Reclama mascata II

Incepem si azi o zi din seria zilelor cu zapada multa si planuri mari, asa ca in timpul cafelei de dimineata ma simt in stare sa multumesc cuiva. 


Vreau sa le multumesc celor de la Asociatia Hans Spalinger pentru tot ceea ce fac, pentru ca mi-au deschis ochii in ce priveste situatia persoanelor cu dizabilitati in Romania. AHS Cluj, este o filiala a AHS Simeria in judetul Hunedoara, si trecand din cand in cand pe la ei am invatat sa nu ma mai intristez in momentul in care vad un copil cu dizabilitati, sau un tanar cu dizabilitati, sau chiar un batran cu dizabilitati pe strada.  Am invatat sa privesc mai departe de stereotipul social in care suntem prinsi cu mic cu mare, si sa imi dau seama ca serviciile sociale din Romania au nevoie de oameni ca ei, care sa se ocupe de bolnavii nostrii, care sa ii ingrijeasca, care sa ii ajute sa aiba o viata mai buna, o viata mai usoara, o viata pentru ei. Nu zic o viata normala aici, pentru ca pana la urma ce e normal? 

Si daca tot am inceput ziua cu multumiri, o sa multumesc acum si echipei de la Hosttix care imi hosteaza cateva site-uri pe serverele lor, si imi ofera servicii de o calitate ireprosabila. Trecerea de la o platforma free (wordpress sau blogspot pentru un blog de exemplu) la una platita poate sa fie un adevarat calvar pentru cei cu foarte putina experienta, dar cei de la Hosttix au reusit pana acum sa nu ma dezamageasca in nici una din situatile aparute, mi-am trimis multi prieteni la ei, si nici unul nu a avut nimic de comentat.

Am lucrat in industria de hosting ani la rand pana mai anul trecut, si in momentul de fata, pot sa imi dau seama destul de usor daca o companie de hosting ofera ceea promite  in brosura, sau face overselling la resurse. Poate va intrebati de ce as ramane hostat la o alta firma daca am propriile mele servere pe care pot sa imi fac hosting? Pentru ca “pantofarul va fi vesnic cel cu pantofii rupti pe strada”. Pentru ca vreau sa am un suport tehnic ireprosabil, pentru ca vreau sa fiu sigur ca daca sunt plecat la mama dracu’ prin munti fara acces la net si ceva se intampla, cineva este acolo sa aiba grija ca totul merge bine. Va spuneam mai sus ca mi-am trimis prieteni la ei, si ca nimeni nu se plange, chiar mi lauda, si imi multumesc pentru solutia oferita. De ce as face asta? De ce as recomanda pe cineva? Pentru ca am folosit si folosesc serviciile lor, pentru ca sunt multumit de ele, pentru ca am incredere in ei. Dati o fuga pe la ei, verificati preturile, sunt sigur ca o sa fiti placut impresionati, si daca va ganditi sa incepeti sa hostati la ei diverse o sa le multumiti.

Debian 5.0 Released

Via SlashDot, I found out that Debian 5.0 is out of the oven. They worked hard on it, and I’m downloading it as we speak, but the features seem to be many and if I know Debian they tested everything thoroughly and extensively. 

This is the slashdot article: 

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 5.0 (codenamed Lenny) after 22 months of constant development. With 12 supported computer architectures, more than 23,000 packages built from over 12,000 source packages and 63 languages for the new graphical installer, this release sets new records, once again. Software available in 5.0 includes Linux 2.6.26, KDE 3.5.10, Gnome 2.22.2, X.Org 7.3, 2.4.1, GIMP 2.4.7, Iceweasel 3.0.6, Apache 2.2.9, Xen 3.2.1 and GCC 4.3.2. Other notable features are X autoconfiguring itself, full read-write support for NTFS, Java programs in the main repository and a single Blu-Ray disc installation media. You can get the ISOs via bittorrent. The Debian Project also wishes to announce that this release is dedicated to Thiemo Seufer, a Debian Developer who died on December 26th, 2008 in a tragic car accident. As a valuable member of the Debian Project, he will be sorely missed.

And of course the official announcement on the Debian homepage is here.

Have fun!

Windows Supports Linux!

It was about time this happened, and honestly, I’m going to personally write a letter of recommendation to everyone that wants to use Windows this way. The procedure is simple, I can offer free trainings on it, I will even come to your place, almost for free… 

Below you have a basic example, but the various situations you can take advantage of this situation are basically limitless… 

[Pictures from Ducu Epure]


[Plesk] upgrade / autoinstaller

I was upgrading a plesk install today (linux based), using the plesk CP (Server / Updater) and I don’t like looking at an interface that says “You will receive an e-mail once the install is complete”.

