Lojic Technologies

Archive for August 2007

www.lojic.com facelift

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I created Lojic Technologies in 1998. Over the years I have occasionally worked full time at the company while consulting, and at other times I just kept it active to be available in the future. Since I’ve never needed to market myself, I simply threw a web site together as a placeholder.

Now that I’ve been full time with Lojic Technologies since October ’06 working on several web applications, I’m getting to the point of needing a better web presence, so last Saturday, with some help from my right brained wife, I gave the old site a face lift. It’s still small, and simple, but I think it looks a bit better now.

Besides the cosmetic changes, I also moved from a static site to Ruby on Rails and switched to XHTML 1.0 Strict.

Old Version

New Version www.lojic.com

I’ve also added a link in the sidebar now that the site isn’t an embarrassment. I’m quite pleased with how easy it was to get a Rails app running on Bluehost. I already host this wordpress blog there, so I thought it might be difficult adding a Rails app into the mix without clobbering each other, but it was quite simple (after spending hours researching it 🙂 )

The site is almost entirely static except for the contact form. I finally arrived at a nice way to host a (mostly) static site with Rails, but I’ll have to blog about that in a later entry.

Written by Brian Adkins

August 6, 2007 at 8:27 pm

Posted in business, communication, web design

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Peter Seibel’s “Practical Common Lisp” Google Talk

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Here’s Peter Seibel’s “Practical Common Lisp” talk at Google (about an hour):

Google Video Link

Written by Brian Adkins

August 4, 2007 at 1:15 am

Posted in books, people, programming, video

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Surf Securely Using SSH

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This is so easy, you’re gonna love it! Thanks Tyler Pedersen.

Motivation

I’ve been using my laptop more frequently at wifi hotspots. Many web sites I visit encrypt traffic with SSL for authentication, but after that they send traffic in the clear which means the cookies that are used for authentication purposes are sent in the clear, so anyone with a sniffer within range of my laptop could easily intercept the traffic, steal my cookies and impersonate me on the web site. Not good! So, I went looking for a simple solution, and found a great article about using ssh for this purpose. Ya gotta love open source software 🙂

Prerequisites

I’ll assume the following:

  1. You’ve used ssh before
  2. You have access to a remote host running sshd

How To

Issue the following command on your local computer:

ssh -Nf username@hostname.com -D 1080

replace username@hostname.com with the appropriate information. Look at the man page for ssh, or read the article linked above for an explanation of the options.

The next step is to configure Firefox to use the SOCKS proxy you setup with the above command. I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.6 on Ubuntu 7.04 Linux.

Edit | Preferences | Advanced | Settings

Pulls up the following dialog:

socks.png

Notice how I’ve switched from “Direct connection to the Internet” to “Manual proxy configuration”. I’ve also set the SOCKS Host to be ‘localhost’ and the port to be ‘1080’.

I can now surf and have encrypted traffic between my local computer and the remote host I ssh’d to. The traffic between my remote host and the destination web site will be unencrypted, but hopefully that traffic is harder to sniff without being detected.

At this point, I tested it out and everything worked fine. I then killed my local ssh process and Firefox complained about the connection being reset, so I knew it was in fact sending data over the ssh tunnel.

The final step is optional, but if you want to avoid having the bad guys detect your DNS requests (or possibly redirect them – d’oh!), you can configure Firefox to route DNS requests through the proxy.

  1. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar.
  2. Look for network.proxy.socks_remote_dns and set the value to true

Is that easy or what? Thanks again Tyler.

Written by Brian Adkins

August 2, 2007 at 12:28 am

Posted in internet

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Ruby Hoedown 2007

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I just signed up for the Ruby Hoedown conference. It’s being held here in Raleigh at Red Hat headquarters on August 10 & 11, and the cost is only $100. Speakers include Bruce Tate, Marcel Molina Jr., Ken Auer, Ezra Zygmuntowicz (cool name 🙂 ), Andrea O. K. Wright, Jay Phillips & Jared Richardson.

I also signed up for the charity workshop on testing techniques put on by Marcel Molina, Jr., Bruce Tate, and Chad Fowler – the donation proceeds for that workshop go to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC. It will probably be a smaller group with more interaction.

Should be an interesting and fun time – gain some knowledge, make some contacts. Let me know if you’re also planning on attending.

Some links:

Written by Brian Adkins

August 1, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Posted in communication

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