Category Archives: General

Stuff that can’t get stuffed in other cats.

Drupal malware – Farbtastic exploit, only in Google

I was contacted by a client last night, very concerned because, when you enter his site into Google, it comes back with a warning that ‘This site has been hacked’. And yet, when the site is viewed in the browser, there is no sign of any bad links or anything. What can be happening? Why does Google think the site is hacked?

I took a look at the site and he was correct, there was no sign of any bad links, and yet in Google there was a couple of pages of links to various pharmacy products. Which when clicked on led to a 404 page not found error. But when I asked Google for the cached version, there the links were, proudly displayed at the top of the page, bold as can be.

Continue reading Drupal malware – Farbtastic exploit, only in Google

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

Ubuntu upgrade from 12.04 to 14.04

I’ve recently upgraded my Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04, using the release upgrade tool. Normally I would do a clean installation, especially with a major release upgrade like this. But I heard good things from others in doing an in-place upgrade so went with that. Reinstalling packages and setting them up again is time consuming. Anyway, all went well with only a few gotcha’s on the way. I’ve listed them below. Continue reading Ubuntu upgrade from 12.04 to 14.04

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

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.

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

A Search for Online Storage

I spent the evening looking for some online storage. I currently make use of spare disk space on the hosting servers (for client storage) and Amazon S3 for backups (using Duplicity). Amazon is great for having one, unlimited account where I can back almost anything up, but it’s not so useful for clients as they need to have a login to up- and down-load files. And using space on the hosting servers has got to be about the most expensive way of handling storage needs. Time to check out some alternatives… Continue reading A Search for Online Storage