Against my brothers best wishes, I bought a Pogoplug. Not sure if it is the one I asked for, but I am not complaining. Spent less than twenty dollars for it (plus shipping). Noticed the price went back up after I bought mine. Up and down so it goes. What are the specs supposed to be:

What’s in the box

  • Pogoplug
  • Power cable
  • Ethernet cable
  • Quick start guide
  • Limited warranty

Power requirements

  • 100-240V, 50/60HZ

Drive connection

  • USB 2.0 (4 ports)

Drive Formats

  • NTFS, FAT32, Mac OS Extended Journaled and non-Journaled (HFS+), EXT-2/EXT-3

Network connection

  • Gigabit Ethernet

After getting the unit, I logged into their site and immediately registered the unit and enabled ssh so I could log into it remotely. It actually uses a minimal nix type environment, so I felt real at home tooling around in the directories. You have to log in as root since there are no user accounts per se.  The first thing i did was run ifconfig to get the mac address for setting it up in the router. The second thing I did was to see what was under the hood so to speak. So It was over 1ghz speed.

$ ssh root@ipaddress

# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor    : ARM926EJ-S rev 1 (v5l)
BogoMIPS    : 1192.75
Features    : swp half thumb fastmult edsp
CPU implementer    : 0x56
CPU architecture: 5TE
CPU variant    : 0x2
CPU part    : 0x131
CPU revision    : 1
Cache type    : write-back
Cache clean    : cp15 c7 ops
Cache lockdown    : format C
Cache format    : Harvard
I size        : 16384
I assoc        : 4
I line length    : 32
I sets        : 128
D size        : 16384
D assoc        : 4
D line length    : 32
D sets        : 128

Hardware    : Feroceon-KW
Revision    : 0000
Serial        : 0000000000000000

You can power it off from the command line which is probably better than just pulling the power cord.

My main goal is to modify the unit to make it a true linux box. May wait till the warranty has gone out. I will probably back up the unit first and then proceed with the linux setup. One of the most popular versions of linux is Arch and that is the one most people suggest to use on the unit. Not used Arch linux before, but I am sure it should be fairly easy to pick up. Just have to learn some new commands to do the same old thing.

Depending on what version of the unit you have, there are  different instructions to set up the unit for linux. One thing is that it is a crap shoot to install linux on the units. You can very easily render them useless. You are doing it at your own risk. On the Nslu2, you do have a safety net to recover from a bad flash. This is a good time to make sure you have a good ups for the installation equipment and the pogoplug to be running on.

Anytime you plan to modify equipment, there are several steps you might want to take.

1. Get the installation directions and what files you need to download. Check and make sure they are for your unit. Double check it.

2. Search the net and look for problems and how they were solved. Check for any gotchas. Doing the research especially in support forums can save you a lot of headaches.

3. Do a walk through in your mind without ever touching any of the equipment so you have an idea of the total picture. This also verifies the instructions more than likely does not have errors. You can go back to the net and check for updates. If you have any questions you can resolve them now.

4. Make sure you have downloaded and verified all the software you will need. Not a bad idea to keep it in one place and the back it up to a place off the computer. That way you do not have a fail if your internet access becomes cut off.

5. Go back and reread the instructions again to make sure you have the gist of the project at your finger tips.

6. Make sure you are not in a hurry to do the project. Allot extra time for any possible setbacks.

7. REMAIN CALM through out the process.

8. Do it to it.

Typical Pogoplug linux install for a v2: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwPN7jp_A24)

Let you know how it all comes out soon.

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Malware threats are something to keep aware of. A good web page to keep up with the details is: http://www.hal-pc.org/alerts.php

From their page:

More reasons to uninstall Java

A new attack that targets a security vulnerability in Oracle’s Java is spreading through the hacker underground.Fake Microsoft calls

claiming your computer is infected.

Below are some web sites on the subject.

  1. Trying to unmask the fake Microsoft support scammers!
  2. Microsoft Windows Support Call Scams: 7 Facts 
  3. Virus phone scam being run from call centres in India 

Reveton malware still active.

FBI Issues Ransom Malware Warning After Being “Inundated” By
Victims The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued an
urgent warning about a major ransomware campaign after being
“inundated” with complaints from U.S. consumers locked out of their
PCs.
By John E Dunn Sat, August 11, 2012

The malware causing the damage is called Reveton, a drive-by
attack incorporating the Citadel bank Trojan platform that has caused a
largely unnoticed toll of misery since the beginning of 2012
.”

The email with the subject: Authorize.Net

The email starts with: Successful Credit Card Settlement Report.
This email is a fake – delete it.

The email with “Wire transfer…”
as the subject is fake

The email starts with:
Dear Bank Account Operator,
WIRE TRANSFER: WRE-16179358912310241
CURRENT STATUS: PENDING
and appears to be from HALNet. Please delete this email without
opening any attachments. It is a fake email. HALNet will never send you
an email about Wire Transfers.

