Duck Duck Go Search from Shell

April 11, 2021

Originally published April 11, 2018 @ 4:25 pmThe ddgr python script is a command line interface for Duck Duck Go  – a privacy-oriented search engine that, unlike Google, will not give away your data to the likes of Cambridge Analytica. In the past year Duck Duck Go has grown and…Read More

Document Conversion with Unoconv

April 4, 2021

Originally published April 3, 2018 @ 2:07 pmThe other day I ran into the “Flexible Import/Export” article by Bruce Byfield in the March 2018 issue of Linux Pro Magazine and thought it could use some more detail. So here’s some more detail. The unoconv utility is a part of LibreOffice.…Read More

How Not to Prepare for a SysAdmin Interview

March 22, 2021

Originally published March 21, 2018 @ 12:26 amThe Linux Foundation just gave birth to seven supposedly interesting tips on how to prepare for a Linux SysAdmin job interview. Unfortunately, the research behind all this probably excellent advice was based on interviewing hiring managers – the people who, despite the title,…Read More

Philly Flower Show 2018

March 19, 2021

Originally published March 18, 2018 @ 9:03 pmAn annual event produced by The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society since 1829 and hosted by the Pennsylvania Convention Center is a good place to escape boredom and shitty weather. Also, a place to photograph something other than the cat.

Productivity Shortcuts for .bashrc

March 18, 2021

Some of the useful (more or less) aliases and functions for the .bashrc file to make your life a little easier and delay the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome. Things to remove from .bashrc Few things annoy me more than these three default command aliases. Removing them is one of…Read More

Decision Making Using Python TOPSIS

February 28, 2021

In a nutshell, TOPSIS – the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution – seeks out one of many options that is the closest to the ideal option while at the same time is the farthest from the worst possible option. If you like math then you’re…Read More

Using Variables in Bash

February 27, 2021

A few quick tips on using variables in your Bash scripts. Nothing fancy here, just good practices that we often overlook. Simple stuff Shell var1=23 var2="twenty three" echo "${var1},${var2}" 123 var1=23var2="twenty three"echo "${var1},${var2}" Assigning variables from user input Shell read -p "Enter username: " u read -s -p "Enter password:…Read More

Obfuscating Shell Scripts

February 26, 2021

Originally published February 26, 2018 @ 7:37 pmUnix shell scripting language is run by the command-line interpreter and, as such, can be read and understood by anyone with sufficient access and experience. Sometimes this is not a good thing. Sometimes you want people and applications to be able to run…Read More

WordPress: Post-processing of the image failed

February 26, 2021

This particular WordPress issue appeared with version 5.3 and is refusing to go away. However, the problem here is not with WordPress but with the Apache ModSecurity. The particular ModSecurity rule in question is 200003 that’s been giving webmasters a headache for half a decade now. The specific WordPress error…Read More

Calls for a Retaliation after the SolarWinds Hack

February 16, 2021

Armchair admirals on CBS News are calling for a retaliatory attack against Russia after the SolarWinds hack. “We’re not willing to attack. And that’s what we’re missing now. There’s no capability that the United States has that scares them enough to not attack us, ” said Jon Miller, a former “ethical hacker.” …Read More

The Mystery of a Hemisphere

February 9, 2021

Originally published February 9, 2018 @ 10:32 pmTo make this long (and embarrassing) story short: a friend’s kid had a homework assignment in geometry to calculate the surface area of a conjoined cone, a cylinder, and a hemisphere. Geometry being the only subject in which I never had anything less…Read More

Raspbian ‘partitions on different devices’ Error

February 8, 2021

Originally published February 8, 2018 @ 11:03 pmAfter downloading a Raspbian image and writing it to an SD card, you get the following error when trying to boot the Pi: “Could not expand filesystem, please try raspi-config or rc_gui. Boot and root partitions are on different devices”. Some have speculated…Read More

Tmux Bootstrap Configuration

February 6, 2021

Originally published February 6, 2018 @ 4:10 pmJust a list of commands to quickly configure tmux with some of the best (i.e. my favorite) plugins and options. Feel free to disagree – you may be right – but I don’t think so. The settings below are for tmux v 2+.…Read More

