Technology Insights

Secure /tmp And /var/tmp Directories On CentOS Linux

A couple days ago a CentOS Linux server that I took over administration on had some mysterious files show up in the /tmp and /var/tmp directories. The files were placed in /tmp and /var/tmp by the apache user meaning there is some form of security hole in Apache, PHP, or one of the virtual hosts has an insecure application installed. Before looking into where the issue is I needed to lock things down so no applications could be executed from these directories in the future regardless of a security flaw in the future. Below are instructions on how to secure /tmp and /var/tmp.

Technology Insights

Disable Geo Tagging on the HTC Evo

I recently learned that most common smart phones do something called geotagging. As people who regularly follow this site will know I have recently been doing a lot of work with a new HTC Evo so I was really interested in this. Geotagging, also called geocoding, is the process of assigning geographic location metadata to a photo. The geographic information can include details such as the latitude and longitude coordinates or city and state details for the geographic location of the photo. I may write a later article on how to actually extract the metadata from a picture however for this post I will just show how to turn it off.

Technology Insights

Obtain Dell Express Service Code & Dell Service Tag From Dell Server Running Linux

I wrote a previous article about obtaining the BIOS version on a Dell Poweredge 650 server which had the end goal of updating the BIOS version on the server if a new BIOS version was available. So after obtaining the BIOS version of the Poweredge 650 server I needed the Dell Service Tag from the server so I could use Dell’s web site to see if a new BIOS version was available. Below is information on how to obtain the Dell Service Tag as well as the Dell Express Service code for the server if it is running a Linux operating system.

Technology Insights

Dell Poweredge 650: Determine BIOS Version From Linux

I have a development server, which is a Dell Poweredge 650, running CentOS Linux that is used for testing PostgreSQL database replication via log shipping and recently the server has been crashing after only running for a couple hours from a kernel panic. One of the things I wanted to verify is if there is a new BIOS version available but first needed to verify the current BIOS version installed. Below is information on how to determine what BIOS version a Linux server is using while the server is running.

Technology Insights

Play HD DVD’s On Windows 7 Using Xbox 360 HD DVD Player

The LCD TV in my office started having issues with the LCD screen a couple weeks ago so I had to take the TV in to get the screen replaced. Luckily the LCD panel happened to be under warranty or I would have been out $2200. Regardless though it left me without the TV in my office which I use not only for TV but also for a second computer screen from one of my desktop computers so I was limited to using my HP w2408h monitor to watch movies, etc. One of the things I wanted to accomplish was to get the HD DVD player from my Xbox 360 working on a Windows 7 computer so I could watch some older movies on the monitor while the TV was in the shop. Below is information regarding what issues I ran across and how to overcome them which really is limited to the software used to play the HD DVD movies.