Ríomhaireacht trí Ghaeilge – mar atá inniu


Dóibh siúd atá suim acu i gcé chomh fada agus atá dul chun cinn déánta ar ríomhaireacht lán-Ghaelach – idir córais oibriúcháin, feidhmchláir, agus ar uile – beidh léacht phoiblí ar siúl i mBaile Átha Cliath ar an lá deireanach de Dheireadh Fomhair, á chuir ar fáil ag Cumann na nInnealtóirí (Engineers Ireland), darbh ainm “I dTreo Logánú Ríomhaireachta Lán-Ghaeilge (Fully Localized Computing in Irish)”. Beidh an léacht saor in aisce; tuilleadh eolais ar fáil anseo.

For those interested in what progress has been made in fully Irish-language computing – operating systems, applications, etc. – there’ll be a public talk in Dublin on the last day of October, hosted by Engineers Ireland, entitled “I dTreo Logánú Ríomhaireachta Lán-Ghaeilge (Fully Localized Computing in Irish)”. The talk will be free to attend; more information is available here.

NUIG Bot Wars this Weekend


NUIG CompSoc’s annual event, BOT WARS, will be taking place this weekend. Starting at 10am in Áras na Mac Léinn and over the course of the two days there’ll be battling of killer robots, video games, Rock Band, films, a gaming night in Squareyes and a Lego NXT robot Design-Build-Code challenge suitable for both total beginners and master programmers alike!

There’ll be a Halo Tournament on the Saturday morning with a Modern Warfare 2 tournament in the afternoon. On the Saturday there’ll also be free pizza to all attendees. For the keen roboteers, we’ll be doing the Lego robot Design-Build-Code all day Saturday and you can drop in and out of the DBC to go gaming if you like – it’s up to you!

On Saturday night they’ll be heading to Squareyes for some LAN gaming and afterwards hitting the town and having a good old fashioned Galway night out.

The next morning there’ll be the warmups for the main event, BOT WARS. Alongside that, there’ll be tournaments in Xbox games made by two CompSoc members. Then there will be battling of KILLER ROBOTS!

Both days there’ll be movies for those who want to chill out.

The event is open to the public and it’s only €5 for a whole weekend pass and just €2 if you’re attending AkumaKon.

Below is a link to the schedule for the whole weekend:

http://www.aaronhastings.ie/content/botwars_2011_schedule.pdf

If you’re interested in attending, check out and RSVP to our Facebook event here:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123279811076361

LET THE BATTLES COMMENCE!

Build a(n Ubuntu) home server in one hour…


Tux!

…and secure it too.

When Aaron, Matthew and I incepted our Linux classes, we did so with a nebulous aim of offering a course of comprehensive beginner material, with our ultimate, nebulous goal being to offer “more advanced stuff”. Well, here we are. I dove into the basics of manipulating the Bash shell, simple scripting, SSH, and confidently administering a headless system as root. In the midst of my preparations for these classes, I had a theatric lightbulb-over-head moment: How hard would it be, really, to turn a desktop into a basic home server? Set aside performance and security concerns for a moment and just consider accessibility and turnaround time to live access on the Internet.

As it turns out, this takes about one hour. Maybe two if you are installing Linux from scratch. All you need to begin is a method to connect your dynamic home IP to a static domain and then a method to remotely access your home server:


apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install openssh-server openssh-client

Sign up for a free DynDNS account and domain (remember to complete checkout!).


apt-get install ddclient

Populate three lines in /etc/ddclient/ddclient.conf with:

  1. Your DynDNS user name.
  2. Your DynDNS password.
  3. Your DynDNS domain.


/etc/init.d/ddclient restart
/etc/init.d/ssh start

Now give DynDNS and ddclient about five minutes (on the safe side) to update. Congratulations, you have a live Internet server for your file-access, media streaming, jerking-around-while-at-work, and general geek needs.

Now, we have a server. Locking down its Internet connection? Mmm, ten minutes. It was actually over an hour for me because I was engrossed in crash-learning netfilter/iptables syntax from scratch.


#/bin/sh

# Clear all existing iptable rules.
iptables -F
iptables -X

# Drop all incoming, outgoing and forwarded packets.
iptables -P INPUT DROP
iptables -P OUTPUT DROP
iptables -P FORWARD DROP

# Permit loopback activity (client and server programs on this machine).
iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT

# Permit TCP connections to and from this machine on port 22 (SSH).
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -dport 22 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp -sport 22 -j ACCEPT

You’ll eventually need to open up ports for NTP, mail, DNS and others, but really: This is all there is to it. And because I am awesome, I wrote all of this up on Google Docs and made it freely available for download. Any notes suggesting alterations, additions or deletions can be made directly on the document, or by email to me directly.

Your Home Server and You

Your passwords and you


lolcat

In the midst of all the preparation for the great Hackerspace events that 091 Labs have coming up in the next week (I’ll be giving a talk on photography and constructing your own camera that you must attend), I want to write down a quick word about the security of your passwords.

Whether it is a desktop or laptop, when you use a computer at the Labs you are using a public machine. We will have old members and new members and the occasional outright stranger dropping in on the Labs to attend our workshops in the coming week. Every one of these folk has as much of an expectation to use these computers as you do. :]

I need to point out that takes a determined person under five minutes to log onto a machine, locate saved sessions and passwords, and record what they find. But thankfully I do not suggest or believe that any member of 091 Labs would act so maliciously.

Instead my biggest concern is potential embarrassment from stemming from inadvertent access to personal or otherwise sensitive information. I have logged into a given computer to find private email accounts left open, Facebook and Twitter account accessible and instant messaging clients left running. I have come home from the Labs at night to find that two people had logged into their Gmail accounts on my laptop over the course of the day.

Two good things for you to do:

  1. Do not save your passwords on an 091 Labs machine. If available, use your browser’s private browsing mode. If you can’t, remember to clear your history at the end of the session.
  2. Use your own computer. That seems to be the majority action right now.

So everyone be careful and have some fun in the coming week!