The Techbuket Story
Today, Dec 4th 2013 is Techbuket’s 4th birthday. I wanted to share some of the backstory behind Techbuket, as much as I can remember anyway. There’s not much to it and it’s not that interesting but I figure some people may like to know.
Techbuket was actually not my idea but of a friend of mine. He wanted to share interesting and funny pictures we found on the internet of course. I had some experience with getting websites up and running before which is why I assume he asked me for help. We set up on some crappy free host with a free sub-domain and put a WordPress blog on it. We started some Flickr page were people could submit images.
After some time I felt that WordPress was overkill for just another image blog. So I started learning some PHP to build my own software.
By now, my friend seemed to become mostly uninterested in the site, although still liked the idea and how it was going. I didn’t have time to find my own content to put on the site so I started adding some user generated content features (uploads, comments, voting). We were becoming slightly more popular each day, I kept getting emails about using up the pitiful bandwidth allowance, and so I decided to throw a few pennies at the site, getting a real domain and hosting.
We became very popular after post #421 and the visitors and new content rushed in. I got some other friends to handle some site management. I tried adding a BBS so visitors had more freedom in conversations, but this never took off, mostly because of terrible code.
We’ve had many iterations of the sites design over the few years, which have improved each time. At first it was an apparently terrible black, red and yellow colour scheme. I then later changed to a Futaba-like blue colour, which has sort of stuck. I improved it using Bootstrap 2.x after seeing an increase in mobile traffic, and recently upgraded to Bootstrap 3.
Although, now we are not as popular as we once were, we seem to have hit a level with a reasonable amount of visitors a day. I fund the site out of my own pocket and run it on my own. We don’t have advertising on the site as a lot of the content isn’t ours, although we have tried in the past but never made much from it.
Nowadays, I don’t have much time to add new features to the site. I mostly do work for other web projects I now spend my time doing which are beginning to take off, although I still mess with Techbuket’s code from time to time, and throw pennies at the meter.
Adobe Flash Player Offline Installer
Adobe has made it difficult to find their offline installer for Flash Player over preference that you download the web installer.
This is ok, unless you want to deploy Flash Player for multiple computers without having to re-download the same large file multiple times, in which case it would be better to use the offline installer.
These links bellow go directly to the offline installer for Adobe Flash Player:
Anonymous asked: About this change... 22-10-2013New replies are now automaticly disabled for posts where the last reply was more than than 16 weeks. Why do you feel the need for this?
It is sort of an experiment to see if newer posts get more replies and also to see if the like/dislike function gets used more on the older posts. The timeout uses the last reply date so the post won’t lock if discussion is going on or if there are no replies.
Looking at the statistics, 16 weeks is about the time where traffic to a post drops to very few per day. Most replies after that time therefore have less exposure anyway.
Sorry if that’s a terrible excuse.
Why you shouldn’t use the same password everywhere
It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t, but a lot of people do anyway. Here’s a scenario as to what could happen if you do.
You create an account on a website. It requires an email address and a password. You use your Gmail address and the same password that you use on Gmail. Unbeknown to you, this website that you’re creating an account on does not hash+salt the passwords or uses a poor hashing technique to store the passwords in a database.
Sometime later, this websites database gets compromised; someone manages to get access to the database that shouldn’t, be this via a misplaced backup or a vulnerability in the website software.
This person (or computer) then starts going through the user accounts for the website and assumes that some users may have used the same passwords for their email accounts. This is what you did, and now they could have access to you email inbox. They could send out spam, harvest contact lists or collect other personal information from emails.
In your emails, they might find an account conformation email for another website, which you’ve also used the same password on again as well on that site. This could go on and on.
Humans are terrible at remembering things which is why people often reuse passwords. Here are some tips on some things you can do to help yourself.
- Make every password you use unique.
- Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords. Most browsers have options to store you passwords and to sync them across devices. Addons like LastPass can help too.
- Set up a Master Password that you will remember to access the stored list of passwords. This will prevent other people from using your accounts from your device.
- Now you don’t need to remember passwords yourself for websites, change your passwords for accounts to meet some recommendations.
- Have a minimum of 8-10 characters, longer is better.
- Mix UPPER and lowercase letters.
- Mix in some random numbers.
- Use symbols or possibly other ASCII characters for extreme security.
MySQL Backup with Cron
Having a daily backup of a MySQL database is a good idea. Automate it with a cronjob. The following command will get a dump of the database and put it in a compressed gzip archive.
mysqldump -u username -ppassword -h hostname database | gzip > db_backup.sql.gz
database with your MySQL server details. You can change
db_backup to any output filename.
