National Do Not Call Registry
If you, like me, don't like receiving telemarketing calls and live in the
U.S., the federal government maintains a "National Do Not Call Registry"
that telemarketers are supposed to refer to before calling phone numbers. If
a telephone number is on the list, the telemarketer is not supposed to
call the number. You can add your phone number to the list by
pointing your web browser to the
National Do Not Call
Unfortunately, some telemarketers ignore the list. If they do, you can
file a complaint at the
complaints page. You will be asked to provide the number that was
called, the approximate time of the call, and the calling number, which
you may be able to get by
Caller ID or by hitting *69 on your phone
immediately after the call has ended to get the time of the last incoming call.
You will also be asked to provide the name of the company, if you know it.
I received an automated call today telling me I hadn't responded to
prior offers to reduce my credit card rate and this would be my last chance.
I hit "1" on the phone to speak to someone. When I asked for the name of
the company I was told it was "Branch Card Services", which is probably not
the real name of the company for which the telemarketer or scam artist I
spoke to works. When I asked where the company was located, he immediately
hung up. I hit *69 on my phone and found the number from which he was
calling was 971-220-1771. I then went to the National Do Not Call Registry
website and filed a complaint, since my phone numbers have been on that
list for years. A company that ignores the list is subject to being fined
by the government for ignoring the "do not call" list.
When I looked up the number on the
Intelius reverse phone number lookup site,
I found the
location for 971-220-1771 listed as Gresham, Oregon. Of course, such
companies can employ
Caller ID spoofing
techniques to hide the true number from which they are calling, so
the number you obtain from Caller ID or *69 isn't guaranteed to be the
number from which the call was placed.
You might wonder who would be foolish enough to provide a credit card
to someone who calls when you have no means of verifying the caller's
identity and no way of knowing if he isn't just a scam artist collecting
credit card numbers to sell to others or use himself. Obviously, such
calls must work, though, since I often receive them. I can usually get
the person on the other end of the line to give me a company name, all
of which have sounded rather dubious. Sometimes, I can even get the
person to give me the location from which he or she is calling. In one
instance, when I told the person that I shouldn't be getting such calls
because I'm on the "do not call" list, she asked me how she could get
on the list; I told her to go to
Redirecting a Local Drive with Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
is a protocol developed by Microsoft
that allows one to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows system. E.g., you
could remotely manage a Microsoft Windows XP PC, Windows Server 2003 system,
etc. from another Microsoft Windows system. There are also RDP clients
that run on Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X systems that will allow you to manage
a Microsoft Windows system from a system running one of those operating
A program that can be run on one of those operating systems
If you have a Linux system, you may find that it is already installed.
If not you can download and install it for free.
You can determine if rdesktop is already installed by using the
$ which rdesktop
Rdesktop allows you not only to remotely manage a Microsoft Windows
system, but also map a directory on the system running rdesktop to what
appears to be a shared network drive on the Microsoft Windows system.
$ rdesktop -0 -r 'disk:Linux=/home/jdoe/Documents/' -u administrator 192.168.0.5
I used the following options with the
issued on a Ubuntu Linux system:
The -0 option allows you to attach to the console of the server
(requires Windows Server 2003 or newer), which would be akin to sitting
down at the system to which you are logging on, i.e., it doesn't establish
a session separate from the login session you would get when sitting at
the system. So, if you were already logged into the system locally, when
you connect remotely via rdesktop, you will see all of the open programs and
Redirects a path to the share \\tsclient\<sharename> on the
server (requires Windows XP or newer). The share name is limited to 8
In this case I used
I picked "Linux" for the sharename, but you can use whatever name you like.
The name you select is the name the Microsoft Windows system will see for
a shared network drive. The
/home/jdoe/Documents/ means that
if, from the Microsoft Windows system, I use the Explorer or an application
to browse to the shared network drive named
Linux it is really
/home/jdoe/Documents on the Linux system. So I
can place a file in
/home/jdoe/Documents/ on the Linux
system and access it from the Microsoft Windows system. Or I can save
a file with an application on the Microsoft Windows system to the directory
/home/jdoe/Documents on the Linux system.
The -u option allows you to spcify the Username for authentication
on the Microsoft Windows system to which you wish to logon. In this case,
I'm logging in as the administrator.
192.168.0.5 is the IP address of the Microsoft Windows system
to which I wish to connect. You can also use a
fully qualified domain name
(FQDN) as well, e.g.,