Weblogs for Steve

Posted by Steve on Sun 31 Aug 2014 at 14:55
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Originally the code behind this site as 100% open, but during the course of some of the earlier migrations it was closed by accident - jumping from CVS to hg, and now to git things moved around a lot.

Nothing was ever intended to be secret, private, or closed, it was just an aspect I've failed to pay attention to.

Anyway the code behind this site is called YAWNS and once again it is open to the public:


Posted by Steve on Fri 8 Aug 2014 at 10:14
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The code behind this site is badly in need of another overhaul.

At the moment it runs on a set of ropy CGI scripts that are neither efficient nor pleasant.

My current plan is to record the basics from scratch, then port over functionality as time goes on. As part of that I think I'll be coming up with some toy-servers:

  • A HTTP interface that just gets/updates/adds articles.
  • A HTTP server that is solely responsible for get/set comments.

With that structure in mind the core of the site can just mediate between requests and the actual backend - without worrying about actual implementation-details.

In terms of features the only thing I think I'm going to remove is the comment-feed RSSs.

There is a feed for the comments on every article - and that feed gets spidered like mad, for articles that are many years old.

I'm open to the idea of collaboration if there are users who wish to help - and the code will be on github in due course.


Posted by Steve on Wed 16 Jul 2014 at 10:37
Tags: none.

I resigned from the debian project a few years ago, but I'm currently going through the process to un-retire.

Fun times.

(I have more free time now that I'm happily married and my wife works as a Doctor in A&E - having a few late-night shifts in local hospitals.)


Posted by Steve on Fri 27 Jun 2014 at 16:44
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So I accidentally released a service which will give you resilient, low-latency, DNS-hosting (which uses Amazons route53 on the backend).

If you'd like to use Git to store your DNS-data, and add/update DNS-entries via a simple "git push" then you should check it out:


Posted by Steve on Tue 3 Jun 2014 at 12:46
Tags: none.

If you're looking for a system administrator, who is very very familiar with Debian GNU/Linux, please do consider getting in touch.

I'm an ex-member of the Debian project, and was a member of the Debian Security Team, which involved handling security updates for the distribution. (This came about as a result of my interest in auditing software, a process which lead to the discovery, and fixing, of numerous flaws in popular open-source applications and servers.)

I'm based in Edinburgh, but I have had many years working remotely, and would be happy to repeat that.

As you can see from my prior submissions I'm very familiar with system administration, including (but not limited to):

  • MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, & etc.
    • Including clustered, sharded, and high-availability (except for SQLite of course!)
  • Apache, Nginx, lightted, & etc.
    • Including optimization, tuning, and writing custom modules.
    • Load-balanced access via Varnish, Pound, nginx, HAProxy, & etc.
  • SMTP, DNS, IMAP, LDAP, & etc.
    • I've developed custom, scalable, mail-servers with high-availability, and documented the process.
    • I've married OpenVPN to LDAP, and used DNS for as the basis for clustered data-storage, and key-value stores.
  • Virtualization
    • Using Xen (I wrote the original version of Xen-tool), KVM, and VMWare
  • Networking..
    • Firewalls, VLANS, segmentation, routing, bridging, & etc.
  • Revision control: Git, Mercurial, etc.
  • Perl, Ruby, C & C++.
  • Shell scripting.
  • Automation via CFEngine, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt.
  • Monitoring.
  • Backups, restoration, and testing.
  • Using clusters for high availability and redundancy.
  • Securing deployments, and auditing code for security holes.
  • My github profile shows active projects in C, C++, Perl, node.js, and Ruby, and is neatly condensed here.
  • Although I wouldn't describe myself as a coder per se I've written APIs that handle half a million hits a day, non-stop, and put together monitoring software that scales horizontally to provide round the clock coverage of thousands of hosts and service pairs.
  • ...


Posted by Steve on Thu 15 May 2014 at 13:31
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In the past I've written and posted articles upon this site about my own software.

Over time I've become a little less keen on doing so, on the basis that people might think it is too Steve-centric. That said I'd always created this site to document things of interest to myself, and the fact that others enjoy them is a good bonus.

In summary I wrote a mail client, it is console-based like mutt, but it has a real scripting language you can use to do fun things (Lua).

You can find details here, should you have any interest:

Relatedly I've been pondering a "Hire Steve" banner on the top of the site. I've resisted the temptation for the moment, but give it a couple more weeks of unemployment and I may well change my mind..


Posted by Steve on Wed 19 Feb 2014 at 09:41
Tags: none.

I've just about completed a new toy project:

This is basically a markdown-using pastebin site.

You can paste in your random markdown text, and once you've done so you receive a link you can share with your boss, your friends, or whoever.

The source code is available on Github, and there is a (trusted) docker image too, which makes installation trivial.

Feedback welcome, either here, via mail, or via the github tracker.

I'm pretty pleased with the project, and it is already proving useful.


Posted by Steve on Fri 31 Jan 2014 at 19:46

Contributions and feedback welcome, on my new site:

Much like this one in nature, but much more succinct and focussed.


Posted by Steve on Sun 19 Jan 2014 at 11:52
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On Monday (tomorrow) I'll be starting a new job, once again working from home - something I was keen to avoid.

Still it won't be so bad, the only potential concern is that I'll be starting on my home desktop, and at some point during the day I'm expecting a delivery of a new Macbook which I need to switch over to using.

I've never used a Mac, not since system 7, so that'll be "fun".


Posted by Steve on Tue 12 Nov 2013 at 15:47
Tags: none.

Due to a calamity I had to revert the database behind this site a couple of days. Comments and blogs will be lost for this period.

Not pleased about this at all, but I guess it's a first for the site.

In happier news today I shot pictures of some lovely owls.

That was a pleasant diversion from taking pictures of pubs - which is my new project.