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Evil hack to make arrow and SysReq keys work with a Dell iDRAC KVM and Linux desktop

By | Technical | 4 Comments

So you’re trying to use the arrow keys in a remote server console with the iDRAC KVM. The keys not working and it’s driving you mad? Or perhaps that mission critical server is experiencing pain and you need to make use of the magic sysrq key to debug it? Unfortunately, for a long long time, this has not worked if you are using Linux on your desktop. Making it work Just follow the steps below and you should be good to go. Download idrac.tar and unpack it: wget tar xvf idrac.tar Build and install it: cd idrac make make install All done! It should take effect the next time you launch a virtual console. If you want to make use of magic SysReq, make sure that it is disabled on…

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Secure encrypted storage for your hosted server, VM, VPS, cloud server or $BUZZ_WORD

By | Technical | 2 Comments

So you’ve just provisioned your shiny new OS instance with your host of choice, loaded in your confidential data and away you go without a worry in the world right? If your data consists only of captioned photos of cute furry animals, then all is well. Perhaps however, your data is worth just a wee bit more than that (not that we don’t ♥ cute furry animals!). Depending on your host and product used, your data could be sitting on anywhere from locally attached disks, a NAS/SAN or some clustered distributed block device/filesystem with no way to easily determine who has access to it, what snapshots exist, what will happen to failed media, etc. For certain customers with certain sensitive applications, that is simply not an acceptable risk. To protect your data…

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DIY RFID security system

By | Technical | One Comment

We just moved office last week to much larger premises! Whilst our office building already has excellent security as it houses a credit union, an additional security layer for our office floor can’t hurt (this is unrelated to our servers; they are housed in the secure Global Switch data centre). Now sure, we could easily just get a commercial off the shelf alarm system and be done with it, but it can be pretty fun and interesting to get your hands dirty and do a bit of DIY hacking. Using some simple components, we can quickly and easily build a basic RFID security system. One of the advantages of doing it ourselves (besides the fun!) is that we can integrate it into our standard monitoring and internal chat systems. The…

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