28 Apr

Linux.com Article: Protecting Networks with SmoothWall Express 3.0


Originally published at www.linux.com on December 09, 2008 at 09:00 AM; reprinted with the author’s permission.

Corporations and home users alike need firewall protection. Many choices abound, including some expensive, commercial options that only run on specialized hardware. Others, like SmoothWall Express, are freely downloadable, built on the same technology as the commercial solutions, and even deliver some superior features.

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09 Dec

New Article Published – Protect Your Network with SmoothWall 3

Once again, I have pestered the editors at the ordinarily refined Linux.com into publishing an article.  I had a harder time getting this one right.  I was stuck in a fiction writing mode–half of the sentences I wrote were in passive voice.  Very frustrating–probably more so for the editors.



In any case, go check out the story–SmoothWall is an excellent choice for network border security.

14 Jul

MySQL Authentication Woes – MythTVDB and XBMC


Well, this little issue hit me with a brief feeling of deja-vu.  It is the exact same trouble that I faced trying to get Nessus security scanner frontend to write data to a MySQL database.  I don’t know when exactly it changed, but new versions of MySQL writes passwords in a hashed table (and perhaps a new location, too) so that older apps trying to connect simply cannot read (or find) the password to authenticate the transaction.  In other words, the biggest issue I was having with the XBMCMythTV script was this authentication issue.

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02 Jul

Smart Home Media Project – Phase II – Hack That Xbox


Yes, I will now be referring to these efforts as the Joseph Baxter’s Smart Home Media Project ™.  There’s no way I’ll be able to resist coming up with some sort of logo for that, I’m sure. 🙂

So, now to the part that, quite frankly, spooked me a little.  Yeah, the Myth stuff was fairly hard, and my Linux knowledge is somewhat lacking, but it was just computer stuff.  Nothing really too far outside of my comfort level.  But this – hacking an xbox?  That’s something only DJ Micro can do!

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01 Jul

MythTV – Final Wrap Up


I’m very happy with MythTV up to this point. It is no where near as fragile as I feared it might be–in fact, it seems to be quite robust. A recent power outage knocked its pins out from under it, but by the time I checked, the machine was already back up and running. Part of that is the BIOS setting “Last State on Power Restore,” but if the software wasn’t up to the task no hardware setting is going to help.

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24 Jun

MythTV – Storage Groups and Linux Hard Drives


Last night completed the second to the last step of my Mythbuntu adventure:  Adding in the second hard drive.

Well, this would all be easier if I wasn’t trying to do it so low rent.  Right now in the Myth box there is only 512MB of RAM and two 40GB Western Digital Hard drives.  After everything is setup that only gives me about 65-ish GB for video recording.  Not alot, but not great either–right around 40 hours of recording space.

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20 Jun

MythTV Update – MPlayer works, IRC Support isn’t, and Wireless


Just a quick update:  I can watch TV through MPlayer now.  Now that I have all of the IVTV drivers installed correctly, it is a simple matter of opening a terminal and telling MPlayer to access that device:

mplayer /dev/video0

But I still can’t get LiveTV inside Myth.  And when I tell it to record, it starts a .NUV file, but the size never grows (stays around 9K or 12K).  So, in other words, Myth simply isn’t accessing the PVR-350 correctly.

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11 Jun

New House Blues (MythTV, FreeNAS, and PFSense)


It has certainly been a busy month.  We just moved to a new house–which wreaked havoc with my technology.  What kicked it all off was that we couldn’t get a line-of-sight with DirecTV.  So, that made me switch to Cable TV.  And if I’m going to switch to cable, I can save money and get higher speeds on cable Internet (fortunately, I canceled my Dry Loop DSL the day the turned it on, so no charge).

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