Articles 41 to 50

Flowcharts and Mockup Applications

By Jimmy Bonney | August 26, 2012

While writing a report recently, I needed to be able to illustrate some concepts in order to make them more understandable for the reader. In order to do that, I decided to look for a flowchart software that could help me achieve this. At the time of writing, the main functionalities that I was looking for were the availability to use network cliparts, the price (free was better in this case since it was for a punctual use) and finally the design of the application. The following review is just the tip of the iceberg of what is available out there. It is by no mean an exhaustive review and probably only focuses on what my needs were at the time of writing.

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4 Useful SSH Commands / Configuration Options

By Jimmy Bonney | August 18, 2012

Since I have been using SSH extensively lately, I have discovered a few commands / options that have allowed me to be more efficient while using it. This is nothing really new for command lines gurus, but since I might eventually forget them, I write it down here so that I can get back to it later if needed.

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SSH Tunnel for Local Applications

By Jimmy Bonney | August 9, 2012

Consider this simple scenario:

  • You have a computer / server / NAS / … at the office behind a firewall
  • The firewall is configured so that you are allowed to access the machine using SSH
  • The machine has services available on different other ports (but they are not accessible from the outside since only the SSH port is open)

Now, how can one access those different services that are accessible on ports blocked by the firewall?

A quite easy way (once you know the command), is to use SSH tunneling. To put it simply, it will allow to map the ports from the remote server that are not accessible to a local port of your computer.

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Setup New ICS Calendar from WebDAV in Thunderbird

By Jimmy Bonney | July 26, 2012

In order to have a work calendar that can be used in different devices (laptop, phone, …), I have set up an ICS calendar on a WebDAV host. This allows the calendar to be accessible from an online location (both readable and writable) and can therefore be used, in my case, both on my phone (Android) and on my laptop (Thunderbird).

The ICS calendar is hosted on a shared host (in this case Hostgator), and for the next step, I assume that your hosting is using CPanel.

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Skype Tips and Tricks

By Jimmy Bonney | July 24, 2012

In the past two weeks, I have been sharing the same Skype tip a couple of time. I thought it might be interesting to have it in written somewhere so that maybe additional people get to learn it.

One of the great thing that Skype chat allows is editing messages that you have written. It is quite convenient when one makes an error while typing and wants to correct it. It can also be used to completely delete the message (if you wrote to the wrong person for instance).

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Backup a Website on Shared Hosting

By Jimmy Bonney | July 14, 2012

Backup Strategy

And here we are: another article about backups. After some setup to back up gmail on a Synology drive, here is another article to continue on our backup strategy.

In this article, we will backup the files and database(s) on a web server that is on a shared hosting plan (in this specific case, hosted on Hostgator). There are usually two different possible approaches to backup files:

  1. Archive the file (zip, tar, gzip, …) and download the archive,
  2. Mirror the folder containing the files

Considering that there are some files I am not interesting in backing up on my webserver, I will go for the first solution so that I can white list what I am interested in and create an archive containing only the files that I want to back up. It should be possible to do that with the mirror strategy as well, but I didn’t have much time to investigate the matter.

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Add Printer in Ubuntu 12.04 with Gnome 3.4

By Jimmy Bonney | July 13, 2012

Following an update of Ubuntu during which I simply formatted the system partition, I lost all the printers that were previously configured on my computer.

Based on what I read on different blog posts and forums, adding a printer from Unity is quite straightforward. Unfortunately for me, I am getting used to Gnome and have decided to have it as my main window manager and it seems that some of the tools working in Unity do not function properly under Gnome.

When one goes to System Settings > Printers and click on the + button to add a new network printer, the following (not so explicit) message is displayed:

FirewallD is not running. Network printer detection needs services mdns, ipp, ipp-client and samba-client enabled on firewall.

A sudo apt-get install ... does not solve the problem so it seems that there is an issue deeper than that.

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Load SSH Keys to Memory with SSH Agent

By Jimmy Bonney | June 27, 2012

As I explained in my previous article, we have migrated our code base to Git. In the process of automating the deployment process on our production server, I wanted to use one of the latest feature of BitBucket: deployment keys.

Bitbucket has a very well documented process describing the overall procedure, but the whole step about starting the ssh-agent and loading keys is something that is a bit cumbersome to reproduce every time one logs in to the production server to pull an update.

To simplify this a little bit, I have automated some of the steps so that:

  1. The ssh-agent is started every time the user logs in through SSH
  2. a simple script responsible of loading the key(s) can be executed when one want to load them

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Migrate SVN Repository to Git on BitBucket

By Jimmy Bonney | June 26, 2012

We have just migrated the version control system of our web application from SVN to GIT. While there are a lot of sources available online to perform this, not all of them consider the special case when one need to migrate branches that might not have been re-integrated to the trunk yet.

I have mixed a few different sources in order to get this right for us. I will not re-write what has been written so many times by others (often in a better and clearer way that what I could do) but will simply list the steps that I followed and links to the different sources.

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Filter Unique Email Addresses And Verify Validity

By Jimmy Bonney | June 24, 2012

When gathering contact lists, it is quite common to end up with quite a few duplicate email addresses. In order to do some cleanup in those lists, I have created a simple ruby script that accepts a CSV file as input and analyzes the list to extract only unique entries.

The reason to create the script in the first place was that some entries were containing multiple email addresses for the same contact. When comparing lists it was therefore not easy to see if the email address was present in one list and not in the other. The first step was therefore to create one line per email address which then allowed for an easier cleanup of duplicate entries.

Since some of the email addresses in my list were quite old, I have added a simple verification on whether the domain of each address contains some valid MX server.

More detailed information is available on the project page.

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