A letter to my MP

Dear Andrew Gwynne,

I’m writing to you, as my MP, to ask for your support, to try to discourage the implementation of the Digital Economy Bill that was introduced recently.

This proposal is very worrying to me, as a Free Culture (Open Source Software and Creative Commons) Contributor and activist. A large part of the distribution of this Free Culture Content is performed over peer to peer networks, such as BitTorrent, and it appears that this law is trying (in part) to discourage the use of peer to peer networks, on the grounds that they may be used to unlawfully transfer files.

I also worry that during discussions of this law between Stephen Timms (Treasury Secretary) and The Guardian newspaper, he suggested that a temporary account suspension from one’s ISP would be an acceptable movement without any judicial overview. Given that Finland has recently recognised Internet Access is now such a fundamental part of our day-to-day lives that they are classing it as a Human Right, I worry that this movement could effectively prevent many of your constituents from being active in society.

I’ve also noticed that many ISPs and most of the policing and intelligence services have stated they disagree with the recommendations of this bill (for a variety of different reasons), I would be grateful if you could support their position and reject this bill in it’s current state, if you are able, when it is presented.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Spriggs

A letter to my MP #threestrikes

Dear Andrew Gwynne,

I’m writing to you, as my MP, to ask for your support, to try to
discourage the implementation of the Digital Economy Bill that was
introduced recently.

This proposal is very worrying to me, as a Free Culture (Open Source
Software and Creative Commons) Contributor and activist. A large part
of the distribution of this Free Culture Content is performed over
peer to peer networks, such as BitTorrent, and it appears that this
law is trying (in part) to discourage the use of peer to peer
networks, on the grounds that they may be used to unlawfully transfer
files.

I also worry that during discussions of this law between Stephen Timms
(Treasury Secretary) and The Guardian newspaper, he suggested that a
temporary account suspension from one’s ISP would be an acceptable
movement without any judicial overview. Given that Finland has
recently recognised Internet Access is now such a fundamental part of
our day-to-day lives that they are classing it as a Human Right, I
worry that this movement could effectively prevent many of your
constituents from being active in society.

I’ve also noticed that many ISPs and most of the policing and
intelligence services have stated they disagree with the
recommendations of this bill (for a variety of different reasons), I
would be grateful if you could support their position and reject this
bill in it’s current state, if you are able, when it is presented.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Spriggs

Posted via email from Jon’s posterous

Locally Monitoring Interfaces on Nokia Firewalls (and – by a link – McAfee Sidewinders) for Failover

I recently wrote a document on http://jon.spriggs.org.uk/blog explaining how to monitor the interface of a McAfee sidewinder to see when it failed over. I don’t know why I didn’t write it on Posterous, but if you’re following me on Posterous, and you think that you might want to know how to use Perl to repeatedly loop over the same command, and show the results with a date stamp underneath it (a bit like the watch command) then you’ll find this page really useful. In the mean time, I’ve also written the same script for the CSH shell, which is used, amongst other places, on Nokia Firewalls.

Introduction

One of our requirements with one of our customers is to perform regular and routine failover tests. As the interface is not responsive to providing information about when service has failed from Primary to Secondary and back again, I re-wrote the script I adjusted for McAfee Sidewinders to run on the SECONDARY NODE to show the interface address of one NIC every 5 seconds. I’ll also show how to slightly modify the script with different time delays and interface names. Please note, there may be much better ways of doing this. I needed something in a hurry, and this gave me what I needed. If you’ve got any better ideas, please drop me a note at jon@spriggs.org.uk or note below how to do it :)

Steps to perform

  1. SSH to the Secondary node.
  2. Check you’re not already primary with the command ifconfig eth-s1p1c0 | grep inet this should return one line showing something like inet mtu 1500 1.2.3.4/24 broadcast 1.2.3.255
  3. Type this
    while (-e /bin/csh)
    ifconfig eth-s1p1c0 | grep inet
    date
    sleep 5
    end
  4. Perform your action to provoke fail-over, which may be to unplug an interface attached to the primary firewall, reboot the firewall or unplug a switch directly attached to the firewall. In response (and after approx 1 minute, based on your HA configuration) you should now see in the script’s output, it now shows two lines (or maybe three) – as follows:

    inet mtu 1500
    inet 1.2.3.4/24 broadcast 1.2.3.255
    inet 1.2.3.5/24 broadcast 1.2.3.255
    vrrpmac 0:0:aa:bb:cc:dd
  5. Perform your failback and after 1 minute or so, it should revert to just the single line – 1.2.3.4 or equivelent for your network.
Tweaks

In the bold section above, replace the interface name identified (here it’s eth-s1p1c0) with an interface you know will fail over, you can also make bigger or smaller the sleep command – here it’s 5 seconds, but there’s probably no reason why it couldn’t be 1 or 10.

Locally Monitoring Interfaces on Nokia Firewalls (and – by a link – McAfee Sidewinders) for Failover

I recently wrote a document on http://jon.spriggs.org.uk/blog explaining how to monitor the interface of a McAfee sidewinder to see when it failed over. I don’t know why I didn’t write it on Posterous, but if you’re following me on Posterous, and you think that you might want to know how to use Perl to repeatedly loop over the same command, and show the results with a date stamp underneath it (a bit like the watch command) then you’ll find this page really useful. In the mean time, I’ve also written the same script for the CSH shell, which is used, amongst other places, on Nokia Firewalls.