A very simple solution for people that “need” to know what’s happening and don’t like waiting for an e-mail, is to log in the server using ssh (you can use PuTTY for that) go to /tmp:

cd /tmp

and do a:

ls -asl *log

You should see all the files ending in *log (beware, there might be quite a few files to match that pattern), and among them something like:

712 -rw——-  1 root root 724202 Aug  6 03:00 autoinstaller3.log

As soon as you locate that file, you can “tail” it. In my case:

tail -f autoinstaller3.log

Et voila, you will be able to see what’s happening with the upgrade process. To stop following the upgrade process, just pres Ctrl+C and you will get back to the bash prompt.

SysAdmin Day… A bit late

Well, on the 25th of July some of us celebrated the 9th SysAdmin Day, but I forgot!

Thanks to Aghi, I remembered and with a slight delay, I made sure to add it to my calendar, so next year I won’t miss it.

On the front page of the website dedicated to this event it states what a sysadmin is, and why you should thank us:

If you can read this, thank your sysadmin

A sysadmin unpacked the server for this website from its box, installed an operating system, patched it for security, made sure the power and air conditioning was working in the server room, monitored it for stability, set up the software, and kept backups in case anything went wrong. All to serve this webpage.

A sysadmin installed the routers, laid the cables, configured the networks, set up the firewalls, and watched and guided the traffic for each hop of the network that runs over copper, fiber optic glass, and even the air itself to bring the Internet to your computer. All to make sure the webpage found its way from the server to your computer.

A sysadmin makes sure your network connection is safe, secure, open, and working. A sysadmin makes sure your computer is working in a healthy way on a healthy network. A sysadmin takes backups to guard against disaster both human and otherwise, holds the gates against security threats and crackers, and keeps the printers going no matter how many copies of the tax code someone from Accounting prints out.

A sysadmin worries about spam, viruses, spyware, but also power outages, fires and floods.

When the email server goes down at 2 AM on a Sunday, your sysadmin is paged, wakes up, and goes to work.

A sysadmin is a professional, who plans, worries, hacks, fixes, pushes, advocates, protects and creates good computer networks, to get you your data, to help you do work — to bring the potential of computing ever closer to reality.

More about this day, and sysadmins on:

And a short sysadmin song, written by a sysadmin, performed by a sysadmin and brought to you by a sysadmin:

DNS vulnerability

Guys and girls, get your nameservers secured ASAP.

The DNS vulnerability everyone was talking about leaked on the internet, and I’m sure someone somewhere is already writing up code to take advantage of it…

Full story here.

Paul Vixie, the CEO of ISC (developers of bind/named), developer of CRON, who writes every so often on his account made a short FAQ about the vulnerability:

Reactions have been mixed, but overall, negative. As the coordinator of the combined vendor response, I’ve heard plenty of complaints, and I’ve watched as Dan Kaminsky has been called an idiot for how he managed the disclosure. Let me try to respond a little here, without verging into taking any of this personally.

Q: “This is the same attack as <X> described way back in <Y>.”
A: No, it’s not.

Q: “You’re just fear-mongering, we already knew DNS was terribly insecure.”
A: Everything we thought we knew was wrong.

Q: “I think Dan’s new attack is <Z>.”
A: If you guess right, you can control the schedule, is that what you want?

Q: “I think Dan should have just come right out and described the attack.”
A: Do you mind if we patch the important parts of the infrastructure first?

Q: “Why wasn’t I brought into the loop?”
A: Management of trusted communications is hard. No offense was intended.

Full article here.

And you can check your ISP’s nameservers from this page: You need to look at that test for port randomization, and you need to be above average to be safe. Beware that refreshing the test page will not show up *new* results, even if you make changes to your nameservers, so you need to go back to the prior link, and click on “Test my DNS” again.

This is serious folks!

Servere custom, obiceiuri si obisnuiti

Sunt intr-o zi foarte ciudata, si am tendinta ca dupa fiecare chestie care mi se intampla, sa zic “urasc chestia care tocmai s-a intamplat” Si eu de obicei sunt un optimist.

Azi dupa-masa m-a sunat un numar pe care nu il aveam in agenda, dar dormeam. Am sunat inapoi, nimic. Urasc oamenii care te suna, nu poti sa le raspunzi si apoi, cand suni inapoi nu raspund nici ei…

Peste juma’ de ora ma suna el:

“Salut, sunt X, ne stim de acolo, bla bla bla, IT, bla bla bla, afacere online, cafeluta sa iti spun ce si cum…”

“E MLM?” (MLM – Multi Level Marketing, vezi pensiile private sau Amway)
“uhhh… Da…”
“Nu mersi, o seara faina!”

