catalyst

Creating a FreeDOS bootable USB stick to upgrade BIOS

Auteur: 
François Marier

I have an old motherboard that requires creating a DOS boot floppy in order to upgrade its BIOS. Fortunately, it's not too hard to do this with FreeDOS and a USB stick.

The instructions below are based on an FDos wiki article.

Downloading the dependenciesThe first step is to download the required files from your motherboard manufacturer:

  • the latest BIOS image
  • the BIOS flashing program

and then install the tools you'll need:

Watching Gerrit merges on IRC using cia.vc

Auteur: 
François Marier

In order to get a notice on IRC whenever someone merges a change in Mahara, we picked the cia.vc service. This allows us to keep an eye on what is happening with the codebase.

If you want to replicate our setup, start by creating an account on cia.vc and then add a new project and an IRC bot to your account.

Putting a limit on Apache and PHP memory usage

Auteur: 
François Marier

A little while ago, we ran into memory problems on mahara.org. It turned out to be due to the GD library having issues with large (as in height and width, not file size) images.

Debugging OpenWRT routers by shipping logs to a remote syslog server

Auteur: 
François Marier

Trying to debug problems with consumer-grade routers is notoriously difficult due to a lack of decent debugging information. It's quite hard to know what's going on without at least a few good error messages.

Here is how I made my OpenWRT-based Gargoyle router send its log messages to a network server running rsyslog.

Installing Etherpad on Debian/Ubuntu

Auteur: 
François Marier

Etherpad is an excellent Open Source web application for collaborative text editing. Like Google Docs, it allows you to share documents with others through a secret URL or to set up private documents for which people need a login.
It's a little tricky to install so here's how I did it.

Optimising PNG files

Auteur: 
François Marier

I have written about using lossless optimisations techniques to reduce the size of images before, but I recently learned of a few other tools to further reduce the size of PNG images.

Ideal OpenSSL configuration for Apache and nginx

Auteur: 
François Marier

After recently reading a number of SSL/TLS-related articles, I decided to experiment and look for the ideal OpenSSL configuration for Apache (using mod_ssl since I haven't tried mod_gnutls yet) and nginx.

Using BrowserID and Content Security Policy together

Auteur: 
François Marier

While looking into why BrowserID logins on Libravatar didn't work on Firefox, I remembered that I had recently added Content Security Policy headers. Here's what I had to do to make BrowserID work on a CSP-enabled site.

Create a hidden form and a login linkThis is what the login button looked like before CSP:
<form id="browserid-form" action="/account/login_browserid" method="post">

Reducing the size of Apache 301 and 302 responses

Auteur: 
François Marier

Looking through the Libravatar access logs, I found that most of the traffic we currently serve consists of 302 redirects to Gravatar. Optimising that path is therefore very important.

While Apache allows admins to provide custom error pages for things like 404 or 500, it's not quite that straightforward for 30x return codes.

Three Firefox extensions to enhance SSL security

Auteur: 
François Marier

There has been a lot of talk recently questioning the trust authorities that underpin the SSL/TLS world.

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