason #1: we’re all criminals. Reason #2: you don’t want anyone to make any money using your . . . uh, "your" network. Is it even yours?
Oh, and the best part? Well, if I had a business account (an extra $30 a month), then I could have not only an open port 80, but a static IP address as well. Wow, it’s amazing what an extra $360 a year can buy me; obviously, if I can afford to pay that, I’m not a criminal and I deserve to make money.
I’m going to try to call them to see if I, an educator, can get a business account for my current price if I promise to follow their acceptable use policy (which I would, anyway). I kind of already know what they’ll tell me, but I need to see. My blood pressure isn’t high enough anyway. Stay tuned...
Oh, and a genuine thanks to CoxTech1. He or she has been a helpful voice.