Tuesday, January 31, 2006

FreeNAS: The Free NAS Server

FreeNAS: The Free NAS Server

"FreeNAS is a free NAS (Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS protocols, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 16MB once installed on Compact Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall."

OpenQRM - Open Resource Manager

OpenQRM - Open Resource Manager
"openQRM is designed to deal with all sorts of failures automatically, thus preventing interrupts because of unexpected “fires”.

Implementing openQRM greatly improves the reliability of the x86 data-center.

openQRM is an open source systems management platform which integrates with existing components in enterprise data centers to create scalable, highly available and customizable infrastructures."

Foxmarks - Synchronized Bookmarks for Firefox

Foxmarks - Synchronized Bookmarks for Firefox

"Foxmarks is an extension for Firefox that allows you to synchronize your bookmarks across multiple computers. Install Foxmarks on each machine that you want to keep synchronized, and Foxmarks will automatically propagate the changes that you make on one machine to all the others."

Monday, January 30, 2006

Linux Virtualization with Xen

Linux Virtualization with Xen

"Xen is the new virtualization kid on the block. It's gaining visibility and importance at a speed only projects such as Linux and Apache have seen before. Xen has been around for a couple of years: it was originally part of the Xenoserver platform, which aimed to build a public infrastructure for wide-area distributed computing. Ian Pratt, the principal investigator of the Xenoserver project at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, still leads the development team."

Old... But Good... - One Canadian's Wireless Neighborhood Network Could Someday Serve Us All

One Canadian's Wireless Neighborhood Network Could Someday Serve Us All

"Like many of us, Andrew Greig put a WiFi access point in his house so he could share his broadband Internet connection. But like hardly any of us, Andrew uses his WiFi network for Internet, television, and telephone. He cancelled his telephone line and cable TV service. Then his neighbors dropped-by, saw what Andrew had done, and they cancelled their telephone and cable TV services, too, many of them without having a wired broadband connection of their own. They get their service from Andrew, who added an inline amplifier and put a better antenna in his attic. Now most of Andrew's neighborhood is watching digital TV with full PVR capability, making unmetered VoIP telephone calls, and downloading data at prodigious rates thanks to shared bandwidth. Is this the future of home communications and entertainment? It could be, five years from now, if Andrew Greig has anything to say about it."

Monday, January 23, 2006

O'Reilly Rough Cuts: Get behind the scenes to stay ahead of the curve

O'Reilly Rough Cuts: Get behind the scenes to stay ahead of the curve

"Rough Cuts is a new service from Safari Books Online that gives you early access to content on cutting-edge technologies -- before it's published. It lets you literally read the book as it is being written. The beta version of the Rough Cuts service is debuting in January 2006, with four works-in-progress from O'Reilly Media. We'll be adding features and titles throughout the year.

When you buy a book on the Rough Cuts service, you get access to an evolving manuscript. You can read it online, download as a PDF, or print. Once you've purchased a Rough Cuts title, you have a chance to shape the final product - you can send suggestions, bug fixes, and comments directly to the author and editors.

Rough Cuts content usually becomes available anywhere from two to six months prior to a book's publication. It's updated as the author and technical reviewers progress, so you'll have access to new versions as they're created. Chapters won't necessarily be written and posted in the order in which they'll appear in the published version.

Rough Cuts titles live up to their name - they haven't been fully edited, subjected to final technical review, or formatted for print. In other words, they'll be very current, but they won't be pretty."

Running A MySQL-Based DNS Server: MyDNS

Running A MySQL-Based DNS Server: MyDNS

"In this tutorial I will describe how to install and configure MyDNS, a DNS server that uses a MySQL database as backend instead of configuration files like, for example, Bind or djbdns. This has the advantage that you can easily use web-based frontends to administrate your DNS records. You could even write your own frontend, e.g. using PHP, to interact with the MyDNS database. MyDNS simply reads the records from the database, and it does not have to be restarted/reloaded when DNS records change or zones are created/edited/deleted! This is a major advantage."

