Author: JC

MikroTik Script: Router Rebooted Script

MikroTik Script: Router Rebooted Script

This is a useful little RouterOS script that will email you a nice report when your router reboots. The emailed report contains recent critical log events that may point you to the cause for the reboot. ie “router was rebooted without proper shutdown” or “out of memory condition was detected”.

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Amazon Prime Day 2018 Giveaways

Amazon Prime Day 2018 Giveaways

To promote Prime Day this year, Amazon is running giveaways worth well over $40,000 USD. The giveaways include electronics, laptops, tablets, jewelry, designer handbags, furniture, and various other high-end goods. There are 5 Big Screen TV giveaways including a Samsung 82″, TCL 75″, LG 75″, Samsung 75″, and a Polaroid 75″. Most of these giveaways run past Amazon Prime day so visit each link to enter all of the giveaways.

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How to convert 48V PoE to 24V PoE

How to convert 48V PoE to 24V PoE

48V PoE (Power over Ethernet) is also know as 802.3af and 802.3at (PoE+) is the most common voltage. Some devices from manufacturers like Ubiquiti require 24V PoE.  In this article I will highlight some of the inexpensive devices that you can use to convert 48V PoE to 24V PoE as well as

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ffmpeg: AMD & NVIDIA hardware video encoding (h264, h265)

ffmpeg: AMD & NVIDIA hardware video encoding (h264, h265)

I recently needed to export some video from an Enterprise Video Surveillance system. The system will only export mjpeg avi videos, which are huge files. I ended up using ffmpeg to encode these videos into h.264 mp4 files. I performed the video encoding on a machine with an AMD GPU. This article documents some of the ffmpeg command line switches require to perform hardware video encoding on both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs.

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MikroTik Tutorial: Firewall ruleset for IPsec whitelisting

MikroTik Tutorial: Firewall ruleset for IPsec whitelisting

This article will show you how to setup a firewall whitelist for IPsec peer associations on a MikorTik router. The firewall ruleset will make use of address-lists to allow UDP 500 traffic only from trusted networks.

The address list for trusted networks will be called ipsec-trusted-nets and all other hosts that attempt IPsec traffic will be added to the list ipsec-uninvited.

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Custom Device Labels in “The Dude” nms

Custom Device Labels in “The Dude” nms

The Dude is a powerful network monitoring server from MikroTik. The majority of people I see only use it to monitor their MikroTik routers and wireless devices. In this article I will introduce you to a variety of ways I use The Dude to query SNMP values from many different types of devices.

Out of the box, The Dude will sometimes (if SNMP credentials are correct) display CPU load, memory and disk usage for monitored devices. This data is presented in the device’s label. The following screenshot illustrates how to edit the label.

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MikroTik Script: Authentication Logging w/ Email Reports

MikroTik Script: Authentication Logging w/ Email Reports

In this article I will show you how to configure a separate log file on a MikroTik router that will only contain authentication log entries.  The log file will contain log entries for winbox, webfig, ssh, telnet, ftp as well as VPN user authentications.  Additionally,  we will configure a scheduled script to email this log file to ourselves daily.

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MikroTik Router as a SCADA Serial Server

MikroTik Router as a SCADA Serial Server

A large number of MikroTik Router models have a serial port that can be used to configure the device. The serial port can also be configured as an IP-based serial server. This is article I will show you how to configure a MikroTik Router to all TCP connects that get mapped to a serial connected SCADA device.

Historically, a dedicated hardware serial server such as the Lantronix EDS2100 would be deployed to connect a SCADA control to the network. At most of these sites, we already have a MikroTik router in the enclosure that provides backhaul IP networking and traffic encryption. By utilizing the existing MikroTik Router as a serial server we can eliminate the dedicated serial server. One caveat to the approach is that the Router only has one serial port so if the SCADA control device requires multiple serial ports we still install a dedicated serial server.

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Behind-the-scenes of a WordPress Blog (Part 3)

Behind-the-scenes of a WordPress Blog (Part 3)

This is part 3 of a series “Behind-the-scenes of a WordPress Blog

In the last post I talked about WordPress Updates, next we will discuss choosing a WordPress Theme. My requirements for a theme may not be the same as yours but here they are.

WordPress Theme Must Haves

  • Clean Layout, Pleasing to the eye
  • Distinctive separation of header, page content, and sidebars
  • Responsive / Mobile Friendly Layout
  • <canonical> tag support
  • Schema.org Meta Tags
  • Open Graph Meta Tags
  • Twitter Cards Support
  • Post Thumbnails / Header Image Support
  • Flexible Theme Widget Slots
  • Plays nice with Sitemap, SEO, Caching Plugins
  • Must be based on Bootstrap, UIKit, or some other full featured CSS Framework

This is an example of Mobile Friendly, Responsive Layout

Over the years I relied on the WordPress delivered themes, Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, etc. Each one was a little different, generally followed web standards and loaded fast. My problem with these WordPress themes was that they sometimes had over exaggerated styling such as the huge header images of Twenty Seventeen which placed every page’s content below the page fold.

My search for a great WordPress Theme lead me to the LightHouse theme. Lighthouse ticked all of the boxes and after using it for a while I decided to support the theme’s creator by switching to the paid version. It’s available at a reasonable price of $32 USD. Lighthouse is a Bootstrap based, mobile responsive theme. It features a good number of Widget slots which gracefully disappear in the layout when not populated.

So I use Lighthouse, it’s not the ultimate WordPress theme but it serves me well. I wish you Happy searching for a WordPress Theme that fits your style!

Behind-the-scenes of a WordPress Blog (Part 2)

Behind-the-scenes of a WordPress Blog (Part 2)

This is part 2 of a series “Behind-the-scenes of a WordPress Blog

In the last post I talked about DigitalOcean hosting and CloudFlare CDN.   In this post we will move into the WordPress realm.

WordPress is great!  I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone or for every site but it sure does have a lot to offer.  If you are trying to decide if WordPress would be a good fit for your website you might want to keep reading.

The best feature of WordPress is in-place upgrades to newer versions, as well as delivery of  Theme and Plugin updates.  Web-based application are hard to upgrade but WordPress has struck a good balance with it’s approach.  Once  configured correctly, your WordPress blog and installed plugins can be updated with only a few clicks.  It’s very important in today’s landscape to keep software up-to-date.

Before you launch your website and begin blogging you want to make sure you have WordPress updates configured properly.  There are  several updates methods including Auto Updates, I personally use the FTP update method.  I simply configure VSFTP to only bind to localhost (127.0.0.1), give WordPress the correctly credentials and everything upgrades smoothly.

Here is where you want to start if you are configuring WordPress Updates