This site is now 100% read-only, and retired.

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Posted by Steve on Tue 3 Jun 2014 at 12:46
Tags: none.

If you're looking for a system administrator, who is very very familiar with Debian GNU/Linux, please do consider getting in touch.

I'm an ex-member of the Debian project, and was a member of the Debian Security Team, which involved handling security updates for the distribution. (This came about as a result of my interest in auditing software, a process which lead to the discovery, and fixing, of numerous flaws in popular open-source applications and servers.)

I'm based in Edinburgh, but I have had many years working remotely, and would be happy to repeat that.

As you can see from my prior submissions I'm very familiar with system administration, including (but not limited to):

  • MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, & etc.
    • Including clustered, sharded, and high-availability (except for SQLite of course!)
  • Apache, Nginx, lightted, & etc.
    • Including optimization, tuning, and writing custom modules.
    • Load-balanced access via Varnish, Pound, nginx, HAProxy, & etc.
  • SMTP, DNS, IMAP, LDAP, & etc.
    • I've developed custom, scalable, mail-servers with high-availability, and documented the process.
    • I've married OpenVPN to LDAP, and used DNS for as the basis for clustered data-storage, and key-value stores.
  • Virtualization
    • Using Xen (I wrote the original version of Xen-tool), KVM, and VMWare
  • Networking..
    • Firewalls, VLANS, segmentation, routing, bridging, & etc.
  • Revision control: Git, Mercurial, etc.
  • Perl, Ruby, C & C++.
  • Shell scripting.
  • Automation via CFEngine, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, and Salt.
  • Monitoring.
  • Backups, restoration, and testing.
  • Using clusters for high availability and redundancy.
  • Securing deployments, and auditing code for security holes.
  • My github profile shows active projects in C, C++, Perl, node.js, and Ruby, and is neatly condensed here.
  • Although I wouldn't describe myself as a coder per se I've written APIs that handle half a million hits a day, non-stop, and put together monitoring software that scales horizontally to provide round the clock coverage of thousands of hosts and service pairs.
  • ...


Posted by Steve on Thu 15 May 2014 at 13:31

In the past I've written and posted articles upon this site about my own software.

Over time I've become a little less keen on doing so, on the basis that people might think it is too Steve-centric. That said I'd always created this site to document things of interest to myself, and the fact that others enjoy them is a good bonus.

In summary I wrote a mail client, it is console-based like mutt, but it has a real scripting language you can use to do fun things (Lua).

You can find details here, should you have any interest:

Relatedly I've been pondering a "Hire Steve" banner on the top of the site. I've resisted the temptation for the moment, but give it a couple more weeks of unemployment and I may well change my mind..


Posted by Steve on Wed 19 Feb 2014 at 09:41
Tags: none.

I've just about completed a new toy project:

This is basically a markdown-using pastebin site.

You can paste in your random markdown text, and once you've done so you receive a link you can share with your boss, your friends, or whoever.

The source code is available on Github, and there is a (trusted) docker image too, which makes installation trivial.

Feedback welcome, either here, via mail, or via the github tracker.

I'm pretty pleased with the project, and it is already proving useful.


Posted by Steve on Fri 31 Jan 2014 at 19:46

Contributions and feedback welcome, on my new site:

Much like this one in nature, but much more succinct and focussed.


Posted by Steve on Sun 19 Jan 2014 at 11:52
Tags: , ,

On Monday (tomorrow) I'll be starting a new job, once again working from home - something I was keen to avoid.

Still it won't be so bad, the only potential concern is that I'll be starting on my home desktop, and at some point during the day I'm expecting a delivery of a new Macbook which I need to switch over to using.

I've never used a Mac, not since system 7, so that'll be "fun".


Posted by Steve on Tue 12 Nov 2013 at 15:47
Tags: none.

Due to a calamity I had to revert the database behind this site a couple of days. Comments and blogs will be lost for this period.

Not pleased about this at all, but I guess it's a first for the site.

In happier news today I shot pictures of some lovely owls.

That was a pleasant diversion from taking pictures of pubs - which is my new project.


Posted by Steve on Sun 29 Sep 2013 at 16:31

This weekend I've upgraded the cluster behind this site to be 100% wheezy-based.

No major suprises, fingers crossed nothing breaks ..


Posted by Steve on Mon 2 Sep 2013 at 19:36
Tags: none.

I spent a few nights last week prototyping the kind of forum I'd like to use for supporting my Lumail email client.

The end result was something that was fast, clean, and reasonably well-coded. The only aspect where it falls down is in the looks-department.

I'm still in two minds about whether I need a forum to support the application, so for the moment it is just deployed on a random spare domain:

It can be described as a cross between hacker-news and reddit. (Though the example disables arbitrary tagging, which means the reddit-inspiration is less obvious.)


Posted by Steve on Tue 9 Jul 2013 at 13:12
Tags: ,

My lua-based email client lumail continues to go well.

These days I'm using it exclusively for my personal mail, and barring a few rough edges it is suitable for everyday use.


Posted by Steve on Tue 21 May 2013 at 21:15
Tags: , ,

We've had a self-signed SSL certificate for some time now (four years?) but it was self-signed and thus untrusted by most browsers.

Thanks to a kind donation by dkg we now have a "real" SSL certificate, valid for the next five years.

Installation was carried out in a rush, but I'll do it properly shortly. Any problems shout at me.

Thanks again, Daniel.

Update: I've also fixed the site to use a canonical host name, with the www. prefix now being used globally.