College Students Demand Refunds

May 20, 2023

Originally published May 20, 2020 @ 1:51 amThe University of Illinois at Chicago students are trying to get a partial refund for tuition and fees paid for on-campus studying that’s been moved online due to the pandemic. A similar situation is developing at other US colleges with lawyers getting involved…Read More

Randomizing Filenames

April 30, 2023

I had a bunch of folders with some old photos, and I needed to randomize the filenames as an easy way to get a random selection of files. This should’ve been easy, but I made the mistake of googling the answer instead of writing this one-liner myself because I felt…Read More

Finding Gaps in Timestamps

April 25, 2023

Sometimes knowing when something didn’t happen can be just as valuable as knowing when it did. For reasons yet to be determined, my Salt Master server needs to be bounced occasionally. Not the whole server – just the salt-master service. I needed to find a good time to do this.…Read More

To Mask or Not to Mask

March 31, 2023

Originally published March 31, 2020 @ 3:17 pmEffectiveness of face masks against the coronavirus has been debated to death in both popular and scientific literature. Here are the two most common mistakes made by journalists and by people who should know better. Asking the Wrong Question “Can Face Masks Prevent…Read More

Checking Linux Account Password

March 25, 2023

Originally published March 25, 2020 @ 4:48 pmOn occasion you may need to check if an account has a specific password. For example, when you build VMs, you may use some default passwords for some default accounts (i.e. root) that should be changed later by your password management application. Except…Read More

The Coronavirus Digest

March 22, 2023

Originally published March 22, 2020 @ 1:17 amFor the past few weeks, I’ve been closely following all the news related to the coronavirus. From talking to friends and family I realized that perhaps not everyone has as much free time to trawl the depths of the Internet as I do.…Read More

Coronavirus Stats in Bash

March 20, 2023

Originally published March 19, 2020 @ 10:37 pmThe result of my morbid fascination with the coronavirus situation is this quick bash script that parses Johns Hopkins University coronavirus data to generate a quick report for the current date for the specified countries. The plan is to add some statistical analysis…Read More

The Coronavirus Update

March 9, 2023

Originally published March 9, 2020 @ 11:23 amJust as a quick follow-up to my previous post, The Atlantic reports that the Harvard epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch predicts that within the next twelve months 40% – 70% of the global population will be infected with the coronavirus and 1% – 2%…Read More

The Coronavirus Discussion

March 5, 2023

Originally published March 5, 2020 @ 12:42 pmJust a few words about the coronavirus. Clearly, the Internet is in need of my contribution to this topic. You might’ve noticed this: whenever there is a discussion about the coronavirus, some dolt appears out of nowhere and says something along the lines…Read More

Updating Lynis

February 28, 2023

Originally published February 29, 2020 @ 5:04 pmLynis is an excellent security audit tool for Linux and various Unix derivatives. I have a small wrapper script that runs Lynis via a cron job, does a selective diff with the previous run’s output, and sends me an email. Unfortunately, Lynis does…Read More

Hiding Passwords

February 20, 2023

Originally published February 21, 2020 @ 9:02 amI’ve touched on this subject previously, but suddenly felt I should repeat myself. The big issue with using passwords from command line is shell history. Regardless of how careful you are, eventually you’ll enter a password in clear text in your terminal session.…Read More

Converting Geofency Data to Google Maps

February 8, 2023

Geofency is a time and location tracking app for iOS. I’ve been using it for many years to keep track of my whereabouts. At times, this information can come in quite handy. The app does not track your movements continuously. Instead, it uses Geofencing and iBeacon technology, which uses less…Read More

Canyonlands National Park, Utah

February 8, 2023

In July, some friends and I went on an 8,000-mile overlanding trip to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and South Dakota. One of the first stops was Canyonlands National Park. Here are some photos from there and other nearby areas we visited on our second week of the adventure.

Reading Multi-Line Input in One Loop Iteration

February 1, 2023

Bash loops can read the input as words or lines, but what if you needed to accept multi-line input with a single loop iteration? In the following simple example, we randomly select a hundred lines from /var/log/messages and count the number of characters in each line: shuf -n 100 /var/log/messages…Read More

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

January 28, 2023

In July, some friends and I went on an 8,000-mile overlanding trip to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and South Dakota. One of the first stops was Yellowstone National Park. Here are some photos from there and other nearby areas we visited on our third week of the adventure.

Convert Code Snippets to PNG

January 25, 2023

Originally published January 26, 2020 @ 2:50 pmOn occasion I find myself struggling posting code on discussion forums that don’t handle code formatting all that well. What would’ve helped is some quick and easy way to convert code to an image file with syntax highlighting. And so here it is.…Read More

Backup Options for Raspberry Pi

January 24, 2023

Originally published January 25, 2020 @ 2:45 pmJust about every Raspberry Pi I used suffered the same fate: the micro SD card died. It is generally accepted that the expected lifespan of an SD card is around ten years of normal use. What’s “normal” use for an SD card? It…Read More

Affordable Linux Server

January 17, 2023

Originally published January 18, 2020 @ 12:44 pmA friend asked me what server I would recommend to run Linux. Yes, a very broad query. After a few followup questions we’ve determined the server will be used to run VMs, or Apache, or a database, or maybe a mail server, or…Read More

Linux Blog Directory

January 14, 2023

Originally published January 15, 2020 @ 7:29 amA curated list of Linux and Unix blogs from around the world. Scroll To Top Linux Blogs (79) Loading... ( ) 2daygeek Loading... ( 1 ) AddictiveTips Loading... ( 1 ) AdminTome Loading... ( ) BinaryTides Loading... ( ) BlackmoreOps Loading... ( )…Read More

Backing Up WSL Images

January 3, 2023

Originally published January 4, 2020 @ 3:19 amMicrosoft’s WSL is interesting. I’d go as far as to say that I like it. The mistake here would be to forget that your Linux image is running under Windows, with everything this entails. Making a reliable backup of this thing proved harder…Read More

Home-Brew Ransomware Defense

December 27, 2022

Originally published December 28, 2019 @ 12:42 amThe first well-known case of ransomware was documented in 1989. The so-called AIDS Trojan was delivered on a floppy disc; encrypted data; demanded $189.00 (nearly four hundred bucks in today’s money) as a “license fee.” The trojan was quickly defused due to its…Read More

Validating HTTPS Cache Peers for Squid

December 14, 2022

Originally published December 14, 2019 @ 11:52 pmI have a squid proxy server that uses a long list of authenticated cache peers in a round-robin configuration. The process looks something like this: The key to getting this setup working well is to weed out unresponsive cache peers. In my case…Read More

Fuzzy Search with Linux

November 25, 2022

This is a quick look at several handy utilities that will allow you to find, navigate, and edit directories and files easily. This overview includes such tools as fzf, rg, fd-find, bat, and the fzf.vim plugin for VIM. The fzf is a general-purpose command-line fuzzy finder. 1. The rg –…Read More

Updating PHP 5.6w to 7.1u on CentOS 6.10

November 22, 2022

Originally published November 23, 2019 @ 11:24 amThis is mostly just a note to self. As I mentioned previously (probably more than once), I very much dislike systemd and will stick with CentOS 6 for as long as possible. Having said that, WordPress dashboard has been nagging me about having…Read More

Analyzing atop Logs with atopsar

November 21, 2022

Originally published November 22, 2019 @ 5:38 pmI have discussed atop previously but concentrated primarily on how to run it and how to collect data. Now I’d like to spend some time talking about ways to analyze the data collected with atop. Included with the atop package is atopsar –…Read More