Am fost un pic mai on edge azi si ieri decat in rest, cu un proiect urgent si care trebuia terminat flawless din prima. Totul ar fi mers brici, daca unul din serverele cu care lucram nu era customizat waaaaay beyond any recognition, si am stat o ora si mi-am prins urechile, tremurand de nervi ca erau jos niste sisteme destul de importante si nu reuseam sa le pornesc. Pana la urma s-a rezolvat in 5 secunde de cel care a “customizat” serverul.

Unul din cele mai importante concepte, si guideline-uri din cadrul procesului de design al unui produs este acela de a nu schimba obiceiul utilizatorului. Adica, nu incerca sa obisnuiesti omul sa dea click pe mouse cu nasul, sau sa deschida usa cu genunchiul, sau sa ii muti X’ul ala din coltul dreapta sus al ferestrei in stanga jos. Aceeasi chestie se aplica si la mine. Daca tot ai customizat o chestie, scoate-o dracu pe aia default afara si nu ma mai enerva, macar sa stiu ce caut. In cazul de fata e vorba de un al doilea server de apache instalat din surse pe un server cand ala default s-a busit. Puteam sa ii dai restart cu service httpd sau din etc/init.d/ sau apachectl pana poimaine.

Daca tot schimbati ceva care de multe ori si entru multa lume vine de la sine inteles, faceti un pic de documentatie, si aveti grija sa nu o uitati pe stick, ci sa fie accesibila celui care va intra in contact cu schimbarea pe care ati facut-o.

Si nu am chef sa recitesc articolul, deci daca am greseli, va rog sa imi spuneti si le corectez mai incolo.

O seara faina.

[PLESK] removing/modifying open_basedir in plesk

Let’s think about a situation where you have a subdomain and you want it to be able to access files from the domain httpdocs directory. You cannot do that by default in Plesk, because of open_basedir. You can edit the httpd.include file in:


but that will only work until the next plesk restart or major modification.

But, the httpd.include file that manages a domain and subdomain explicitly says:

# /var/www/vhosts/
# /var/www/vhosts/

So, disabling open_basedir is *usually* as simple as editing the vhost.conf file (or create it if it does not exist), and adding:

Entire HOWTO here.


Windows blows killing several…

Windows blows killing several win32 only programs in its path…

Din motive mai mult sau mai putin obiective, in ultima vreme, a se citi ultima jumatate de an, am folosit ca si sistem primar de operare pe laptop Windows XP Pro. Motivele obiective, tin de faptul ca am inceput sa il folosesc la birou cand lucram niste ore imposibile, in timpul serviciului nu puteam reinstala linuxul care era cam obosit, si windowsul mi-a oferit destula stabilitate o vreme, cu 2 GB de RAM si customizat la maxim. Cu timpul, m-am trezit ca incet incet windowsul magar mare cum e el de obicei, a inceput sa se miste tot mai fecal, si mai penibil, dar problema era alta… miliarde de setari, parole salvate prin diferite keychainuri, VPN´uri, chestii care s-au adunat si faceau tot mai greoaie trecerea de la wingoz inapoi la linux.

Pana azi…

…cand m-am trezit ca orice browser as folosi, paginile o iau razna, si dureaza o vesnicie pana reusesc sa fac ceva. Nu se poate asa, am nevoie de viteza, am nevoie sa lucrez cu browserul, nu imi ajunge consola si IM´ul. Nu mi se pare normal sa incarc pagina de la Google, da da, aia cu o singura imagine si ceva text in 4 – 5 minute de parca sunt iar pe vremea US Roboticsurilor puse pe linii inchiriate de la romtelecom acum 10 ani.

Am schimbat antivirusul de la avast la kaspersky, implicit scanat crap, si totul era OK, am upgradat toate pogramelele care le tineam rezidente in memorie la ultima versiune, verificat servicii, si apoi am chemat un specialist… Bogdan, care pana la urma, e Windows Admin din ala cu mcse´uri si chestii. Nimic. Problema continua.

Drept urmare, Carmen 2 se muta pe Ubuntu 8.04, pana apuc sa fac un backup la datele din windows si sa reinstalez. Dar, daca versiunea 8.04 nu o sa imi faca probleme cu revenirea din stand-by ca si cea precedenta, o sa revin si eu la Linux ca si sistem de operare primar. O sa reinstalez windowsul pentru chestiute mai delicate cum ar fi un CS (Counter Strike) din cand in cand, dar cam atat.

Go Ubuntu! Tweaking time!

Ah, daca apucati careva sa cititi asta in timp util, si v-ati batut de problema asta, va rog dati un semn… Sunt curios ce mama dracu ar putea sa aiba…