Creating Twitter Archives

One of the more common uses of Twitter for me is to monitor "back-channels" at events (often events I can attend, but more often these days events I am unable to attend). Unfortunately Twitter's search capabilities cease to be useful after a little while and so it is very handy to be able to create an archive for the events 'hashtag'. There used to be a number of tools in the early days, but mainly because of Twitter's changes to policies and very unfortunate morphing into a closed 'media-publishing' platform, the developers of such tools were forced to discontinue their services. Here is IMHO the best remaining tools I have found that still work: TweetArchivist This is an easy to used & fairly polished product which allows download of raw data. http://www.tweetarchivist.com/ TAGSExplorer This is a more involved, but open solution based on a Google Spreadsheet and can be modified to suit. http://mashe.hawksey.info/2011/11/twitter-how-to-archive-event-hashtags-and-visualize-conversation/ Kudos Martin Hawksey from JISC CETIS

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Enable GeoIP lookups on CentOS

GeoIP enables you to identify the location, organization, connection speed, and user type of your website visitors. yum install GeoIP mod_geoip cd /usr/share/GeoIP/ wget http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCountry/GeoIP.dat.gz wget http://geolite.maxmind.com/download/geoip/database/GeoLiteCity.dat.gz gunzip GeoIP.dat.gz gunzip GeoLiteCity.dat.gz rm -f *.gz Edit the VirtualHost settings in httpd.conf <ifmodule mod_geoip.c> GeoIPEnable On GeoIPDBFile /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat Standard GeoIPDBFile /usr/share/GeoIP/GeoLiteCity.dat Standard </ifmodule> Restart Apache /etc/init.d/httpd restart

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Accessing Amazon RDS from Desktop

Every once in a while it is handy to be able to access an Amazon RDS Database Instance remotely from a desktop. ssh -i YOUR-AMAZON-PRIVATE-KEY.pem -l YOUR-AMAZON-RDS-USERNAME -L 33060:YOUR-AMAZON-RDS-PRIVATE-IPADDRESS:3306 -N ec2-usr@YOUR-AMAZON-EC2-INSTANCE-PUBLIC-ADDRESS Note: YOURAMAZONRDSPRIVATEIPADDRESS needs to be the AWS internal RDS IP Address - not the external hostname You can then connect to RDS using mysql commands or any GUI tool such as MySQL Workbench via localhost:33060 Thanks to: Dirk Taggesell via AWS Forums

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Wireshark install on Ubuntu 12.04

Just a short note on Wireshark install (needed to beat an Asterisk SIP install into submission) sudo apt-get install wireshark sudo useradd -U -M -s /bin/false wireshark sudo chgrp wireshark /usr/bin/dumpcap sudo chmod 754 /usr/bin/dumpcap sudo setcap 'CAP_NET_RAW+eip CAP_NET_ADMIN+eip' /usr/bin/dumpcap sudo gpasswd -a YOURUSERNAME wireshark Source: http://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/CapturePrivileges

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Organisational micro-blogging for all

Having seen more and more articles on the use of micro-blogging tools in educational and corporates settings, I am constantly surprised that one of the most useful options from my point-of-view seems to be constantly overlooked. Micro-blogging is like Twitter, but private to your organisation. It is a great way to capture those more informal internal discussions. It can help distribute useful information (such as links) throughout your organisation or help kick-start conversations. The major advantages of StatusNet as a platform over competing proprietary systems (such as Jammer) are: Ownership of information: you can host StatusNet yourself and StatusNet fully supports DataPortability.org to get your data exported from StatusNet as well. Customisation: since you can host Status.net yourself it is possible to fully customise it to suit your needs. Integration potential: since StatusNet is Open Source software you can easily integrate and build upon it. To download Status.net head to http://gitorious.org/statusnet/ or try a personal account with Identi.ca. You can also use a cloud-hosted version provided by StatusNet http://status.net/cloud. A Yammer import tool is also available for users looking for a Yammer Alternative. However being a tool that is private to your organisation does not mean your users will be isolated. There is the ability for your user to connect StatusNet with with their Twitter account should they wish to post messages outside. Note: this is a cross-posting from my work blog at http://www.brightcookie.com/blog

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Offline RSS Reading on Ubuntu

