Best of Snowulf 2011
January 3, 2012
Before Christmas John suggested to me that we should have a “best of” post for the year. For some reason. we’ve never thought to do this before. I thought it was a fantastic idea and embarked on the project post haste. Since we’ve never written one of these before, I figured I’d wing the format and we could refine it for next year. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed having the time to reflect on the year past — in blog!
How to: Disassembling (and reassembling) the Globalscale DreamPlug
November 3, 2011
The DreamPlugAt work we received a couple of Globalscale DreamPlug (Model: 003-DS2001) units for a research project of mine. These are nifty little plug based computers with an impressive array of features for their form factor, including: 1.2 GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, onboard 4GB MicroSD, Dual Gigabit NIC, 802.11b/g/n WiFi and bluetooth. Of course, as soon as I got the device in, I decided to take it apart (officially so I could check the MicroSD card replacability, if anyone at work asks). I took pictures of the process, so here’s the guide!
October 21, 2011
By Dsv (Own work) Public domain, via Wikimedia CommonsFor the last few years, my DNS server of choice (when I run my own) is PowerDNS. It is very simple to use, and the ability to run multiple “backends” makes it wonderfully configurable. My choice setup is PowerDNS running the MySQL backend. Of course the question is “How do I manage the MySQL backend?” and that is where PDNSOps comes in.
How NOT to inspire faith, the mobile app for Ike's Place
September 27, 2011
As of last week, I’m now officially a resident of San Francisco. With this comes many benefits (like delicious food from crazy places) and many detractors (I have to sell my truck). Let’s ignore the down sides of living in the city and just focus on one thing, a sandwich place in the Castro called Ike’s Place. Their sandwiches are delicious and the place is AMAZINGLY busy. It seems that they’ve taken this as a sign that the food gods are pleased and invested a little into their technology. Normally this wouldn’t anger the tech gods, but Ike’s has invested just enough in their mobile app to be embarrassing.
Automated Screen Launch
September 13, 2011
At my previous company I set myself up a screen server as mentioned in my previous post, “A screen/shell server is awesome!". There were only a half dozen servers there so if the screen server got rebooted, it wasn’t a big deal to get my sessions back up and running. At my new company we use virtual machines, so there are quite a number more “servers” to connect to. As I was setting up my screen server, I realized that I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of reconnecting them all, so I sought an automated solution.
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July 5, 2011
One of the greatest inventions for small site hosting is that of Google Apps. I, like many people these days, own a number of domain names. I host sites for those domains along with sites for my friends. One of the few services I don’t offer is email — and that’s where Google Apps comes in. It is the most perfect mix of Gmail (which I like, though I know some don’t) and custom email domains… well… almost perfect.
Gmail thinks “This message may not have been sent by...” you
June 29, 2011
Yesterday, Google rolled out a new feature in Gmail which warns you when it isn’t sure who the email was sent by. This warning isn’t due to some confusion on the server side, this issue is because Google wants to force more people to use SPF records and DKIM signatures. Both of these are good technologies to use (I personally have them both enabled), but I worry about Google’s move to “force” this… and how it will effect users.
IPv6, Linode & Stats
June 21, 2011
Yesterday, I talked about some of the work I did in the weekend server overhaul. One of those tasks I wanted to talk about a little more was the addition of native IPv6 because I feel very strongly that IPv6 is important, not just to this blog, but to the future of the internet. I’m very excited that Linode offered native IPv6 in its datacenters as early as May and I’m sorry I missed that for World IPv6 Day. Linode even has a full FAQ just for IPv6. What I’d wish they’d add is a little section to the effect of “Is IPv6 easy to use?” in which case the answer is a resounding “Yes!". Most popular server applications, such as Apache, require zero effort to get IPv6 compatible.
Tablet or Chromebook? That is the question
June 15, 2011
Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fifteenth of June, and we will once again be fighting for our freedom… not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from Operating Systems! Ok… maybe not. But today does mark the official release/sale of the Chromebook. I’ve order a couple of the Acer Chomia Chromebook’s for the office (I prefer the HDMI output) and I’m really quite excited to get them and give them a spin. While I recently spent a bit of time futzing with a Cr-48 Chromebook, I found that it seemed to cross over with my usage of my Xoom tablet. So I asked myself, if I only had one or the other — which would I pick… and why?
MiFi vs Device Independent 3G
May 17, 2011
Last week I had a quiet night of testing the Cr-48 while I was DSL-less. Even though I lacked traditional broadband access, I still had plenty of high(ish) speed net access in the form of Verizon 3G devices. To be exact I had out on my desk (and was actively using the data service on all of the devices): a Cr-48, a Motorola Xoom, and a Motorola Droid 2. At some point I paused and realized that it costs money to maintain internet on all these devices… and there could be cheaper options; namely a MiFi.
Goodbye AT&T, Hello Sonic.net
May 10, 2011
The alternate title for this post is “Internet usage caps can kiss my ass” because that’s what prompted this post, but first a little backstory. Many people have had issues with big teleco (and specifically AT&T) provided internet and would assume that I loathe them for the same reasons, but I do not. I’ve had AT&T DSL since I got my first place in Nevada in 2003. I’ve moved a number of times since then, but I have always had AT&T DSL after each move. Partially because I loathe cable’s shared approach (and usage capping) and partially because I’ve never had a problem with AT&T. Hell, the one time I had trouble recently, that required a tech to come out… he was EARLY. So why the change in heart? Usage caps.