Nov 22 2015

Like always :)

Category: Family,Personal,SiteRobert McGovern @ 1:00 am

As ever I have great intentions of posting things, things I like, thoughts of stuff I’ve watched or played or seen; but I never actually get around to doing it. An additional task on a long list of things I feel I should be doing but never actually do.

Anyway, live is pootling along as ever. The kids are growing up quickly and once again I’m mulling over some bits I’d like to build for Apple’s iOS. I keep starting both, redoing (and basically repeating) the design, beginning the coding before abandoning it because … well … life. Maybe one day I will finish them; maybe one dig pigs will fly.

Oct 13 2014

Moving Home …

Category: Personal,Site,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 12:31 pm

Not physically of course, but the server that hosts the blog & my email is moving away from Linode and on to a dedicated server in France.

This isn’t happening because of any problems with Linode. Indeed their service has been excellent both in terms of support and getting upgrades over the years despite still paying $20 a month like I was in 2010 when I started using them. (Before that I used Slicehost, still paying roughly $20 a month for slightly fewer resources)

The reason I’m moving is that for the same amount of money a month I can have a dedicated box that is mine and mine alone. “Old” is the specs from Linode and “New” is the specs on the dedicated box from

Old: 2GB Ram, 2 virtual CPU’s which I can use a bit, 48GB storage on SSD and 3TB of bandwidth

New: 8GB Ram, 1 CPU with 8 Cores, 1TB storage on HD (not RAID’d) and unlimited Bandwidth.

Quite the leap in terms of Hardware features. That said I lose in terms of software a little, Linode’s web interface is very slick compared to Support is also a little tricky as English is not the primary language of the staff; which is fair enough given they are in France. The other loss is in terms of bandwidth, or rather access to bandwidth. On Linode with the 2GB plan, you get 40Gbit download speed and 250Mbit up whereas with its 1Gbit in and 150Mbit out. For me it isn’t an issue, but it might be for others.

Last but not least moving away from Linode I lose out on having easy backups. For $5 a month you basically had 4 snapshots of all of your data (3 automatically, 1 manual). With the dedicated server I get 100GB FTP space, just a 10th of the HD storage, and I have to set up backing up manually. I always paid for the backup on Linode for peace of mind, though I never had a hardware issue that force me to use a copy of the backs. Thinking about it I only ever used a backup once after I messed up upgrading something in Ubuntu.

Having 1TB of storage is very useful, it means that I can have online backups of various bits of data from my home computer (like photos, my music) so that if there ever where a disaster that wiped out my comps and my external HD backups, then I would still have one online backup. It also means that I can run OwnCloud to have access to bits where ever I am in the world rather than relying on Dropbox / whoever.

In terms of access being in France makes little difference to me from a Latency point of view and shouldn’t make too much difference to any one visiting the site / sending me email. It’s not like I have many visitors or a thriving website or anything 🙂

I should add that it may not be the last move in the coming future. I have since discovered the world of Low End Boxes, where you can pay next to nothing yearly for a box that would cover me email/website needs. Seriously, for instance with DireVPS £12 a year will get you a OpenVZ SSD VPS with 256MB RAM, 3.25GB SSD Storage, 1.6180339887TB monthly data transfer @ £12.00 GBP per 12 month(s) or $26.75 a year with XVMLabs for 1GB RAM, 100 GB SSD, 300 GB monthly data transfer.

With some of the deals out there it is really hard to justify spending $20 a month, trust me I spent a week agonising over the choice.

— Edit

Just a quick note I will post some details later about the setup as I ran into a couple of things setting up DKIM/DMARC/ADSP where I was unclear where exactly they go in the DNS Records, particularly using DynDNS’s interface.

As of now every email leaving my system is digitally signed using DKIM. Which any email server can check, and discard any messages that claim to come from that don’t have a valid signature.

Sep 05 2014

I am not dead

Category: Personal,SiteRobert McGovern @ 1:12 am

I continually think about blogging, but never actually get around to it. Too many other things I want to do when I have spare time (play a computer game, read a book, listen to music, watch something, play a board game and so on) that this never happens. I have a few things I do want to post so hopefully soon I’ll have something new here 🙂

Miracles can happen!

Sep 19 2010

Dspam debuging Voodoo required

Category: Site,TechnologyRobert McGovern @ 11:56 am

I have setup, I think, using a group in dspam.

I have a file in /opt/var/dspam called group with the following content

group1:inoculation:user1,user2,user3 (where user1-3 are real email addresses)

I wanted to confirm that the group was actually working so I figured no problems I’d turn on debug but that doesn’t seem to work.

So far I have OPTS “–debug” uncommented in /etc/default/dspam

I have added the following to /opt/etc/dspam.conf

Debug *
DebugOpt process spam fp inoculation

I tried restarting dspam, and postifx for good measure) but that had no effect. There is no dspam.debug in /tmp or in /var/log or in /var/log/dspam/

I then added –debug to the calls in Postfix’s

dspam unix - n n - 10 pipe
flags=Ru user=dspam argv=/opt/bin/dspam
--user ${recipient}


# honeypot
hspam unix - n n - 10 pipe
flags=Ru user=dspam argv=/opt/bin/dspam --debug --class=spam --source=inoculation --user honeypot --deliver=innocent

Again restarting dspam & postfix had no effect.

My dspam binary is compiled with debug support enabled. Right now I’m at a bit of a loss.

root@daffy:/etc/default# dspam --version

DSPAM Anti-Spam Suite 3.9.0 (agent/library)

Copyright (c) 2002-2009 DSPAM Project

DSPAM may be copied only under the terms of the GNU General Public License,
a copy of which can be found with the DSPAM distribution kit.

Configuration parameters: '--enable-domain-scale' '--with-storage-driver=mysql_drv,hash_drv' '--prefix=/opt' '--enable-daemon' '--enable-virtual-users' '--enable-preferences-extension' '--enable-clamav' '--with-mysql-libraries=/usr/lib/mysql/' '--with-mysql-includes=/usr/include/mysql/' '--with-dspam_owner=dspam' '--with-dspam_group=dspam' '--enable-debug'

Feb 18 2009

[NSConference conferenceFor:@”Mac Developers”];

Category: Development,Personal,SiteRobert McGovern @ 9:43 pm

For once, thanks to the hard work of Steve “Scotty” Scott & Tim Isted, there is going to be a Mac developers conference in the UK.

Its open to anyone but aimed for UK & European developers that can’t really make the yearly (and rather expensive) WWDC trip. It’s a 2 day conference (3 if you want to attend a workshop) aimed at intermediate to advanced developers, with a number of “names” in the Mac development world doing presentations. For instance:

Bill Dudney (author of Core Animation and co-author of the upcoming iPhone SDK Development book) is do a workshop on “iPhone Development” and a talk on “Building Applications with Core Animation”

Marcus Zarra (author of the coming Core Data book from Pragmatic Programmers & also co-author of a coming Core Animation book), is doing a workshop on “Core Data” and a talked on “Spotlight and QuickLook vs. Core Data”

Mike Lee (founder of United Lemur, co-founder Tapulous, former intern of Wil Shipley at Delicious Monster) is doing a workshop on “User Interfaces” and a talk called “Pimp My App”.

Other speakers are Matt Gemmell, Graham Lee, Drew McCormack, Philippe Mougin, Andre Pang, Fraser Speirs and ???? (1 talk has yet to be announced).

To learn more about the conference, click on the banner below. If your into Mac development and in Europe / UK then come along and I hope to see you there.

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