Category: tips, tricks and howtos

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: https://baldric.net/2012/03/24/android-mail-client-is-broken/

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: https://baldric.net/2012/01/22/moxies-proxy/

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: https://baldric.net/2012/01/12/tails-in-a-spin/

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: https://baldric.net/2011/12/19/tunnelling-x-over-ssh/

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: https://baldric.net/2011/09/27/webcam-mark-ii/

squeezing the slugs

Debian 6 (squeeze) has been the current stable version since February 2011. The latest version (6.02) was released in late June. I have put off updating my slugs from lenny (old stable) for a while because I wanted to see how others faired before committing myself. Indeed, initial reports on the debian arm list indicated …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/09/26/squeezing-the-slugs/

wordpress setup

I have just added a couple of new plugins to this blog and tidied up some old cruft that I had been meaning to get around to for a while. One of the plugins I have added is a really rather good statistcs tool called Counterize II. It provides a very quick (and impressively comprehensive) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/01/24/wordpress-setup/

a graphical web of trust

I recently stumbled upon sig2dot, a gpg/pgp keyring graph generator. In fact this seems to have been around for some time, but I’d never come across it before. It can be used to generate a graph of all of the signature relationships in a GPG/PGP keyring, and, like other visualisation tools, this graphical image producing …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/09/12/a-graphical-web-of-trust/

update to autossh – or how ServerAliveInterval makes this unnecessary

I had a couple of comments on my earlier post about autossh which suggested that I should look at alternative mechanisms for keeping my ssh tunnel up. Rob in particular suggested that setting “ServerAliveInterval” should work. Oddly I had tried this in the past whilst trying out various configuration options and I swear it didn’t …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/27/update-to-autossh-or-how-serveraliveinterval-makes-this-unnecessary/

autossh – or how to use tor through a central ssh proxy

Since I first set up a remote tor node on a VPS about this time last year, I have played about with various configurations (and used different providers) but I have now settled on using two high bandwidth servers on different networks. One (at daily.co.uk) allows 750 Gig of traffic per month, the other (a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/01/autossh-or-how-to-use-tor-through-a-central-ssh-proxy/

email address images

Adding valid email addresses to web sites is almost always a bad idea these days. Automated ‘bots routinely scan web servers and harvest email addresses for sale to spammers and scammers. And in some cases, email addresses harvested from commercial web sites can be used in targetted social engineering attacks. So, posting your email address …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/03/email-address-images/

ubuntu 10.04 – minor, and some not so minor, irritations

If and when the teething problems in 10.04 are fixed and the distro looks stable enough to supplant my current preferred version, I will be faced with one or two usability issues. In this version, canonical have taken some design decisions which seem to have some of the fanbois frothing at the mouth. The most …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/02/ubuntu-10-04-minor-and-some-not-so-minor-irritations/

webDAV in lighttpd on debian

I back up all my critical files to one of my slugs using rsync over ssh (and just because I am really cautious I back that slug up to another NAS). Most of the files I care about are the obvious photos of friends and family. I guess that most people these days will have …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/31/webdav-in-lighttpd-on-debian/

unplugged

My earlier problems with the sheevaplug all seem to have stemmed from the fact that I had installed Lenny to SDHC cards. As I mentioned in my post of 7 March, I burned through two cards before eventually giving up and trying a new installation to USB disk. This seems to have fixed the problem …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/30/unplugged/

psp video revisited

image of handbrake gui

I last posted about ripping DVDs to PSP format back in November 2007. Since then I have used a variety of different mechanisms to transcode my DVDs to the MP4 format preferred by my PSP. A couple of years ago I experimented with both winff and a command line front end to ffmpeg called handbrake. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/21/psp-video-revisited/

plug instability

I’m still having a variety of problems with my sheevaplug. Not least of which is the fact that SDHC cards don’t seem to be the best choice of boot medium. I have had failures with two cards now and some searching of the various on-line fora suggests that I am not alone here. In particular, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/07/plug-instability/

from slug to plug

image of sheevaplug

Well this took rather longer than expected. I intended to write about my latest toy much earlier than this, but several things got in the way – more of which later. About three or four weeks ago I bought myself a new sheevaplug. The plug has been on sale in the US for some time, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/02/28/from-slug-to-plug/

life is too short to use horde

image of postfixadmin page

I own a bunch of different domains and run a mail service on all of them. In the past I have used a variety of different ways of providing mail, from simple pop/imap using dovecot and postfix, through to using the database driven mail service in egroupware. Recently I have consolidated mail for several of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/01/23/life-is-too-short-to-use-horde/

using scroogle

For completeness, my post below should have pointed to the scroogle search engine which purportedly allows you to search google without google being able to profile you. Neat idea if you must use google (why?) but it still fails the Hal Roberts test of what to do if the intermediate search engine is prepared to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/01/02/using-scroogle/

system monitoring with munin

A while back a friend and colleague of mine introduced me to the server monitoring tool called munin which he had installed on one of the servers he maintains. It looked interesting enough for me to stick it on my “to do” list for my VPSs. Having a bunch of relevant stats presented in graphical …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/11/15/system-monitoring-with-munin/

logrotate weirdness in debian etch

I have two VPSs, both running debian. One runs lenny, the other runs etch. The older etch install runs fine, and is much as the supplier delivered it. Until now I have not had cause to consider the need to upgrade the etch install to lenny because it “just worked”. But today I noticed for …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/10/18/logrotate-weirdness-in-debian-etch/

debian on a DNS-313

I bought another new toy last week – a D-Link DNS 313 NAS. Actually, this was a mistake because what I really wanted was the DNS-323. I just wasn’t careful enough at the time. Quite apart from having space for two 3.5″ SATA hard drives instead of just one, the 323 is a very different …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/10/03/debian-on-a-dns-313/

wordpress on lighttpd

I have commented in the past how I prefer lighttpd to apache, particularly on low powered machines such as the slug. I used to be a big apache fan, in fact I think I first used it at version 1.3.0 or maybe 1.3.1, having migrated from NCSA 1.5.1 (and before that Cern 3.0) back in …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/09/12/wordpress-on-lighttpd/

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/