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Carole Fennelly's social engineering column is a hit, and one reader offers a suggestion for using idle CPU cycles that doesn't involve searching for aliens

August  1999
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'The human side of computer security,' Carole Fennelly, Wizard's Guide to Security

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Praises for column on social engineering

This article is very well written and includes a lot of truths that most of us computer security folks do not take into consideration. Thank you!

Addie McBride

More compliments

Hi Carole,

I thought that this particular article was brilliant. I am an avid follower of all matters relating to Internet security, and this one is a must-read.

Thanks again,
Ryan McCabe


'Database administration vs. security,' Edgar Saadi, Career Advisor

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Ed was right on

I agree completely with Edgar Saadi in his response to the question of whether a sysadmin should pursue database or security administration. I am a DBA, and have been a security administrator in the past as part of my duties in deploying Web- and database-driven applications. In my humble opinion, security -- for both systems and networks -- is a facet of database/systems/network/applications design, and is a fundamental requirement for anyone deploying new systems. As a DBA, I've found it necessary to keep up on a broad range of skills, as no one can properly deploy a database without understanding the underlying (Unix) systems and the networks that connect that database to its users.

Good job!

Michael Werneburg

'A busy computer is a happy computer,' Rich Morin, Silicon Carny

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Condor flies

I enjoyed the article "A busy computer is a happy computer," but Rich Morin only discusses ad hoc programs which solve specific problems (like SETI@home). In contrast, a system called Condor allows organizations to make use of idle machines to run any program without having to change any of their source code. Instead of running a program in the background, you submit your program to Condor. Condor finds an idle machine on your network, runs your jobs there, and can even transparently migrate a running process to a different machine -- allowing you to move the work back to your own terminal when you come back from lunch! Condor is available as a free download at Many companies, universities, and government labs are using Condor to scavenge for cycles for their own CPU-bound simulation, scientific, or engineering codes. I think many of SunWorld's readers would like to know how to use idle CPU cycles for their own programs, instead of solely searching for aliens.

Best regards,
Todd Tannenbaum

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