Site News

This site contains information about recent and/or planned updates to ][CyberPillar][. More information about the site may also be found at information about ][CyberPillar][.

Note: This site does not currently post each update in this news section. Although there is some recognition that such a thing may be nice, the site currently benefits more from having efforts be spent on simply creating more updates. An organized pattern of providing updates in this “site news” section may be implemented when such an effort is more feasible. At the time of this writing, this page may be updated much more infrequently than other areas of the site, and so this page may be prone to containing only information about some of the more substantial updates.

Upcoming updates

2015 and beyond

What is expected in the year 2015 and later?

See the later “News about site's updates/progress” section (particularly the update for the end of the year 2014), which discusses not only the site's current status at that time, but also some of the idea for upcoming updates.

Plans noted on April 17, 2013 A.D.

Adding more material to this website is helping the webmaster, and so updates are expected to continue to occur (even if they are not all announced on this section). One update that is highly desired is a review of the process of creating a virtual machine with Qemu, especially reviewing content related to supporting networking with such a virtual machine. Other updates are likely to add more information about using the Microsoft Windows platform for some common technologies, adding more information related to content likely to be tested when people take examinations for industry certifications, and adding some degree of public interactivity by launching support for forums. After that, the news section from 2012 mentions some additional topics that would still be nice to cover when time allows.

Fixing what is currently made

(This note was made in the year 2012.)

Some scratch notes have been combined into the main document. When the site became publicly accessible in the year 2012, even a basic spell check was not applied to the documents. There are notes about sections that really should have additional review performed, soon. A decision had been made to lower the level of quality expected when the site is initially made available to the general public. This decision was made because this decision simply allowed the site to be made available to the general public earlier, rather than delaying until (literally) a later year.

So, rather than trying hard to add lots of additional information, upcoming efforts are likely to be made to better polish what has been shared so far.

Additional ideas of likely future plans

Updates mentioned by this section are not published yet; perhaps ongoing research is needed to try to have some quality material before being posted here.

There are a lot of sections which may still be a bit sparse. A key one that comes to mind is the section on backing up data. Automated alerts is touched upon, but might still be in a state where some improvement would be nice. Interacting with databases may be another section that could benefit from some expansion: as I recall that was something useful when I followed some old instructions about setting up an intrustion detection system. (How many web sites have, on the front page, a section admitting to their lowest quality sections? This is simply a matter of ][Cyber Pillar][ being straightforward.)

Setting up an intrustion detection system is something that I think a lot of people would have interest in. However, before presenting a guide showing how to just get that installed, I would like to be able to have a more elaborate guide that shows how to have it be useful. For example, when an intrusion attempt is made, is there an automated response (to try to keep out the attacker, making this an intrusion prevention system, or perhaps sending an alert), or even logging the information (and then, also important, is to then know how to get a report/understanding, and one that is actually useful, by using the information in the log).

OpenID sounds interesting and I look forward to exploring that further.

Setting up RSS could be interesting. One reason is so that this section (“Upcoming updates”) and the next section (“News about site's updates/progress”) may be RSS feeds.

Any readers/visitors of this website who would like to suggest any other topics are encouraged to do so using information on the page about interacting with site staff.

News about site's updates/progress

Note: This does not mention all updates. Some updates, especially any corrections (fixing broken HTML code, adjusting spelling, or even clarifying wording) do not currently show up in this section. This section mainly highlights rather substantial additions or changes to the site. The site has often been updated multiple times per week. As you can see, this section has not been updated with nearly that amount of frequency.

End of 2014 update

(This upate was written, even if it wasn't publicly posted yet, on December 31st.)

At the end of the year 2014, this ][CyberPillar][ site has proven to be useful, although not quite a successfully has originally envisioned/hoped. This site definitely does have a lot of information.

Now, efforts need to be made to have that information provide more benefit.

Current status

Some topics have been quite well polished, and most of the site is in fairly decent shape, and care has been taken to have a lot of information be accurate. Those are good things. There may still be quite a few spots needing attention. HTML tags identifying spots that need attention may still be found on the site, and some sections might be little more than scratch notes that have been glorified enough that they did get publicly posted. Posting such work, even in an unspectacular state, may have been done largely in case they could be of any use to somebody. Organizational reasons may have also been a consideration, with hopes of having improvements occur soon afterwards. Such improvements have sometimes occurred, but there are likely some cases where they haven't happened as timely as hoped.