CLI Magic: OpenSSH + Bash

CLI Magic: OpenSSH + Bash

"Other system administrators have fantastic toolboxes for their work. My tools consist of two everyday programs: OpenSSH and the GNU Bourne-Again Shell (bash). No other tool, whether console-based or GUI, has been so consistently useful to me as these two programs."

Civil Netizen A free, personal file transfer program for your large files and folders

Civil Netizen - A free, personal file transfer program for your large files and folders

"A personal file transfer program for your digital parcels
* Works with your email and IM accounts
Turns a bunch of huge attachments into a few lines of plain text that you can easily include in a message.

* One program to replace them all
No more need for FTP clients, zip utilities, encryption programs, and soon, download managers.

* Keeps your files private
All file transfer traffic is secured using end-to-end 128-bit AES encryption.

Best of all, Civil Netizen will always be free for unlimited use. Absolutely no adware or spyware."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

NINJAM - Novel Intervallic Network Jamming Architecture for Music

NINJAM - Novel Intervallic Network Jamming Architecture for Music

"NINJAM is a program to allow people to make real music together via the Internet. Every participant can hear every other participant. Each user can also tweak their personal mix to his or her liking. NINJAM is cross-platform, with clients available for Mac OS X and Windows."

Friday, January 20, 2006

MythTV Slave Backend - Notes

I have been trying to setup a MythTV "slave backend", but having problems.

I had no problems following the documentation, to get the remote frontend part going. I could watch recordings and videos that were on the master backend, with no problem.

However, when trying to run "service mythbackend start" on the slave, I would get the following error:

2006-01-18 18:01:02.709 Unable to read configuration file mysql.txt
2006-01-18 18:01:02.801 Writing settings file //.mythtv/mysql.txt
2006-01-18 18:01:02.968 New DB connection, total: 1
2006-01-18 18:01:03.056 Unable to connect to database!
2006-01-18 18:01:03.057 Driver error was [1/2002]:
QMYSQL3: Unable to connect
Database error was:
Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock' (2)

I checked to make sure the mythtv user had a "/home/mythtv/.mythtv/mysql.txt" and it WAS pointing to the master backend. I then checked root's home folder (since I was starting the service as root) "/root/.mythtv/mysql.txt" and it was also pointing to the master backend. I could understand what was happening. I finally realized that it was something simple. The error in the logfile was way more literal than I realized. You actually have to go to "/" (/.mythtv/mysql.txt) and edit THAT file. So simple.

Now mythbackend starts without any problem! Hooray!

Pandora - Find Music You'll Love

Pandora - Find Music You'll Love

"Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask:

Can you help me discover more music that I'll like?

Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs. We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you."

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

PXN8 - Edit Photos Online

PXN8.COM - Photos Made Easy

"PXN8 is a pure HTML/CSS/Javascript browser-based photo editor that doesn't require any plug-ins (like Flash or Java) so it can be easily themed to suit your business identity."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Kadischi - Fedora-based LiveCD generation

Kadischi - Fedora-based LiveCD generation

"Kadischi is an application for Fedora-based LiveCD generation. It is still in the early stage of development, but has basic functionality and can be run successfuly. "

Sunday, January 15, 2006

HelpSpot - Help Desk Software > Help Desk Portal

It doesn't appear free... but looks like it has a nice clean interface...

HelpSpot - Help Desk Software > Help Desk Portal

"HelpSpot The unique design and workflow enables your support staff to solve problems the first time and easily manage many requests from multiple sources. Beyond simple help desk software, HelpSpot is an entire web based help desk portal; Providing your customers with powerful self-help functionality that drives down cost and improves the customer experience."

FON: WiFi Revolution. Share your WiFi broadband access and enjoy WiFi all over the world!

FON: WiFi Revolution. Share your WiFi broadband access and enjoy WiFi all over the world!

"FON is a WiFi revolution. Our objective: to build a Wifi world. Our method: to permit all users to synchronize their access points into one: FON. Pay for connection at home; connect anywhere. Join the FON movement!"

