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.

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).

Dell laptop charger repair

My stupid laptop charger developed a loose connection again. This happened to me about 6 months ago and I ended up buying a new charger. Well not this time; I decided to repair it by buying a cheap connector from Maplin (89p and a smile).
This is pretty much what I did:

1) Cut off connector from charger (and remove the choke thingy too if it’s close to end of wire)

2) Remove old connector from casing to double check where each wire goes

old

3) Hold end of wire

4) Strip

5) Strip wire ;)

6) Open new connector

new_open

7) Solder points to new connector

soldered

8) Insulate wires with tape or shrink if you are paranoid of short circuit

9) Screw connector into case

finished

10) Stand back and test

11) Get dressed

12) Head over to the Harrow club for lunch

Car PC

As I was looking through old photo’s I found some of the infamous carpc which I made back in 2004. Ahhh fond memories. That little badboy was amazing, it fulfilled all my mp3, divx, and sat nav needs.

carpc1

carpc2

carpc3

Via Epia 1300, 256MB ram, 20GB hd, itps (which allowed it all to be run off the car mains using the ignition as a switch), and a 7″ cartft widescreen monitor.

Anyway… whilst looking through these photo’s I thought of a great new business plan for a charity. Ok, so people are always collecting money for when there are earthquakes, or tsunamis, or famines. Now here’s the thing – we know where a lot of these earthquakes will happen, we know which countries are likely to be in famine this time next year, we know where things are a bit unstable and refugees will need aid. So my idea is this: “the pre-emptive charity”.

The charity comes up with likely scenarios and collects money. This way the money is available immediately when and where it is needed. If the catastrophe doesn’t happen, the money is kept for another year and then refunded (we HAVE the technology).

The best thing about this is that all the money will sit in my bank account for the period between the donations and the catastrophes. As a wise man once said: 5% of a lot, is still a lot.