Hiding user accounts from the Windows logon screen
This works for Vista, 7 and sort of on 8.
Open RegEdit and in the left panel, navigate to:
Right click Winlogon, go to New and select Key.
Type SpecialAccounts and then press enter.
Right click the new key SpecialAccounts, go to New and Select Key again.
Type UserList and then press enter.
Right click the new key UserList, and go to New and select DWORD (32bit) Value.
Type in the username of the account you want hidden.
The default value should be 0 for hidden, but if not, in the right panel right click the user account you created and select Modify
Type the number 0 in Value data, then click OK.
The user account should now be hidden from the logon screen.
Serving web-fonts using the CSS
@font-face attribute, from another domain such as a CDN doesn’t work correctly in Firefox or Internet Explorer. (It’s a feature, not a bug!)
This little fix for Apache will solve the problem:
<FilesMatch ".(eot|ttf|otf|woff)"> Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin "*" </FilesMatch>
The code can be placed with the
.htaccess file or
How to fit an extension socket to a BT NTE5 phone socket
Find the BT Master Socket
The BT Master Socket might be by the front door or near to where an overhead phone line enters the building. It should look like this…
If it doesn’t look like this, with the split face, there might be some legal issues as to who owns the socket/cable and whether you can gain access to it, and unfortunately I can’t help you from here. You’ll most probably have to call BT first. If you have the socket pictured then you’re ok, continue reading.
Attaching the extension socket
I might ramble on a bit here. The italic text is the less important parts.
You will need at least:
- A wall mounted phone extension socket.
- A length of Cat5e cable.
- A punch-down (IDC) tool.
Protip: You’re most likely find that the Cat5e cable has RJ45 plugs fitted for Ethernet. You can chop these off and as long as the wire inside are solid core not stranded, you’ll be ok.
I’m going to skip the part of attaching the extension phone socket to the wall; it’s not difficult to do if you have some DIY skills. Make sure you have enough cable to run to the master socket and a little extra (about 15-20cm) for neatness and also make sure the cable won’t be a trip hazard or get snagged under doors etc. Don’t fix the cabling down in place just yet.
Starting at the phone extension socket, cut about 4-6cm of outer sheathing off of the Cat5e cable. You’ll notice each of the punch-down blocks have numbers beside them. The guide below will tell you which coloured wires of the Cat5e cable go where. Use the punch-down tool to push the wires into place.
1 – Green-White
2 – Blue-White
3 – Orange-White
4 – White-Orange
5 – White-Blue
6 – White-Green
Because Cat5e is for Ethernet connections, it contains 8 pairs of wires whereas the phone line only contains 6. The extra brown/white pair is unnecessary but might be used in the future. Tuck them away to keep it looking tidy.
In the end, you’ll end up having something that should look like this…
You can now replace the cover of the extension socket and fix your cabling down to where you planned it to go.
The BT NTE5 Socket (Master Socket)
This socket is made from 3 main sections, the back box which attaches to the wall, the middle section contains the BT master socket, and the front is a removable faceplate. Everything behind the BT master socket belongs to BT and you should not take this off from the wall. This part is where the BT drop cable from the outside world is attached.
The drop cable contains a pair of wires which are coloured white and orange, named A and B. Another pair may be coloured green and black. This is for a secondary phone line or as backup in case the first pair fails. There may also be extra wires which are only to support the cable if it comes from an overhead line and are not terminated. The A and B wires connect to terminals on the rear of the BT master socket. The BT master socket contains a few electronic components for surge protection and wiring to make telephones ring. On the front, bottom-right of the BT master socket, is a test socket. You can use this to test the phone and also ADSL connection to find if there is a fault with the internal phone wiring.
The front removable faceplate is the only part you are allowed to remove. On the back of the faceplate are some punch-down blocks for wiring up to 2 extension sockets. Also there is a phone plug which connects to the BT master socket. On the front of the front faceplate is the phone socket which is where you would normally connect your equipment.
Connecting to the BT NTE5 Socket
Remove the front faceplate from the socket and cut the Cat5e cable to length, so you have about 10-15cm extra. Just like on the extension socket, cut about 4-6cm of outer sheathing from the cable. On the front faceplate next to the punch-down block you will notice that they are numbered again. Follow the guide from earlier but this time; only connect wires 2 and 5. Tuck the extra pairs of wires neatly away. Fit the faceplate back to the socket, tucking excess wire into the space behind the socket.
Go to your extension socket, plug a phone in and listen for a dial tone. If you can hear it, everything’s ok. Plug in your ADSL modem with the micro-filter, and a phone if you need it.
Enjoy you hopefully more stable internet conection, provided by a series of tubes.