HOWTOs

Message for You, Sir!

In my Open-Source Classroom column in the May 2016 issue, I discussed how to set up Gmail as your SMTP provider for outgoing email. The problem with email is that sometimes the sheer quantity of it makes important messages slip past my radar. So for really important error messages, I like to get SMS messages.

The Tiny Internet Project, Part II

In the May 2016 issue (also available here), I introduced the idea of the Tiny Internet Project, a self-contained Linux project that shows how to build the key pieces of the public internet on a single computer using one or two old computers, a router and a bunch of Linux software.

Security Exercises

Regular security exercises are, bar none, the most powerful, cost-effective tool for maturing a project's information security operations—when done well.

nginx and WordPress

In my last article, I took an initial look at nginx, the high-performance open-source HTTP that uses a single process and a single thread to service a large number of requests. nginx was designed for speed and scalability, as opposed to Apache, which was designed to maximize flexibility and configuration.

Let's Automate Let's Encrypt

HTTPS is a small island of security in this insecure world, and in this day and age, there is absolutely no reason not to have it on every Web site you host. Up until last year, there was just a single last excuse: purchasing certificates was kind of pricey.

When BirdCam Goes Mainstream

If you read my articles on when I originally set up BirdCam a few years ago, you'll remember I did it with compatibility in mind. At the time of this writing, BirdCam is simply an HTML page with the JavaScript language to refresh the images constantly, in order to create a low-fps video stream of sorts.

Installing and Running a Headless Virtualization Server

In recent years, hardware virtualization has become commonplace in the computing industry and more available to end users. The idea behind it is a noble one. Why invest in allocating more server hardware and not utilize it to its full potential, when instead you can consolidate it all onto one or a few servers and share their resources?

Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Camera

During the past few years, my BirdCam setup has evolved significantly. As I mention in the UpFront section of this issue, I hope to get the stream transferred to a YouTube Live stream at some point, so I can watch the feathery show on my television. And although watching the birds is the end goal, I'm constantly on a mission to improve the quality and flexibility of my setup.

The Peculiar Case of Email in the Cloud

Most of the time when I start a project, or spin up a virtual server, it's done in my own basement "server farm". Not too many years ago, if I wanted those services to be public, I'd simply port-forward from my static IP into my personal machines. Or, perhaps I'd set up a name-based virtual host as a reverse proxy if I needed to expose a Web app.

nginx

Engineers love to think that they make decisions based on pure logic and merit. But of course, everyone has biases in terms of programming languages, editors and other technologies—biases that probably can be defended in technical terms, but that often come down to an emotional argument as much as a technical one.

The Many Paths to a Solution

A project I'm involved with has made me think about how there are always many solution paths for any given problem in the Linux universe. For this other project, I wanted to cobble together a version of grep that let me specify proper regular expressions without having to worry about the -E flag and get a context for the matches too.

Jarvis, Please Lock the Front Door

Years ago, we put out a request for articles on home automation. About the time Eureka came out on TV, people wanted to have their very own SARAH (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat), and it seemed like the perfect time for nerds everywhere to make their houses smart.

Pandas

Serious practitioners of data science use the full scientific method, starting with a question and a hypothesis, followed by an exploration of the data to determine whether the hypothesis holds up.

Analyzing Data

My first Web-related job was in 1995, developing Web applications for a number of properties at Time Warner. When I first started there, we had a handful of programmers and managers handling all of the tasks. But over time, as happens in all growing companies and organizations, we started to specialize.