posted 2017-10-17 0712 by masen
In the past, I've been fascinated by the abstraction of complexity. I drooled over complexity for complexity's sake, which is why my "simple" online presence had ballooned across 5 virtual servers, 1 internal server, self-hosted mail, dns, xmpp, self-hosted dynamic dns, and an extremely brittle set of ansible scripts tying everything together. It was, uh, let's call it fun.
Then things started to become untenable. I have a day job. It was different in college when my side-job was managing servers -- I us...
posted 2014-10-28 0655 by masen
Over the past several months, I've been slowly trying to reduce my dependence on external (read: out of my control) services as much as feasibly reasonable. Given that I was a server admin in a past life, this gets egregious pretty quickly.
I'm running several websites, mail server, xmpp, monitoring, backups, and code repositories; and there is never enough time to 'keep up' with my main gig and life responsibilities. But recently, I started to feel the Dynamic DNS strain when I began to have more hosts to...
posted 2014-08-31 1835 by masen
Hey friends, turns out, I'm still here. Just been busy. I updated my About and Project pages with my latest info. Hoping to have times to bring some blog posts this autumn.
posted 2013-11-13 0024 by masen
I always get a pleasant feeling when I recieve a PGP encrypted file or message, but the message isn't much good if I can't read it. Unfortunately, as I receive so few of such messages, my setup decays without daily use and becomes broken.
Case in point: Decrypting a message using GnuPG on a headless Arch Linux box:
Case in point 2 (added 2015-04-10): this just happened again, I should maybe submit a patch?
posted 2013-09-28 1813 by masen
I was about to call this a problem, but upon further review, that seemed rather one sided. What I'm referring to is the human survival mechanism I call labeling. While we don't fully understand the capacity and mechanism of our own brains, I'll say from experience that thoughts are easier to process and take care of when they are simpler. That's my theory as to why we name things.
It is very likely more enriching to go about in the world just observing, and restraining judgement upon the people and thing...
posted 2013-09-10 1813 by masen
Fixed a sweet bug affecting VirtualBox today in a way that I really didn't expect.
I use a lot of virtualization for my work, and use both VirtualBox (4.2.18) and VMWare Workstation (9.0.2) on a daily basis. But setting up new virtual machines using VirtualBox has been a painful experience over the past few weeks because the GUI seemed very unreliable.
When selecting an ISO for the virtual cd drive, everything would work fine until clicking the actual ISO or typing the name or full path of an ISO, at which...
posted 2013-05-23 2300 by masen
There comes a time in every Unix user's life where they need to enter control characters into their editor. Maybe you're trying to add some ASCII BEL characters to annoy would-be cat'ers, or add some null characters or something, but most likely you want to search and replace!
Simply typing the control character itself is insufficient. You need the escape control character to escape your control character. Consequently, this is CTRL+V.
So to remove all the pesky ^@ from your pristine file, the keystrokes wo...
posted 2013-05-23 0359 by masen
disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nothing in this post should be vaguely considered legal advice
Recently, I've been more interested in reducing my dependence on third-party cloud services. For those of us following the security and privacy trends in the industry, it's pretty unclear whether you retain 4th ammendement protection over data on 3rd party servers. As far as the FBI is concerned, they think they should have easy access to any online account, preferably without a warrant and other red tape. Although...
posted 2013-05-20 2024 by masen
I've had a small obsession lately of watching DEFCON videos from years past on YouTube when I get a free moment. It's mostly been good aside from making me paranoid to use my computer. Mostly these guys and gals bring up great ideas for protecting yourself from Ahem..."Adversaries" with things like drive encryption, rapid drive destruction, secure communication, strong passwords, long keys, etc. All these are great things! They keep unauthorized users far from your data and I wouldn't advocate against them....
posted 2013-04-04 1958 by masen
Finally cracked the nut on a problem I've been working on: trying to determine from a login event and a record of logins and logouts whether that login event constitutes the beginning of a concurrent session for the given user. Trying to solve this problem using backtracking is a lot of effort and brushes up against the halting problem. In this method, we simply look backwards at logins and logouts from the event being inspected until we can determine if there is an overlapping session. The problem here is...