Posts filed under the 'Blog' category


Sint-Annatunnel, the Antwerp Underpass

This week is Techorama, a developer conference in Antwerp. I’m here helping out at the booth, but because of travel requirements, making sure I was here on time, etc, I arrived in Antwerp the day before. Time to be a tourist, especially as I couldn’t check into the hotel until 3pm. One of the sights I had decided last week to see for myself was the pedestrian tunnel, Sint-Annatunnel (Saint Anna’s Tunnel), that goes underneath the River Scheldt from one bank to the other. Useful stats It is pretty...

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CORS and MIME types

Direct, it seems, from the pit of “Code bugs only manifest themselves when you least expect them” horrors, comes this doozy. If you have read a couple of recent blogs posts you’ll know that I’ve been slowly, step by step, making my various domains secure. (This one is the worst offender, but is also going to take the most effort because of *cough* GoDaddy *cough*, and its peculiar rules regarding SSL certificates.) One of the recent ones was my URL shortening domain jmbk.nl . Five years ago, I wrote...

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IBM System/38 Keyboard Templates

It’s well past time for a rave from the grave, methinks. About a year or so ago, we’d bought our new house and were starting to work out what we should keep when we moved. I had several boxes that I’d shipped from England after my parents had died, and It Was Time To Sort Their Contents Out. And in one of them I found this fun little gem: The IBM System/38 Keyboard Template. CPF function keys Way back when, before I got my kick programming PCs, I used to write programs for an IBM System/34 and then...

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Shoestring: the full series

Suddenly, after many, many years, the BBC announced that complete set of Shoestring was finally going to be released on DVD. And so it came to pass in October last year. I put in my order chez Amazon.co.uk , and it finally arrived on my doorstep. From the initial release of the first series (which I’d bought), it had taken some six years for that second series to be released on DVD, and I wasn’t going to let the fact that I had to buy the complete set deter me. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised...

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Reporting spam texts

I get spam phone calls on my landline, I get spam phone calls on my mobile. Sometimes, I play along with them to wind them up (especially those from “Windows Support” where I know what they’re going to say and the responses you give). Of late, I’ve started to get spam text on my phone. Just as annoying, but it’s easy to report them. Wanna loan? What you do is essentially this: copy the message, forward it to the number 7726 (which spells out S.P.A.M. on a phone keypad). You’ll get a reply from the...

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Six squared & five squared

Today, April 29, in 1993, I boarded a plane at Gatwick in the morning, and alighted late afternoon at Stapleton Airport in Denver. From there I rented a car and drove down to Colorado Springs and my new job at TurboPower Software. I’d never been to Colorado before. This was 25 years ago today. I was a mere stripling, having just turned 36 years of age. Visa and entry stamp I’d left my job at Deutsche Bank the previous Friday and had driven up to my parents the following morning to drop off my Volvo...

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A backup is only as good as…

…the restore you want to do from it. A month or so ago, I’d saved up enough to buy a Synology DS418 NAS DiskStation , plus four WD Red 2TB NAS disk drives to go into it. Once the system and the drive RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) had been set up, there was 5.6TB free and the security of knowing that if a drive failed I wouldn’t lose anything. 5.6TB was way ample for daily regular backups for our three machines. Synology DS418 DiskStation And, to be honest, it was well past time to regularize...

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Making an AWS static website EVEN MORE secure

OK, so we have a secure website, hosted on Amazon S3, and served up via HTTPS by CloudFront with an Amazon SSL Certificate. But, as we know from last time, we also have to express this security through our response headers. It was fairly easy with Azure – after all, it’s “just” IIS back there, and web.config is the answer to everything once you know the magic incantations – but how to do the same thing on AWS? For this one, I am indebted to an official Amazon blog post: Adding HTTP Security Headers...

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Making an AWS static website secure

So there I was, patting myself on the back for making an Azure static website secure (with all the right headers , natch), when I gave myself a quick nod: yep, let’s do the same for this other static website, one that’s hosted on Amazon S3. Morceau de gâteau ! Please, please, please, can I go back in time to stop myself? What a lengthy ordeal, a flippin’ slog. Sisyphus had it easy. Let’s enumerate what you should do, in the right order (rather, than what I did, which was all messed up). Get your...

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Making an Azure static website EVEN MORE secure

Remember how I was congratulating myself that I’d made my jmbucknall.com static website, that is hosted on Azure, secure? How I’d bought and uploaded an SSL certificate, and made the site only accessible via HTTPS? Well, HA! I say that, because Barry Dorrans (self-described as “Microsoft's .NET security person”) was ‘kind’ enough to point out that I hadn’t really finished the job. I hadn’t added the proper “security headers” (WTF are they?) via a web.config (wut? it’s a static site!) and that I should...

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