Category Archives: Site Info
I’m moving this blog to WordPress to try and combat the ongoing spam comments. No, they never get seen because I vet all of them manually, but it’s getting annoying.
Unfortunately, doing the migration means losing all previous comments, but since there wasn’t really that much here, I don’t see it as a big problem…
Abandoned? No, just ignored….
<![CDATA[Anyone who has looked here in the last few months (OK, last 8 months...) would think I've abandoned the place. Not quite true...noidea.us is still my primary email domain, and I've thought about a lot of things I'd write about, if the time presented itself. Well, the time still hasn't made itself available (funny,the way that works), but I figured I should at least note that I'm still alive, still working, still researching malware, and learning how to be a dad. I guess running blogs on three different sites can be a bit...well...absurd?
On the plus side, I have managed to finally upgrade my mail server….it’s a major hardware shift from a PII-400 to a Sempron 2800+, and 384MB to 1GB of RAM. I can now run all those wonderful spam filters that I just didn’t have the resources to handle before. It also went from Fedora Core 1 to Fedora Core 4. The old server was actually just a test box I was using to play with Postfix, Amavisd-new and Dovecot; it got pressed into live service after resetting all the hardware after hurricane Rita a couple of years ago when the Shuttle SV-24 died (of a notorious blown caps issue). I was unable to keep much of the filtering running because of the RAM requirements, and thus was making do with only Postfix’s RBL checks and Policyd greylisting service. Now it’s all running, and I’m much happier with the systems….
Final note, I’m now also an admin/developer for PluggedOut Blog, the blog script that runs this site. If you’re looking for an easily customizable, flexible, feature-rich blog script in PHP, check it out!
lessons in system configuration
<![CDATA[I'm sure this will be an ongoing topic...I'm working on a new mailserver to replace a box that is excruciatingly underpowered. Even though it's only running about a dozen users, it's a Pentium II/400 maxing out 256MB of physical RAM and swapping over 60MB regularly. This wasn't a real problem until I decided to upgrade my spam filtering backend (amavisd-new, SpamAssassin/ClamAV and Maia Mailguard,with a dose of policyd greylisting daemon). The system restarted everything fine, but then came to a screeching halt as amavisd completely swamped the RAM in the system and everything slowed to a crawl. Unfortunately, the RAM in the system is maxed out and I can't add any more.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I ordered a new system to replace this venerable dinosaur. The new box is a BioStar IDEQ N1, Sempron64 2800+, 1GB of PC3200 (400MHz) RAM. I’m recycling a spare 20GB drive, and loading with Fedora Core 4 (I don’t like 5 or 6…the MySQL 5 installed breaks some of the web apps that I use).
Now, on to the lesson of the day:
I started setting up the box last week with custom-compiled versions of Postfix, Dovecot IMAP server and several other packages. Now I’m starting to configure things to closely match the existing mail server, including Samba. This makes some administrative tasks a bit easier, like updating some web pages (this basically only hosts SquirrelMail and PostfixAdmin). There’s not much web service to do, but Samba makes it easier to move logfiles to the Windows box and copy new files over without having to run FTP or wget all the time. The problems started after I copied the smb.conf file (Samba config) from the existing server to the new box. I tweaked it, fixed some server-specific settings, and set it off. First, it wouldn’t even see itself as an SMB server. found and fixed that. Then, it appeared to be fighting with my WINS server (another Linux box) to be the master browser. Fixed that setting too. Finally was able to resolve itself by name and local IP. Now to get it to see the rest of the network (and the rest of the network to see it, as well). OK…started through the diagnostics document from Samba. Step 1…good. Step 2…good. Step 3…er…step 3….errors. Troubleshooting was going nowhere. 45 minutes later, had a thought…firewall? Iptables was running, since this box faces both the internet and my local lan on different NICs. turned off iptables and gee…it works! Start tweaking around with firewall rules. Seems the syntax has changed slightly between the Fedora Core 1 and Fedora Core 4 versions, so the rules from the old box don’t quite work on the new one. Found the system-config-firewall-tui utility, and set up custom rules for the right ports, and restarted both iptables then samba. Gee wiz, it works now! I can see it from the other computers, and it finds the rest of the network too! Well, that was a good waste of several hours that I’ll never get back. I guess the next step is to set up Postfix, policyd, amavisd and the new MailZu web interface for amavis. Oh, and pray that Dovecot 1.0 final will make it out in the next two weeks before I’m ready to bring the new monster live….
