Banana Backups

In the September 2016 issue, I wrote an article called "Papa's Got a Brand New NAS" where I described how I replaced my rackmounted gear with a small, low-powered ARM device—the Odroid XU4.

Sysadmin 101: Patch Management

A few articles ago, I started a Sysadmin 101 series to pass down some fundamental knowledge about systems administration that the current generation of junior sysadmins, DevOps engineers or "full stack" developers might not learn otherwise. I had thought that I was done with the series, but then the WannaCry malware came out and exposed some of the poor patch management practices still

Analyzing Song Lyrics

I was reading about the history of The Beatles a few days ago and bumped into an interesting fact. According to the author, The Beatles used the word "love" in their songs more than 160 times. At first I thought, "cool", but the more I thought about it, the more I became skeptical about the figure. In fact, I suspect that the word "love" shows up considerably more than 160 times.

Testing the Waters: How to Perform Internal Phishing Campaigns

Phishing is one of the most dangerous threats to modern computing. Phishing attacks have evolved from sloppily written mass email blasts to targeted attacks designed to fool even the most cautious users. No defense is bulletproof, and most experts agree education and common sense are the best tools to combat the problem.

Live Stream Your Pets with Linux and YouTube!

Anyone who reads Linux Journal knows about my fascination with birdwatching. I've created my own weatherproof video cameras with a Raspberry Pi. I've posted instructions on how to create your own automatically updating camera image page with JavaScript. Heck, I even learned CSS so I could make a mobile-friendly version of BirdCam that filled the screen in landscape mode.

Creating an Application-Based Terminal Session

One of my first exposures to computers in a work environment was using a Wyse terminal to access a console-based application for data entry. It wasn't until a while later that I learned about terminals in UNIX and how they work. Once I understood it, I wanted to create my own self-contained application that was tied to a telnet or SSH session.

Novelty and Outlier Detection

In my last few articles, I've looked at a number of ways machine learning can help make predictions. The basic idea is that you create a model using existing data and then ask that model to predict an outcome based on new data.

Tracking Down Blips

In a previous article, I explained the process for setting up Cacti, which is a great program for graphing just about anything. One of the main things I graph is my internet usage. And, it's great information to have, until there is internet activity you can't explain.

I'll Gladly Pay You Tuesday for a Hamburger Today

My day job pays me on the 15th and last day of every month, unless those days land on a weekend, in which case I get paid the Friday before. With those rules, creating a Google Calendar event is shockingly difficult. In fact, it's not possible to create a recurring event with those rules using Google's GUI scheduling tool.

Watermarking Images--from the Command Line

Us geeks mostly think of the command line as the best place for text manipulation. It's a natural with cat, grep and shell scripts. But although you can't necessarily view your results from within a typical terminal window, it turns out to be pretty darn easy to analyze and manipulate images from within a shell script.

Classifying Text

In my last few articles, I've looked at several ways one can apply machine learning, both supervised and unsupervised. This time, I want to bring your attention to a surprisingly simple—but powerful and widespread—use of machine learning, namely document classification.

Jmol: Viewing Molecules with Java

Let's dig back into some chemistry software to see what kind of work you can do on your Linux machine. Specifically, let's look at Jmol, a Java application that is available as both a desktop application and a web-based applet.

Integrating Web Applications with Apache

When you deploy a web application, how do end users access it? Often web applications are set behind a gateway device through which end users can access it. One of the popular products to act as an application gateway on Linux is the Apache Web Server. Although it can function as a normal web server, it also has the ability to connect through it to other web servers.

Manipulate Images with ImageMagick

In my last article, I had some fun looking at the children's game of rock, paper, scissors, writing a simple simulator and finding out that some strategies are better than others. Yes, I used "strategy" and "rock, paper, scissors" in the same sentence!

The Post-TV Age?

The most basic cable package from Charter (Spectrum?) costs me more than $70 per month, and that's without any equipment other than a single cable card. It's very clear why people have been cutting the cord with cable TV companies. But, what options exist? Do the alternatives actually cost less? Are the alternatives as good?

Unsupervised Learning

In my last few articles, I've looked into machine learning and how you can build a model that describes the world in some way. All of the examples I looked at were of "supervised learning", meaning that you loaded data that already had been categorized or classified in some way, and then created a model that "learned" the ways the inputs mapped to the outputs.

Sysadmin 101: Automation

This is the second in a series of articles on systems administrator fundamentals. These days, DevOps has made even the job title "systems administrator" seem a bit archaic, much like the "systems analyst" title it replaced. These DevOps positions are rather different from sysadmin jobs in the past.

Postmortem: What to Do After a Security Incident

Incidents happen. Vulnerabilities happen. The quality of your response can make the difference between a bad day and a disaster. What happens after the response can make the difference between endless firefighting and becoming stronger with every battle. A quality postmortem analysis is free ammunition.