tl;dr? Like the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared

be_preparedThe Nerdery’s Overnight Website Challenge is coming up again. I will be participating for my 5th year. I’ve had some good years and some bad. I’ve used software that I love and software that I’ve hated. I’ve been on teams that were finalists, one that won the event, and others that weren’t close to the podium but had a great time.

By now, I think most of the webchallenge web pros are seasoned veterans, but none-the-less I’d like to share some of my pro tips – if only for self-documentation. You should first take care of yourself before, during, and after the event. But when it comes to your team, the short story is: Be Prepared. The long story? Do as much as you can ahead of time, not the day of the event.

Continue reading

This article assumes you fave a few things:

  1. A Linux server with:
    • root SSH access
    • BIND installed
    • a domain already set up and working with BIND
  2. An OpenWrt router at home to send updates

The OpenWrt router isn’t strictly necessary.  You could, of course do the dynamic DNS updates with a cheap Linux firewall, but I’ll cover the configuration for OpenWrt.

Continue reading

At home I have what some may call a “back-office” server.  Technically it’s in the laundry room, but it does all sorts of home automation type stuff: record TV, download files, store and play music, distribute files, run backups, etc.  I may do a post on it later, but the gist is that it’s running Ubuntu Server with a bunch of disk drives.

Far and above, it’s main purpose in life is being a file server.  There are several ways to connect to it: Samba (Windows file sharing), NFS (Unix Network File System).  The server also runs SSH (Secure Shell) for terminal access – which can also be used a pass-through for secure local and remote file sharing.

Continue reading

This is part two of a three part series covering Dnsmasq’s uses regarding:

  1. Local Development DNS
  2. Local Area Network (LAN) DNS
  3. Virtual Private Network (VPN) routing

In my previous post I covered using Dnsmasq locally to bring some organization to local web development.  Now I’d like to cover Dnsmasq’s use on a Local Area Network (LAN), you don’t need to be a developer to appreciate Dnsmasq as we kick it up a notch and spread the love across the network.

Continue reading