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May « 2011 «

Dynamic DNS on the NSLU2

Whoa hold it right there! Don't read this! It didn't work! Well, okay. Read it. Maybe you can tell us what we did wrong. DynDNS kept blocking us: It seems that Teh Slug kept forcing updates too often. We ended up going for a good ol' DD-WRT that Badger32d scrounged up from Iraq. Oh, don't worry, Teh Slug still gets lots'a love!

Now that you have flashed OpenWRT to your NSLU2 , you need to find a practical use for it. If you are like me, you don't own a fancy router that supports Dynamic DNS updating, and you don't want to leave your computer on all of the time, sucking power and money just to keep the door to your network open.

Enter the NSLU2. It's silent, sips power, and needs something to do, so let's get Dynamic DNS updating on it, shall we?


Prolific Password Management

Passwords are probably the most annoying things that people have to deal with other than constant registration requests from every site we visit, which in turn breeds more passwords. A vicious cycle that leads to password reuse, and poor password policy.

I am both a geek and a sysadmin, therefor I know how important passwords are and how dumb password reuse is. To be honest though, I've been known to reuse weak passwords for logins I don't care about, that have nothing to do with my important information. Most trivial forums I do this with - because I don't care if my account there gets hacked, its not related to anything important. Sorry Ubuntu and RoosterTeeth forums if I randomly start posting ads for prada handbags.

I (foolishly) decided to try using the "Lastpass" password manager plugin for Firefox and Chrome (and I.E now I think) to manage my passwords. The interface is smooth, password generation easy. Lastpass even syncs the passwords via the ......Uh, "Cloud" so all my OS's and web browsers would be the same. This is about the point I should have /facepalm'd. But I didn't.


VirtualBox and MySQL Goodies!

As a web dev, we require systems to handle our testing in as realistically a way as possible.  Because I'm stuck in a Windows environment, I determined that a taste of Debian in a VirtualBox virtual machine would perform as an ideal testing environment.  Going about and installing VirtualBox was painless, and so was getting Debian installed through the ISO.

Up until now, I had been using bridging for my internet access using the host machines connection but the virtual machine getting it's own IP address from the physical network.  This made updating and installing through apt easy.  I quickly discovered that mobility would be an issue though.  As my laptop changed networks, it would get a new IP from that physical network.  The rub came in when trying to keep Dreamweaver updated with the virtual machine's IP address.  The developers working with Sun (now Oracle) had a feature called Host-only Networking which does exactly as the name describes.  The host machine makes a virtual connection and includes itself and the virtual machines in a network logically separate from the outside world.  This keeps the machine from changing networks (and thus IPs) wherever I go!  Great in theory, but didn't work upon implementation.


The Days of our {deployed geek} Lives

It's rough being a geek in Iraq. Seriously, limited amounts of tech toys can be brought on such a journey. Obviously desktop systems are not the norm, nor would I drag my precious Olga to this sandy hot climate that would most likely harm her delicate insides. No, rather than my sleek black beauty I brought along some other staples...


Why Testdisk and Recuva are Awesome and I am an Idiot

Well hello there, how did the tubes treat you on your trip to this sad tale? Good? Excellent, now I must begin.

Like any good geek story, this one starts out with a command line and a slight overdose of mountain dew. I, being a generic geek have a large external hard disk with all my geeky treasures on it.  Folders filled with .iso's, install files for most of my common used programs and a batch file to install them, large amounts of tech manuals and awesome background pictures featuring both penguins and lolcats (not really, I swear).

I had recently decided to reconfigure my thinclient with an external hard disk rather than the 8gb thumb drive I had been using. Easy task, I just need to burn the latest arch netinstall .iso to my thumbdrive. Quickest route != unetbootin, but rather dd, which I love. Mostly. Plugged in the hard disk and thumb drive, navigated to /media/Teh Disk/iso/linux/ and then:

time sudo dd if=arch_2010_04_x64.iso of=/dev/sdc

and I walked away to use the restroom (Remember, mountain dew overdose, it happens).

By the time I came back dd had finished, informing me that the iso had been burned as it were. Thumb drive transferred to the thinclient and hit the power button.

Error "operating system not found"