How to get your Archlinux back on Digital Ocean

By , January 27, 2015 11:12 am


I love love love DigitalOcean! Spinning up and down boxes to play is fun and the price is awesome! I am even working on moving this site (and all the other sites I host) over to a DigitalOcean box managed by

DigitalOcean (DO) allows you to choose from a list of Linux distributions when spinning up a new machine and one of the things that originally attracted me to DO was the ability to choose Archlinux. Sadly shortly after signing up DO dropped support for Archlinux, for very legit reasons. I have held onto the existing Archlinux machine I created for dear life...

Today Jordan Beaver posted on his website that it is not only possible to use Archlinux on DO again but he also provided a walk through guide on how to do it. It involves spinning up a FreeBSD box and replacing its internals.

For anyone else looking to run Archlinux on DigitalOcean go check out Jordan's article titled Install Archlinux with full control on DigitalOcean VPS

Reviving a 43 year old Eberspächer gas heater for my VW Bus

By , January 22, 2015 11:31 am


Old VW Busses are notorious for their heaters not cutting it. I own a 1965 VW Bus and can sympathize as my own heater is useless. The typical solution is to add an aftermarket heater such as the gas heaters commonly found in the campers. These heaters are sweet! They can tap into the existing fuel tank and run off 0.5 pints of gasoline per hour. They push out a large amount of heat very efficiently.

A couple years ago I picked up a mostly complete gas heater and stuck it on the projects shelf. Well now it is winter again and my usual candle between the legs and a furry parka method for providing personal warmth is getting a bit dated. The heater needed a fuel pump and the pumps run around $240, ouch! I took a look at Craigslist and someone had posted an hour before a complete and almost working heater of the same model for $70! It had a fuel pump and I figured if nothing else I could use parts off both heaters to make one work.

After staring at a wiring diagram with my buddy Josh (pictured) for a couple hours we managed to get my heater running with the help of the fuel pump. The relay was the only part not working but we managed to bypass it. The new heater had a nearly identical issue with the relay being bad and the mechanism triggering the fuel pump needs to be cleaned out.

I now have a working heater for my 1965 VW Bus and will soon have a backup as well!

Time for some winter cruising!

2014 Year in Review

By , January 4, 2015 11:09 pm

Wow! What an amazing year 2014 was! Never in my life have some many exciting milestones and events been packed into one year. It is no wonder that my head felt like it was spinning and my body felt like it was always moving all year long.

I originally had planned to do a write up of the significant events of this year but as I made the list I came to the realization that it would take you, my dear reader, a year just to read about this year! Most of the significant moments have been captured online already too and you can read about them more in depth with the provided linkage.

The significant moments!

Soooooooo with such a crazy 2014 what am I planning for 2015? My list may not be as big but the impacts on my life will be forever felt. Here is the short of it

  • Get married!!! Check out and subscribe to keep up to date with wedding announcements.
  • Start said non-profit
  • Pay off the remainder of my student loans!
  • Purchase some real estate
  • Get my 1965 VW Bus moved up to Seattle
  • Repaint and re-rig Zippey
  • Move from an intermediate to advance pianist
  • Learn sea shanties on a Ukulele

My 2014 Brute force attempt details and a WordPress plugin to block attempted passwords

By , January 1, 2015 7:23 pm

I run a WordPress Multisite with about 50 sites running on it. As a matter of curiosity I started tracking failed login attempts this year to share the details with you.

Total Logins: 78,623
Valid: 459 (does not include return visits where the login cookie was set.)
Failed attempts with a valid username: 2,648
Failed attempts with MY username: 1,206
Brute force attempts: 77,181

Average daily attempts: 215

Some quick notes about these numbers; The daily attempts are a rough average. Many of the attempts came in short bursts of several thousand at a time but I do not have the daily breakdown (I have the data but do not want to do the breakdown right now ;) ).

Moving on to the usernames and passwords...

Total unique passwords: 10,691
Passwords not tried against a valid user account: 10,581

Total unique users: 145
Invalid users: 126

Below I have provided downloads for the users and passwords. These have been sanitized wherever there is a known connection to a legitimate user account. The file downloads are provided in order for others to enhance their own security by comparing user accounts against the provided data to ensure that users do not set passwords on this list. Also a WordPress plugin you can use to block any password changes that match a password on the blacklist. You will need to manually add the table, just run the sql file, and then activate the plugin and it is done.

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75 presents for 75 years!

By , January 1, 2015 6:07 pm

Today is my grandfather's 75th birthday! My grandpa is an amazing and inspiring man who I have been greatly privileged to have in my family tree. Throughout his life my grandfather has done everything from being a pastor to owning and operating his own plumbing business. There is not a single person in this world who dislikes or could say a bad thing about my grandfather. He has always been a light to the world and father/grandfather to many.

My parents are funny people and this year they gave grandpa 75 presents! One for each year of his life. He was tickled pink opening all the presents with his beloved family.


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