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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Amanda backup on a Backblaze Storage Pod

Yup, sometimes something is better than nothing. We have all been there before in IT. You have no backup server. You have no budget to buy a “real” backup server. You have been told a million times hard drives are no substitute for a real backup solution. Tape is king. You are being foolish. This goes against all best practices, it may possibly violate some IEEE standard, the ACM is looking at you like Clint Eastwood, your docrotal advisor is sitting on some beach somewhere while scantily clad men fan her while she sips her tropical-fruity drink you can not even pronounce or ever afford and she is shaking her head at you. Yet, you still go on, like some poor beaten up dog that has to protect his turf, even if it means certain death.

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Backblaze pod, somebody set us up the RAID

Just for fun, here are some short notes on setting up the old backblaze pod. This backblaze pod is the older chassis, but with the new SuperMicro X9SCL-F motherboard, Intel i3-2120 and 16GB of ram. It is using the older controllers (not the new RAID controller). The reason this is a franken-pod and not a new one is that the new backblaze units (hardware RAID) use a backplane that requires a new pod, different power supply and the hardware raid, which were pushing the project over budget.  Although there are online instructions for building a pod, I like mine on one page.

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Jolla, how long do we have to wait?

Jolla, the Sailfish OS Finnish phone company has put 4G on the Jolla. I have rarely lusted after some hardware as of late, but the software is making me lust after this phone. It is a different OS, can run Android apps and does work in the US on most carriers, although they are not selling it here. Very interesting design (of the OS).

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ComputerThoughts goes live

This is a site dedicated to things I see on my IT journeys. I post solutions, problems, interesting items and general computer thoughts.

Example, today I had to take apart our second backblaze pod.  The place I work at purchased two of them some time ago, and never really got anywhere with them. I rebuilt the first one and made it usable. After that was proved, Continue reading

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