I’ve not been able to get to any tech events since early November so I’m feeling more than a little out of touch. Fortunately the next couple of months will make up for the lack of geek conversation. We’ve got a London PM tech meet on Feb the 16th (I’ll link to it as as soon as I get the announcements out). The ever incredible FOSDEM on the 25th and 26th (with the usual Friday night warm up) of Feb. Read on →

Dan Kaminskys Paketto Keiretsu is a collection of small networking tools that contain some great ideas. This week I needed to work out where an encrypted tunnel was actually going, not where the untrusted OS said it was going, and paratrace was a great little app to have in my toolkit. While none of the tools are essential (or going to be needed that often) they do fill a pretty lonely niche.

I’ve recently been looking for some decent images I can display on a projector. I’m not a very artistic person so I’ve done the imaginative thing and gone on an Internet scavenger hunt. While Google images is actually a decent image search engine it’s got a couple of annoying quirks that I’ve been able to work around with a little application of Greasemonkey. Firstly, when you click an image, you get sent to the containing page. Read on →

Source control is an essential part of a smart techies life. While the bigger version control systems are mostly useful to developers (SVK rocks) some of the simpler ones can often be found in the sysadmins toolkit. A couple of companies I’ve worked for have been heavy users of RCS on their servers and while it’s made configuration safer (and easier to revert) its lack of a central repository is often an unaddressed weakness. Read on →

The add_to_delicious plugin was inspired by an xml.com article, called Putting RSS to Work: Immediate Action Feeds, which made the very sensible suggestion of allowing you to “do things” to RSS items without leaving your aggregator. This plugin changes each post (both RSS and HTML flavours) and adds a clickable link that takes you to a pre-populated “add link to del.icio.us” page. The add_to_delicious source code is pretty simple but you’ll probably need to change the ‘$post_url’ to suit your sites permalink format. Read on →

2005 was a very mixed year for me, it had some memorable high spots and a couple of tear jerking moments. The year started off with me moving all my sites, email and everything else I put online from a shared machine to my own bytemark box after the shared host I was using got cracked through someones broken web app install. Digging through my backups and verifying nothing had been tampered with was a fun way to spend my hols. Read on →

The day seemed to get worse by the hour, first the pub phoned to cancel my booked room, they’d let me have it for free but then someone offered them a 1000 pound for the night so they dropped my reservation, and then we had a double booked room at the venue and had to kick out the occupants. After these hickups two of the speakers arrived and things actually started to fit together. Read on →

It’s a little late in the day to change any of the details but I’ve had to move the venue from Morgan Stanley in Cabot Square to the New Cavendish Street campus of Westminster University (Streetmap). Some of you may recognise the venue, we hold a lot of GLLUGs there. The reason for the move is a great one, the demand for seats has far surpassed my expectations. The original venue had room for 100 people, 120 at a push. Read on →

I like sudo, it allows you to give people (and automated jobs) more privileges without having to hand out the root password. One of the more important aspects of its use is restricting the commands a user can run. After all, limiting peoples access to rootly powers doesn’t help much if they can just shell out to bash or edit the shadow file (or other important files) and locally escalate their privileges. Read on →

The OpenCON 2005 OpenBSD Slides are now available and linked to from undeadly.org. When ever the OpenBSD people get together and present on security it’s worth ten minutes of the admins day to have a look for the new ideas, after all they’ll often appear ever where else over the next year. The highlights of this batch include an overview of how the congestion indicator works and allows you to log in even when getting DoSed, the changes to the ports and package tools (which are moving to Perl!) and the whole of Theos Exploit Mitigation Techniques slides. Read on →