F5 = Reload

Something that doesn’t physically exist is easily misplaced or lost. It’s a bit more unsettling when you tie many hours to misplaced data, entrusted in someones hands.

“If you want something done right, do it yourself”

Charles-Guillaume Étienne. (as translated)

The hosting company, 123-REG had made this very error, as described on an independent.co.uk news article. (also documented on many other news sites) It was unfortunate, but even more so for those who lost their data. Web-based businesses (and their clients) drowned in complete internet darkness as the servers updated their drives to “forget” the data stored on them. I suppose I was lucky that when my server vanished, my livelihood didn’t go with it. Sure, it was a lot of time spent over the years; not only writing articles (that not many people at all have read), but the initial setup and configuration also took many long nights and head bashing, especially to an unexperienced “hobbyist”.

Like others I too kept backups outside of the company’s’ server infrastructure, but they are not directly or easily transferable to a new infrastructure altogether. I am in the process of rebuilding the VPS and selecting some old blog posts to carry over into the new world.

The new rhetoric for my corner of the internet have been changed; mainly about my technology experiences and the occasional post about myself.

Asus VivoBook E403S running linux

Asus VivoBook E403S

The new kernel has issues with the touchpad and so the new kernel isn’t a perfect fix. Also DKMS does not like kernel 4.5; the solution would be to find the driver for the touchpad and adapt it for the original kernel release with ubuntu. This guide is void… for now.

After some faffing around with an Ubuntu 14.04 installation on a memory stick, I have managed to get it working quite well with the VivoBook. Here’s a rough guide about how I got this working.

The good thing about installing Ubuntu on a stick is you can install it separately from your notebooks’ harddrive and not worry about installing it on the already crowded SSD. This also allows you to not worry about a bad installation messing up your MBR and GPT’s.
Secondly, you can expand on the internal RAM by creating “swapfiles” as a virtual memory in Ubuntu.

*Disclaimer – If you follow this guide, I can take no responsibility for your devices/software/data/equipment from breakages/loss/malfunction. You do so at your own risk. Continue reading “Asus VivoBook E403S running linux”

Review : Asus VivoBook 14″ E403S

Asus VivoBook E403S Notebook Review

Asus VivoBook E403S


Price £280 as of March 2016

Intel Pentium N3700 Quad Core ‘up to’ 2.4 GHz
32gGB SSD Drive
14″ ‘Auto HD’ Display (1366×768)
Integrated Intel HD Graphics

1xHDMI. 1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB-C, SD Card reader, Audio Jack, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

Full spec sheet here. – Asus.com Continue reading “Review : Asus VivoBook 14″ E403S”

Securing Openvpn Access Server; frontend

Hiding the openvpn-as web interface from the internet was a logical step for security. This is a quick guide about securing openvpn-as webpages in Ubuntu if you tend to use the front-end infrequently.

In Terminal, navigate to your installed openvpn-as directory:
(might be different, depending on how it was installed)

cd /usr/local/openvpn_as/etc

Next we need to edit the as.conf file…. I recommend making a backup just in case! Continue reading “Securing Openvpn Access Server; frontend”

HDD benchmarks

Interested how a SATAII compared with a new SATAIII drive, I decided to do a quick benchmark to compare the results.
In this benchmark I will be comparing the Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD (S-ATA III), Seagate ST3320613AS 320GB 7200-rpm 16mb cache (S-ATA II) and a Western Digital Blue 2TB 5400-rpm 64mb cache (S-ATA III).

I am primarily doing this to compare the transfer rates of a faster, low cache S-ATA II mechanical drive with a slower, high cache S-ATA III mechanical drive. The reason, I hear you ask?
S-ATA III bus speed is rated at 6gbs compared with 3gb/s on the older S-ATA II interface.
A mechanical drive will never use up the whole bus width of S-ATA because of the way they operate, (all down to spindle speed and head speed) so my theory is that the faster the drive, the better I/O you will ultimately receive thus faster write and read speeds.

I used ATTO Disk Benchmark for the benchmarks and Piriform Speccy for the datasheets.

Looking at the results, I was quite surprised. To see a slower speed drive out perform a faster drive was not what I expected to see. As you can see, the HDD’s do not even fill half the bandwidth of S-ATA II bus speed, whilst the SSD is 100mb/s shy of hitting the top end S-ATA III speeds.

There could be a number of factors at play here; looking more closely at the Seagate’s spec sheets, it has endured alot of uptime and probably more spin-up’s then the WD will ever have. Also the test isn’t quite as scientific as having 2 “identical”  drives with varying speeds and that’s probably where you will see results.

On the back of this, I’m quite impressed to have had the Seagate lasting this long; the internet is littered with bad omens of Seagate’s from years of old! It might be time to replace this one whilst I’m still winning!