Category: tips, tricks and howtos

Nov 16 2012

forcing innodb recovery in mysql

Today I had a nasty looking problem with my mysql installation. At first I thought I might have to drop one or more databases and re-install. Fortunately, I didn’t actually have to do that in the end. I first noticed a problem at around 15.45 today when I couldn’t collect my mail. My mail system …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/11/16/forcing-innodb-recovery-in-mysql/

Oct 27 2012

using openvpn to bypass NAT firewalls

OpenVPN is a free, open source, general purpose VPN tool which allows users to build secure tunnels through insecure networks such as the internet. It is the ideal solution to a wide range of secure tunnelling requirements, but it is not always immediately obvious how it should be deployed in some circumstances. Recently, a correspondent …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/10/27/using-openvpn-to-bypass-nat-firewalls/

Sep 09 2012

iptables firewall for servers

I paid for a new VPS to run tor this week. It is cheaper, and offers a higher bandwidth allowance than my existing tor server so I may yet close that one down – particularly as I recently had trouble with the exit policy on my existing server. In setting up the new server, the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/09/09/iptables-firewall-for-servers/

Aug 21 2012

debian on a DNS-320

Back in 2009 I bought, on impulse, a D-Link DNS-313 thinking it was sufficiently similar to the 323 to enable me to install debian with some ease. As I noted at the time, however, I’d made a slight mistake and then had to settle for a compromise installation from a tarball rather than a full …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/08/21/debian-on-a-dns-320/

Jul 31 2012

avoiding accidental google

Even though I set my default search engine to anything but google (usually ixquick, but sometimes its sister engine at startpage) I have occasionally been caught out by firefox’s helpful attempts to intervene if I mistakenly enter a search option in the URL navigation field (or just hit return too early). Firefox’s default action in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/07/31/avoiding-accidental-google/

Jul 20 2012

gpg key upgrade

Following a recent discussion about gpg key signing on my local linux user group email list, one of the members pointed out that several of us (myself included) were using rather old 1024-bit DSA GPG keys with SHA-1 hashes. He recommended that such users should upgrade to keys with a minimum size of 2048 bits …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/07/20/gpg-key-upgrade/

Apr 16 2012

rockbox rocks

Some time ago my wife bought me a Sansa Sandisk Clip+ music player. When she asked me “what kind of MP3 player” I would like, I specifically specified the Clip+ because it could handle ogg vorbis encoded audio files. All my audio disks are encoded in this format. Picky I know, but there you go. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/04/16/rockbox-rocks/

Mar 24 2012

android mail client is broken

In January of this year I wrote about t-mobile’s apparent policy of actively looking for and blocking any TLS-secured SMTP sessions over their network. At the time I believed this to be a cockup rather than a deliberate policy. I still prefer to believe that, but the episode left a rather sour taste in my …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/03/24/android-mail-client-is-broken/

Jan 22 2012

moxie’s proxy

image of googlesharing proxy

Moxie Marlinspike, a security researcher probably best known for his SSL proxy tool, likes google even less than I do. His googlesharing website says: “Google thrives where privacy does not. If you’re like most internet users, Google knows more about you than you might be comfortable with. Whether you were logged in to a Google …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/01/22/moxies-proxy/

Jan 12 2012

tails in a spin

When I first tested running a tails mirror on one of my VMs, the traffic level reported by vnstat ran at around 20-30 GiB per day. I figured I could live with that because it meant that my total monthly traffic would be unlikely to exceed my monthly 1TB allowance. However, when I checked the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2012/01/12/tails-in-a-spin/

Dec 19 2011

tunnelling X over ssh

OK, yes, I know there are probably already a gazillion web pages on the ‘net explaining exactly how to do this, but I got caught out by a silly gotcha when I tried to do this a couple of days ago, so I thought I’d post a note. Firstly, X is not exactly a secure …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2011/12/19/tunnelling-x-over-ssh/

Sep 27 2011

webcam mark II

Upgrading the slugs to squeeze killed the webcam. At first I thought that squeeze was missing the necessary gspca drivers, but no, a quick look in /dev revealed an entry for video0 and “lsmod” reported “gspca_zc3xx” loaded correctly. This is a different driver to that which my camera loaded in lenny (spca5xx) but a quick …

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Permanent link to this article: http://baldric.net/2011/09/27/webcam-mark-ii/