Sunday, September 25, 2011

OK - I'm an idiot

When I first signed up for EE my account was deleted and I had to bug Ms Ally to prove I am not an evil wicked despicable spammer.

When I signed up for their forum so I could hear all the teases there and play the Cock Market game, my account was deleted and I had to bug MS Molly to prove I am not an evil wicked despicable spammer.

That however may have actually been a good thing, damn she's hawt! Now on my ever increasing radar of Enchantrixes I have to find a way to call.

Today while futzing around on my server, the reason I was tagged a spammer became clear. I never set up reverse DNS for my mail server. The reverse DNS for the IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) associated with my MX record still point to my colo facility, a completely different domain.

Now, if I was not the admin then it wouldn't be my fault, but checking the ptr record is a very common way to determine whether an e-mail is legitimate or possibly spam, and any decent mail system administrator knows this.

Plus 5 to LDW for using such a technique (I assume that's what they did) to help weed out the spammers, and minus 5 to me for not finishing the job on my own mail system.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Path to RHCE

I do not have an official *nix certification. Back in 1998 I started playing with Linux using MKLinux DR3 on my 233MHz Beige G3 sporting 32MB of RAM. Unlike MacOS 8, Linux never crashed. I was hooked.

1999 I took a few classes based on Red Hat 5.2 (not RHEL 5.2, pre RHEL) and the company hired me as a Linux consultant. I made major bank the next few years, before the crash, but I never actually got my RHCE.

Now I mostly do PHP/PostgreSQL web programming, some sys admin work. Fixing bugs that other coders make, working for a lot less than I'm worth because there are smart intelligent capable people in other parts of the world (IE India) I have to compete with, and their cost of living is lower.

So, I'm in the process of starting a new company to market a DOMDocument based CMS I am working on. In addition to offering simple web hosting, I also would like to offer system administration of CentOS systems running my software, for companies that need more than just a CMS.

The that end, I thought it would be helpful if I actually work towards achieving a bona-fide RHCE. Took the assessment stuff. Some stuff I have forgotten, some stuff I do differently than the "Red Hat" way. But here's the results:

Configure Local Services: Substantial Knowledge
Manage Physical Storage I: Deep Understanding
Establish Network Connectivity: Deep Understanding
Administer Users and Groups: Some Understanding
Secure Linux File Access: Familiarity
Manage Files from the Command-line: Deep Understanding
Essential Command-Line Operations: Substantial Knowledge
Managing Simple Partitions and Filesystems: Some Understanding
Managing Flexible Storage with Logical Volumes: Substantial Knowledge
Controlling access to Files: Some Understanding
Installing and Managing Software: Some Understanding (Bull shit - I'm an RPM guru)
Tuning and Maintaining the Kernel: Deep Understanding
Enhance User Security: Substantial Knowledge
BASH Scripting and Tools: Familiarity
Network Configuration and Troubleshooting: Familiarity
Administering Users and Groups: Familiarity
Manage System Resources: Familiarity
Installing and Managing Software: Deep Understanding
Administer Remote Systems: Deep Understanding
Deploy and Secure File Sharing Services: Deep Understanding
Managing SELinux: Deep Understanding
Managing Simple Partitions and Filesystems: Familiarity
Logical Volume Management: Deep Understanding

I don't agree with all of it. Some of the questions were bull shit, IE questions about setting permissions in the GUI using Nautilus. Who the fuck uses the GUI to manage users and permissions? Windows admins maybe, but no UNIX guru does.

I'm not sure why it didn't rate me higher with package understanding. There are not many people who know more about proper RPM packaging than I do. Well, the test asked a lot of questions related to specific switches to the rpm and yum commands that no one ever uses, so I guess I may have missed some of those. They are needed so rarely, you look at the man page or use the help switch in the rare occasion you need them. But I digress.

BASH - I use to be a lot more fluent in BASH than I currently am, but BASH really isn't used for all that much anymore. Mostly simple crap. Anything with complexity is typically done with perl or python these days.

Anyway, it identified what I need to review. I'm going to try to review on my own, skip the RHCSA course, and just take the exam. Then I'll probably enroll in the additional courses needed for RHCE

Thursday, September 8, 2011

IPv6 - let the migration begin

For the unaware, an IP address is the address of a device (such as your computer or a web server) on an IP network (such as the Internet). When you go to a URL (IE web site address), the IP address associated with that URL is looked up and the IP address of that resource and is used to communicate with that resource.

Right now, most of the Internet uses something called IPv4. IPv4 is an old standard. It has some design flaws, including not enough IP addresses to adequately cover current demand.

IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4. It solves a lot of the design problems with IPv4 and it is highly unlikely it will ever run out of available unique IP addresses.

I have known about IPv6 for over a decade, but I just recently started migrating to it. My web servers are now all running IPv6 (as well as IPv4) and my home network is ready to go IPv6 but I need to replace my router.

Non technical people probably should wait until their Internet Service Provider starts offering IPv6 but for the technically inclined, if you are not yet IPv6 ready, have a look at They have a FREE program to help you get up and running both from home (even if your ISP does not yet offer it) and on your web servers. And if you complete the program (reach level of sage) you get a free T-Shirt!

I started the program yesterday, and got to Sage in a single day:

If you need an IPv6 ready host, check out Linode - Excellent customer service, and most of their data centers will assign you both an IPv4 and IPv6 address for your account.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pictures of Rescued Kitten

I did manage to rescue the kitten I blogged about on the fourth (see September 4) - She was not born feral, too healthy and warmed up to me too fast.

Here she is:

Isn't she just adorable?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Feral / Abandoned Kitten

There's a kitten living in the bushes in front of the local bar. The bar is currently closed for renovations so fortunately there is not a lot of traffic in its parking lot.

I'm not sure if it is feral or if it was dumped there. It is definitely alone. Friday night was when I first encountered it, I heard it meowing and I responded, and the two of us meowed back and forth but it never showed itself to me. It clearly is quite young, so I bought some whiskas pouches for it, they are easier for small cats to consume than dry food. I was worried it would need KMR. It did not come to the bowl while I was there, so I left and came back 20 minutes later and the bowl was licked clean, poor thing.

Last night (Saturday) it was still there. Again we meowed back and forth but again it did not show itself. I put food out and I finally got to see it's eyes but did not want to approach, so I pushed the bowl in further and it then did approach and I could see it, but it was too dark to make out much information other than it is quite young, I'm guessing maybe 6 weeks.

I just went back at 4 in the morning (my time) with another pouch. This time I did not need to push it all the way in for it to come and eat. It appears to be a tabby but it *might* be a tortoise shell. I am leaning towards tabby though.

Hopefully tonight or tomorrow early AM I will be able to coax it close enough that I can grab it and bring it home. Unfortunately I can't keep it, my community has a 1 pet rule and I already have 2 cats. But at least I can run a flea comb through it, get it de-wormed, and see if I can find a home for it.

If anyone on my friends list happens to live near Redding, CA or knows someone who does, and would be willing to take a kitten, please let me know. If I can not find a home quickly, it will have to go to the county shelter where it will likely be euthanized, which I suppose is better than starving to death, but still - I would like to see it get a home.

Thank you.