If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Club Penguin Without Being Mad

Club Penguin is an MMPORG a bit like Second Life. Except that you can't use bad language. And your avatar is a Penguin. And it's owned by Disney. This is right up the Not-Mad-At-All-Just-Stubborn Daughter's street and for her ninth birthday treat she was subscribed.
So that's lovely except that the browser applet wouldn't connect.
Now by rights I ought to go off on a LUA rant here about the daftness of software for children that has to be admin to run. Except that CP is fine as an ordinary user and in fact I had an inkling what was wrong as soon as I saw the message.
So I went off searching and found this support page. Take a look at point four.

4. If none of these things work, you should call your Internet Service Provider (ISP). That is the company that you pay to connect to the Internet. They might be using a firewall that is blocking the ports that lead to Club Penguin. When you call them, tell them to open up these ports for TCP traffic, inbound and outbound: 3724, 6112, 6113, and 9875.
That's right, you have to open the ports, inbound and outbound without any limitation by address! "Sure I've got a hardware firewall, except that if you scan these ports you can reach a closed source server written by security numbskulls running on my daughter's PC..."
Long faces all round in the U household.
But it's actually OK. All it really seems to need is those ports open outbound, and it runs fine, with the NMAAJSD playing the mini games to her heart's content.
And that's the reply I expected to get when I opened the reply to my support enquiry. I'd asked for the server server addresses so I could limit the inbound traffic. What I got was a different list of ports (843, 9875, 6112, 3724, 6113 and 9339) with no reference to my questions about direction or limitation. This is software that's intended to be safe for children.
Nice try Walt. But Mad Aggy's happy, and that's what matters.

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