We have all been there, right?

Just looked up from my desk and realized that a lot of my team members have ergonomic issues (the screen is too low when you put the monitor/laptop on the desk, the desk itself is too low, etc). I chuckled a bit as my eyes wandered and my brain realized that one persons desk is sitting on cones, one persons monitors have piles of books under them, one persons laptop is sitting on an old Sun 711 six drive storage box. I looked down only to realize that my laptop is sitting on two empty book boxes.

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Planning

A lot has been said about planning, and I am by no means an expert in planning of any kind, but today I was walking into the office and noted something about a plan I was looking over. A plan with no timeline is an outline. A plan with no defined goals and outcomes is a todo list. Outlines and todo lists are not plans.

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Postfix 3.0, defaults to smtputf8 attribute

Upon upgrading a nospam type server last week, the amavisd decided to not send any mail anywhere. Looking through the mail logs, it became apparent that amavisd did not know about an attribute that Postfix is using called smtputf8. With Postfix 3.0, the attribute is now on by default. In order for the (not yet patched) amavisd to work with this, you will need to disable it in postfix config by adding “smtputf8_enable = no” to the configuration and then reloading the config (or running postfconf “smtputf8_enable = no”). See the postfix section on smtputf8 for more details.

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The future of packages

I noted in this post that the infamous FreeCode is now gone. I had fond memories of posting my software when it was FreshMeat.net. But time passes and things change. We should move forward with improvements and put aside outdated methods. As an academic type of person I agree with what I have just written, and it is foolish to hold on to the past just for the sake of nostalgia, but sometimes even I wonder if we did not loose something important, like moving from the touchy-feely of holding a paperback to an e-reader.  Continue reading

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Most basic iscsi on linux

We had a machine at work that needed to connect to a Dell Equallogic box via iscsi. I set this up, but since I was only using it about once a month, I did it manually (this was to take a backup of the snapshot, so the Dell mount point would vanish after a while, so we set this up manually). So, this is how to attach to it from linux.

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Testing email by hand, again

There have been a number of articles written about testing email by hand. The problem is that I always have to look for them, and very few actually present the full fields required if you are testing against a vicious spam server that is turning away anything that does not comply with most RFCs. So here is a short article on testing out your spam server when it is rejecting your by hand methods.

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Get Zimbra users into nospam (postfix)

So, lets say you have a nospam server, and that server forwards mail to a zimbra server. What you would like to do is have the user list from the zimbra server appear in a list on the postfix server, and only accept mail for the users that are contained in that list. In this way, you reduce the amount of mail hitting the zimbra server. Well, I have a crude setup doing  just that, and this is how I did it.

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nospam server

Over the years I have built a number of spam filtering servers, and for some reason I have always called them nospam. At one time I was contributing to the gentoo howto on spam filtering, until it crashed. I use gentoo as the OS for the nospam boxes, although I am often advised not to by developers (due to the fact that if you miss too many updates you will eventually be in a bind). This spam filter has been discussed at length on the internet, but I repeat it here for my own personal reference. Another nice thing about pointing your MX to a mail filter such as this is that if you must down your internal mail server, this nospam box will spool mail for you while your internal mailer is down. Gentoo + Amavisd-new + Spamassassin + Postfix + ClamAV + unofficial plugins and scripts can make a powerful spam filtering machine.

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Log messages to an rsyslog server

Ok, so we have all done this a million times. Thing is I recently had to do this, and I typically use syslog-ng, but this time I was on a RHEL/CentOS box and wanted to just check it out with rsyslogd. Conclusion: syslog-ng is more flexible, rsyslogd is easier to setup. Here is how we do rsyslogd and syslog CISCO and Force10 to it.

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FreeCode is gone…

Well, all free things must come to an end, either by them making money or by them stopping. As of June 18, 2014, Freecode.com is no longer accepting any submissions. Sigh, I had a wonderful time posting my open source code there, watching as it hit the front page, eagerly awaiting updates on popularity. I see the attraction of facebook and reddit and the like (of getting likes or karma from unknown figments of imaginative keyboard strokes and mouse clicks across the internet), still it was a nice place to make your creation known.

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