Welcome to the first DCTop5 of 2009! It's a new year and that means you survived the holidays, the in-laws, the traffic jams, the elections, and if you live in Seattle, record breaking snow-storms. Congratulations, it's time to do it all over.  There's been so much great stuff going on in DevCentral Land in the past 12 months that it's been hard for even me to keep up at times. So when I tell you that there's even more to come, and that we're turning up the dial further still this year, believe me when I say that it's going to be staggering. We've got a killer new team-member, an invigorated crew, and an endless sea of bits and bytes to conquer ahead of us. I'm excited. You should be excited. It's a whole new year, and it's all happening...trust me.

Rest assured, dear reader, that you have nothing to fear. The DC Top5 will again serve as your faithful guide to the land of DevCentral hawesomeness in the coming year, just as it was in the previous one. That said, the first step in this year's Top5 journey is to pick out what's been going on the past week (okay two weeks) that you definitely need to see. As usual I've picked my favorite gems to pass along, so here's hoping that you like them as much as I do. I give you the year's inaugural Top5:

 

Stop brute force listing of HTTP OPTIONS with network-side scripting

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/macvittie/archive/2009/01/05/stop-brute-force-listing-of-http-options-with-network-side-scripting.aspx

Lori certainly hit the ground running with a barrage of great blog posts to start off the year. Apparently she had plenty of time to recharge and gather her thoughts over the holidays. This is one of the several posts in which we're lucky enough to get to share in her commentary and ideas as she details the possible use of network-side scripting (iRules here at F5) to thwart possible brute force HTTP attacks. While it's not a cure for all possible HTTP attack ailments, this is just what the doctor ordered for a few of them and that's a great start. It also shows just how easily you can use iRules to respond to a given attack once it's discovered and announced. Aside from being a great idea and a cool use of iRules, this blog post includes iRules code and that's a definite bonus if you ask me. It's even under 20 Lines...nice!

 

Investigate the LTM TCP Profile: Delayed & Selective Acknowledgements

http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=63&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=300

In his no-nonsense, down and dirty technical series detailing the different LTM TCP Profile options the LTM offers, Jason continues by looking into D-SACK, ACK on Push and more. This series is absolutely fantastic if you want to really dig into what you can and can't do with your TCP profile, why you might want to, and what you can expect by fiddling with those bits you were curious about. Whether you're a network architect looking to optimize things or you're just curious about what can be done, this one's definitely worth a read. The geek content is even relatively high, which makes me feel right at home. That shouldn't stop any of you semi or non-geeks, though, Jason's articles are definitely approachable by all, while deep enough to satisfy the inner propeller-head in all of us.

 

Introducing PoshTweet - The PowerShell Twitter Script Library

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/Joe/archive/2008/12/30/introducing-poshtweet---the-powershell-twitter-script-library.aspx

If you aren't convinced by now that Joe is a force to be reckoned with in the PowerShell world, let me attempt to convince you once more. While we all know he's a master of iControl, Joe continues to display his PowerShell foo in this awesome example of using PowerShell as a twitter client in response to Jeffrey Snover's boarding of the Twitter train. This isn't just a display of Joe's skills, though. This is a darn cool example of PowerShell and some of the cool things that you can do with APIs, social media, and a little ingenuity (and apparently free time while snowed-in over the holidays).

 

20 Lines or Less #19

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/cwalker/archive/2009/01/08/20-lines-or-less-19.aspx

Continuing with my quest for killer iRules that fit in the palm of your hand, 20 Lines or Less rolls on. This edition brings a couple of very cool iRules including one email submission for which I'm quite grateful. More are always welcome (hint, hint). After battling with a slight moral dilemma I even decided to post the example of WAN simulation via iRule, along with the appropriate warning that it's NOT meant for production. It's a CPU killer and a delay inducer but then again, that's kind of the point of something written to...inject artificial delays, isn't it? It also happens to be a darn cool example of iRules and what they can do, even if it's not the original intent of the language. Take a look and handle with care.

DevCentral Weekly Roundup Episode 69 - Cool Stuff on the Horizon

http://devcentral.f5.com/weblogs/dcpodcast/archive/2009/01/09/devcentral-weekly-roundup-episode-69---cool-stuff-on-the.aspx

This week's PodCast was a very special one. The entire DevCentral team got together this week in Seattle to talk about the year to come, general team planning, and some other super secret squirrel things that we're not talking about just yet. Let's just say there are interesting times ahead. Awesome, and interesting. With us all being in the same physical location for the first time ever (since Jason's addition to the team) we took the opportunity to do the podcast live and in person. It is most definitely a different experience podcasting around one mic, facing each other in the same room, rather than on a headset via Skype.  I think the results are great, and hopefully you will too. There's even plenty of good content in there, so check it out!

 

Phew, we made it! That's one down for 2009, and many more to come. Thanks, as always, for reading and please don't hesitate to submit/send in any feedback or suggestions you might have.  Also - feel free to check out previous, archived versions of the Top5 at my personal DC page, here - http://devcentral.f5.com/Default.aspx?tabid=101 

#Colin

Listening to: Infected Mushroom - Vicious Delicious - Becoming Insane

 

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