SecureCon Lecture

On Thursday at Secure Con [1] I gave a lecture about SE Linux that went according to plan, and they gave me a nice bottle of Penfolds Shiraz afterwards (thanks to the sponsors).

During my lecture I announced my plan to run the hands-on training session over the net. The idea is that the Debian and CentOS images from with minor modifications will be put online somewhere for anyone to download. Anyone can then run the images on their own Xen server, go through the exercises, and ask questions on IRC at the same time. If you are interested in such training then please indicate in a comment what times would be good for the IRC discussion. Note that I’m only available between 7AM and 10PM starts in time zone +1100 (that is 20:00 to 11:00UTC for the starting time), the finishing time would be two hours later – and it would be possible to do the training in multiple sessions.

One interesting thing was that at the end the moderator of the session offered a box of lollies to the first person who could tell him my user-name (which was included in ls output on one of the slides).

Afterwards I was in idle conversation with some delegates and the topic of the Mac Mini [2] machines came up. Those machines are smaller than the Cobalt Qube (that I have in the past lugged around for portable SE Linux demonstrations), quite powerful (1G of RAM with an 80G hard drive seems to be the minimum for buying new at the moment), and they have keyboard and video ports which is often more convenient than sys-admin by serial port. I am now patiently waiting for Intel-based Mac Mini’s to start selling cheaply on eBay. Such a machine with 1G of RAM would make a nice SE Linux demo machine, I could run at least 7 Xen DomU’s for different users! Of course a second-hand laptop would do just as well, but laptops seem to hold their value better than most other machines.

One thing that disappointed me was the small turn-out for the conference dinner. It seemed that as there was a gap in the program between the official end of the conference at 5PM and dinner at 6PM most people decided to go home. One thing to note for future events is that leaving gaps in this way is probably a bad idea. Maybe if they had said “drinks at the restaurant from 5PM and dinner at 6PM” then the turn-out would have been better.

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