Friday, September 19, 2014

Security on the world wide web is important, projects like Firefox certainly take this serious and i applaud what they are trying to do by making the browser as secure by default as possible. However, when using enterprise software this sometimes gives problems because they always lag behind (a lot in some cases).

Once again, after the latest update of Firefox, i suddenly could no longer connect to the ILO interface of our HP servers. This was caused by the recent addition of 'pkix' in Firefox.

Should you see the following error while connecting to an https enabled site;

An error occurred during a connection to . Issuer certificate is invalid. (Error code: sec_error_ca_cert_invalid)

Simply disable pkix verification through: about:config - security.use_mozillapkix_verification - false

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Retro find: Commodore Vic20

Went to look for an Amiga 500, but it was in a bad shape and had just too many missing pieces and i found it not worth the time when there are so many more perfect A500's available. My eye caught another piece of equipment from the same owner - A Commodore VIC-20. I asked him if i could take that instead and he agreed.

The VIC-20 is famous for being the first affordable home computer and further development of the platform would later turn out to be the iconic C64. Notice that the casing is much the same, except the color is lighter.
Included are a 16kB expansion (without it, it only has 3kB of memory!) and a tape unit.

Remember: If you have retro gear and want to get rid of it, don't throw it in the trash, but donate it to a collector like me (or one of the many others).

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Retro find: Amiga 2000

My latest retro find is this Amiga 2000 (rev 6). It has 2 disk drives and a CD drive installed (however the CD drive is no longer connected). Still has the original battery, which is not leaking yet! but i won't be waiting too long to replace it before it can do damage.
The A2000 case is in good condition, however a '0' dropped of, so now it says 'Amiga 200' :) and there is a sticker on the side from 'The Simpsons', which is kind of cool and i'll probably leave it on there.
Not too many scratches or yellowing. There is no keyboard anymore, but that is not a big problem.

Included is also a 'BSC Tandem IDE controller', although it isn't really any good. It's main purpose is to control CD drives. Clearly first generation because it has two connectors; one for ATAPI drives and one for Mitsumi drives (remember those?). It is also possible to attach hard drives, but it does not support autobooting, luckily i still have a spare 'Buddha flash' available (which supports autoboot and up to 8 ide devices), combined with a compact flash card this will work perfectly.

Also included is a genuine Commodore monitor, but i won't be using that.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Heb je nog een oude/retro computer (Atari, Commodore, MSX, Amstrad/Schneider, Sinclair, ... - 8 bit, 16 bit, ...) op zolder staan waar je niets meer mee doet? Of eentje die niet meer (goed) werkt? Ik zorg er wel voor dat deze een nieuw plaatsje krijgen in mijn collectie, daar kunnen ze dan nog jaren verder en worden ze in werkende staat gehouden. In die gevallen waar ze niet meer te herstellen zijn, nemen we er de nog werkende onderdelen uit om zo andere weer tot leven te wekken.
Contacteer me via Google+ of op Twitter (of laat hier een berichtje achter) mocht je er nog zo eentje staan hebben en om verder af te spreken (toch beter dan naar het container park te brengen).

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Fosdem weekend is already over, and it was fabulous once again. There are just so many great sessions and talks that sometimes it's hard to choose. This year there were 6000 open source minded people present, and this is getting problematic. On Saterday i had a lot of problems getting into rooms because most of them were full. What i did notice is that a lot of guys take their girlfriends along, don't ask me why, because most of the time these girls are bored and don't really want to be there. I don't have anything against geek-girls, who are there to learn, i just think it is silly that some people are not able to attend a talk for that reason.
Never the less, great conference. What captured my attention is the strong presense of open source embedded solutions, going from arduino to satellites. Perl is still going strong with fresh and cool projects. Even though the perl crowd is older then most other projects, there is some young blood blowing fresh air. They definatly need a person like Sawyer, which is a very good and entertaining speaker. It's also interesting to see that the main talks don't draw that many listeners anymore and all the action is found in the developer rooms.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Android is probably the most popular linux distro at the moment. The amount of users buying and the companies implementing it are huge, all in a little more then 2 years. In a certain way this shows linux was ready for the masses all along, but as always it took a big company (google in case you didn't know) to get it anywhere.
The one issue that everybody keeps picking on, is the so called fragmentation, i don't think it is really an issue though. The root of this, is the hesitance of manufacturers to release updates to their devices. They might release some for a while, ironing out bugs, but hardly you get an upgrade for your device for major versions, for example going from 1.6 to 2.0. Most of the time the vendors will claim the devices are simply not able to run it, but hackers have proven them wrong each time, for example; my 2 year old Samsung galaxy runs 2.2 just fine. Ofcourse this is all sales driven, new phones need to be sold and an OS upgrade might be a good excuse.
Still fine by me, i will just keep on upgrading my phone the unofficial way until it falls apart or the battery is worn out.The issue i have with all this is in the security part of all this. Linux is a great kernel, but it does have its security issues, if you're subscribed to the weekly SANS newsletter you'll notice there is almost a different security issue each week. Agreed, not all of those are critical or are applicable to Android, but some are. Nobody provides Android security updates, perhaps if it is critical enough, there might be an update for the latest generation of devices but all older phones are left in the dark and stay vulnerable. Since these phones are basicly small computers (you get linux and a shell with more tools on then when i started with linux more then 15 years ago), we could end up with an army of unsupported insecure Android zombie machines, we've been there before, with windows and i don't want it to happen again.
I started by saying that Android is the most popular linux distro ever, and the solution to the above problem is that they should treat Android more like an actual distro, and enable some kind of repositories-like update mechanism for the core of the OS. That way all fixes will be available to everybody and you should not have to surrender you security to the wil of the hw-builders.