Re: Why I need the Internet at Work (spun off Fave Tech Writing website

Subject: Re: Why I need the Internet at Work (spun off Fave Tech Writing website
From: <puff -at- guild -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 19:30:54 -0500

Maggie wrote:
> >It is more than likely the IT guys have a badly configured proxy
> >server. They are not out to get you just because you're a lowly
> >tech writer. Do some research and figure out a way around the
> >proxy server.
> I don't so much take the installation personally as my manager's
> wide eyed curiosity about why I mind.

I've heard that some law firms can be quite feudalistic little
fiefdoms... Having said this, and caveating it all with the usual
"your employer is paying you to work", etc; First, I always use my
network connectivity in a way that I wouldn't be afraid to do with my
boss looking over my shoulder.

Of course, for *me* that goes a lot further than for some people,
which leads me to my second comment, which is that I'm a professional
- I take responsibility for my actions and I am strongly committed to
whatever job I'm working on, while I'm working on it. In return I
require an equivalent degree of respect and the freedom of action
necessary to do my job. Part of why I have the ability to do my job
is my omnivorous, continuous consumption of related information,
usually via mailing lists and web sites.

> What we're doing here is trying to create order out of their chaos
> of a network. From what I've seen so far, I wouldn't be at all
> surprised if the security set up was completely accidental.

If that's the case, then you may have a quite simple way to deal
with it; get into your configuration screen (for IE it's Tools, Internet
Options, Connections->Lan Settings, Proxy Server->Advanced). First,
try just disabling your proxy server and see if port 80 of the firewall
is open. If it is, smooth sailing.

And of course, if this works, then the proper stance to take if
it ever comes up is a casual "Oh, yeah, it was broken but I fixed it."
And of course, if you take this stance you must be extra careful in
your net usage - Caesar's wife and all that.

If the above doesn't work, an alternative is, if the appropriate
ports are open, install ssh on your desktop machine, ssh out to a
friendly external server (I can help you with this if need be :-) and
set up portforwarding. Or make friends with the IT guys - quite
likely they have their own little private proxy server that they use
for unfettered 'net access.

Steven J. Owens
puff -at- guild -dot- net


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