Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Wednesday 19 August 2015
by Wulf
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Head Down For a Few Days

Right, I think I need to step away from the keyboard for a few days or at least away from blogging. Often I’m organised and have a series of posts lined up in advance but coming up I’ve got some time with the St Clement’s youth at Soul Survivor, a trip to Devon, getting ready for a busy September with The String Project (five gigs so far next month and we’ll need to kickstart that with some intense rehearsing after the summer break) and a big assignment to finish for my current OU course (a mock forensic investigation).

Phew! I could do with a full stop in that previous sentence and a little break from the blog. Oh, and the next version of WordPress is out so I need to run some updates too. Back soon but not quite as soon as the rest of the year.

Sunday 16 August 2015
by Wulf
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Eye witness confirmation

Yes, there are definitely at least two hedgehogs in the back garden and, as Jane and I sat quietly out there tonight, one of them foraged across the ground to within about 2.5′ of us while the other clearly walked across the garden a little further away. I wonder how I can rig up some kind of IR camera to watch more clearly without disturbing them?

Saturday 15 August 2015
by Wulf
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And then there were two…

Do you recall that we discovered recently that we had a hedgehog in the garden? Jane was out there tonight and reported back that there are now two. There is probably a limit on how many our garden can cope with but I think we’ve got room for two!

Friday 14 August 2015
by Wulf
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Grow Your Own Birdfood

This year our blueberry bushes have been doing very well. It has taken a few seasons but most of them are bearing abundant fruit. However, we’re not getting to harvest much of it. That honour seems to be going to one of our local blackbirds, who has figured out that the dark ones are tasty and concocted a range of strategies to get them in his beak.

In some ways it is frustrating and the classic gardening solution would be to net the bushes and protect the crop. However, it isn’t that much fruit we’re losing. Given the cost of buying food to feed the birds and the fact that we still have plenty of other fruit we can pick, I think we can let our little feathered friend continue to glean for now and enjoy his antics rather than trying to scare him off.

Thursday 13 August 2015
by Wulf
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Words I Never Thought I’d Write

Another geek post… I’ve been trying Microsoft’s new Office 2016 for Mac and I’m impressed with it. Maybe it is just the contrast to the rather clunky feel of Office 2011 which I was using before (which wouldn’t have been that impressive even in 2011) but I’m actually quite enjoying the 2016 version.

I’m still waiting for Microsoft Linux though!

Wednesday 12 August 2015
by Wulf
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Time for a Geek Post

I think I’m due another geek post. I haven’t indulged in one for a while and I want to press home what I learned today.

The challenge was to get an application running on a Windows box talking to a database server on a Linux box. Both were on the same network – in fact, both were virtual machines running under VirtualBox on the same host computer. However, while I could see the server from the client machine (ping, browsing a website it hosts) I couldn’t see the database.

A bit of digging back through my notes to a similar situation I encountered in the past prompted me to look at the MySQL configuration file, /etc/mysql/my.cnf under Ubuntu 14.04. It turned out I needed to comment out the bind-address parameter which was preventing the database from responding to requests from anywhere except the local machine. Unfortunately the two options in that file are ‘limit to one IP address’ or ‘open access to all IP addresses’ but at least (after restarting mysql: sudo service mysql restart) that got the client machine working.

That does of course create a potential security hole. Although the attack surface is limited by being on a virtual machine that is only for some of the time that the host is running and the host being a laptop that is only on some of the time itself, I wanted to pin it down a bit more so it was into iptables to create a few rules – go ahead and accept mysql connections from yourself and the client machine but ditch anything else.

A little more testing and I appear to be in business. Not that complicated and hopefully something I will remember next time I need it but an example of why I am very hesitant to estimate how long something will take or to rely on someone else’s estimate of their own ability to deliver; there are often a couple of tweaks needed to get something working and a couple more to ensure that the setup is still safe and secure.