Author's posts

wordpress woes

As is common with many blogs, my public ramblings on this site are made possible through the ease of use and flexibility of the mysql/php based software known as wordpress.. And again, as is common to much php/mysql based software, that package has vulnerabilities – sometimes serious, remotely exploitable vulnerabilities. When vulnerabilities are made public, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/08/26/wordpress-woes/


I really missed the old phrack magazine. Some of the “loopback” entries in particular are superb examples of technical nous, complete irreverance and deadpan humour. One of my favourites (from phrack 55) appears in my blogroll under “network (in)security”. I am particularly fond of the observation that details of how to exploit old vulnerabilities are …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/08/02/zf05/

dns failure – a cautionary tale

I recently moved one of my domains between two registrars. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but on reflection it was both foolish and unnecessary. Unnecessary because my main requirement for moving it (greater control of my DNS records for that domain) could have been met simply by my redelegating the NS …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/08/02/dns-failure-a-cautionary-tale/

zebu update

Well google was clearly the fastest at indexing my blog. It only took a day for my nonsense phrase to appear as number one on their index. Since then, the phrase has appeared in ask, bing, clusty and yahoo, but still not in cuil, despite being visited by their robot on 29 June. Obvious (and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/07/12/zebu-update/

aspire one bios updates

This post is partly for my own benefit. It records some of the most useful references to bios updates for the AAO. My own AAO is actually running a fairly early bios (3114) and deliberately so. I upgraded to 3309 in (yet another futile) attempt to get sony memory sticks to work but found that …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/07/05/aspire-one-bios-updates/

tor on a vps

I value my privacy – and I dislike the increasing tendency of every commercial website under the sun to attempt to track and/or profile me. Yes, I know all the arguments in favour of advertising, and well targeted advertising at that, but I get tired of the Amazon style approach which assumes that just because …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/07/05/tor-on-a-vps/

wild xenomanic yiddish zebu

This post is an experiment. I have noticed from my logs that several different search engines index this blog. Ironically, the indexing has sometimes given me a little trouble when I have been searching for topics of interest to me (such as fixing the sony memory stick problem on my AAO) and my search returns …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/06/28/wild-xenomanic-yiddish-zebu/

jaunty netbook remix DVD iso

My daughter saw my netbook the other day and decided that she wanted UNR on her Tosh laptop to replace the 8.04 hardy I had installed for her (no-one in my family is allowed a proprietary OS – this occasionally causes some friction). Anyway, the old Tosh she uses (which has seen various distros during …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/05/12/jaunty-netbook-remix-dvd-iso/

acer aspire one – a netbook experience

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had recently acquired an Acer Aspire One (AAO) netbook. I chose the AAO in preference to any other of the netbooks on the market for two reasons – firstly it looks a lot cooler than most of the competition (particularly in blue – see below), but secondly, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/04/12/acer-aspire-one-a-netbook-experience/

bad science and worse

I’m a big fan of Ben Goldacre’s “bad science” column in the Guardian. He is particularly scathing about quackery and spurious medical science. His views of “Dr” Gillian McKeith in particular are well worth reading. Whilst I was reading one of his columns recently, I was reminded of another “Dr” who seems to get away …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/03/29/bad-science-and-worse/

the strong blue light

The 1TB Toshiba disk I bought a couple of weeks ago to upgrade storage on the slug has one big drawback in my view. Whilst the disk itself is fine, Toshiba have made the mistake of sticking a very intense blue LED on the front panel, presumably because they think it looks “cool”. Well it …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/03/29/the-strong-blue-light/

so what is a netbook?

Having just invested in an Acer Aspire One (which I’ll write about later), I also enjoyed this FAQ from el Reg. Nice chart.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/03/16/so-what-is-a-netbook/

a thirteen amp plug just won’t cut it

I normally read the register for its IT tech related reporting – and I enjoy it just because it is a wonderfully scurrilous rag. However, an article about the Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg’s “Quant”, which el Reg chose to call “Mary”, piqued my interest somewhat. I can’t quite make the arithmetic work out. To quote …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/03/16/a-thirteen-amp-plug-just-wont-cut-it/

upgrading the slug – a lesson in addresses

My ever growing DVD collection has been taking its toll on my disk storage. Despite the fact that ripping a DVD to PSP format typically shrinks it to between 300 and 500 MB, that still means that I have over 300 GB of videos on my PC. Add to that the OGG vorbis audio collection …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/03/01/upgrading-the-slug-a-lesson-in-addresses/

party like it’s 1234567890

Unix geeks the world over today celebrate the passing of unix time = 1234567890 at 23:31:30 GMT on friday the 13th of February 2009. Personally I’ll be asleep.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/02/13/party-like-its-1234567890/

are we lost yet

I bought my wife a car SatNav system for christmas. She complained about the voice. I can’t understand why. (My thanks again to xkcd.)

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/12/28/are-we-lost-yet/

small doesn’t have to mean slow

Much as I love my slugs (and low power consumption coupled with almost completely silent running means I love them a lot) I do sometimes need just a little more “grunt” than they offer. I have been running a PHP based webserver together with postfix on an old (actually very old) Compaq Armada 4160T (that’s …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/12/27/small-doesnt-have-to-mean-slow/

egroupware mail with dovecot and postfix

I have recently built an egroupware system to be used as a social networking site. The application suite itself is relatively easy to install and configure, but the webmail system it offers (a fork of squirrelmail called felamimail) is rather poorly documented. It took me some time to figure out how to authenticate mail users …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/12/27/dovecot-and-postfix-on-debian/

and yet more DNS lunacy

A company called Unified Root is offering to register new top level domains in advance of the proposed ICANN changes. The company describes itself in the following terms: “UnifiedRoot (Unified Root) is an independent, privately owned company, based in Amsterdam, which makes corporate and public top-level domains (TLDs) available worldwide. Through our own efforts and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/12/24/and-yet-more-dns-lunacy/

more DNS silliness

I came across an interesting post on Avert labs site recently. That post pointed to an earlier SANS posting, which in turn, referenced a Symantec discussion of a new Trojan called Trojan.Flush.M. This trojan is an interesting variant of a class of trojans which hijack local DNS settings to force the compromised machine to use …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/12/24/more-dns-silliness/

gun, foot, shoot

As a chartered member of the British Computer Society (BCS) I recently received through the post my voting forms for the 2008 AGM. The process gives me the option of voting electronically using a website run by Electoral Reform Services. My security codes (two separate numeric IDs, one of six characters, the other of four) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/09/25/gun-foot-shoot/

webanalytics – just say no

I have just built myself a new intel core 2 duo based machine to replace one of my older machines which was beginning to struggle under the load of video transcoding I was placing upon it. The new machine is based on an E8400 and is nice and shiny and fast. Because it is a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/09/12/webanalytics-just-say-no/

french slugs?

In an earlier post I speculated that the CherryPal PC might be a possible option for users considering replacements for the slug. But that device has still yet to hit the streets and is beginning to look suspiciously like vapourware. However, linuxdevices, the site devoted to linux on embedded devices, wrote about the interesting looking …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/09/12/french-slugs/

chrome *can* get rusty

Amidst all the hype and hullabaloo about Google’s chrome, el reg tells it like it is. Yes, “it’s a f***ing web browser”. You just have to love the reg.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2008/09/08/chrome-can-get-rusty/