Category Archives: Technical Tidbits

Trusted TLS with Postfix

If you’re seeing a lot of messages about untrusted TLS connections in your mail log when running postfix like this…

Untrusted TLS connection established to ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com[172.217.197.27]:25: TLSv1.2 with cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 (128/128 bits)

… there’s a pretty easy fix.

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Although not directly supported, it's quite possible to use the LetsEncrypt certbot client on Amazon
We bit the bullet ... we got iPhones.   Our Verizon cell phone contract has
Here's a tip for internet domain owners: Make sure the contact information for your domain
Our area has never gotten good cell phone coverage.  Doesn't really mater what carrier we

Your Email Address

We all agree that email is crucial to modern life.

But what email should you use?

Everyone gets email when they sign up for high speed internet service … the problem is that you’re tied to that internet service for that email address. If you switch service providers, you could lose the address. Even worse, if your provider goes out of business, you could loose access entirely. Sometimes the email provider charges a fee for better service and/or removing advertising.

Yes, you could use Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or AOL, but you’re still tired to the provider. Plus, you don’t often get to choose the best address (johnsmith5734563@xyz.com just isn’t that sexy).

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get an email address that belongs to you forever?

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I've noticed an interesting trend in the comment spam I've been getting (luckily few of
Well, I jumped the gun a bit and installed the iPhone 2.0 update. Overall, I'm
Well, our good friends at Yahoo are at it again. Once again they are deferring
Most ISP's and network providers have specific email addresses that you can report abuse to.

Your ISP’s DHCP does not function properly

As part of my migration to the cloud, I terminated the Comcast Business internet service and switched to Xfinity internet.

When I initially signed up for the Xfinity service, I got their cable modem / router / wifi appliance. My plan was to get my own cable modem eventually because Xfinity charges $13 / month to lease the appliance.

I was at Best Buy and saw that cable modems weren’t expensive, so I decided to purchase a mid-level model (Netgear CM600) so I could save the lease fee. The CM600 would pay for itself in about 8 months.

It took a while to get setup … and there were a few false starts, but eventually I got it working connected directly to my MacBook.

I ran into a problem when I switched the CM600 over to my ASUS RT-5300 wifi router.

I kept getting the message “Your ISP’s DHCP does not function properly” on the ASUS network map page.

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Although it took more a lot longer to actually get around to making the change
Yes, it happens occasionally. Once again it was with Comcast. Well, at least partially.  This
I've got a bit of a conundrum about utilities ... specifically, the Cable TV utility.
While doing a little searching, I found some information on email feedback loops for other

Filtering mailing lists in Gmail

With my recent migration of servers from my basement to Amazon cloud servers, I had to rework how my email filtering was setup.

One of the challenges was how to handle the numerous mailing lists I participate in. Especially since I’m the list administrator for many of them.

After a bit of research, and experimentation, I found a pretty good formula for handling the filtering.

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For anyone who runs a mailing list and has gotten pummeled recently with a rash
As part of my migration to the cloud, I terminated the Comcast Business internet service
Here's a tip for internet domain owners: Make sure the contact information for your domain
Our area has never gotten good cell phone coverage.  Doesn't really mater what carrier we

whois

Here’s a tip for internet domain owners:

Make sure the contact information for your domain has more than one email address.  And make sure at least one of those email addresses is not in the domain itself.

If your email starts malfunctioning, you want people to be able to tell you about the problem … and if the only email addresses you list are in the actual domain, they won’t be able to contact you.

For example … if the mail server for example.com is having problem … and all the domain registration in the whois database shows ‘joe@example.com’, Joe won’t be able to be notified there is a problem.

The contact information is publicly accessible via the ‘whois’ databases.

Domain registrars that offer whois privacy capabilities should let you list more than one email address when they redirect the email address that they list in the whois look-ups.

For privacy sake, I like using a PO Box for the mailing address on all my domains.

