look out honey, cause I'm using technology

Upgrading GitLab from 6x to 10x

Recently at my day job, the client tasked me with bringing their development stack up to date. The (fun) difficultly here was that these servers were about 4 years out of date and included Jenkins, Sonar, GitLab), and Nexus. Jenkins was the jumbled mess you'd expect with unsupported plugins, new configurations breaking builds, and more fun, Sonar was so out of date I started from scratch after dropping the old databse, but GitLab was the one I was looking forward to, and while it was enlightening, it wasn't much fun!

The Power Trio Behind Superflex

This documentary about Superflex, a Danish art collective responsible for the current main hall exhibition at Tate Modern in London, is remarkable. Artists Jakob Fenger, Rasmus Nielsen and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, are Superflex, who are, “…famous for getting audiences involved in artworks, which playfully challenge conventions.” Some of the conceptual ideas that their work has pushed are really eye opening, and it follows my long held belief; if you have to ask, “But is it art?

Checking for, and fixing, broken RPM packages

Sometimes you’ll run something in the commandline, only to realise you weren’t in the directory you thought you were in. Most of the time this is fine, you get an error and move on. But wait, what if you think you’re moving backups to another directory and you just use a * to catch them all because you’re not paying attention… oh, and it ends up you were in / at the time.

HOWTO Automate the Lynis auditing tool

Often when working with a client I’ll have recommendations on server settings and configurations, but sometimes things are not obvious, and I want another set of eyes to audit security settings. External scanners are fine but are mostly relegated to be run by the security teams, so using an open source auditing tool can help with security auditing, hardening, and compliance while helping to determine if you have things configured and setup optimally.

New 45 logo

Thanks to Mike Mitchell @sirmitchell for the new 45 logo, inspired by Trumps recent comments on the Charlottesville clash. Here's a high res copy which I'm allowing for personal use (signs, shirts, buttons). Spread it far and wide: https://t.co/k0GqGslx6W đźš«45 pic.twitter.com/1bWM00CHtj — Mike Mitchell (@sirmitchell) August 15, 2017 > “When someone shows you who they are, you should believe them. And Donald Trump is again letting Nazis and white supremacists off the hook for their violence in Charlottesville.

HOWTO Use Systemd to Control VPN Connections

Today I had a case where a coworker wanted a Linux server to connect to a particular VPN, and we didn’t want to make it use some hacky way like putting a script in /etc/rc.local for it to run on boot. By using systemd we learned how to use it to control connecting to the VPNs, using the OpenVPN client. Steps Install the OpenVPN client Verify the openvpn client is installed Debian/Ubuntu apt-get install openvpn RHEL/CentOS yum install openvpn Get VPN keys, certifiates and configs From your remote host, get the files or zip file that includes your VPN keys, certificates and configs Place the files (unzipping any archives) into /etc/openvpn on your client Configure OpenVPN session In the directory /etc/openvpn copy the .

Best music of 2016

Cheap Girls (photo courtesy of Cheap Girls) The year It’s been a great year (musically), and I’ve kept my head above water by going out to see some great shows. Highlights include; Basia Bulat, Jason Isbell, Shovels & Rope, Neon Indian, Guided by Voices, The Thermals, Summer Canibals, Screaming Females, Aye Nako, The Waco Brothers, Cheap Girls, Bob Mould Band, Lydia Loveless, Will Courtney & the Wild Bunch, Built To Spill, The Posies, Shellac, Shannon Wright, Amanda Shires, Colter Wall, and Sloan.

HOWTO setup a very secure webserver

When getting started with Linux and open source software, running websites was one of the first things I learned how to do. Of course with the way software evolves, I’m still learning new ways to better secure, encrypt and protect web assests. Recently I wanted to build a new project and decided I wanted to use OpenBSD, arguably the most secure operating system out of the box. While years ago I switched to FreeBSD for web and mailserver handling, OpenBSD is just more stringent about how it presents things. There’s more to learn, sure, but that’s all part of the fun. Now, if you look around at normal VPS options like DigitalOcean and Linode won’t allow you to run OpenBSD, but with Vultr (affilate link) you can use any ISO you can point to. They have a $5/month option, but they give you 768M RAM versus the 512M that you get from most other VPS providers for that price. With that decided I ran through the install using their console and was up and running in no time. Now for the fun part, let’s ssh to the server and setup a very setup a secure webserver!

HOWTO Bias ASL Tube Amps

I’ve wanted to get into tube audio amplifiers for my stereo systems for a long time, so years ago I bought my first ones, a pair of Antique Sound Lab AV-25 monoblocks. One thing that was a bit tricky was to bias the amps, and the units didn’t come with directions, so I eventually got info directly from the company, but could’t find it anywhere online. I’m transcribing them here for my reference and for others, in case they have the same, or similar, amps from Antique Sound Labs.

What About Them?

This is a previously unpublished sketch written on 2007-04-18 of two people talking about the constant state of fear in a nation controlled by the media. Strangely it’s still relevant today. […] “But what about them; what’s the difference?” “What?” “With their outlook on things, everything is just so negative, have we evolved that way?” “You’re telling me you mean we became more negative as a species over 50 years?