The Life of Josh

Computer Engineer, Security Consultant, and Tech Nerd.



Dynamic DNS updates for a RaspberryPi server

I posted about how I setup a RespberryPi for a work experiment. That server has a DNS name using the service where they will keep my hostname pointed at the IP address my server is on. I need this because I have a residential cable modem connection to the Internet so my IP address can change at random. I wasn’t sure how easy or hard it would be to find a client to keep my record updated, but it turns out you only need 3 commands to configure this in the Terminal app or via SSH;

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libio-socket-ssl-perl
sudo apt-get install ddclient

When you type the third line above it will step through a simple wizard that asks what Dynamic DNS service you are using, and then asks for the username and password to use. Everything was up and running in about a minute. You can then tail /var/log/syslog to see status messages or look at /etc/init.d/ddclient or /etc/ddclient.conf if you want to adjust how it starts or is configured, but the defaults seem fine.


LazyKali reboot

I am making available the beginning of a re-write of what I think is a helpful utility for Kali Linux systems. These systems are used for penetration testing, and are not typically day-to-day systems. I find myself doing the same installs and maintenance with every re-install of Kali so I wanted to create a tool to simplify this. It appears that until about 3 years ago someone else had a similar idea, but they seem to have abandoned it. If anyone knows if there is a current version of lazykali out there in the Interweb could you please point me to it so that I might contribute to that instead of maintaining this fork. If Reaperz73 sees this please contact me to let me know you are out there.

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Hacking made easy and good reads

I was just watching Mr. Robot … an excellent TV show that any security person should find interest in, and they use actual hacking tools and techniques in the show. I saw the Social Engineering Toolkit used on S2 E1. I’ve used Kali Linux before, but never gave much thought to the SET application. If you have 22 minutes to spare and want to see how easy it is to social engineer your way to compromise credentials then watch this…

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Getting started with Blogging using

So you’ve decided that you wanted a platform to write. Why not use FaceBook, Google+, or even MySpace? In my opinion those platforms are good for argume…. Err.. I mean conversations, but they aren’t really the best place to publish a review of a piece of software, or articles to help configure routers, or most things that are more information than a blurb or rant. Blogging gives you the ability to categorize, tag, provide permanent links, and control formatting on your writing. It lets you share what you want, in the way that you want. For me I’m sharing links to my blog through other platforms so that anyone who finds an article will find it, but that’s about all. I will say that I do like the way that LinkedIn has approached writing articles, but not all of mine will be worth sharing there so I’ll opt to write it all here, and share to LinkedIn as appropriate.

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Trying out WordPress

My wife had an interesting opportunity come up for work, and the description mentioned that she might maintain a website. I looked, and they used WordPress. Back at Time Inc. I used WordPress for a minute, but it’s been a long time. Since my blog was doing literally nothing over on Blogger I figured why not move everything here, and start new? This is a recurring theme for me in tech. I want to try something out so I jump all in on using it. Sometimes it works out, and other times I jump again because it stinks. WordPress is pretty neat. I debated setting up my own server so that I could host the software, but SaaS is where it’s at these days. I don’t need headaches maintaining servers any more. Been there, and done that too many times. So hey maybe you’ll see me post here. I’ve been thinking of trying to do more of the blogging thing than the FaceBook thing. Too many battles going on FaceBook. It’s just not a fun place any more. If anyone knows of a good free template that you can use with the hosted version of WordPress let me know. I liked this template mostly, but there are things I’m not happy with.

Common Problem Repair system (CPRs) for Mac/Windows

Where I work I’m in charge of Desktop Engineering. We have a responsibility for every laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc… device in the environment at a very high level. We create the base images that go on the computer systems, we package the software that goes out to them. There is a staff of Desktop Support folks who will implement thing my group creates, and they also provide the direct support to the users at the company. Those Desktop Support folks see a wide range of issues. When they don’t know how to fix something they escalate the issue to my group.

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Welcome back to DropBox

Once upon a time I used DropBox to sync files to the cloud and share them. Worked great. Then GoogleDrive came along and I thought they would really improve things. I switched over to it. In both cases I was paying for the storage because I use around 50Gb of space. For anyone contemplating a cloud storage/sharing service I can say beyond a doubt that DropBox beats GoogleDrive hands down. The GoogleDrive application has crashing issues, issues syncing files all the time to the point where I can’t trust that my folders are in sync, and no notification/update method for their application so I’m left to constantly go to the website and see if a new version is there. Anyways the DropBox app is even nicer now than before and I just wanted to let friends know that if you are thinking about switching to GoogleDrive…. DON’T. If you are on GoogleDrive and you see the app crashes and out of sync folders then join me over on DropBox and enjoy something that just works. Plus they have a new app called Mailbox which is pretty cool. I downloaded it, and hope it’s better than SaneBox but SaneBox is really nice so if it ain’t then I’ll use SaneBox. 🙂 If you haven’t looked at SaneBox I highly recommend taking a look.

Moved away from Squarespace

If things look different.. and probably a little messy right now… it’s because I’ve decided that the $14/month I was paying for Squarespace was not really something I needed to be spending. They are of course one of the best CMS systems out there, but we’re trying to cut back so I’ve moved back to Blogger. Hopefully Google will re-index me and folks will find any articles they care about.

rdio might be the last place I will ever buy music

I decided to give rdio a try. I like to take a look at music consumption systems as they come out. Of all the systems I have tried, I believe that if this one survives it will be the future. For about $10 US a month you have unlimited access to everything in their library. At first you are probably thinking this is a lot like Rhapsody from Real. Now add an iPhone app that lets you select music to store for offline playing and things get even more interesting for me. On top of that add a system where you can follow other people to see what music they like, and you can collaborate on playlists.

The people who will dislike this service will say that they don’t get to keep any music if they cancel service or the company goes under. These are negatives, but my music folder on my laptop is 88Gb in size. I imagine if you love music then yours is probably similar. Backing up all that data is a headache. Why should I have to? It’s 2010 already. Isn’t everything supposed to be in the cloud now? rdio brings us there. For the cost of 12 albums a year you get access to TONS of albums, and their library seems really good. I found pretty much every song I looked for. And if you want to buy a song then rdio will sell it to you for $1.30/track or you could always buy from Amazon or iTunes.

I always thought there would be a future where for a small cost I could access any music I wanted, from anywhere I wanted, and not be left with tracks I’m later tired of but I don’t want to delete because I paid for them. How many songs are in your library that you never listen to, but you don’t want to dump them because you paid for them? How many songs have you not been able to listen to because you couldn’t budget the money to buy them? The future is here, and I love that I can appreciate it fully because once upon a time I had a stack of vinyl records that were later replaced by cassette tapes only to be replaced again by CDs. Replacing the CDs with digital downloads still didn’t solve the problem that I had to deal with storing all this data. Thank you rdio for hopefully being the last place I will get music, at least until money goes away like in Star Trek. 🙂

If you want to see what music I listen to then visit my page;

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