Find Large Files

February 5, 2021

Originally published February 5, 2018 @ 5:53 pmEvery time a filesystem is running out of space and I need to find something to delete, I end up googling the syntax for the find command to make sure it stays off NFS and doesn’t cross mountpoints. Finally, I decided to write…Read More

Clone Raspberry Pi SD to Larger Card

January 30, 2021

This is more of a note to myself: every time I need to clone the RPi card, I end up googling things for an hour. The process is two-fold: clone the SD and resize the filesystem. Before you proceed, check out my earlier post about backup options for RPi. Cloning…Read More

Encrypted Volumes and Portable Apps

January 29, 2021

Originally published January 29, 2018 @ 10:02 pmThis is a description of an uncomplicated setup for an encrypted volume and portable applications for a Windows laptop consisting of a USB3 storage device, VeraCrypt OSS OTFE, a hardware password wallet, and portableapps.com software. Storage The choices are abundant here. I would…Read More

Fixing Sudo

January 28, 2021

A decade-old massive and easy-to-exploit security hole (CVE-2021-3156) has been found in sudo allowing for full root access by any unprivileged system user. This is one of those rare security bugs you can’t delay remediating. Patches have been released for most major current distros. Unfortunately, I still have some CentOS…Read More

A Wrapper Script for unrar

January 24, 2021

Just a straightforward wrapper script for the unrar command that allows extracting specified filetypes from multipart archives while utilizing all available CPU cores. Seriously, who memorizes unrar command-line options? This little script will locate all *.rar files in the current folder. It will then extract specified filetypes from single- or…Read More

Convert XLSX to a MySQL Table

January 21, 2021

Some people find it hard to let go of Excel even when the situation is ripe for a database. And so dozens of different versions of the same spreadsheet edited by many people are floating around Sharepoint, and nobody quite knows which one to use. Instead of changing everyone’s mind,…Read More

Detect SSL Certificate Injection

January 17, 2021

Originally published January 17, 2018 @ 10:06 pmWhen the SSL Digital Certificate is intercepted and replaced by a device between your browser and the Web site, we call it certificate injection. This method is more commonly used not by hackers, but by corporate IT security utilizing appliances known as SSL…Read More

SSL For Self-Hosted WordPress

SSL For Self-Hosted Wordpress
January 15, 2021

Originally published January 14, 2018 @ 2:05 pmJust some notes for setting up SSL with your self-hosted WordPress installation. Just got around to doing this the other day. Yeah, I know, about time… Install the required software, if you don’t already have it: Shell yum -y install mod_ssl openssl 1…Read More

Show Logged In Users During a Time Window

January 14, 2021

Originally published January 13, 2018 @ 12:27 pmLet’s say you want to see who was logged in on the server during last weekend. This includes users who, say, logged in on Thursday and haven’t logged out until Saturday afternoon. The newer version of the last command includes two options: -s (starting time)…Read More

Luxembourg 2017

January 14, 2021

Originally published January 10, 2018 @ 11:35 pmA day-tripper to Luxembourg during my stay in Paris. Mainly because I wanted to ride the TGV. I like trains and this was my favorite. Most photos were taken using Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 24-120 lens and a mini-tripod. I learned three things…Read More

London 2017

London 2017
January 13, 2021

Originally published January 10, 2018 @ 10:51 pmA few photos from my late-notice business trip to London in 2017. Most photos were taken using Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 24-120 lens and a mini-tripod. I stayed there for two weeks at the bedraggled Britannia International hotel in Canary Wharf. The hotel…Read More

Securing VSFTP with TCP Wrappers and IPTables

Securing VSFTP with TCP Wrappers and IPTables
January 13, 2021

Originally published January 7, 2018 @ 11:04 pmI’ve been drinking beer and perhaps had one too many. Regardless of the reason, I felt the urge to further secure my favorite server. The target of my paranoia is once again the VSFTPd. I already have iptables and fail2ban running with various…Read More