7 Ways to Win Any Step Challenge – Plus Two Tactics That Won’t Work

7 Ways to Win Any Step Challenge – Plus Two Tactics That Won’t Work

March 29 , 2017

If you haven’t taken part in a Fitbit step challenge, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re motivated by competition (invite friends and family to an official Challenge, join a group, or track your spot on your seven-day friends leaderboard) or would rather just compete against yourself (start an Adventure), there’s something for everyone.

A cure for Crons chronic email problem
06 Jan

A cure for Crons chronic email problem

Anyone who has setup a backup system on their Linux machine, and I hope you all have, will be well aware of the problems when running commands from {% link crontab Crontab via Wikipedia %}. You will be inundated with emails every-time cron runs and with so many emails its easy to get to a point where you just stop reading them so never notice that Friday night when the backups stopped due to some error and from that point on they never ran correctly again.

One solution most of us will be familiar with is simple to direct all command output to /dev/null 15 01 * * * backup_my_pc >/dev/null 2>&1 but this now mean we want get any feedback – whether the backup ran correctly or not!

After a little time spent with Google I found a program called {% link Chronic A cure for Crons chronic email problem %}. It acts as a wrapper script within the cron shell. So now instead of having 15 01 * * * backup_my_pc as your crontab command you use 15 01 * * * cronic backup_my_pc. Cronic will then run your shell command so it can handle all output from your command. If the command fails the full output is printed to the shell, so cron sends it as an email, but if no error occurs all output is hidden and no email is sent. A perfect solution.


The best way to install Cronic is simply to download the shell script from the {% link project website Download chronic %}. Copy the download into your PATH, usually /usr/bin will be fine. Then just start updating your crontab rules.

agedu: Clean up wasted space in Linux
17 Dec

agedu: Clean up wasted space in Linux

In some situations a quick trip to get a drive is required but in many situations space can easily be reclaimed by removing the gunk that’s accumulated, but how do you determine what’s junk? Linux has the du command that will recursively search a director and list all files and there size but it still comes down to you to determine what should be kept and what should be removed.

In comes agedu (age dee you). Like du this new tool searches for files in all directories and lists there size, but it can also differentiate between files that are still in use and ones that haven’t been accessed less often.

From the man pages

agedu scans a directory tree and produces reports about how much disk space is used in each directory and sub-directory, and also how that usage of disk space corresponds to files with last-access times a long time ago.

In other words, agedu is a tool you might use to help you free up disk space. It lets you see which directories are taking up the most space, as du does; but unlike du, it also distinguishes between large collections of data which are still in use and ones which have not been accessed in months or years – for instance, large archives downloaded, unpacked, used once, and never cleaned up. Where du helps you find what’s using your disk space, agedu helps you find what’s wasting your disk space.

agedu has several operating modes. In one mode, it scans your disk and builds an index file containing a data structure which allows it to efficiently retrieve any information it might need. Typically, you would use it in this mode first, and then run it in one of a number of `query’ modes to display a report of the disk space usage of a particular directory and its sub-directories. Those reports can be produced as plain text (much like du) or as HTML. agedu can even run as a miniature web server, presenting each directory’s HTML report with hyperlinks to let you navigate around the file system to similar reports for other directories.

So, the install

Fedora 18, 19, 20 & 21


Basic Usage

The first step is to let agedu scan a directory, bellow I’ve just scanned my Downloads folder:

To access the report you need run agedus built in web server:

Now just fire up your browser and go to the URL stated:

agedu Web Interface
agedu Web Interface


There are other options available such as --exclude and --include arguments which let you control what files are indexed, for example if you wanted to see what ISOs were taking up the most space you’d use:
agedu -s ./ --exclude '*' --include '*.iso'

This post was designed to written to give you a quick overview of agedu since I have only touched on the options available. Check out the man pages or read thru the developers website for more details.

