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  • Howard 4:37 pm on April 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    How to Patch Your Server for the Heartbleed Bug 

    Yes you! Patch your vulnerable server running SSL/https and stop letting the bad guys access my supposedly  protected data.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read all about it here:

    Enough for today’s rant.

    I have to admit, I’m just a guilty.

    I do have a few servers running https, and haven’t applied patches recently. One server running the Ubuntu 10.04 distro already contained the update and the 12.04 didn’t.  To run a quick test,  you can enter your server’s address here:

    A third server running 12.04 (installed a few weeks ago) was updated and installed a new OpenSSL package.

    Confirmed fixes in Ubuntu LTS 10.04 and LTS 12.04

    apt-get update

    apt-get upgrade

    Unconfirmed in Centos 6.5

    yum update


  • Howard 8:55 pm on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    if gccmakedep is missing 

    gccmakedep is found here:

    • sudo apt-get install xutils-dev
    • HOY 5:57 pm on March 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I’m such an ass. I just spent 5 minutes trying to find this stupid command when I already figured it out 4 months ago. Note to self: use

  • Howard 5:54 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: freak of nature, lemons   

    Deformed Lemon With Fangs from Fukushima Fallout? 

    Just picked a deformed lemon off one of our abundant trees. We’ve sprayed for insects but we keep getting these huge crazy looking fruits. It started in the crop following the nuclear meltdown in Japan.  Coincidence?

    Huge deformed lemon DSC_1659 DSC_1657 DSC_1663 DSC_1655 DSC_1656

    • Thomas Mayhew 7:46 pm on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      You might check with other fruit tree owners in the area. Or check with the California Rare Fruit Growers Association to see if you’ve got something that they’ve seen before.

      • Howard 10:33 pm on July 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        I’m pretty sure it’s mites and they keep coming back. But I still like the idea of radioactive lemons. Well, maybe not too radioactive…

    • Danny Cruz 4:41 am on August 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Howard, if life gives you lemons… Or mutant lemons… ? :)

      • Howard 3:16 pm on August 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Too funny, but I was too chicken to try the mutant lemonade.

        • Thomas Mayhew 6:00 pm on October 31, 2013 Permalink

          That’s completely understandable Howard. I like to say I am a devout coward about some things…that might be one of them.

  • Howard 5:54 pm on June 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: easter lily,   

    Apparently Easter Lilies Bloom in June in Kennewick WA 

    Blooming Easter Lilies in June at a Kennewick home listed for sale

    Easter Lilies in Bloom in Kennewick WA

    Have you ever wondered what to do with those Easter Lilies you take home from church after the Easter is over. Usually we keep them until they stop blooming then place them into the composter known as the city dump.

    But what you can do like this owner who has one of their homes for sale in Kennewick WA, is to plant them.

    It’s very straight forward to do.

    The soil you need to plant the lily in must be slightly acidic, but not too much.  A 50/50 Azalea mix with some compost works for the plant. Add a some B-12 fertilizer so the plant isn’t too shocked.

    You will be tempted to dig up the lilies after several months because they will appear to die. This is normal and they will regrow to full size by next spring and bloom in late spring to early summer.

    Enjoy the tip!

  • Howard 5:19 pm on May 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    3 Ways to Prevent wp-login.php Brute Force Password Hacks 

    One of our virtual servers experienced a brute force password hack where a bot net of 1000’s of compromised computers attempted at guessing the admin|root password to gain access to our WordPress site.

    Of course, if you are using as your blog, you don’t have to worry about it too much since the hack is trying to break into the admin user name.  Regardless, you should use a strong password in the event that they start using your user name which is basically the same as the

    There is no excuse for having breakable user names and passwords anymore especially when you can use tools such as RoboForm or EverNote to remember that stuff for you.

    Disable all access to wp-login.php

    So if you happen to manage your own server, you can do something like this:

    Apache conf command to prevent access to wp-login during brute force attackswhere you change the Apache conf file for the site. Since is no longer published using the WP platform, it is safe to block it this.

    But what if you still want to login to WP

    Then you need to block everyone out but your IP. What to do then is modify your .htaccess file.

    #terminate brute force attack traffic with 403 for-bot-gone
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-login\.php(.*)$ [OR]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(.*)?wp-admin$
    RewriteCond %{REMOTE_ADDR} !^aaa\.bbb\.ccc\.ddd$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ - [R=403,L]

    Change the aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd with your IP address.

    Change your user name to something other than admin or root

    The easiest way to change your user name is to use phpmyadmin or HeidiSQL. The table you want to modify is wp_users. Change “admin”  in user_login column to something else.  I don’t believe you need to change the user_nicename to the same thing, but I did for consistency.

    If you have a WP Multisite, Change that too

    After you change your admin user name, you will not be a super administrator to your multisite WordPress platform. To fix that you need to change the “site_admins” meta_key in the wp_sitemeta table to the same thing. The data is a serialized php object containing something like { … s:5:”admin” … }.  Change the “admin” to the new value and change the “5” to the number of characters in the new user name.


