The corporate firewall

July 30 2007

A day of customer meetings in Cleveland served as a strong reminder of the perils of the corporate firewall.  Having worked for the same company, in the same home office setup, for the last seven years, sometimes I forget that Internet access is different from corporate offices.  Today I experienced:

  • Manual firewall address entry
  • Username/password requirements for the firewall
  • Firefox blocked as an "unauthorized browser"
  • Blocked connections from both of IBM's supported VPN clients
  • Blocked websites such as Google mail and, a huge surprise to me, Flickr
and somehow, in a quick informal meeting with a "key" banking customer, the conversation about connectivity perils devolved to a discussion about porn and content filtering.

Things didn't get any better sitting here at the airport.  Somehow, the first option presented to me by the AT&T wifi spot, for a reasonable $5.99, was only for access to AT&T broadband TV, not for Internet access.  And then that didn't work because I was missing some random Firefox plug-in.

Oh and I forgot, my first flight today was delayed nearly 30 minutes while a mechanic used duct tape to seal up an oxygen mask compartment that wouldn't otherwise close.  They had to rearrange some passengers, too.  What else on that plane was duct taped?

Perhaps someone is trying to tell me that it's time for a vacation.

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