New site layout complete!
<![CDATA[I'll be repeating some of what's in the sidebar, but Welcome to the pared-down, simplified NoIdea.US website! I've migrated from Geeklog to PluggedOut Blog for several reasons, but mainly for easier maintenance and relieving issues of "sleeper" spammer registrations. The wiki is gone, the forums are gone, and the galleries have been slimmed down as well.
Just for reference, the links database is still here, and the downloads are still available, but some locations and internal URLs have changed. A bit of Apache Redirect magic should still point search engine links to the correct locations. Most of the old posts are still here, except for a few that specifically related to the old Geeklog setup. You may have to use the “search” feature to find the article you are looking for…don’t be afraid to try it!
If you need help with malware removal, try the SpywareInfo Forums or any of the sites listed at the Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals site.
For help with Tivo2Mpg, see this thread at the DealDatabase Forums.
Other than that, I’ve added NoIdea.US to FeedBurner. the syndication link can be found in the footer of this page, or by clicking on the “feedburner” icon in the right column.
Welcome back, and thanks for reading!
<![CDATA[I've gotten the important articles from the old site uploaded and reconfigured for the blog script. Just a few details to finish (some image pointers and such) and I think this will be ready to go live! I'll have a few Apache Rewrite rules to test first before being completely ready, but it's pretty close now. Need to tweak the theme some to make the outer columns a bit narrower, too.
This has become my TODO list for updates….
fix image pointers and links in imported stories
apache rewrite rules for staticpages, articles.php, links.php from old layout
copy links from old site to new links database
update links script to log clickthroughs
shrink the outer columns a bit for more space in the middle.
RSS parser for layout side box (US-CERT or such)
Update the “about” box.
Finally, reconfigure apache from the test domain to ‘new’ site!
Site Going Live
<![CDATA[I'm almost finished with the revamp for NoIdea.US, and should be taking the new system live sometime this next week. I've got the gallery finished, and the file download page ready. I just need to get download logging in place, write some admin code to read the logs, and some Apache redirects in place for the downloads.
So, the changes should be here soon!
Back from the Storm
<![CDATA[Well, we're back and survived the storm OK...the only casuality here had nothing to do with a hurricane, but the death of a motherboard. The webserver you are currently visiting would not boot after being connected after the storm, and a quick inspection showed that blown capacitors on the mainboard were the culprit. I was lucky that it ran for as long as it had, from the looks of things. So, a new system is in place....
For those interested in the details, it’s a Biostar IDEQ 210V, an AMD Sempron 2400+ with 512MB of PC3200 DDR RAM. I recycled the CD and FD and second NIC from the old system, and using the same hard drive recovery took only minutes with the kudzu utility working quite well to reconfigure the hardware. The biggest problem was getting the net cables plugged into the right NICs (I had them backwards at first).
The old system was a Shuttle SV25, with an FV25 motherboard (the one with the bad caps). This is a known and notorious problem…as a friend of mine once said, he hopes that someone has paid dearly for the capacitor problems in the last few years…..]]>
Almost back up….
<![CDATA[Well, the server is doing better...I got the box reloaded with a new HD, and managed to get the load off the spare box that wasn't really beefed for real service. The only thing lacking, I think, is the smtp service for the websites hosts here. I don't have it configured yet, but that should be ready tomorrow (Friday) evening.
Thanks for all your patience!
<![CDATA[Well, apparently my main webserver was hacked yesterday (12 jul 2005) and brought to it's knees by someone deleting the /var/log directory. This effectively killed apache and several other programs. Fortunately, I was able to get a spare server running and get the site back online.
I have re-uploaded the nailfix.zip and nailfix.exe files from my original sources in the event that the downloads were compromised, and have temporarily disabled the rest of the downloads on this site until I can replace them with known good copies. *grrr* why can’t people find better, more constructive things to do with their time instead of attacking people? (or their servers?)]]>
Service Down – finally back up
<![CDATA[Well, NoIdea.US is back online, after a day or so of downtime. The problem, thankfully, wasn't with the servers or anything I had control over. My ISP had some kind of major equipment failure at their colo site, and finally got it back up ~8:30 CDT.]]>