Sorry for the downtime of the sites, my ISP had some issues and wasn’t refreshing the DHCP leases. I hope you didn’t get into problems because of it…
I’ve been playing with the thought of getting myself an iPhone for quite some time but didn’t get one because I don’t want to hack it to get it to work with a local cell phone provider. When the iPod touch was released I tought, that is the answer, anything but the phone. I’ve got a decent phone, my employer provided me with it, a Samsung blackjack (i600), with email (Exchange integration, internet and a lot more goodies. The only issue I have with it is that it runs windows mobile and takes at least 5 minuts to startup.
I’ve jailbreaked the touch to get some extra applications on it, I’ve now got email, google maps, games and more… The only issue I still run into where to find an open WiFi connection when travelling around. As there is no bluetooth or any other connectivity besides WiFi you are stuck. That was untill I found the solution!
What about creating an adhoc WiFi network between 2 devices namely my phone (which has got WiFi) and the touch. The only problem here is that network sharing over WiFi is disabled on the blackjack. But with some help I’ve got it to work and I can now surf the internet and email over the 3G connection of my blackjack using the touch. It’s almost like having a 3G iPhone !
the guy that helped me out also wrote a great guide on how to do this yourself. You will need a touch, a Windows mobile 6 phone with 3G and WiFi and some time to spend. Hope you will like it as much as I’m enjoying my new found connectivity…
My network provider had some major problems today, I was out for most of the morning. It looks like some hardware at one of the central network failed and all customers where affected. The helpdesk phone had a taped message that they where replacing hardware from their vendor. I guess one of the central routers failed ?
I guess the new owner of the network isn’t keeping up with maintenance. I hope it wasn’t too much of a problem to you…
This morning I had some issues again, this time not my fault. It looks like the take over of my DSL network provider is causing some problems while they migrate the infrastructure. A lot of customers had a problem getting a new ip-address via DHCP on the network. Even though I’ve got a fixed ip-address the lifetime is set less then an hour and the computer needs to refresh. I was out for about 6 hours. From 04:50 CET till 11:10 CET. Sorry if you had any problems due to the outage, this is one of the things I don’t have any control over…
The biggest issue for me was that for the first time I found out that I could not reach the help-desk of my provider (Demon). It normally was one of the best providers with a tech-savvy help-desk. But that’s history now with the takeover by our national telco KPN. There is currently a shortage on good quality ADSL broadband providers due to the consolidation that is going on in the consumer market. I still can’t afford a business DSL line, that is very expensive. It’s cheaper to co-locate a mini and get a cheap, unreliable broadband connection at home. I wonder how many mac-mini’s, external disks, routers and power-supplies I can fit in a 1U 19″ rack.
Having learned the hard way what it means to have a security leak in your system I went out to find tips on how to secure my SSH access a bit better. I had some good tips from readers, thank you who did, and found some good ones on the internet.
Securing SSH, I found out, is actually not that hard. There is a configuration file
/etc/sshd_config which when tweaked can help a lot ! (more…)
Our dear Mac OS X loves to use DNS, for instance when browsing the internet every connection attempt is followed by a DNS lookup (as far as I know). There is not much caching being done on the local machine, therefore I had put this on my to-do list: Document the setup of a local DNS server on your own network that would efficiently cache most of the DNS requests to forego most of the slow internet DNS lookups.
I’m still struggling with parenthood and version 2 of the ISP in a box still has a problem somewhere which I’m sure I had solved but somehow due to all the attention loss I have forgotten what it was about. (more…)
I read this article from Robert X. Cringely on the net neutrality debate that’s going on at the moment. What I liked about it is the emphasis he put on the services ISP’s are adding to the internet connection that only add to the price and aren’t selectable. Myself I need a reliable, fast enough, internet connection without any bells and whistles. I don’t care about ISP provided email addresses, webspace or spamfilters I take care of that myself and I guess you do too otherwise you wouldn’t be reading my blog.
I told you, in the prerequisites, that you need an ISP that doesn’t block port 25 to be able to run your own mailserver. All mail connectivity uses port 25 for all it’s SMTP traffic. There are workarounds to solve this problem but they usually needed a friend or relative that has a running mail server who would receive your mail and forward it to you on a different port-number. Problem is that there aren’t many people running a mail server and are technical enough to help you out with this. But there is help…. (more…)
Sorry for not posting that often as I would like to, but there are other things in my life that sometimes take precedence. I wanted to have my description for the spamassassin configuration ready but it’s not going to happen today ! But wanted to tell you found another blog about someone who is using his mini for more than just a cheap desktop mac.
A guy named Ken Collins has used 3 mac mini’s and 2 external hard-drives to setup his own NOC (network operations centre). He is talking about some of the services I wanted to include as well like DNS, external disks and automated back-up. I will follow his blog from now on to see if there is anything interesting I can learn. I hope that besides talking about his efforts he will write about how he did it in more detail so that we can learn more from his efforts.
The fun thing is I just ordered the same two external hard-disk enclosures from
NewerTechnology to be used for my own server. I want to use them to create a raid 1 configuration to be used for the server as the boot-able drive with extra partitions for backup purposes. Will let you know when they arrive and how they perform.
I’ve got one of my Mac mini’s running for almost a month now and I’m very happy with how it’s been behaving. It does everything I want and it even allows me to use it as a router of some sort by using the “share internet” option in the Sharing panel in the System Preferences. In this manner I can use my second Mac mini as a desktop computer and surf the internet and maintain my server by using the both Airport Extreme cards to setup a wireless network. The server mini is connect to my ADSL modem using via a cable. I’ve used the Sharing panel to configure the Firewall as well , but I’m not yet very happy with it. (more…)