Rust Hack Report Historical Archive

This is a historical record (from 04/02/2017 11:30AM onwards) of all the bans tweeted from https://twitter.com/rusthackreport. It’s just a simple google spreadsheet + IFTTT which automatically adds a line everytime there is a tweet from @rusthackreport.

There have been times in the past when I’ve needed to search rusthackreport for record of an old ban. However, due to Twitter having a 3200 tweet limit, the is no way to do this without owning the account you want to search.

iPhone Web Server

I had an old iPhone 3GS lying around so figured I’d spend some of the weekend giving it a purpose: an iPhone Web Server :-o

After jailbreaking and putting on Cydia, I installed the following:

  • OpenSSH
  • Lighttpd 1.4.32
  • PHP 5.4.13
  • mySQL 5.1.68

You can install all of these straight from Cydia (make sure you use the newer version of PHP for production servers). There is, however, a helpful package from J.Anrugas which installs the last 3 using one script. Once again, make sure you use the newer versions.

After doing this I decided to give Drupal a whirl. To my surprise it installed and I got through the initial setup fine. However, as I added more data, the site slowed to a crawl. I guess that old 600MHz A8 can’t handle too much database querying :(

Next I wanted to try something lighter. There are plenty of good php forums around (vbulletin, phpbb, etc.), but these have too many bells and whistles. All I wanted was something simple, light… and no nonsense… like…

The NoNonsense Forum – What a great name!

Installation was quick and simple since there is no database creation required. Here is the site running directly from the phone:

http://shishio.iphonesunset.com

Info

Feel free to post, mess around, break etc. :p

iPhone

Adding icons to the status bar in Ubuntu 12.04

Due to Ubuntu’s new ‘Unity’ UI some programs are unable to place tray icons in the top bar. One way to resolve this is to install dconf-tools and manually enter the programs you want to appear.

  • First we need to install dconf-tools by typing the following in terminal:
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
  • Now load dconf-tools from Unity or terminal.
  • Drill down to ‘desktop‘ –> ‘unity‘ –> ‘panel‘, and add the programs you want inside the ‘systray-whitelist‘ value.

An example of mine is shown below:

statusbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, Skype and Jungle Disk have been added.

X10 to Z-Wave Home Automation Upgrade

I recently started upgrading my Home Automation system from X10 to Z-Wave. The reason for this was reliability and less susceptibility to interference/failure (caused by CFL bulbs and general power fluctuations in the system).

In short; I bought an Aeon Labs controller, a few appliance modules to get started, and a lighting controller to see how reliable Z-Wave can be with CFLs.

Anyone who uses X10 knows it’s pretty easy to get light switches with X10 integrated. Z-Wave, however, is the opposite. Other than single gang switches you’ll be hard pressed to find anything. Since I needed a 2-gang switch I had to find another solution. The main 3 I came up with were:

1) Vitrum – These are all made-to-order switches shipped directly from the factory in Italy. I have to admit that they do look beautiful, and with an integrated Z-Wave module you can’t really go wrong… or can you? Considering a 2-gang switch costs upward of £170 before you take shipping into account, it certainly is an expensive solution.

Vitrum

Vitrum 2-Gang Switch

 

2) Fibaro Dimmer – These are small modules which can be retrofitted to ANY switch. This gives a far wider choice in regards to style or changes later. The only issue is that each module only supports one physical button. It is possible to connect the second button on a 2-gang switch, but it will only trigger another Z-Wave module (no actual load).

Fibaro Dimmer

Fibaro Dimmer Module

 

3) Fibaro Relay Insert – Small retrofit module which supports 2 outputs. Since it’s a relay both outputs are on/off only. This module also requires a neutral wire which is not very common in the UK.

Fibaro Relay

Fibaro Relay Switch

 

I ended up ordering 2 Fibaro Dimmer modules to use in one 2-gang switch. I intend to write a full review of these once I have finished testing them.

Screen Brightness Issues with New Ubuntu Kernel

After updating to the new Ubuntu kernel I found that my brightness setting would only stop at the minimum and maximum settings.

Although it worked by echoing the correct brightness level via terminal, this was a very long winded way of doing it.

A simpler way was to edit the GRUB boot loader by typing:

gksudo gedit /etc/default/grub

Then changing the line:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"

to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi="

Lastly typing:

sudo update-grub

and rebooting.

