Someday I’ll setup my own Linux server…

My First 5 Minutes On A Server; Or, Essential Security for Linux Servers

Server security doesn’t need to be complicated. My security philosophy is simple: adopt principles that will protect you from the most frequent attack vectors, while keeping administration efficient enough that you won’t develop “security cruft”. If you use your first 5 minutes on a server wisely, I believe you can do that.

Any seasoned sysadmin can tell you that as you grow and add more servers & developers, user administration inevitably becomes a burden. Maintaining conventional access grants in the environment of a fast growing startup is an uphill battle – you’re bound to end up with stale passwords, abandoned intern accounts, and a myriad of “I have sudo access to Server A, but not Server B” issues. There are account sync tools to help mitigate this pain, but IMHO the incremental benefit isn’t worth the time nor the security downsides. Simplicity is the heart of good security.

and also:

First 5 Minutes Troubleshooting A Server

Back when our team was dealing with operations, optimization and scalability at our previous company, we had our fair share of troubleshooting poorly performing applications and infrastructures of various sizes, often large (think CNN or the World Bank). Tight deadlines, “exotic” technical stacks and lack of information usually made for memorable experiences.

The cause of the issues was rarely obvious: here are a few things we usually got started with.

Web Standards Project (WaSP) 1998 – 2013

Our Work Here is Done

By Aaron Gustafson | March 1st, 2013 | Filed in WaSP Announcement

Thanks to the hard work of countless WaSP members and supporters (like you), Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality. While there is still work to be done, the sting of the WaSP is no longer necessary. And so it is time for us to close down The Web Standards Project.

Better information layout (Sports)

This post on a more minimalist information design (using the Texas Rangers website as an example) exemplifies why I started this blog.  I came across it some months ago while browsing and thought it interesting.  Now, as I look to move the Friends of Stuyvesant Baseball website into WordPress I wanted to find it again and see if there was anything that would be useful to me.  Thankfully I remembered that the writer was a Texas Rangers fan and a search on “texas rangers website redesign” found it as the first listing.  But with this blog I now have a place to stash interesting things so I can find them a bit more easily when I want them.

Version control with git and Dropbox

Easy Version Control: Git on DropboxEdinburgh Hacklab

The problem: you need to share files with people on an ad hoc basis for a project.

One choice is sharing files with Dropbox. On the plus side of Dropbox is it’s ease of use, however, there is a drawback that if you work on the same files you get “My conflicted copy of x” spawning everywhere and making a mess. If you are coding you will trip over other author’ changes.

To work around that problem you need version control. But that can come with baggage. You’ll need a server to run a git/svn/cvs (infrastructure), or a project on GitHub/sourceforge/google code (open source requirement, or pro account). Some projects don’t have these resources or freedoms, so they do without version control, but there is another way…

Read the whole thing…

Manually updating Java

There is a Java exploit out in the wild right now and Only 9 of 22 virus scanners block Java exploit.

Oracle released an emergency update (java version 7 update 7) yesterday evening (Aug 30, 2012).

This is how I manually updated my Java runtime on a windows 7 64 bit machine

  • run C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javacpl.exe (note: use the control panel for the latest version your have installed on your system — on my windows 7 32 bit system it’s in C:\Program Files\Java\jre7\bin\javacpl.exe)
  • click on the “Update” tab (second from the left)
  • click on the “Update Now” button (bottom right)
  • wait for the installer to load/ click on the obvious next buttons / make sure to uncheck whatever junk they want to install on your system (e.g. Ask toolbar, McAfee Security Scan Plus, etc.)
  • wait while it installs, click on the “Close” button and Bob’s your uncle.