A souvenir for any Sun Microsystems Security Geeks of a certain age

So, one year the powers that be gave us no almost budget to go to USENIX, but a huge bunch of us did anyhow; we wanted to have a Sun BoF (“beat the dutchman“) but had no signage.

So we stole the Microsoft signage, turned it back to front, covered it in cards and Post-It notes from all of the Engineers saying what they would be talking about, and had more people turn up than turned up at the Microsoft BoF.

The back of the sign is peppered with thumbtack holes.

Photo by alecmuffett • Instagram.

11 thoughts on “A souvenir for any Sun Microsystems Security Geeks of a certain age

  1. Dave Walker

    Ah; never did USENIX. Though, this dates from the first month of a very fun 3 that I spent in N1 Engineering – happy days.

    I see Microsoft now have a new logo; amazing that it’s taken them so long to fix the kerning / rendering error evident in this one (and all others of its era).

  2. AaronK

    I remember this one – we even came up with Sun giveaways for the ‘unplanned’ Sun BoF….all in a matter of hours….

    1. alecm Post author

      …and passing the hat for a beer fund, if I remember correctly. Massive team spirit, tragically underappreciated.

  3. Diamond

    I remember Vic Winkler gave away copies of Trusted Solaris 8. I also remember setting up a rogue wireless access point during the sessions using Alec and my MacBooks, tcpdump, and the official USENIX SSID and watching tons of unencrypted traffic.

  4. Vic Winkler

    I remember that. Several Sun security geeks were visiting the Sun office in Tysons, VA. Casper Dik left his laptop w/the latest security bits for next Solaris in our conference room. We wanted to leave, but Casper was no where to be found. I asked the 2nd floor receptionist to page Casper over the intercom. She said “sure, what’s his name”. I said: “Casper Dik”. She refused. I asked her to page “Mr Dik”, again she refused”. I asked her to page “Casper”. Nothing doing. I recall we had to wait…

  5. Kurt Sauer

    Gee, I remember that I wanted to go to the 2003 Usenix, but couldn’t make it back from Skype in London. Would have been much fun! I still have a pristine copy of a slightly earlier version of Trusted Solaris around here … somewhere.

  6. Glenn Brunette

    Wow – this really takes me back. I have such fond memories of the Sun crew and friends at these events. I completely agree with Alec that the value of these events was tragically underappreciated…

  7. Dave Walker

    I still have .isos of Trusted 8 (both SPARC and x86) in my archives, as part of my old build kits for the UK’s first SNAP systems. The principle of root as a less-privileged-than-usual user which exists solely to own files and bootstrap a very sparing set of system processes is something that Solaris 10 and 11 haven’t quite got back to, but they can be persuaded to work in a similar-enough way to satisfy all but the most academic and set-in-their-ways assurance folk; and having root as a “traditional” omnipotent entity certainly makes automated installation a *lot* easier.

    It’s great to see comments here from a bunch of old pals, too :-).

  8. Donna Andert

    …and time the hotel upgraded me to an astonishing sized suite…and you guys filled the bathtub with ice and beer…we invited everyone we knew at Usenix, and the hotel phoned every 20 minutes telling us to HUSH!

  9. AaronK

    As each member of our old community registers their memories, I *smile* and realize that the old community is still here, wherever here is. I remember that room, Donna, and the ice n beer. And the pass-the-hat….and I tell plenty of folks that it was the best job I ever had. Thank you all for that.

  10. Casper Dik

    I wasn’t at the 2003 Usenix, I haven’t been since 2002 when the Usenix security symposium was moved in the middle of the school vacation, though in 2002 my Son was born in the week before and I wouldn’t have come that year anyway.

    I miss Usenix and the wonderful Sun Security team spirit that was so abundant.


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