A full clean-up is not currently anticipated anytime very soon. This entire site has been a multi-year project created by a single person, who has done this without sponsorship. Basically, a single person's “free time”, outside of any work hours, was used to create the site and get it into its current status. Reviewing the entire site would be a substantial effort, requiring quite a bit of additional time, and such effort is not currently scheduled.

I had originally hoped that, by now, this site would be cleaned up further. There are also some topics, like DNSSec, that I had hoped this site would contain more information about (like a guide about how to effectively deploy the technology easily). Such things are still highly desirable in theory, but I'm openly admitting (with this post) that such things are not super likely to be occuring extremely soon. They may be months away, at least.

Originally the plan was to have one main guide for creating a network of multiple (real or virtual) machines. As is, there are now multiple tutorials about that topic:

Those are all covering details to be done after after getting a network into a trusted state and then installing an operating system.

That isn't the only case where there may be some redundancy on the site. In addition to the site introduction page, there is the overview of ][CyberPillar][ site features. Also, in addition to the site introduction page, there is the landing page. I was originally going to place this text in the “current status” of the site introduction page, before realizing that the landing page did point to this site news section.

I do think that I would like the state of this site better at the conclusion of efforts to sort out a lot of that information, cleaning up any redundancy, and generally reviewing the existing content in order to apply another layer of polish. However, that is not what I'm currently anticipating my next efforts to be on.

Improvements to the site are expected to occur, although those improvements may involve creating new content that helps to serve an actual demand. Much of this new content may be aimed at helping the site to be more of a guide, walking people through various processe, rather than just having the site be a “data dump” of information that has a bunch of technical details that could theoretically be quite helpful, but which doesn't seem to be heavily demanded. A bunch of information which people are not desiring, perhaps simply because they don't see a useful way to effectively utilize the information, ends up being no more useful than other data that just sits on a disk (or printed on paper in a book that is not taken off of a shelf).

As much as I would like to have the site cleaned up a bit further, having things be even more polished, I think there is more to be gained by making efforts to have the information be more useful in another way: increasing how attractive the site seems to people who want an easy experience of being guided through processes. Many people seem to like to glance at a screen that has desired information readily apparent, or just watch a video where information is presented, rather than spending time reading information. Even if the amount of time is approximately equal, perhaps watching just seems like less effort. Regardless of the reasoning (whether that is conscious or sub-conscious), I am recognizing that reality and I intend to have further efforts be made to try to accomplish that goal: making this easier for people to use.

That doesn't necessarily mean that this site is going to have lots of videos immediately. Such a thing may occur. However, videos are not going to be made just for the sake of having videos. Any videos that get made really ought to be fairly well organized. Therefore, before creating a bunch of videos, I believe there will be creation of some more guides that provide some more “step by step” processes. Getting those into video format is something that I can see being beneficial for people, including others and also myself. So I do foresee that as an extremely likely scenario, but I expect the first video will start to happen after I have a clear layout/plan/script for what will be going into the video (or at least segments of the video).

I will likely be placing the new style of content into the site's second directory structure. By “the new style of content”, I refer to the shift in goals to have more content designed to be more of a step-by-step guide rather than an encyclopedic-style reference containing tons of useful technical information. Having the older style of content may still be useful to some people, including myself: having that information available is helpful to be able to more quickly create organized step-by-step processes.

January 5, 2014 A.D.

The main ][CyberPillar][ main landing page has been overhauled, including pointing to some of the pages that are currently in better shape.

August 1, 2013 A.D.

A substantial re-design has been implemented to the “making a virtual machine” tutorial. The following tutorials are now probably fairly good at being able to walk somebody through the process of creating a network:

May 5, 2013 A.D.

Some highlights include: Microsoft Windows 98 Installation Guide (with 69 pictures), OpenBSD Installation Guide (currently with zero graphics, as this guide uses text-based screen captures), guide for system clean-up, guide to building a network.

April 17, 2013 A.D.

Work has been continuing on this site, and at a greater pace than previously anticipated. So much work is being done, so rapidly, that there often is just not time to craft a well-written description of the updates so that this page can receive another update. Since the site has launched, there have been 46 updates.

