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Phishing attempt via TXT

Hey everyone, I was going to post this yesterday, but my internet was on the fritz. On Wednesday while at dinner I received a text message telling me to call a number to activate my credit card, I knew right away this was a phishing attempt. After dinner, I went to the Verizon store right around the corner to see if they had a number for reporting these kinds of things.

5 Tips On Being An Effective Linux Admin

Earlier this week someone did something very bad, and it got me thinking about what are some of the simple things that make someone an effective Linux admin. While I will not tell you that following my advice will make you some kind of super-admin, it will help you when dealing with Linux servers and hopefully save you and others from needless headaches. Here are my tips on being an effective Linux admin, in no particular order.

FAIL: Why you should ALWAYS use visudo

It's time for a short rant about proper Linux administration. Someone, who shall not be named, manually edited the /etc/sudoers file and broke it on a critical server. In case you don't know, on Linux sudo allows you to run commands as the root (Administrator) user, and the sudoers file determines who can use sudo and what they can do with it.

Windows 7: The Top 5 Things I like

I have been running Windows 7 as my primary and only OS on my desktop and laptop for several months. I have no plans of going back to XP. This OS is rock-solid stable and fast. Great hardware support and new features and enhancements on old features make it by far the most attractive OS on the horizon, as far as I am concerned. I am, without a doubt, planning to purchase Windows 7 Ultimate when it releases, too bad it is not available for half off preorder. Here are my own top 5 reasons why Windows 7 is awesome.

Firefox 3.5: Impatiently Waiting

In case you have been living under a rock, Firefox 3.5 came out today (well technically yesterday). I've noticed a lot of people wondering how they can get it running smoothly on Ubuntu. Never fear, after much trial and error (a lot of error) I've found what I think should be the easiest way to install the latest version of Firefox. So if you are just as impatient as I am, you can rejoice in the all the cool new features.

Tweaking Nagios For Performance

The company I work for has about 3,000 servers that need to be monitored in our Dallas datacenter. For the past few years we've been using a fairly standard Nagios setup. If you don't take the time to really learn Nagios and tweak the config files it'll run fairly well, until you are monitoring more then a few hundred servers. The reason that Nagios slows down when checking 300+ servers is that it stores all state/check information in a flat text file on the system's hard drive. When you have only a few servers and services to check it's not so bad, but when you the more you add, the more IOPS you'll see. At 3,000 servers disk IO is a huge bottleneck.

Cooling Off

I've been running Ubuntu 9.04 beta on my desktop at home for a few weeks now, so I decided it was time to upgrade my laptop. I hoped that by upgrading, I'd be able to signifigantly reduce the time it took for my laptop to boot up. Unfortunetly, disaster stuck halfway through. My laptop overheated and locked up, leaving me with half new and half old packages. Needless to say, it did not come back online very easily. I managed to get it to a point where I could copy my data off to another computer, then I did a fresh install of Ubuntu.

Birth of a Monster

Sometimes I like to stay late at work, I've got a nice desk, a decent computer, and a mini-fridge full of drinks right behind me. So even after I'm off work, I sometimes stay up here and work on side projects or just browse the web. Yesterday, I decided to do something a bit more creative, I decided to build a monster.

Terrorists Don't Use Google Maps

A while back, we got an e-mail from a customer who was concerned that terrorists might be using her site to plan an attack on the space shuttle. Please note, this is a real ticket that was submitted to our security department by one of our customers. Identifying information has been removed and replaced with asterisks (*). See the entire story after the jump.