Posts filed under the 'Blog' category


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...

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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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Making an Azure static website secure

One thing that’s been niggling at the back of my mind for a little while, is that of making my various domains secure. Getting and installing a certificate. Making HTTPS the default. Using SSL. All that jazz, mostly triggered by the news that Chrome and Firefox are going to start shaming – er, sorry, indicating in the address bar – those sites that are not secure. But, OK, I admit it, all the stuff I’ve read just seems to point out how deeply involved it all is, how expensive, and so on. This ain...

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Commodore SR4921

Back in the day, the second calculator I owned was a Commodore SR 4190R , a fun little beast. Once I’d found a replacement for the one I had (it’d got lost at some point) and I’d found an example of its more “experienced” brother, the SR 9190R, I decided to try and get copies of all the similarly-bodied calculators that Commodore had made back in the 70s, maybe half a dozen or so. It didn’t take too long, but there was one of that type that just eluded me, the SR4921. Until earlier this month, that...

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Scam Domain Name Renewal from iDNS

For some reason, it’s been so long since I’ve had such an obvious scam letter , that getting this yesterday was like receiving a missive from a long lost friend. Let’s see… One of my domain names is expiring in July! They’re prompting me to renew! But with them! $45 for a year, or – watch out for these savings! – two years for $80 and saving $10! If I plump for 5 years, I’ll save $45! Wow! Better stop there before I wear out my exclamation mark key! Ooh, important letter! The company name is redolent...

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