Currently there are 300 *.htm filenames on this website. (When the site was started, there was just under 250 files.) These *.htm files contain 241,356 lines spread accross 11,943,158 bytes. (The total code does exceed 12 million when adding in the JavaScript files that were made for this site.)

Many of the updates are simply adding information to what has previously been written, improving the quality of already-posted material and adding related information.

Some of the more signficant updates have included the following:

  • The site's user interface has had some changes. Side columns were found to not look well in a supported software configuration, so for now they have just been made closable. There is also a new color-less color scheme. The full list of colors may not be visible on browser windows that are not very tall. Until a fancier user interface is implemented, one solution is to use Firefox and use the View menu's “Page Style” option.
  • Industry Certification Information focuses on technical knowledge related to what is likely to be on some examinations for some well-known industry certifications. (This is in addition to the less technical details. (This is in addition to the Providing Technical Services: Formal Credentials: Industry Certifications section, which provides some additional details beyond just the knowledge about technology, and which has been expanded a bit.)
  • The section about Virtualation: Hyper-V has been expanded significantly. Partially due to that, Microsoft and compatible/Similar Operating System Code has had some updates (mostly related to Windows Server operating systems).
  • Techn's: “Basics” section has received a number of substantial updates (including new topics, web pages).
  • Some older material got archived into a new section for some older materials. Many *.png graphics that were made custom for the website have been compressed. (Details are available in the section on graphics editing, and more specifically the subsection on reducing *.png graphic filesize.) The newer versions often reflected a filesize savings of more than 20%.
January 14, 2013 A.D.

I've been making some minor updates. Perhaps the only very noteworthy one is that I've moved some content in the section about OpenBSD. Over 40% of the main page about OpenBSD was about the system startup process, so I moved that content to a sub-page. I made sure that any anchors do remain valid at the old location, so any hyperlinks can remain useful.

December 31, 2012 A.D.

This site is being made publicly accessible. The site has many recognized remaining opportunities for improvement. However, making those improvements will require additional time. Meanwhile, as additional improvements may be applied, making the site accessible to the general public is likely to provide more benefit than keeping it private.

A lot of work!

At the time of this writing, the entire site has been created by the founder of the site, known as TOOGAM and also by a legally recognized name of Scott Conrad VanderWoude. Merging of some information has now led the number of pages to shrink back down to below 250 (there are 248 HTML files). A recent concatenation of these files has created a file which was two hundred seventeen thousand three hundred seventy nine (217,379) lines long. Every single line was created using a standard text editor. These web pages were created manually, meaning that no automation was done except for standard operations found in a simple text editor: copying, pasting, searching, and replacing. A search for old versions of the site found an early file of notes, which clearly was intentionally written in a style appropriate for other people to be able to read, and was dated 6:32:08pm on the tenth of July, 2006. (The file was over 100K large, so it was clearly started before that time.) The current state of the site represents the results of attempts to improve that documentation. The improvements made so far have occurred over a period of time exceeding six full years (plus at least five full months).

Public statement of motivation

Personal free time has been sacrificed, in large quantity, to live a life that honors the principles that please God.

Hopefully the focus on the unselfish goal to benefit humanity has created a resulting work that will be useful to other people.

This site is being made publicly available prior to the end of the year 2012 (at least in most time zones of the creator/founder's resident nation, which is The United States of America, including the Pacific Time Zone where the site was launched). Please...

Enjoy!

December 30, 2012 A.D. (8:20am-2:40pm)

This website is about to be publicly shared. This does not mean that all sections of the site are in an extremely prestine state. However, large portions of the site may be useful, even if other portions are still in a state where there is much work to be done.

There may still be a fairly high probability of some data being moved from one page to another page.

Following are some areas that are known to still be needing some attention.

Each of those sections has a lot of good and useful information, but may have some known rough spots. However, fixing those rough spots may take some time. (In fact, the time available to fix those rough spots may be increased if the site is made public. Having this information available is very likely able to help, and so that may free up time to help smooth out remaining rough areas.)

Meanwhile, some of the other sections of the site are more polished. Perhaps a shining example is publicly recognized usage of IPv6 addresses. Enjoy!

Additional details on the site's status may be found on the ][CyberPillar][ main landing page and/or Introduction for ][CyberPillar][ page.