Preventing WordPress BFL/DDOS attacks

I host a lot of WordPress sites and a common problem is the Brute Force Login attack, which could also be classed as a DDOS attack as it can overload the server or drive MySQL beyond it’s limits. I’ve taken to using an .htaccess¬†section to mitigate this and it’s quite successful so far, although with some small limitations. Continue reading Preventing WordPress BFL/DDOS attacks

A new dual sim smartphone: Xiaomi Hungmi

I travel a lot and it’s always a hassle changing out the SIMs whenever I need to check for calls and messages. A friend of mine, in a similar situation, brought a nice dual HTC SIM phone although he had to order it from Dubhai and it was ¬£500. That’s a bit steep I thought… and decided to see what else might be available in my price bracket.


Continue reading A new dual sim smartphone: Xiaomi Hungmi

Searching for a new CMS

There are a couple of new projects coming up and I want to find a simple CMS for them. Both projects will need a user interface that is very simple and easy to use and the sites are basic enough that I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. It needs to have the following; a simple user interface for entering and changing entries, simple API so that I can add in some custom stuff, self hosted, good documentation and strong community. Continue reading Searching for a new CMS

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Laptop, Developer Edition in use.

I’ve been needing to upgrade my work system for a while, and recently heard about the Dell XPS-13 Developers Edition, preloaded with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Normally I’ll buy a Windows machine, strip out Windows (or leave it as dual boot) and install Linux myself. However, the Dell setup sounded interesting. They’ve taken a standard Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) installation and added custom drivers for the XPS-13, added the Ubuntu label (and no Windows label) and made it available through their shop. Continue reading Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Laptop, Developer Edition in use.

A Fallow Year

The fields awaken as the snow disappears.

I was travelling through Czech with a friend a couple of weeks ago. The fields were just seeing the light of day after a winter under the snow, the colors that greenish yellow of vegetation that hasn’t seen sun in a long time, the ground bare in patches. What do they grow here? I asked. I don’t know, he answered. Sometimes they leave the fields empty for a year so that they can regenerate, how do you call that? A fallow year I said. Continue reading A Fallow Year

Ubuntu on a Lenovo ThinkServer – NOT!

I’ve spent a frustrating day trying to install Ubuntu 11.10 on a Lenovo ThinkServer TS130 with RAID. I was trying to install using software RAID and so far I’ve run about 10 installations, with no luck. Installation works fine, Ubuntu is very happy, all the checkboxes ticked until it says installation is over, time to reboot. And then on reboot the BIOS gives me an “Error 1926: no operating system found” or similar. Searches on the ‘net gives some clues that it is something to do with Lenovo having a buggy EFI implementation and Ubuntu not working well with GBT , but there is nothing definite.

So, eventually, I gave up, downloaded CentOS 6.2, ran a new install and we’re up and running, with updates, in short order.

These notes are for those of you searching for the same issues as I was and finding a shortage of information.

cPanel/Mailman errors: could not determine list owner…

Much as I hate messing around with the core files of cPanel (or of any other installation in fact), the cPanel installation has a bug that, although not a showstopper, is rather annoying. It results in me getting an email every few hours full of lines like this:
Could not determine list owner for xxxxx
This is caused by the update_mailman_cache script checking the names of the Mailman mailing lists and finding them wrongly named. This is easily fixed and I’m writing this as much as a reminder for myself, as to help others with the problem. Continue reading cPanel/Mailman errors: could not determine list owner…

Finding a Xen server

For various reasons, I have a customer that would like to try out a Xen virtualization server. Not a big one, more of a test bed for some ideas and also a chance to experience how Xen is to work with. I’m happy to help, I’ve just finished setting up a VMWare ESXi system for a company and that was fun and exciting. Virtualization is the way to go. Anyway, I took a look around for some providers of small size solutions, here are some notes:
Continue reading Finding a Xen server

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