I sometimes have time to read RSS feeds when I have no Internet connection. Granted this is happening less often these days with wireless connectivity pretty much ubiquitous, but I frequently have that need. Most often it's in an air-plane when you want to catch up on non-essential news and don't have any connectivity. This is where Lightread comes in handy. It synchronizes your Google Reader Account with excellent integration into the Ubuntu UI (desktop notification of new items ...). sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cooperjona/lightread sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install lightread

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CoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04

Installing CoffeeScript on Ubuntu 12.04 is a complete no-brainer by the looks of it (since both node.js Core as well as Node Package Manager are in the Ubuntu repos). sudo apt-get install nodejs npm sudo npm install -g coffee-script To check the installation coffee -v Just as a reminder for myself & in case it helps somebody ...

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Saving Video Streams in Ubuntu

Flash Media rtmpdump apt-get install rtmpdump rtmpdump -r "rtmp://domain.tld/video_name.flv" -o video_name.flv Docs: http://rtmpdump.mplayerhq.hu/rtmpdump.1.html Windows Media mimms apt-get install mimms mimms mms://domain.tld/video_name.wmv Docs: http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/precise/man1/mimms.1.html mplayer mplayer -dumpstream -dumpfile video_name.wmv mms://domain.tld/video_name.wmv

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OpenVPN Install on CentOS 6 Server

I recently had a need to install a VPN service in a OpenVZ container. Since I normally only use Hardware emulating VM's I ran into quite a few issues in terms of low-level networking support on this Container Virtualisation System. Turns out that you are stuck with a TUN/TAP solution as most services won't enable PPP services on their infrastructure. Also Ethernet bridging is not available (at least on the service I used) so you're stuck with NAT IP masquerading. Considering the options I thought best served with using OpenVPN server. Install Server yum --enablerepo=epel -y install openvpn Server configuration cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn-*/sample-config-files/server.conf /etc/openvpn/ These are the contents of /etc/openvpn/server.conf local XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX #Server External IP port 1194 proto udp dev tun ca ca.crt cert SERVER.crt key SERVER.key #keep file secret dh dh1024.pem server 10.8.0.0 255.255.255.0 ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp" push "dhcp-option DNS 8.8.8.8" #using Google Public DNS push "dhcp-option DNS 8.8.4.4" #using Google Public DNS keepalive 10 120 comp-lzo max-clients 5 user nobody group nobody persist-key persist-tun status openvpn-status.log log /var/log/openvpn.log verb 3 mkdir -p /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa cp -rf /usr/share/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/* . vim vars #Set the country (KEY_COUNTRY) #state (KEY_PROVINCE) #locality (KEY_CITY) #organisation name (KEY_ORG) #support email (KEY_EMAIL) Create certificate authority ./vars ./clean-all ./build-ca The CA key and certificate should not be in the keys directory inside the easy-rsa directory. Create certificate for the server ./build-key-server NAME_OF_SERVER Answer the questions and commit the certificate into the database Create the Diffie Hellman files These files are used for the actual…

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Installing Poptop (pptpd) VPN Server on CentOS 6

For roaming mobile clients PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) is still the quickest way to get VPN connections to tunnel traffic over a secure link. Installation I always prefer installation via a yum repository as this will ensure patches are applied during regular system updates sudo rpm --import http://poptop.sourceforge.net/yum/RPM-GPG-KEY-PPTP sudo rpm -Uvh http://poptop.sourceforge.net/yum/stable/rhel6/pptp-release-current.noarch.rpm sudo yum install ppp pptpd -y Configuration Note: replace $USERNAME and $PASSWORD with actual values IP configuration echo "localip 192.168.0.1" >> /etc/pptpd.conf echo "remoteip 192.168.0.100-199" >> /etc/pptpd.conf DNS configuration echo "ms-dns 8.8.8.8" >> /etc/ppp/options.pptpd echo "ms-dns 4.2.2.1" >> /etc/ppp/options.pptpd Authentication configuration echo "$USERNAME pptpd $PASSWORD *" >> /etc/ppp/chap-secrets Firewall config service iptables start echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1" >> /etc/sysctl.conf sysctl -p echo "iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE" >> /etc/rc.local iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE service iptables restart service iptables save chkconfig iptables on Start ppptd chkconfig pptpd on service pptpd start

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