Montastic: the free website monitoring service

Montastic: the free website monitoring service

"Website monitoring made cool:
# Get an email when your site goes down
# Get an email when it goes back up
# Read statuses via RSS
# Fun, easy and elegant user interface
# No unreasonable limit on the number of websites monitored"

Friday, January 13, 2006

Map Your Packages Routes


"Package Mapper shows you a map of your FedEx, UPS, USPS package routes. Enter a carrier and a tracking number to see your package's progress plotted on the map. Sign in to enter a list of packages and see their current locations on a table or map."

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

FreeBSD 6.0 - /etc/hosts.allow - getaddrinfo Problem

I recently built a new machine with FreeBSD 6.0. I began noticing problems with remote SSH. I could ssh to the machine from some locations, but not others. I took a look at the /var/log/auth.log and saw:

Jan 10 10:44:18 lenny sshd[34901]: warning: /etc/hosts.allow, line 35: can't verify hostname: getaddrinfo(ppp-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.ded.pacbell.net, AF_INET) failed
Jan 10 10:44:38 lenny sshd[34901]: refused connect from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx)

I did some digging on Google, and realized I should look at the line being mentioned in the log error.

Line 35 (and a couple lines prior) from /etc/hosts.allow:

# Protect against simple DNS spoofing attacks by checking that the
# forward and reverse records for the remote host match. If a mismatch
# occurs, access is denied, and any positive ident response within
# 20 seconds is logged. No protection is afforded against DNS poisoning,
# IP spoofing or more complicated attacks. Hosts with no reverse DNS
# pass this rule.
ALL : PARANOID : RFC931 20 : deny

(You can read the RFC931 if you so desire)

I quickly did a reverse and foward DNS lookup on the gateway IP/name I was coming from. Sure enough, there was a reverse entry, but not a forward entry. Since they didn't match, it was failing this line in /etc/hosts.allow.

I commented out the line, and everything started working properly. Another solution would be to fix the DNS issue with the gateway I am currently behind... but that won't always be an option. I feel that my SSH is fairly well protected, since I am running DenyHosts.

I now get the following errors, which are still a little more paranoid than may be necessary:

Jan 10 11:17:55 lenny sshd[35544]: warning: /etc/hosts.allow, line 39: can't verify hostname: getaddrinfo(ppp-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.ded.pacbell.net, AF_INET) failedJan 10 11:17:55 lenny sshd[35545]: reverse mapping checking getaddrinfo for ppp-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.ded.pacbell.net failed - POSSIBLE BREAKIN ATTEMPT!
Jan 10 11:17:55 lenny sshd[35544]: reverse mapping checking getaddrinfo for ppp-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx.ded.pacbell.net failed - POSSIBLE BREAKIN ATTEMPT!
Jan 10 11:17:57 lenny sshd[35544]: Accepted keyboard-interactive/pam for xxxxxxxxx from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx port 38708 ssh2

Overall its another great example of how FreeBSD tries to be secure out of the box, and keep people from getting themselves hacked.

Hackers are ready for IPv6—are you?

Hackers are ready for IPv6—are you?

"One of the arguments for moving to version 6 of the Internet Protocols is that it will offer more security.

This may well be true in the long run. But for the time being, IPv6 is likely to introduce more complexity and create more problems than it solves. "

IPv6: World's Largest Technology Upgrade On Deck

IPv6: World's Largest Technology Upgrade On Deck

"Bugs, spam, viruses, software security issues, quality of service and more have spurred experts to push for commercial deployment and government reform on Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)."

Friday, January 06, 2006

Unattended Windows : Introduction

Unattended Windows : Introduction

"Have you ever wanted a Windows CD that would install Windows by automatically putting in your name, product key, timezone and regional settings? And have it merged with the latest Service Pack to save time? Followed by silently installing all your favourite applications along with DirectX 9.0c, .Net Framework 1.1 and then all the required hotfixes, updated drivers, registry tweaks, and a readily patched UXTheme.dll without any user interaction whatsoever? Then this guide will show you how you can do just that!"

