Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

January – project month

In the past few days, the film production rumor mill has cranked up to high speed again, and when I went to pay my union dues I heard rumblings about a “bunch of stuff” starting up around the 15th of this month.

While work is always a very good thing, I have to be honest in that I have conflicting feelings about this.

January is the one month when I know I’m not going to work, so I can do things like upgrade my computer (which requires six trips to Fry’s and at least two screaming matches polite conversations at the exchange desk)*, clean my house (when I come home from work every night, I throw whatever’s left of the LA Times in the recycle basket, so after a few weeks I’ve got a pile of newspapers the size of the blob in my living room – not to mention the dust bunnies), and drop the five pounds I’ve put on while sitting on set eating too much crafty.

I also have to go through my work bag and figure out how many tools I need to replace before it gets busy again. I do tend to lose tools due to absent-minded borrowers, but some just wear out, get damaged (if you use a screwdriver to pry apart two bates connectors that are stuck together, it can bend the screwdriver – or blow a chunk out of it if there’s still power to that line. They just don’t make tools like they used to), or are dropped on a concrete floor from 40 feet in the air.

I also have some stuff to do for the next micro-budget we’re trying to fund, finish the SAG paperwork for the last one (it’s halfway through edit #3 now), re-cover the couch (I’ve had the fabric for two years and just haven’t gotten around to it), and soak the front window screens in solvent (damn teenagers) to remove the graffiti.

I’m going to hope for more work – money doesn’t spoil, and I can always put off my projects until spring.

* Does anyone have any suggestions for a good hard firewall (i.e. not a software firewall) for home use that doesn’t cost a jillion dollars?

Filed under: Non-Work

6 Responses

  1. Wilton says:

    Get the linksys WRTG54 Wireless router and firewall. You can disable the wireless part if you’re not using it, plus it runs Linux and you can flash a new firmware onto it if you like screwing around. See

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seconded. Linksys routers are pretty easy to set up and typically work well.

  3. Ed Araquel says:

    Any of the name brands like Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, etc. will do fine for a firewall/router even wirelessly if you’re so inclined.

    I know what you mean about January supposed to be an off month but this year is different. Here in Vancouver, alot of productions are starting up on the 9th of January! My first movie is on the 16th. Oh well, I’ve had at least three weeks off so I don’t mind starting early.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Trusting in the abilities of a “dumb” router and an internal IP address is just stupid. For the cost of an old Pentium computer (+-$25) with a little memory (128K) add Smoothwall GPL firewall software ( ((free)). It includes “Snort” for IDS (Intrusion Detection System) which activly looks for and blocks complex attacks, re-directs, spoofs, port scans, etc. Takes a small amount of knowledge to set up, but lot’s of user groups exist to provide free assistance.
    This will provide a superior DEDICATED hardware/software firewall that sits between your workstation computer and the outside world. Basic setup Smoothwall connects directly to your “outside” IP address (Internet) and your “inside” network (your computer) and stands guard for you, while providing easy updates to keep current with all the new problems discovered by the community as a whole. Just need the space for the old computer to sit, and cables to connect it to your Internet connection and your home computer.

    PS WiFi is NOT secure, even with complex “keys” and/or WEP (Wireless Encription Protocol) and generally just provides a false sense of security while opening your computer and network to anyone who cares to hack it from a remote location.

  5. Gary DeWitt says:

    Gotta respectfully disagree. While your solution will work admirably, not everyone who uses a computer has the time or inclination to set it up and maintain it. OTOH, a properly set up router is a garanteed hardware firewall. Sure, you can still get c%$p on your computer, if you share files or open attachments, but if you’re aware of this, you’re perfectly safe behind a router.

  6. Tony Neece says:

    PCcillin and a 2wire router has kept my computers snot-free. I do not trust wireless either. I just run cat-5 cable around the house.

    Tony Neece

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