Astaro Hardware Appliance for Home Use (ASG 420)

Due to an ever increasing number of devices/services being run from home, I felt it was time to upgrade my old Atom PC Astaro box to something more capable.

I’ve used Astaro for over 2 years now and it’s worked almost flawlessly (bar one small issue with it renewing the WAN IP after the connection goes down – this can be resolved by slightly changing network topology).

After searching on Ebay I ended up winning a ‘like new’ ASG 420 auction. I found it to be a very well built machine, with a good number of ports, nice bright display… and a sound I can only compare with a vacuum cleaner… and a hair dryer… being used at the same time… near the opening of a portal to hell. I should have known that a 1U was going to be loud but I’d never realised quite how loud they were in a home environment.

I tried replacing all the fans with quieter ones but that made the temperature rise to an unacceptable level. So for home use I decided to completely remove all the internal fans and have one 80mm case fan cooling the CPU.
The easiest way of doing this was to remove the 1U casing and replace it with a square of plexiglass. Then cut the relevant holes into the plexiglass and mount the fan(s).

This worked perfectly, but then the PSU fan noise started annoying me. I therefore also removed the casing of the PSU and tried cooling that with an 80mm fan. Unfortunately the airflow did not seem to be sufficient for 24/7 use. So now I have removed the PSU completely and am awaiting delivery of a stock PC PSU.

Here is the finished product (minus PSU and fans), I’ll update this post once it’s all up and running:

It will also be interesting to see whether Sophos UTM will run on this original hardware or whether I will have to stick to V8 of the Astaro software.

Dell PowerEdge SC440 Server Upgrade

After giving me many years of faithful service, my Dell PowerEdge SC440 was starting to show its age when it came to virtualization and general media processing. Instead of buying a new machine, I decided to give it a new lease of life ;)

CPU – Upgraded to an Intel Quad Core2 Q6600 (2.4GHz)

This seems to be one of the few processors supported by the motherboard. The stock HSF is huge and so should be fine.

RAM – Upgraded to 6GB ECC

Although the manual states a maximum of 4GB, it has been reported that up to 8GB can be used. Please note that not all RAM works. It seems to have something to do with the number of memory chips on the stick. I ordered a 4GB kit (2x2GB) of Crucial CT2KIT25672AA667 (photo showing number of memory chips below) to use along with the 2GB which came with the server.

Graphics – Installed ATI Radeon 5450

Unfortunately there is no 16X PCIe slot on the 440, and the 1X, 4X, and 8X slots are all capped at the end. The plastic at the end of the 4X slot needs to be melted off in order to make the card fit. I used the 4X, rather than the 8X slot, because the 8X had plastic dividers and therefore required more plastic melting. I’ve also heard of some people not being able to get their cards working in the 8X slot, and those who have find that it’s limited to 1X.

To melt the end of the slot:

  1. Heat the tip of a knife on a cooker flame until it’s red hot. Don’t use a candle to heat it because you won’t get it hot enough.
  2. Cut into the plastic and slowly push the knife down. Careful not to slip and bend one of the pins, or worse still, slice the motherboard :p
  3. Repeat steps 1. and 2. until there is a sufficient gap for your graphics card.

If you’re worried about the hot plastic getting onto the pins, you can place the end of an old ram stick at the edge of the slot for protection.

     

Voila, the server is resurrected for use as an ESXi/Proxmox machine or even a HTPC (though power usage is a little high at ~80W idle and just over 100W load).

Saving Ubuntu Brightness Setting

After a fresh install I found that my brightness setting kept resetting itself after a reboot.
In order to save the Ubuntu brightness setting, I added the following line to my /etc/rc.local file:

#!/bin/sh -e
#
# rc.local
#
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
#
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
#
# By default this script does nothing.
rfkill block bluetooth
echo 0 > /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness
exit 0

The 0 can be replaced with any brightness value from 0 to 10.

Easiest Way to Disable Bluetooth upon Ubuntu Boot

The bluetooth option always being on when you log in can be annoying. In order to disable bluetooth upon Ubuntu boot up, add the following line to your /etc/rc.local file:

#!/bin/sh -e
#
# rc.local
#
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
#
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
#
# By default this script does nothing.
rfkill block bluetooth
exit 0

This will essentially disable bluetooth after it has been enabled on boot up. You can enable it again, as usual, by using the bluetooth panel.