New Server

Wed, Jul 10, 2019 | 500 Words

As a reward to myself for 6 months of regular posts - no mean feat given my previous history of blogging - I have allowed myself to splurge and purchase parts for a new ‘server’. In this case I didn’t use proper server components like my NAS re-re build, deciding that for the bang-for-buck I wanted wouldn’t be found trying to source Intel Xeon processors. I also wanted to avoid the sort of over-sized rackmount or workstation monolith that comes with powerful SME machinations and go for something meatier than the small business builds you find in things like the HP N40L MicroServer (one of which I already have from years ago).

TCP Proxying

Wed, Jul 10, 2019 | 400 Words

Problem I recently purchased a new ‘server’ and started setting up a bunch of services including GitLab and Taiga. I also want these services available outside my home network but I also want to meet at least the bare modicum of security by having my sites secured via TLS. This isn’t too much of a problem if they’re all hosted on the same IP address or each service has a dedicated IP address like you’ll find in many public scenarios.

OpenNebula miniONE Networking Issues

Sun, Jun 30, 2019 | 200 Words

Running OpenNebula or miniONE on a single host with one NIC? Watch out! OpenNebula/miniONE creates a “dummy” interface with an address like and then attaches the bridge to that directly. While this is probably useful for trialling and not having your virtual machines visible/attackable from the outside world, you might want to make them visible to other hosts on your LAN. What you’ll need to do is go into /etc/netplan/minione.

Playing Around With Gopher

Tue, May 14, 2019 | 400 Words

Released in 1991, Gopher was a protocol designed for retrieving documents over the internet and a direct competitor/predecessor to the World Wide Web. The system of hierarchical menus and documents made it excellent for information organisation and allowed digital libraries and interconnected directories, bridging gaps between research campuses. It’s simple protocol was also well suited to text-only output devices, but the rise of graphical user interfaces probably assisted in it’s slow demise compared with the lurid layout and formatting capabilities of HTML.

Multiple Containers With docker-compose

Sun, Apr 21, 2019 | 300 Words

For my game project, I want to have multiple Docker containers started up at once which are all linked together by easy-to-use hostnames (not terrible auto-generated Docker hashes). The solution to this arrived to me pretty easily thanks to my friend @will2bill on Twitter who pointed out that Docker Compose is a thing! By declaring a YAML manifest file called docker-compose.yml and filling it appropriately you can have a series of linked containers come up easily with a single command, sudo docker-compose up -d.

Elasticsearch Blog Search

Sat, Jan 12, 2019 | 1000 Words

One of the main drawbacks I can think of to a static blog is the lack of easy search function. Because all the files are pre-generated HTML, CSS, and JS, there’s no server-side interpreted language that can perform actions and no database of posts which can be filtered. I decided to change this and did a little proof-of-concept on my local machine for how it would work. If you’re running a Hugo blog, you can repeat my little experiment yourself!

SSH Permissions

Fri, Jan 11, 2019 | 200 Words

When you’re setting up SSH on a new Linux install you need to be aware of the right permissions for your files - especially if you’re manually importing files from another installation. Below you’ll find a list of what permissions are required for what files/directories. To set these permissions, just run chmod XXX FILENAME where you replace XXX with the permission number and FILENAME with the file/path. .ssh directory - 700 - this makes it not writeable by other users.

Netflix And Chill(ing Surveillance)

Mon, Dec 18, 2017 | 400 Words

To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you? — Netflix US (@netflix) December 11, 2017 This tweet from Netflix and some similar stuff from Spotify is some really cute marketing but I’ve seen a few people worried, calling it a privacy violation and claiming that anyone at these companies can just access all your personal data. So I’m going to try and put those worries/fears to rest.

SSL On AWS Static Sites

Tue, Jun 6, 2017 | 700 Words

I’ve previously discussed hosting my site on AWS using a combination of Simple Storage Service (S3), CloudFront, and Route 53. I’m still doing that now and it’s been amazingly responsive and great for a static website (still using Hugo like I posted about previously). However one of the ultimate goals of the modern web is security and projects like Let’s Encrypt have helped democratise access to SSL certificates, providing a free alternative that lets everyone secure their website without huge costs or slow verification procedures.

NAS (Re-)Rebuild

Fri, Mar 17, 2017 | 300 Words

My much-loved NAS from 2015 died quite painfully at the end of 2016, due to the use of the ASRock C2550D4I. This isn’t ASRock’s fault in particular, but more the integrated Intel Avoton C2550 which has some show-stopping issues that are causing problems in everything from Synology storage devices to Cisco routers. There was very little available in the low-end server market that compared favourably with what I bought, so I ended up splashing out extra for the following:
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