Author: Michael Lucas ISBN: 1593270496 Publisher: No Starch Press There is a special place on my shelves for slender books that are focused on a single topic, offer practical advice, are pragmatic in their coverage and engagingly written. “Cisco Routers for the Desperate” (CRftD) meets all four criteria. Most sysadmins inherit a couple of Cisco routers and treat them as (forest green) black boxes. We don’t need to touch them very often and when we do the lack of familiarity makes the experience one of dread. Read on →

Technical conferences shouldn’t start before 10am. Although I’m no expert I’ve attended a lot and helped organise a few events and this has become one of my rules. Now let’s see if I can convince you with some of my ‘whys’. Firstly (and this is close to my heart) the stereotype of geeks working late at night isn’t without a touch of truth, a lot of us are night owls and cherish the opportunity to grab an extra hour or so in the morning. Read on →

I wrote the WebService::Yahoo::SpellingSuggestion perl module for one of my little side projects. It was easy to wrap, seemed to work fine when I did a few tests by hand and didn’t take very long to be CPANised; I’m trying to stay in good habits and treat all my internal modules as if they’d be released - I just skimp on the tests a bit. Which I know is bad. Unfortunately, while it was fine for the light testing, I wasn’t very happy with it once I started to use it for heavier loads. Read on →

I worked through the MS Technet Virtual Lab Express: Introduction to ISA 2006 Beta demo last night and while the product doesn’t really interest me (I couldn’t deploy a Microsoft firewall and keep a straight face) the lab itself was interesting. You enter an email address, download an ActiveX control and wait five minutes for the lab to prepare itself. You then connect, via something that looks like Terminal Services, to four machines. Read on →

I’ve been very slack in mentioning that the 2006 London Perl Workshop is go! It’s being held at Westminster (because they pretty much rock) and we’re looking for potential speakers. If you’ve got something interesting to say about perl please have a look at the Call for papers and seriously consider submitting a talk.

I’ve re-written bits of the category and archive Blosxom plugins to output CSS friendly markup. Which I’ve added some CSS to. The changes are mostly non-intrusive (and most of my traffic comes through RSS readers anyway) but if I’ve painfully broken anything for your browser of choice drop me a note.

Authors: Dan Farmer, Wietse Venema ISBN: 020163497X Publisher: Addison Wesley Forensic Discovery is a small book that packs a big punch. In just over 200 pages it presents more information than books three times its size (and weight). The book is divided in to three main sections. The first, “Basic Concepts”, explains two of the books core ideas, the order of volatility, how it influences the gathering of evidence, and the importance of time based information. Read on →

The Nagios monitoring system is a great example of Free Software, powerful, flexible and easy to extend. While it comes with a lot of functionality out of the box you’ll occasionally want to write you own Nagios plugin; which isn’t too hard to do. The plugins below have all been written by me to help keep my systems under control. They’re functional, released under the GPL and hopefully useful to someone other than me. Read on →

You start off with a couple of partitions. You add a MySQL instance and put it on a new logical volume. You break its logging out to a different volume group for performance reasons. You take a snapshot for query tuning and mount that. You add a chunk of disk for a short experiment you were going to try… thanks to legacy, laziness and easy to use LUNs you eventually end up with more mount points than you know what to do with. Read on →

…I just look like it. I’ve spent the last week and a bit wrapped up in bed fighting the flu (and it won). I’ve been a good boy and stayed off-line in an attempt to keep the headaches tolerable so now I have the joy of nearly a fortnights backed up emails; and the same again in my work accounts. I’ll be (slowly) working my way through the pile from tomorrow. Read on →