Passionate PHP developer, Linux junkie, gamer and coffee aficionado.

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Postfix: Using Gmail as a Relay Host
July 6th, 2012 Gmail , Linux , Ubuntu

I maintain several Linux servers at any given moment. Every server has postfix installed for sending emails, usually notifications or warning messages of some sort and most of these servers are professionally hosted allowing outbound emails with little to no configuration beyond installing postfix. However, my home server lies behind my ISP and they block all outbound emails citing SPAM as the reason. Regardless of their reasoning I had to find a workaround to allow me to send email notifications from behind my ISP. Well, it turns out this is rather painless with postfix and a Gmail account.

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Setting Up an Ubuntu Web Server
January 18th, 2012 Linux , Ubuntu
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Having set up several Debian and Ubuntu web servers in the past I thought it would be a good idea to share my process. The following is a relatively comprehensive guide to installing and configuring an Apache based web server with some optimizations and basic resource monitoring. I primarily work with Ubuntu servers, but most of the commands here should work exactly the same in Debian or Ubuntu. I've tried to note where differences may occur.

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Increasing the Size of a Virtual Hard Drive in VirtualBox
November 16th, 2011 Linux

I work in Linux primarily but run a Windows 7 virtual machine in VirtualBox so I can use Photoshop and do some necessary testing. Today my VM ran out of space. Silly me thought 20GB would be enough, but after installing service pack 1, dozens of Windows updates and a few programs I had less than 1GB of space left. After a little searching I found an easy way to increase the size of a virtual disk.

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Windows 7 Activation Hack
July 19th, 2011 Microsoft , Windows
Photo by Halacious on Unsplash
Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

When installing Windows 7 it's very picky about which installation disc you use (Full vs. Upgrade) and if improperly matched with your key can prevent you from activating your copy of Windows usually returning an "Invalid Product Key" error message. You may also see the same or similar error when you do a full, clean installation with an upgrade disc. This can be very annoying, especially when you have a legitimate key and disc but just didn't install it the way Microsoft thinks you should. In the event that you are having trouble activating your Windows 7 installation with a legitimate key, try the following registry hack:

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The 3-2-1 Backup Rule
July 13th, 2011 Backups

Too many people today don't backup their files. And of those that do, many don't do it well. An easy way to remember a "safe" way to backup your data is with the "3-2-1 Backup Rule" which goes like this:

  • Keep 3 copies of any important files (your primary/working copy counts as one)
  • Store your files on 2 different media types (Example: Hard drive and in the Cloud)
  • Always have 1 copy off site
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