I May Have Miscalculated

But I'm pretty sure I can fix it.

Page 3 of 5

Installing an Aftermarket Stereo into a Dodge Neon

100_6521The OEM head unit in my ’04 Dodge Neon went finally went kaput after years of adequate service, and after many lonely months on the road without a song to sing-along/butcher, I decided it was time to put some serious effort into replacing it. This is the first time I’ve replaced a car stereo, but found that it was very easy as long as you know what parts you need. This article will likely not be useful for an experienced car audio technician, but it might help out some DIY’ers on a budget. Continue reading

Layman’s Rendering Tallow

100_6490I have recently undergone a quest to learn how to make lye soap using ashes from a fire and rendered animal fat. Thusfar, my attempts to make soap have been less than successful, but the first step – rendering the fat – I think I’ve got down pretty well. Not that I deserve any credit, mind you, it’s just incredibly easy.

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“Are You Sure You’re Pissed Off at the Right People?”

1004703_676180902445300_1381271867_nI’ve been seeing this picture crop up on social networking sites every so often. It lists a number of government expenditures relative to the tax on $50,000 worth of income. From the top of the list are itemized selected expenses in the $2-$250 range, most of which have, at one time or another, been the target of debates regarding cuts in government spending. The list finishes with “corporate handouts,” standing out at a whopping $4000. At the bottom, the question is posed: “are you sure you’re pissed off at the right people?” Continue reading

Fix: Fail2Ban Does Not Attach Logs to Some Reports

Sometimes Fail2Ban neglects to include log snippets in the report email that it sends when it bans an IP. The reason is that there is a slight oversight in the .conf files within the action.d folder, which determine how Fail2Ban takes action upon certain events. Continue reading

Why I Won’t Campaign for Political Causes that Don’t Directly Benefit Me

cdf4de6dac8f6dbae1b1f69008cc3b3bIn my ideal world, violence is not used as a way to solve non-violent problems. One is never coerced with violence or the threat thereof* for any consenting and voluntary interaction. Gay marriage, firearm sports, recreational drug use; the particular nature of the activity is irrelevant. So long as one’s interactions are voluntary, and unless one harms someone else’s person or property, others have no right to interfere. There is no such thing as a victimless crime, no debt without agreement, no reparation without culpability. Continue reading

Simple Script to Clear Out One or All Fail2Ban Bans

I wanted to purge all of my Fail2Ban bans and jail counters. I couldn’t find any way to do this with F2B’s built-in commands. So I made a BASH script, and I’m sharing. Run the script to clear out all bans, or use ./f2b-purge [IP LIST] to unban one or more specific IP addresses. Use the -f switch to also force the unban via direct iptables command (i.e. for when fail2ban lost its database, and there are orphan bans on iptables) Continue reading

Adding a PayPal Surcharge to FusionInvoice

invoicesample3If you’re a small-time consultant, you can’t afford to be nickel-and-dimed out of your earnings. Many small businesses add a credit card surcharge if you want to pay in plastic, some only accept cash in the first place. If you want to offer your customers flexibility of payment methods, but can’t afford the the financial hit of payment services because you’re already running on thin margins, you might consider adopting a similar strategy. Continue reading

Earl Update: May 8th, 2014

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here:

http://www.meetearl.com/updates/ Continue reading

Earl Update: May 7th, 2014

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here:

http://www.meetearl.com/updates/ Continue reading

Fail2Ban How To: Increased Ban Times for Repeat Offenders

I’ve recently had a flood of botnet-driven brute force attempts against my SMTP server. After struggling with some Fail2ban configuration issues, I’d gotten it working smoothly. However, this was a particularly persistent botnet, and as soon as the ban expired, I’d get more entry attempts. This is a problem; I want hackers to be thwarted, so I can’t set ban times too low; but I do not want to lock out my users if they legitimately forget a password. After putting up with my mailbox being flooded with Fail2ban reports, I decided to look into increasing times for subsequent bans. Fail2ban does not support this natively, so I had to look into other options. Continue reading

Long-Term Shopping List

I have things to buy, but I like to wait for deals. This is here for my own reference, to remind myself to periodically check the prices on these items. It is also a convenient wish-list for people who might be wondering what to buy me for special occasions. Having no idea what to get people leads me to dislike holidays more than I enjoy them; I wish everyone I knew had a list like this.

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Shanock.com Scheduled Reboot

I am planning a scheduled reboot on May 05, 2014 at 12:00 AM CST. Continue reading

Shanock.com policy notice

The other day, I was taking a nap and received a phone call. Groggy and annoyed, I answered the phone, and was greeted with a very legitimate-sounding automated message telling me that my Master Card has been locked, and I needed to take action. I immediately hung up, because I wanted to continue my sleeping and I can always deal with a machine later at my own convenience. Continue reading

Shanock.com Scheduled Downtime: Storage Upgrade

I am planning scheduled downtime on May 03, 2014 at 5:00 AM CST. Continue reading

Gold, Stockpikes, and Rebuilding after the Zombie Apocalypse

In prepper/survivalist circles, is commonly accepted that one should try to store a bit of gold, silver, or other currency-worthy metals to facilitate barter should we ever be faced with an event that renders fiat currency invalid, destroys supply chains, cuts off utilities, and otherwise heralds the end of the world as we know it. I myself once accepted this as a practical, common-sense truism, but over time have changed my position on the matter. Continue reading

Shanock.com: Updates to Webmail and SSL for Users and Webmasters

In the wake of Heartbleed, I’ve been making improvements to the way Shanock.com handles SSL and mail. Continue reading

Shanock.com: Heartbleed notice (Updated)

Update: Though the Shanock.com server had been running a version of OpenSSL that was affected by the Heartbleed bug, the heartbeat extension was not enabled and therefore the server itself was not vulnerable. In any case, the OpenSSL implementation has been upgraded and keys remade. It would be prudent for any concerned users to change their passwords.

Bash Script to Simplify Blocking IP Addresses in Linux

I recently noticed a large number of brute-force hack attempts on my SMTP and SSH servers, and I found it cumbersome to type out the iptables commands every time I wanted to single out a certain IP address for banning or unbanning. I made a simple script to help with the task. Continue reading

Earl Update: April 4th, 2014

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here:

http://www.meetearl.com/updates/ Continue reading

Walter’s Big List of Mail-In Rebate Experiences

I order a lot of things based on after-rebate price. I see many complaints from others about rebates that we not honored, but I seem to have pretty good luck. I used to keep track of the rebates I’ve sent and received in a text file on my PC, but it occurred to me that other people may be interested, for their own purchases, in knowing which companies honor their rebates. It would also help me to stay organized by having this online. So, here is my rebate record, and I will add to this as I make other purchases. Continue reading

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