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APRS & Dire Wolf

Using Your Sound Card As A TNC

A terminal node controller (TNC) is a device that acts as a modem so that you can send packets over radio (packet radio). These devices are often used by amateur (ham) radio operators to communicate or access resources. For example, APRS and Winlink. The problem with these devices is that they can cost upwards of $100 (including accessories such as cables) and the only have one function. The better devices cost at least $200. As an alternative to a TNC, I have been using a sound card and software to act as a TNC.


Setting Up OpenVZ Containers in Proxmox VE

I have been using Proxmox for a while now and have really started to enjoy the benefits of having virtual servers apposed to running bare metal. Since the virtual hard disks are files, it is very easy to make an image backup of the virtual server. It is also very easy to migrate the virtual machines to another physical server. It did not take me long to figure out KVMs quickly but I ran into some issues configuring OpenVZ containers. I made this tutorial to share what I learned and to hopefully help someone else who is stuck.


Mac OS 9 About This Mac

Using Mac OS 9 Today

One of my many hobbies is collecting vintage computers. In particular Apple computers. I have a 2001 iBook G3 (Dual USB) that I run OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and Mac OS 9.2.2. Tiger can still do most tasks expected form modern computers, but the problem with it is that the iBook only has a 500MHz G3 processor and 8MB of graphics memory (576MB of system memory), thus making OS X slow. The system requirements for OS 9 is an Apple computer with a PowerPC processor, 150MB to 250MB of hard drive space and 40MB of RAM. Since my iBook has much better specs than the system requirements for OS 9, I thought that it might run better with OS 9 than OS X.

PFSense Install 1

How to install and setup pfSense 2

You may have an old computer lying arrange collecting dust. One way that you can put it to good use is to use it as a firewall. Off the self consumer routers are very commonly used as firewall for home networks but they are not as secure as you may think. Last year there was a security hole that was found in some Linksys and Asus routers. Older routers may not even get security patches. This is why I use enterprise grade firewall solutions. To make a firewall using your old computer, you will need to install an operating system that will provide the firewall functionality, for this I use pfSense.

SSL Cert fail

Setting Up Free Signed SSL Certificates In Apache 2

In order to setup a secure website, you need to have a SSL certificate. You can make your own key pair for your website but you will have an issue with web browsers saying that the connection is potentially insecure as the certificate is not signed by an authority. To fix this problem, you have to get a signed certificate from an authority, often costing a lot of money.

When I was making this website I wanted to add ssl security (encryption), mainly to secure the user accounts. I did not want to spend money so I set out to find a free solution. While doing my research, I came across a service called StartSSL from StartCom. With StartSSL, they will create a signed SSL certificate for free. The only catch is that you have to verify your domain name and email address every month.


Making Servers Using Old Computers

A common misconception I have noticed is that in order to have a server, you need a very powerful computer. This may be true for an enterprise with hundreds, if not thousands of people accessing content on servers at the same time. If you are just making a home server or hosting a website or two, the computer sitting in the closest, collecting dust, may be perfect.

If you are making a personal website, DNS or email server, you won’t need much to run the service. The software used to host these services are designed to have as little of an impact on the computer so that the content being served can have access to the system resources it requires. The operating systems that are often used on servers are also designed to have a small impact and have low system requirements. For example, the system requirements for Ubuntu Server is a 300 MHz, 32 bit processor, 125 MB of system memory, 1 GB of hard drive space and be able to use a monitor with a resolution of 640×480. Windows Server 2003 only needs a 133 MHz, 32 bit processor, 128 MB of system memory and 2 GB of hard drive space. Granted, these minimum requirements are very low and the service will be much better if the computers were faster but it will still work.