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OK, it's kind of obvious that GoDaddy is getting desperate ... after the whole SOPA

As part of my migration to the cloud, I terminated the Comcast Business internet service

With my recent migration of servers from my basement to Amazon cloud servers, I had

Our area has never gotten good cell phone coverage.  Doesn't really mater what carrier we

AT&T Microcell and Routers

Our area has never gotten good cell phone coverage.  Doesn’t really mater what carrier we used … AT&T or Verizon.

When AT&T announced that it was going to be making “MicroCells” available, I decided to get one … as it would help our cell phone coverage.

The MicroCell has been working fine for more than a year … but, all of a sudden (or so it seemed), it stopped working correctly.

I contacted AT&T and they tried a few things and asked me to try cycling power (unplugging it and plugging it back in).  Nothing worked.  I asked them to check to see if it was still under warranty … it wasn’t.

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If you're seeing a lot of messages about untrusted TLS connections in your mail log

We all agree that email is crucial to modern life. But what email should you

As part of my migration to the cloud, I terminated the Comcast Business internet service

With my recent migration of servers from my basement to Amazon cloud servers, I had

Reminder About Backup MX’s

This is just a reminder to those people who run their own mail servers … make sure your backup MX’s are running properly.

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As part of my migration to the cloud, I terminated the Comcast Business internet service

With my recent migration of servers from my basement to Amazon cloud servers, I had

Here's a tip for internet domain owners: Make sure the contact information for your domain

Our area has never gotten good cell phone coverage.  Doesn't really mater what carrier we

Creating Bootable Ghost Recovery USB Flash Drive

Those of you who follow my blog (or know me in person) are well aware that I’m a big fan of Norton Ghost backup software.

One of the major problems I’ve had with Norton Ghost is the fact that it only provides the ability to create a recovery CD … it doesn’t provide any ability to install the recovery software on a USB flash drive.   USB flash drives are much faster that CD’s and are read/write, so they can be updated at a later date.

After a bit of digging, I’ve figured out how to create one without too much trouble.

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Note: Although my sales & support experience with the machine were generally positive, my experiences

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Here's a tip for internet domain owners: Make sure the contact information for your domain

Wake On LAN

There is apparently going to be a bit more getting used to this new laptop.

The other day, before I went to bed, I put my new Dell Latitude E6400 into standby mode … I’m 99% sure I did this.

The next morning, however, when I went down stairs I found my laptop powered on.

That evening, before I went to bed I hibernated the laptop.

Once again, the next morning, I found the laptop powered on.

Obviously this is pretty odd.

So last night I tried an experiment … I put the laptop into standby mode and, within seconds, it resumed from standby.   I then put the laptop into hibernate mode … and 30 minutes later, it powered itself back up.

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iPhone Buzzing

Radio InteferenceEver since I got the iPhone, I’ve noticed that it causes nearby speakers (radios, desk phones, etc) to emit a buzzing noise.

The odd thing is, my boss Brian’s Blackberry does the same thing.

I finally found the reason why:

The cause of this buzzing has to do with GSM’s “time division nature. The ever-knowledgeable Keith Nowak, spokesperson for Nokia, explains it as follows: “[[With GSM]] the RF transmitter is turned on/off at a fast rate, and that ‘pulsing’ is often picked up by nearby devices that don’t have good RF shielding. In the case of GSM the pulse rate is 217 Hz, which can be easily heard.

That Crazy GSM Buzz

When I put my iPhone in the clock radio / iPhone dock that Ginny got me for the holidays, it does the same thing. Luckily the dock isn’t recognized as being 100% iPhone compatible, so the iPhone offers to shut off the radio (go into Airplane mode) whenever I dock it. This eliminates the buzzing (mostly) because the phone isn’t transmitting.

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On our recent vacation out west, we rented a car that included Sirus XM radio.

I was listening to WBEZ this morning and the traffic report came on ... The

OK, I've had this phone a few weeks ... time for me to list some