Alex Collins – Blog

Things I'm learning; lessons or otherwise…

Automatically lock your Linux machine via bluetooth

by atc on April 2, 2013, 7 comments

I had a requirement to lock my laptop at work automatically without having to touch it. The way devised by a friend was to enable the screensaver and its locking mechanism every time my phone’s bluetooth was out of range i.e. could not be seen via hcitool scan. It works *really well*! Now my laptop […]

Server Backup with Spider Oak

by atc on August 12, 2012, one comment

I’m a SpiderOak fan. It’s secure, easy and well documented. Some really good traits. Their support is fantastic too. After using it on my Laptop, I thought I’d start using it for my Debian server’s backup. It makes sense to use something that bundles encryption and zero-knowledge to satisfy offsite backup. The same client you […]

Convert LaTeX to any output format easily

by atc on December 4, 2011, no comments

I use LaTeX to take notes, record TODO lists, the shopping and everything in between. Oftentimes, I’ll need to copy my notes to somewhere: a wiki, this blog, or to put in an email. It’s at this point I need to quickly convert to my target format. So, to satisfy the above, I wrote a […]

IPTables Firewall for your Server

by atc on November 12, 2011, 3 comments

Don’t write your own. Why? ’cause you’ll mess it up and end up in a false sense of security. Some Norwegian dude called Vegar told me of the Debian package arno-iptables-firewall. It’s an iptables-based firewall that can be administered in your favourite text editor or more conveniently by dpkg! So, remove that crappy iptables script […]

Linux + svn + ssh+ Samba/NTFS: Operation Not Permitted!

by atc on October 15, 2011, no comments

My fancy-dancy and super-awesome SheevaPlug has certainly settled in at home. It exposes my media from my NAS so I can access it anywhere; runs transmission-daemon headless for all the ISO downloading of open source software I do; runs subversion/svn for my source code versioning needs; cleans the cat when it runs in with…OK, no. […]