1. Pictures from my trip to San Diego, summer 2019.ev

    19 December 2019

    Last summer my day job sent me down to San Diego, CA to attend the Linux Security Summit and report back.  Unfortunately just about all of the content there intersected in no way, shape, or form with anything we're working on so it was largely a dog wash.  I probably won't attend again because, balancing the cost against the information gotten it just wasn't worth it.  I did, however, take a couple of engineers from Oracle for their first good sushi dinner ever, took an amphibious boat tour of San Diego Bay, and hiked along the waterfront for a couple …

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  2. Cult of the Dead Cow book signing, 22 June 2019.

    13 December 2019

    If you were part of the hacker scene in the 1980's or 90's (or you played a certain tradition in Mage: The Ascension around that time) you undoubtedly have come across the weird, wonderful, bewildering, and occasionally insightful antics of The Cult of the Dead Cow, a crew of hackers originally based out of Texas who were well known for their periodic text file releases.  What isn't well known until very recently is that many cDc alumni have gone on to do great things, from starting one of the first security companies to ascending to C-level status at some well …

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  3. Using Ansible to restart a bunch of services running under systemd in --user mode.

    05 December 2019

    Let's say that you have a bunch of servers that you admin en masse using Ansible.  You have all of them listed and organized in your /etc/ansible/hosts file.  Let's say that each server is running a system service (like my Systembot) running under systemd in --user mode.  (Yes, I'm going to use my exocortex-halo/ repository for this, because I just worked out a good way to keep everything up to date and want to share the technique for everyone new to Ansible.  Pay it forward, you know?)  You want to use Ansible to update your copy of Systembot …

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  4. Challenge accepted: Archiving a Mastodon account with Huginn

    19 November 2019

    Last weekend I was running short of stuff to hack around on and lamented this fact on the Fediverse.  I was summarily challenged to find a way to archive posts to the Fediverse in an open, easy to understand data format that was easy to index, and did not use any third party services (like IFTTT or Zapier).  I thought about it a bit and came up with a reasonably simple solution that uses three Huginn agents to collect, process, and write out posts as individual JSON documents to the same box I run that part of my exocortex on …

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  5. Neologism: Entropic debugging

    11 November 2019

    entropic debugging - noun phrase - The phenomenon in which one can spend weeks on end debugging something using a multitude of techniques, give up in frustration and/or disgust for a couple of days, come back to the project and discover that somehow the bugs have magickally fixed themselves (as verified by diffs and file hashes if one cares to check).  The phenomenon is so named due to the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy can never decrease, only increase in an isolated system.  In other words, as entropy increases overall in the universe it somehow wiped out the …

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  6. Experimenting with btrfs in production.

    04 November 2019

    EDIT - 20230422 - Fixed the command to increase the amount of space used on a new and bigger drive. Also updated some of the links because the official btrfs page has changed.

    EDIT - 20230129 - Changed the btrfs replacement command a bit. Added a command block to force the SATA controller to rescan the devices available to it.

    EDIT - 20211120 - Edited the page so that it makes more sense. The last couple of edits were out of sequence. Cleaned up a few things, too.

    EDIT - 20211107 @ 1324 UTC-7 - Added how to monitor the drive replacement process.

    EDIT - 20201206 @ 2216 UTC-7 - Added how …

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