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Showing posts from June, 2015

Password Trash

We know passwords aren't great and that people choose crappy short ones that are easily remembered given half the chance. The solution to which seems to be to ask for a least one number, one upper case char, one symbol and a minimum of 8 chars... However, you don't want to use the same password everywhere as the majority of sites aren't trustworthy* so it's foolish to use the same password on all of them. The result is an ever mounting litter of passwords that you can't remember and either end up writing them down (which likely violates terms of service and makes you liable in the event of abuse) or rely on "forgotten password mechanisms" to log in as and when needed (the main frustration here being turnaround-time and the need to come up with a new bloody password each time). Yet  using 3 or more words as a pass phrase is more secure than a short forgettable password and would make a website a damn sight easier to use - you still can't use the same

Jenkins on Raspberry Pi 2

I had an old Raspberry Pi which was fun to play with but really too underpowered to do much with. However, I recently took part in the BCS Womens App-athon World Record attempt where I had a chat with a guy about Pis and running Minecraft and he pointed out the newer Pi2 was quite capable of running MCServer (a C++ implementation of a Minecraft Server). But I wanted a Pi2 for something more serious - something running Jenkins to manage the various bits of codes I knock up. I'd tried this on the original Pi but it was unusable... Install from instructions Random Code Solutions  were ok but the version installed via apt-get was old and slow and couldn't easily be updated (managed package). I removed this and installed Tomcat 7 but this bizarrely used Java 1.6 and similarly wasn't easily changed... Managed packages, they make life easy but you're dependent on them keeping things up to date. So the process I finally used was: 1. Install Java 8, the Oracle version. This

Power to the People

Yesterday I received my usual gas and electricity bill from my supplier with the not so usual increase to my monthly direct debit of a nice round 100%! 100% on top of what is already more than I care for... joy! What followed was the all too familiar vent-spleen / spit-feathers etc. before the situation was resolved by a very nice customer services representative who had clearly seen this before... humm.. So, as I do, I ponder darkly on how such a situation could have arisen. And as an IT guy, I ponder darkly about how said situation came about through IT (oh what a wicked web we weave)... Ok, so pure conjecture, but this lot have previous... 100%! What on earth convinced them to add 100%? Better still, what convinced them to add 100% when I was in fact in credit and they had just reimbursed me £20 as a result?... Customer service rep: It's the computers you see sir. Me: The computers? CSR: Well because they reimbursed you they altered your direct-debit amount. Me: Yeah, ok, so the