Tarsplit is a utility I wrote which can split UNIX tarfiles into multiple parts while keeping files in the tarballs intact. I specifically wrote those because other ways I found of splitting up tarballs didn’t keep the individual files intact, which would not play nice with Docker.

But what does Docker have to do with tar?

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“Good tea. Nice house.”

While building the Docker images for my Splunk Lab project, I noticed that one of the layers was something like a Gigabyte in size! While Docker can handle large layers, the issue become one of time it takes to push or pull an image. Docker does validation on each layer as it’s received, and the validation of a 1 GB layer took 20–30 wall clock seconds. …


What Is Eventgen?

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Because a Docker container is quicker than spinning up a VM.

According to the docs, Eventgen is a Splunk App that lets users built real-time event “generators” so that one-off event generators don’t need to be built.

What does this mean? Let’s say you run a Splunk platform, and you want to create some new dashboards for a data source in production, but want to do this on dev. Without Eventgen, you would need to write a script to generate fake events and write them to a file which is read in by Splunk. That is a lot of work.

And we all have better things to do than write one-off code. …


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Fursuiters at Anthrocon 2019

So, you want to start a furry convention! Great! We’ll never say no to a new event. And this is a topic I happen to know a little about, as I’ve been staffing/running conventions for 20 years now. (I’m old)

Let’s start with a few questions I’d like to throw out, the sort of questions every new convention organizer should ask themselves…

A Furry Convention Building Checklist:

  • Have you staffed a con before?
  • Are you incorporated? If so, as a 501(c)3 or 501(c)7?
  • Do you have a separate bank account for the organization?
  • Do you have a budget?
  • Do you have a hotel or other venue? …

I’ve been trying to keep myself amused during the COVID-19 shutdown, and as such have been trying a number of new things. One new thing I decided to look into is playing hacked NES ROMs. It turns out there are a great number of ROM hacks out there, with the website ROMhacking.net listing over 4,600 hacked ROMs as of this writing.

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While looking into hacked ROMs, I quickly learned that ROM hacks fall into one of 3 main categories: “really good”, “really bad”, and “joke”. I spent some time looking around, and found one particular ROM which I found in the “really good” category: Zelda II: New Adventure of Link, created by someone named HollowShadow. …


We’re well past a month into the COVID-19 shutdown, and I noticed that fewer and fewer trains were running on Regional Rail each day. I knew that SEPTA had decreased their service due to less riders, but I wondered just how strict the service cuts were. I also wondered if more or perhaps less trains were running on time.

Fortunately, I have several years worth of train data due to running SeptaStats.com, so I could answer these questions myself!

I started off by firing up Splunk Lab then went for a walk while it took 15 minutes or so to load the data up. …


With this whole COVID-19 pandemic going on, we all have to socially isolate ourselves in our homes in order to flatten the curve of cases, and this is likely to continue for some time.

I’ve looked into ways to watch Netflix with friends online, and after trying several different “solutions”, I found one which works quite well: Netflix Party

In order to use Netflix Party, each person will need a desktop or laptop running the Google Chrome web browser. If you don’t have Chrome installed, ask your child to install it on your computer for you. …


If you manage Linux servers over the Internet, you use SSH to connect to them. SSH lets you have a remote shell on a host over an encrypted channel so that an attacker cannot watch what you are doing over the network. In this blog post, I’m going to talk about using SSH at scale across thousands of posts.

Phase 0: Passwords

When you get started with SSH for the first time, you likely won’t have keys set up and will instead use passwords to authenticate to your servers. It will look something like this:

ssh dmuth@cheetah.dmuth.org
dmuth@cheetah.dmuth.org’s passsword: ********
$

You use SSH to connect to the server, type in your password, and you’re good to go. That’s fine for small scale, such as managing a single server, but it doesn’t come without downsides. Specifically, you won’t be able to easily use a tool such as Ansible nor do code checkins with Git. …


Perhaps you’re worried about being doxxed, perhaps you’ve received some specific threats, maybe you just want to increase your security. No matter the reason, this article is for you! Below I will list a collection of good practices to keep you and your accounts safe online. I fully expect to update this post as things change in the future.

I have tried to put things in a logical order, with some later steps depending on earlier steps, and some things that may be considered “controversial” towards the end.

This post was last updated on Jan 2, 2020.

Passwords

Let’s start with passwords. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will do so anyway: do not reuse passwords. Reusing passwords mean that if a single account provider is breached and your plaintext password is recovered, you now have additional accounts at risk of compromise. This has happened before.


I’m happy to announce that I’ve created shortcuts in IOS so that Siri can now tell you if SEPTA is fucked!

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“Hey Siri! Is SEPTA Fucked?”

Before you can get started, you will need to configure IOS to allow Untrusted Shortcuts. There are more detailed instructions on Apple’s support website, but it comes down to doing these two things:

  1. Go into Settings > Shortcuts
  2. Turn on the setting that says “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”.

If you don’t see the setting mentioned in Step 2), you will need to open the Shortcuts app, run at least one shortcut, and come back to that screen. (Thanks, Apple!)

If you need further help allowing Untrusted Shortcuts, this writeup is more thorough and includes screenshots. …


As much as I love using Docker, one of the frustrations I have is when I try to remove an an image which other images are based on, only to get this error:

$ docker rmi b171179240df

Error response from daemon: conflict: unable to delete b171179240df (cannot be forced) - image has dependent child images

I did some searches on Google, and most of the advice centered around the heavy-handed approach of removing all Docker images and basically starting over with a clean slate. …

About

Douglas Muth

Engineer. Staff at Anthrocon, Anthro New England, Midwest FurFest, Furry Migration, Eurofurence. AWS, Splunk, Docker, DMARC, White Mage, he/him

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