A 41-post collection

Text-based histrograms of log files

Have you ever wanted to count the number of log entries grouped by a particular field? For example, reporting how many hits you've received per IP address in an Apache or Nginx log file, or perhaps sort by the response type? Installation Simply add the following histogram function to your »

Openstack Havana Home Lab on CentOS6 with external networking

The Liquidstate Lab Server is an aged Dell PowerEdge 840, which used to run a whitebox version of ESXi 4.  However, times change and I didn't fancy trying to re-do all the driver work to get ESXi 5 (or soon 6) installed.  So, instead, I decided to deploy OpenStack instead. »

Freenode on WeeChat on CentOS 6

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) seems to be making a bit of a come back as of late, so I thought it was about time I made a more permanent presence, rather than just popping in via web clients from time to time.  Here's some instructions on installing WeeChat on CentOS »

Vagrant Fedora 19 Box using Veewee and RVM

I'm currently doing some development work with Red Hat OpenShift Origin, which is primarily (currently) developed for Fedora 19.  As part of my efforts to fix up the Puppet module used for deployment, I wanted the ability to quickly spin up new clean Fedora 19 virtual machines. Enter Vagrant.  Vagrant »

Dell DRAC 4/P with Windows 8

The Liquidstate Lab contains a Dell PowerEdge 840 tower server with a DRAC 4/P lights-out card.  The DRAC card is great for remote administration, but unfortunately its firmware is now a little out of date.  When trying to open a console from a modern PC, you'll likely get an »

Pimping PuTTY

In my last role, SecureCRT was my console of choice, but my new employer doesn't offer it sadly.  So, instead, I've diligently being using PuTTY, a very popular freely available open source SSH client for Windows. PuTTY is perfectly functionable out of the box, but I thought I'd share a »

How to restart Windows 8 from an Remote Desktop Connection (RDP)

Here at Liquidstate, we have a home server running Windows 8.  It might seem like a simple thing, but today I drew a blank when trying to restart the server remotely from a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP).  If you try the normal routes, then the only option available to you »

My HP MicroServer (N40L)

I've been using an HP ProLiant MicroServer (N40L) as my  home server for about 3 months now.  It's been a reliable little work horse and has ticked along quite happily.  I thought it was maybe time for me to share some of my thoughts on the box. Like most people, »

How to quickly convert Mbps to GB per day

I've been working on a few data centre migration projects recently and a common question is "given x Mbps network throughput, how many gigs of data can we transfer per day?"  And, the same question in reverse, "what is the minimum bandwidth required to transmit a given a number of »

How to Manage Your CrashPlan Server Remotely

In my previous posts, I've explained how to Install CrashPlan on a Headless Linux Server and then how to use SSH port forwarding to manage it from a Windows desktop.  In this post, I'll show you how to control your headless CrashPlan server without the need for SSH - meaning »

SSH Two Factor Authentication

Here at Liquidstate, we have a few Linux systems that have their SSH daemons exposed to the Internet. In this post, I'll show you how we've used the Google Authenticator App to enable Two Factor Authentication for remote (SSH) logins. Once enabled, your Linux system will require a six-digit security »

Dropbox Two Factor Authentication

You've no doubt wondered how secure your password is; the short story is that it isnt!  Two-factor authentication has been used for online banking for years, but it is now an increasingly common option for logging in to online services like Google and Dropbox that requires something the user knows »

Using RemoteApp with VMware ESXi in 7 Easy Steps

Have you tried XP Mode in Windows 7?  Or VMware Unity in Workstation?  Quite cool isn't it!  Wouldn't it be nice if you could have the same seamlessly integration of applications running on a remote computer or from a virtual machine running on a VMware ESXi host?  Well . . . you can! »

Installing CrashPlan on a headless Linux Server

Installing CrashPlan is really easy.  The installer has its own (text-based) installation script that will fetch a copy of the latest software and pre-requisites, like a compatible Java Runtime Environment.  Once installed, the CrashPlan agent will automatically update itself when a new version becomes available. So, lets go ahead and »

Don't forget to backup your home file server too!

I recently had an interesting chat with my wife about prized belongings.  If there was a fire in our house and we could only grab one (materialistic) thing as we ran for the door, what would it be?  The answer surprised me: "your server thingy". As with most geek homes, »

Enabling NTLM Authentication (Single Sign-On) in Firefox

If like me you use Firefox within a corporate environment, you perhaps repeatedly get prompted for your username and password when you use internal web applications whereas Internet Explorer just lets you log right in using Single Sign-On (SSO).  Some people don't realize it, but Firefox is capable of NTLM »

Basic Business Continuity

The topic of Business Continuity isn't exactly the most riveting topic in the world, but its an area of IT that's close to my heart and one that seems to be regularly forgotten, misunderstood, or simply just poorly implemented.  After working with a variety of organisations, the problem appears to »

Logitech Squeezebox

Here at Liquidstate, we have a growing family of Logitech Squeezebox devices. For those that don't know, Squeezebox is a range of network music players originally from Slim Devices, who were aquired by Logitech.  Much like their more expensive and arguably more popular Sonos counterparts, the Squeezebox devices can play »

Using Disk Labels

In linux, hard drives are referred to as devices and are represented as pseudo files in /dev. For example, the first partition of the second lowest numbered SCSI drive is /dev/sdb1. If the drive referred to as /dev/sda is removed, then the remaining partition is automatically renamed /dev/ »

Basic Introduction to Public Key Cryptography

I can only really remember honestly enjoying one maths lesson in my life.  It was spread over a number of lectures as part of my degree course at Edinburgh University and taught us all how RSA Public Key cryptography actually works.  Now, I’ve long since forgotten the finer details »

Introduction to Open Source

Open Source is a term that is widely used, but is often misunderstood.  At its core, however, is a simple philosophy that promotes a collaborative approach to development with the end product, source materials, and design documentation made available at no cost to the public.  The end product could be »

Supercharge your website with CloudFlare

CloudFlare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) and distributed Domain Name Server (DNS) service aimed at enhancing the performance and security of websites.  According to CloudFlare, on average, a website using their service will load twice as fast, use 60% less bandwidth and will stop malware bots and spammers reaching »

Using Picasa on Multiple Computers

Here at Liquidstate, we use Picasa 3 at home to manage our photos and Picasa Web Albums to share them with family and friends.  As you would expect, we store all of our data on a central storage server (UnRAID running on an ESXi host if you must know).  Unfortunately, »

Using Dell OpenManage with VMWare ESXi 4.x

At home, I've got a Dell PowerEdge 840 server running VMWare ESXi 4.x.  I was looking for a method to monitor and manage the underlying hardware - particularly BIOS settings and a way to 'reset' the alert light on the front of the chassis after some recent tinkering. The »

My Hackintosh

I was in the market for a new PC and, with all the hype, I thought it might be interesting to try the Mac life for a while.  I certainly wasn't brave (or feeling flush) enough to splash out on a nice Mac Pro, so instead, with a little help »

Private Appointments in Outlook 2007 by default

If you're like me, then you like to keep both your personal and work appointments/tasks in Outlook, and you would prefer all your appointments to be marked as private, unless you explicitly wish to share it with the colleagues on the same Exchange network as you. Here's how! First »

Recovering Windows XP Codes

Today I had a bit of a challenge. I had a broken Windows XP system that wouldn't even boot into safe mode. I had already decided to re-install, but didn't know what key was used to install it. My work mate Chris pointed me in the direction of ProduKey. ProduKey »