Saturday 3 December 2011

HOWTO: Disable touchpad when mouse is plugged in

My Dell M4400 laptop runs Ubuntu Linux 10.04.  When writing reports, I kept making mistakes due to hitting the trackpad during typing.  To solve this problem, I'm using this script to disable the touchpad when my favourite mouse is plugged in.  When the mouse is unplugged, the script restarts the touchpad.  Very nice.

Monday 28 November 2011

Mac OS X Lion: Saved Versions considered harmful

Lion has a new feature designed to take safety copies of files you are editing.   But this isn't a good idea if you edit confidential documents, as it will result in copies of your sensitive documents spreading beyond the folder you put them in.  There's no easy way to disable it..

Saturday 15 October 2011

Gmail Contact Sync: Mac, iPhone, iPad... [UPDATED]

How to keep your address book synchronized across an iMac, MacBook, iPhone and iPad...

Friday 7 October 2011

Accessing an Ubuntu desktop from Mac OS X Lion [UPDATED]

I've got this working now, but it's more complicated than it ought to be...

Monday 11 July 2011

Booting Acronis True Image from a USB stick

Today I needed to restore a netbook PC from a backup image taken with Acronis True Image Home 9.0 (which is excellent). The backup image was stored on an external USB hard drive. The problem was how to boot the Acronis recovery image, as the netbook has no CD drive.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

AWSTATS on Apache with Ubuntu Server 10.04 LTS

Got this working today.   Nice guide here covers most of it.  Another good guide is here.

Thursday 16 June 2011

UK SIM cards with static IP addresses

Should you have a need for 3G Data SIMs with "real" fixed public IP addresses (rather than the usual dynamic NATted private IPs), I have found three options...

Friday 10 June 2011

How to disable GMail's spam filter

GMail's spam filtering is usually excellent, but sometimes it can get over-zealous.  The first thing to know is that mail from people in your GMail Contacts list is never flagged as spam. So regular correspondents should be added to to your GMail Contacts.

If you want to turn off GMail spam filtering altogether, here's how...

Friday 3 June 2011

More thoughts on Sandboxing for security

From a security perspective, perhaps today's desktop operating systems are missing the point. With the increase in carefully-targeted spear-phishing attacks, we need to change our approach if we are to stop our computers being compromised.  Firewalls, content-checkers, anti-virus programs, whole-disk encryption: these are all necessary, but they are not enough.

We must assume the worst and plan accordingly.  From time to time, you or a colleague will receive malware-infected files that will get past the virus scanner.  How can we remain secure?

Given the security threats from the Internet today, I believe that all web pages, images and documents need to be be opened inside a sandbox container by default.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Accessing a VM image from a QEMU host

Just a quick note of the commands needed to mount a VM disk image from the QEMU host server...

Tuesday 31 May 2011

VMware on Linux: Promiscuous Mode

When VMware Workstation is hosted under Linux, by default it doesn't allow VM Guests to access the network in Promiscuous mode.  There's an easy fix for this...

Fixed: Ubuntu Server shows outdated update info

Just updated some Ubuntu 10.04.2 servers using 'apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade', then rebooted to find stale information displayed in the login banner, still showing lots of updates pending.  There's a simple fix for this...
  rm /etc/motd.tail
  /usr/lib/update-notifier/update-motd-updates-available --force
The system would catch up eventually anyway.  These commands just speed it up.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Easy sandboxing for Windows apps

Sandboxie looks very interesting....  Yet to try it, but have heard good things about it.  Without the cost of firing up different VMs, it is able to launch programs inside wrappers, to isolate different programs from each other (or to isolate different web pages from each other) - and to protect your Windows machine from the sandboxed program.

Disabling/enabling services in Ubuntu (UPDATED)

Recent versions of Ubuntu have changed the way that system services start up.  Presumably this reflects a policy change in Linux systems.
There are now THREE different ways for Linux services to start automatically at boot...

Sunday 3 April 2011

New Cycling website launch - finally got it finished.  :-)

Thursday 17 February 2011

Security Websites

Herewith, just some bookmarks to websites covering network security topics. 

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Installing Windows on Dell Inspiron 1545

If you're trying to install a clean copy of Windows XP or Windows 7 on a Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop, these notes might help...

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Gmail Push: instant notification of new email

Just a quick note about setting up 'push' email delivery on Gmail accounts.  This feature gives you instant notification of incoming emails, without the need to poll frequently via POP or IMAP.  There are two different ways to set it up, depending on the mail client you use...