  • Howard 2:52 am on May 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Dude, remember this command: rsync –daemon 

    Apache killed the server again by running out of memory causing the company site to go down.

    Now, if I can only remember this command: rsync –daemon to restart the rsync server for automated backups to the ReadyNAS

    For some reason I always want to sudo /etc/init.d/rsync start, but it never works and I’m too lazy to enable it in a startup script so it’s been a manual step to log into the sever and start up the daemon. If I only had more time …

  • Howard 7:53 pm on November 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Resyncing ReadyNAS Duo Drives 

    RAID drive 1 is being resynced for use

    I’ve been getting those annoying emails from my ReadyNAS Duo saying it’s time to swap out the drive for a new one. Persistent S.M.A.R.T errors that were growing one or two every week to 10 a day, and finally leaping several by several hundred.

    The drive with errors was the one purchased with the RAID started getting errors a few months later which resulted in buying several drives which enabled the X-RAID capability.   (The first drive was a Western Digital and not on the recommended drive list and now resides in my workstation.

    I purchased a pair of 1TB Seagate ST31000524AS to obtain the RAID capability and a spare for the eventual demise of this failing drive.

    Replacing the drive is real easy.  Just shut down the NAS  — I believe that the drives are hot swappable, but I couldn’t remember so power of to be save — then yank out the old drive, unscrew the mounting hardware and then put it on the new drive.  Shove the sucker back in and power back on.  The NAS resyncs automatically.


  • Howard 11:46 pm on March 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Dachshund Thursday 

    Photo of my Dachshund Odie playing ball

    One of those “Kodak moments” where you capture your dog doing something amazing

    I was trying to update my profile photo since I was looking a little stern with a grimace on my face, so Odie decided that he need to play ball while I was doing a self portrait.   Of course he is cuter that me so he got the photo shoot instead.

  • Howard 3:42 pm on March 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Great Beignets but Coffee was Cold 

    Jazz Kitchen Express in Downtown Disneyland

    We were at Disneyland yesterday (3/27) and we always stop by the Jazz Kitchen (Express) where you can get the best beignets (“ben yeahs”) in So. Cal.   The deep fried French doughnut without the hole are square, cooked right in front of you and placed in a paper sack with about a cup of confectioners sugar.

    Sorry, I didn’t get a photo of the delicious treat because my hands were already sticky sweet and it was impossible to snap a picture.

    You take the bag outside and shake well to fully cover the beignets with the powered sugar.  You can see from the mess we made on top of the lower right table with the leftover sugar.

    Unlike here, the coffee was good but cold.

    Jazz Kitchen

    The “Express” is for a quick takeout while you’re at the park and don’t want to spend too much time eating lunch or dinner.   The have gumbo, po-boys and a few other goodies you would find in the New Orleans area.

    I highly recommend the beignets and we make a special downtown trip to get our fix. Plus, if you have an Annual Disneyland Passport, you get a discount here. So remember to show your ticket to the cashier before you pay.

    Now if you’re in the Disneyland Park, the best way to get there is to take the Monorail from Tomorrow Land and get off the next exit.  Hang a left the Jazz Kitchen is about a block’s walk away.  Otherwise, you need to exit the main entrance for an even longer walk.
    Jazz Kitchen Express (Downtown Disney) on Urbanspoon

  • Howard 12:44 am on March 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beans, flautas, food review, mexican food, rice, tamales   

    We’re on a Mission for a Burrito 

    Mission Burrito Simi Valley

    Today was one of the special days where you run out of supplies including the essentials like coffee, paper towels and dog food.  No matter how busy you are, you just got to make a Costco run to resupply at least before they close and preferably before feeding the dogs in the evening.

    Basically that means I cannot skip lunch and have to make during the busy lunch hour.  Luckily we were able to drop off a few things for our Church’s Altar Guild and then head over to the Simi Costco.

    We’ll there really isn’t too many places to eat in Simi and dread the fast food places even more than the $1.50 Costco hotdog, so we started driving down LA Ave. until we both agreed upon Mission Burrito.

    We hardly get down to the east end of Simi Valley so this Mexican food joint often slips our mind and the last time that I remember eating there, the World Cup finals were on their TV.

    When we lived and worked in Woodland Hills 20 years ago, MB in Canoga Park was on our weekly meal plan which meant for you could feed a family of 3 for under $20.

    Of course we were glad to hear that MB opened in Simi saving us 10 mile drive into the San Fernando Valley but even then, it’s just a hassle to get in the car and drive 15 miles for Mexican.

    Today it was worth the trip and will rotate out the Costco hotdogs for so real good authentic Mexican food.

    We decided to get our favorites: Beef Tamale and Flauta Dinners, couple of sodas for about $18.  Super!

    Beef Tamale Dinner at Mission Burrito


    Mission Burrito on Urbanspoon

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