UPS Controlled Shutdown During Power Failure

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I purchased a uninterruptible power supply, to smooth out the power dips that are far too frequent in my home. This article show you how to integrate it with Linux so in the event of a total power failure, your Linux system can monitor the UPS status and perform a graceful shutdown if the UPS power runs low.

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HowTo: Install and Configure Fail2Ban

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Fail2ban is an intrusion prevention software framework that protects computers from brute-force attacks. It scans log files and bans IP addresses that show malicious signs, such as, too many password failures. Fail2Ban then updates firewall rules to reject the IP addresses for a specified amount of time, although any arbitrary other action (e.g. sending an email) could also be configured.

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HowTo: Configure SSH Public Key Authentication

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Public key authentication is an alternative and more secure means of identifying yourself to a login server, instead of typing a password. It is more secure and more flexible, but more involved in its set-up. It can also be used to provide a password-less login experience when using SSH and it can authenticate the system your logging into, thereby assuring your not being spoofed.

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HowTo: Set-Up the Raspberry Pi as a Headless Device

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This is a step-by-step guide of how to set up your Raspberry Pi as a "headless" computer, that is, access it via network connections without a keyboard or display. This is done by configuring the Raspberry Pi without needing any kind of monitor or keyboard attached. I go a little further by showing how to upgrade the firmware / OS / development tools, bootup without X Windows, setup password-less login, and establish some basic security.

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My Exploration of Hard Cider Brewing

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On October 25, 2014, I plunged into my first attempt at making hard apple cider. My ultimate goal is to create something close to my concept of the ideal hard cider. A cider with a high ABV but with a sweet apple flavor. I brewed several batches, systematically varying my methods and ingredients. The result was very, very nice combination of hard cider and applejack.

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HowTo: Coping With a Changing External IP Address

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Since I'm not using a static IP for my home router, my ISP can change my IP address as they sees fit. But in order for me to SSH into my home server from outside my local network, I need my home’s router current IP address. Here a create a simple utility that pushes to my cell phone the new address when my router's IP address changes.

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HowTo: Connecting to Remote X11 Host from a Mac

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I want to log into my home Linux box from my work laptop, which is a Mac. I also what to use all the tools I have grown comfortable, particularly vi/vim/gvim while on my home system. This requires X11 to work on the Mac. Here I show you how this is done on the Mac using XQuartz, Apple's version of the X server.

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Two-Factor Authentication via Google Authenticator

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I want to set up a secure connection to my home computer while on the road. The obvious thing to do is open the SSH port on my router, forward it to my SSH port on my computer, and it should be good to go. Yes, but I'm paranoid, so I'm using Two-Factor Authentication.

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CheatSheet: Vim Commands

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I'm creating a Vi/Vim cheat sheet that is workable for me. I know that there hundreds vi/vim cheat sheets online, but none organized the way I want. This posting assures that I have what I need close at hand.

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Repurposing a Vintage Laptop to Create a X Terminal

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This project proved more challenging and complex a journey than originally anticipated, but I learned a great deal. I had to master Tiny Core Linux, X Window System, Ubuntu Unity, and even wireless LAN security all in the context of an ancient piece of hardware. I review my learnings and then provide the details on how to create the X Terminal.

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