Introduction

One of our requirements with one of our customers is to perform regular and routine failover tests. As the interface is not responsive to providing information about when service has failed from Primary to Secondary and back again, I re-wrote the script I adjusted for McAfee Sidewinders to run on the SECONDARY NODE to show the interface address of one NIC every 5 seconds. I’ll also show how to slightly modify the script with different time delays and interface names. Please note, there may be much better ways of doing this. I needed something in a hurry, and this gave me what I needed. If you’ve got any better ideas, please drop me a note at jon@spriggs.org.uk or note below how to do it :)

Steps to perform

  1. SSH to the Secondary node.
  2. Check you’re not already primary with the command ifconfig eth-s1p1c0 | grep inet this should return one line showing something like inet mtu 1500 1.2.3.4/24 broadcast 1.2.3.255
  3. Type this
    while (-e /bin/csh)
    ifconfig eth-s1p1c0 | grep inet
    date
    sleep 5
    end
  4. Perform your action to provoke fail-over, which may be to unplug an interface attached to the primary firewall, reboot the firewall or unplug a switch directly attached to the firewall. In response (and after approx 1 minute, based on your HA configuration) you should now see in the script’s output, it now shows two lines (or maybe three) – as follows:

    inet mtu 1500
    inet 1.2.3.4/24 broadcast 1.2.3.255
    inet 1.2.3.5/24 broadcast 1.2.3.255
    vrrpmac 0:0:aa:bb:cc:dd
  5. Perform your failback and after 1 minute or so, it should revert to just the single line – 1.2.3.4 or equivelent for your network.
Tweaks

In the bold section above, replace the interface name identified (here it’s eth-s1p1c0) with an interface you know will fail over, you can also make bigger or smaller the sleep command – here it’s 5 seconds, but there’s probably no reason why it couldn’t be 1 or 10.

Posted via web from Jon’s posterous

Supporting multiple machines in GNOME using VNC

I was recently asked how to configure VNC for user support across a series of machines running GNOME. I’m in the process of trying out a few different platforms at the moment, and didn’t have my GNOME machine to hand and working right, so I decided to work it out from what I’ve done in the past. Here’s the bulk of the e-mail I sent him to try and help him out. Maybe this will help you at some point.

If you find any errors (especially around the option names in the actual dialogue boxes) please post a note so I can correct this!

Thanks!

On most GNOME based systems (which includes Fedora), you can active “Remote Desktop Sharing” for users.

Go to System -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop Sharing (or something similar). I’m afraid I’ve just recently moved my systems to KDE, so I don’t know the exact options, but I believe it’ll say something like “Enable remote connections” (tick that), and “User is prompted to permit connection” (this will be down to policy) and “Remote user needs to enter a password” (this will need some text to be entered).

Once you have these for one system, you can automatically set this for all the other computers.

From the command line, type
  gconftool-2 -R /desktop/gnome/remote_access

This will return all the settings you have made. Here’s mine:

 view_only = false                                         
 alternative_port = 5900                                   
 prompt_enabled = false                                    
 icon_visibility = client                                  
 lock_screen_on_disconnect = false                         
 disable_xdamage = false                                   
 mailto =                                                  
 use_alternative_port = false                              
 enabled = true                                            
 disable_background = false                                
 network_interface =                                       
 require_encryption = false                                
 authentication_methods = [vnc]                            
 vnc_password = &&&&&&&&&&&&                               
 use_upnp = false

(I’ve removed the password for my box)

You can use this gconftool to set the same variables on your computers you’ve already deployed, either per-user, as a default policy for each machine, or as a mandatory policy for each machine.

This article from Sun’s GNOME configuration guide explains how to set variables: http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/806-6878/6jfpqt2t5?a=view while this is an overview of all of the GNOME configuration tool (including that article): http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/806-6878/6jfpqt2sv?a=view and lastly, this is how “Vino” the VNC client for GNOME works: http://www.gnome.org/~markmc/remote-desktop.html

I hope this helps you!

Supporting multiple machines in GNOME using VNC

I was recently asked how to configure VNC for user support across a series of machines running GNOME. I’m in the process of trying out a few different platforms at the moment, and didn’t have my GNOME machine to hand and working right, so I decided to work it out from what I’ve done in the past. Here’s the bulk of the e-mail I sent him to try and help him out. Maybe this will help you at some point.

If you find any errors (especially around the option names in the actual dialogue boxes) please post a note so I can correct this!

Thanks!

On most GNOME based systems (which includes Fedora), you can active “Remote Desktop Sharing” for users.

Go to System -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop Sharing (or something similar). I’m afraid I’ve just recently moved my systems to KDE, so I don’t know the exact options, but I believe it’ll say something like “Enable remote connections” (tick that), and “User is prompted to permit connection” (this will be down to policy) and “Remote user needs to enter a password” (this will need some text to be entered).

Once you have these for one system, you can automatically set this for all the other computers.

From the command line, type
  gconftool-2 -R /desktop/gnome/remote_access

This will return all the settings you have made. Here’s mine:

 view_only = false                                         
 alternative_port = 5900                                   
 prompt_enabled = false                                    
 icon_visibility = client                                  
 lock_screen_on_disconnect = false                         
 disable_xdamage = false                                   
 mailto =                                                  
 use_alternative_port = false                              
 enabled = true                                            
 disable_background = false                                
 network_interface =                                       
 require_encryption = false                                
 authentication_methods = [vnc]                            
 vnc_password = &&&&&&&&&&&&                               
 use_upnp = false

(I’ve removed the password for my box)

You can use this gconftool to set the same variables on your computers you’ve already deployed, either per-user, as a default policy for each machine, or as a mandatory policy for each machine.

This article from Sun’s GNOME configuration guide explains how to set variables: http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/806-6878/6jfpqt2t5?a=view while this is an overview of all of the GNOME configuration tool (including that article): http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/806-6878/6jfpqt2sv?a=view and lastly, this is how “Vino” the VNC client for GNOME works: http://www.gnome.org/~markmc/remote-desktop.html

I hope this helps you!

Posted via web from Jon’s posterous