Month: January 2008

How I Partition Disks

Having had a number of hard drives fail over the years I use RAID whenever possible to reduce the probability of data loss caused by hardware failure. It’s unfortunate that some machines make it impractically difficult to install a second hard drive (my laptop and some small form factor desktop machines I have given to […]


Storing a GPG key

Chris Lamb has suggested storing a GPG key on a RAID-5 device [1]. The idea is that it can be stored on several physical block devices such that losing just one will not give the key to an attacker. A default GPG secret key will be about 1.2K in size (3 sectors of a hard […]


Asus EeePC as a Router

It seems to me that the Asus EeePC (a $AU499 ultra-light laptop with only flash storage) would make a decent router. Often full desktop PCs are used as routers because they run the most common software and have standard interfaces. There have been dedicated router devices with flash for a long time, but without the […]


Secure Computation on an Insecure Base

Julien Goodwin asks whether an insecure platform can perform secure computation [1]. My immediate reaction was to recall Charles Babbage’s quote On two occasions I have been asked,—”Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” […] I am not able rightly to comprehend the kind of […]


Free Software Community and forking

I just read an interesting approach to finding a life partner [1]. A summary is “There is a sad truth to the world today. I am part of a dying breed of people known as “shell users.” … Because there are fewer and fewer of us, I must help keep our lineage alive. I am […]

Uncategorized Violates Blog Content Licenses

The portal http://www,softwarefree,org/ aggregates many blog feeds related to free software without regard to license. The About Page for my blog links to my Blog License page which states that “The contents of my blogs (unless otherwise noted) are licensed under a non-commercial share-alike license. This means (among other things) that you may not put […]


LCA 2008 Security Blogging Contest

I have decided to run a contest for security related blog posts that appear on Planet Linux Conf Au [1]. That Planet is for people who are attending Linux Conf Au [2], and the prize (or prizes) will be given out at the conference. The aim will be posts on the topic of computer security […]

Blogging Security

Gifts for Strangers

Leon writes about giving a stranger $1 to help him get a train ticket. Recently I saw something similar, a lady was giving balloons to children in the Bourke St Mall in Melbourne just after 9PM. I asked her about this (I couldn’t see a logo on the balloons and wondered how she was making […]


Bruce Schneier Advocates no Encryption

Bruce has written an interesting post about wireless encryption [1]. His main ideas seem to be that it’s nice to provide emergency net access for random people, that attempting to secure a wireless network only causes more problems when (not if) it is broken, and that your machines which are mobile need to be secure […]


Differences between Distribution Kernels

It is not uncommon to run a Linux system with a kernel that was compiled for another distribution. One reason for doing this is the difficulty in compiling and testing a kernel to make sure it will do what you require. It’s not THAT difficult for someone who knows what they are doing, but if […]