The email below is spam. If you have received it, please delete and disregard it

Dear Webmail User,
Your mailbox has exceeded the allocated storage limit as set by the
administrator, you may not be able to send or receive new mail until you
upgrade your allocated quota.
To upgrade your quota, Please clickhere
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
System Administrator
For Webmail Support Team.

Apple:

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-57478793-263/windows-malware-slips-into-apples-ios-app-store/

http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2191888/apple-mac-os-malware-threat-to-grow-claims-kaspersky-chief

Remember that Kaspersky is out to sell antivirus programs.

———————————————————
MS allegedly hijacking the hosts files.

Preface: 

One thing I forgot to mention in an earlier article is that
you can also block sites
from being accessed with the hosts file.  127.0.0.1 is the address for your local computer.
So when an address of say http://www.facebook.com is associated with the local host and then accessed, it will bring
you back to your local machine. Good way to keep people off unwanted
sites. In fact, you can down load a list of sites that are generally not
good for your system at: (you will have to modify it for your needs).


http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.txt

The main story:

 According to http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Microsoft-s-security-software-modifies-HOSTS-file-1670927.html/ The biggest gripe is that if you have www.facebook.com and certain other sitess blocked, Microsoft will modify your hosts file to re-enable it. Here is an example before modification.

What bothers a lot of people is that what gives Microsoft the right to modify such files. Many people are outraged at such activity and have vowed to no longer use Microsoft products. Many people have already planned to disable Microsoft’s security software in place of something else that is not so invasive.

There are actually other ways around this. Most of the routers running third party software have a built in dns server called dnsmasq where you can set up sites not to be accessed.  You could either set up a virtual machine or take a minimal system running linux or bsd to set up dnsmasq also. With both Nix based systems and Microsoft products you can set up what is known as a proxy server to do the same thing. Not sure whether Microsoft would re-enable such sites on their proxy servers.

There is also server software for the nix environment called Squid and DansGaurdian which is used heavily in the educational environment. To protect kids. we use it on our ltsp server to just for that kind of protection, Do not believe as of now that Microsoft has access to control such software. Our setup (we use tinyproxy instead of squid though): http://www.instructables.com/id/Another-almost-free-computers-thin-client-set-up-P/

Caveat emptor.

—————————————————-

Your router/firewall died and all the stores are closed. What do you do? What do you do?  Time to go to the old parts bin and resurrect some parts. One unique idea about this set up is that instead of using an old fashioned hard drive, we well be using a compact flash card as the drive. For three reasons we do this. First is to cut down on the noise. A quiet pc is an ignored pc. Secondly, we want to cut down on the heat in the machine.  Cooler parts should last longer. And the lastly, to reduce the electricity consumption till you can get a replacement unit if you decide to get one.

What is a firewall again. It is a set of hardware and software that insulates your home network from the internet. Just as a firewall is used to keep a fire from spreading, the network firewall is expected to keep your local area network secure to a degree. Nothing is perfect. You can get all kinds of units to protect your network. The network modem in most cases will not protect you. You need additional hardware and software to do the job. Most people go and purchase the brand name plastic routers such as Buffalo, Cisco (aka Linksys), and a host of others from the local electronic store. Some routers are also supported by third parties so that you can get enhanced software for you router. Sometimes it is a matter of a simple upload to more complicated installs.

You can also build your own router with commodity off the shelf (cots) parts normally used in building any Intel based personal computer. In our case, I looked in the parts closet and found a two hundred megagertz Intel pentium one with one hundred and twenty eight megabytes of ram. Used a few spare one gigabyte network interface cards (nics). Of course we added the two gigabyte compact flash card and interface. 

Firewalls can be setup in a variety of ways. For home use, you might just use one router. The way the router is set is defined by the networks it connects to it.  The four most basic networks are red to connect to the wan (internet), green to connect to the local area network (lan), orange to connect to servers that connect to the internet directly, and finally the blue network for wifi so that it will be isolated from the wired network. It might look something like this:

Notice which side of the firewall the connections are made to the firewall. It has it’s own inherent issues.  Using a cots based cows (community workstations) as routers generally requires switches to support connections to the router. So you might have higher cost to build the network infrastructure.  In a business environment, you may want to go a step further. In our case having purchased a Pogoplug to use for internet access which we are not real sure of it’s security. So like business we wanted a multilevel routing and firewall that might look something like this:

it is oversimplified here, but notice now you have two different red and green interfaces, but the lan is much more separated from the internet. You can still reach the internet just as easy through both firewalls. You could even add a proxy server on the private internal network to filter what websites and etc can be accessed. So a business that intended to upgrade their desktop computers can use the older equipment as router equipment. That extends the life and the ROI (return on investment) of the older equipment.
Your back on the internet now and you have time to decide what to do about the router. The web interface allows that old machine to look like a fancy piece of equipment.

————————————-

dd is a great command to copy images to media, but you get no feedback. pv allows feedback

$ sudo apt-get install pv

Typical dd command:
$ sudo dd if=source.img of= /dev/sdb

Command updated with pv
$ sudo dd if=source.img | pv | dd of= /dev/sdb

————————————-
Pan fried steak and salad. Have not had steak in a long long time.

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