Lustre: scalable, secure, robust, highly-available cluster file system

Lustre: scalable, secure, robust, highly-available cluster file system

"Lustre is a scalable, secure, robust, highly-available cluster file system. It is designed, developed and maintained by Cluster File Systems, Inc.

The central goal is the development of a next-generation cluster file system which can serve clusters with 10,000's of nodes, petabytes of storage, move 100's of GB/sec with state of the art security and management infrastructure.

Lustre runs today on many of the largest Linux clusters in the world, and is included by CFS's partners as a core component of their cluster offering (examples include HP StorageWorks SFS, and the Cray XT3 and XD1 supercomputers). Today's users have also demonstrated that Lustre scales down as well as it scales up, and run in production on clusters as small as 4 and as large as 2000 nodes."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Netgear WiFi phone for Skype: no PC required

Netgear WiFi phone for Skype: no PC required

"Netgear announced their new Skype WiFi phone that needs no PC; Skype, of course, obviously comes pre-loaded since you don't want to carry yet another phone just because you can. Just enter your Skype name and password and you're set to call all of your Skype buds whenever you're in range of some WiFi. What's that, your peeps don't have Skype? No prob since you can seamlessly use your SkypeIn or SkypeOut account just as well. We're guessing that the WiFi flavor is either 802.11b or 802.11g, although Netgear also announced RangeMax to support Skype on their WPN824 RangeMax wireless router. No juicy details on pricing or availability just yet, so keep using that cheesy headset for now."

I don't plan on throwing my cell phone away yet, but I do see this as an extremely handy device. I see it as being a great tool for consultants and contractors who are on the move a lot. I could see myself someday on vacation and having the ability to take my "home phone" with me... without having to worry about cables, vpns, home voip server, etc.

Enterprise Samba

Enterprise Samba: samba-enterprise

"Since late 2003 SerNet provides Samba packages for enterprise ready Linux distributions, e.g. Red Hat Enterprise Server and Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, available on ftp server FTP.SerNet.DE."

The nice thing about this site, is it provides the latest version of samba RPMs compiled for RHEL.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2005 IPv4 Address Use Report

2005 IPv4 Address Use Report

"According to AfriNIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE NCC statistics as published on their respective FTP servers, they gave out 165.45 million IPv4 addresses in 2005. Out of 3706.65 million usable IPv4 addresses, 1468.61 million are still available as of january 1, 2006."

Maybe we aren't running out of addresses as quickly as the IPv6 people want us to think.

Package Alert Service

Package Alert Service

"Have you ever ordered something cool online and just couldn't wait to get it? Do you agonize over when it will be in your clammy little hands and obsessively check delivery tracking websites?

Of course I certainly wouldn't do such a thing, but just in case someone else has this "problem" I created an email alerting system for package deliveries. A number of people are offering RSS feeds for tracking packages, but that's still the wrong model. Don't make me check when my package arrives, push it to me.

It currently works for UPS and FedEx packages. (USPS already has a nice email alerting service.) You will get alerts whenever the status of a package changes until it is delivered. You could use this service to be alerted when a package is out for delivery so you can know when to be home to accept it. You can track packages you send too, as long as you know the tracking number."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

How-To build a LiveCD from scratch.

HOWTO build a LiveCD from scratch - Gentoo Linux Wiki

"This mini-HowTo will show you how to create your own LiveCD."

Wikipedia Content on Dict

Wikipedia Content on Dict

"Dict is a dictionary client program that retrieves information from dictd servers hosted locally or from many free dictd servers on Internet.Though originally designed for online dictionary networks, it can be used to get other information like wildly popular wikipedia servers."

mod_rewrite, a beginner's guide (with examples) - scripting - articles - workingwith.me.uk

mod_rewrite, a beginner's guide (with examples)

"Simply, mod_rewrite is used for rewriting a URL at the server level, giving the user output for that final page. So, for example, a user may ask for http://www.somesite.com/widgets/blue/, but will really be given http://www.somesite.com/widgets.php?colour=blue by the server. Of course, the user will be none the wiser to this little bit of chicanery."