Category: trivial musing

debonaras demise?

Sadly it seems that the debonaras wiki is no more. Rod Whitby had done some excellent work in pulling together a site which consolidated useful information about low cost network storage devices (alternatives to the slug) which could be made to run Debian. Unfortunately the site was a continual target for wiki spam bots and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/10/03/292/

abigail’s party

In today’s Guardian, Charlie Brooker ranted rather eloquently about how much he hated smug Apple fans. Or did he? Actually he made full on broadside swipes at both Apple and Microsoft’s approach to product marketing. One side is too slick and irritating, the other is way too uncool and irritating. But most of his ranting …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/09/28/abigails-party/

wordpress security

At about the time I decided to move trivia to my own VPS, there was a lot of fuss about a new worm which was reportedly exploiting a vulnerability in all versions <= 2.8.3. Even the Grauniad carried some (rather inaccurate) breathless reporting about how the wordpress world was about to end and maybe we …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/09/20/wordpress-security/

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/

are you human enough

In the course of moving trivia to its new home, I necessarily reviewed and edited a bunch of links. This meant I revisited some old friends – including Chris Samuel’s blog where I discovered this gem. As Chris says, you’ve got to love the captcha.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/09/09/are-you-human-enough/

we’ve moved

As I mentioned in the last post. I decided to move trivia from its old home on a shared hosting platform to my own VPS at bytemark. I also mentioned that this was proving trickier than it should – for no real good reason. However, the move is now complete and the blog is now …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2009/09/09/weve-moved/

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/

zf05

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/

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/