A Linux Security Checklist
16 Dec

A Linux Security Checklist

I recently came across this article about securing yourself on a Linux machine – Security Checklist for Linux System.

It’s equally true about Windows users as well:

  1. Keep the system updated with latest security patches
  2. Keep yourself updated with latest vulnerabilities through mailing lists, forums etc.
  3. Stop and disable unwanted services
  4. Use SUDO to limit ROOT Access
  5. SSH security settings
  6. Tunnel all of your XWindow sessions through SSH
  7. Create only a required number of users
  8. Maintain a good firewall policy
  9. Scan for viruses and other malware!
  10. Configure SSL/TLS if you are using FTP
  11. Secure your communication with GPG
  12. Check file permissions across filesystems
  13. Bootloader and BIOS security
  14. Enable remote Logging
  15. Keep a good password policy
Run You Own Certificate Authority

Run You Own Certificate Authority

July 29 , 2014

I’ve wanted to write an article on how I became my own certificate authority for some time, but while doing some research on it I came across an article by CyberPunk that fill the gap I wanted to fill. So Instead I will just leave this link here.

Book Review – Ender’s Game
10 Jan

Book Review – Ender’s Game

Today I found myself in an unusual state. I’ve got to the point of finishing one book and having no idea what I want to read next. This has only happened when I have enjoyed reading a book to the point anything else would spoil the memory. Since this is such a break from the norm I thought I would write about it. I will try not to spoil anything here, but it’s my first time writing a book review so forgive me if I do!

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is the first of his books I have read, I never seen the movie but now I want to. The book is science fiction but the more I’ve read the more I felt that wasn’t important. This book builds its characters so well and doesn’t rely on SciFi or ‘magic’ physics to tell its story that shouldn’t be a barrier to any non-scifi fans.

The book tells the story of Ender Wiggins, a child who is moulded into the soldier the human race requires to save it from an invasion. As I read the book I really started to feel for Ender and the things he was going through, but Card’s development of Enders character and personality seemed so natural it kept me hooked. I finished this eleven hour book in less than three days. This version was a special 20th anniversary edition and used different narrators, unlike Dune which I’ll review another time, each narrator was used for a different perspective. I don’t want to say more in less it spoils it but you’ll see what I mean.

I know this was short and sweet, but I can’t recommend this book enough. The story is excellent and the reading by both Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison (The audible narrators) made it the perfect performance. I can’t wait to start reading the squeal ‘Speaker for the dead’ but feel I need some time to let this one settle in, it really was that compelling.

15 Nov

Android 4.4 KitKat is here

It feels like I’ve been waiting on this arriving for ever, but its only been 8 months. KitKat is finally been release to the previous Nexus devices and so far I’m happy with my experience.

I’m yet to decided if I like using Hangout as my primary SMS app but it could grow on me. Other than that i have nothing but good things to say about my KitKat so far.

07 Nov

A new Discworld is out!

Since I first seen it announced on Twitter I’ve been waiting, all be it impatiently, for the release of the newest Terry Pratchett Discworld. Well the day has finally arrived.

Today, November 7th, the 40th Discworld book was published by Terry Pratchett. Raising Steam will be the 3rd book featuring Moist von Lipwig and follows on from Going Postal and Making Money both of which feature in my list of favourite Discworld novels

I have only just started reading it so I can’t give a proper review just yet, but I’m too excited to wait for that and have to share the good news now.

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork – a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

Moist von Lipwig is not a man who enjoys hard work – as master of the Post Office, the Mint and the Royal Bank his input is, of course, vital…but largely dependent on words, which are fortunately not very heavy and don’t always need greasing. However, he does enjoy being alive, which makes a new job offer from Vetinari hard to refuse….

Steam is rising over Discworld, driven by Mister Simnel, the man wi’ t’flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement with the sine and cosine. Moist will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing employees down the stairs and some very angry dwarfs if he’s going to stop it all going off the rails….

> ©2013 Terry and Lyn Pratchett (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks