Donnerstag, 25. August 2016

Download Speed test as cron

To download a file regularly and log the speed in a file, add the following to a script and run the script with cron

wget -O /dev/null 2>&1 | grep --only-matching '\([0-9.]\+ [KM]B/s\)' | awk '{ print strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"), $0; fflush(); }'  >> /home/user/download.log

Dienstag, 13. Oktober 2015

check_mk monitoring SMART values on debian

I was recently setting up check_mk as monitoring solution for my linux servers. It's a very conventient solution and installed in minutes. Now I wanted to go further and monitor the HDD S.M.A.R.T values of the HDD such as temperature.

Adding the plugin

For the additional check, a plugin is required. The plugin comes with the check_mk installation. Since I installed the OMD (Open Monitoring Distribution), the plugins can be found here:


Just copy the plugin called "smart" to the server you're monitoring into the agent plugins folder. I installed the agent using apt, my plugins folder is here

Installing smartmontools

Since check_mk uses smartmontools, you'll need this package:

apt-get install smartmontools

Check the output

/usr/bin/check_mk_agent | grep smart
and it should give you a line <<<smart>>> as output.


Reinventorize your host and you'll see the new SMART values.
That's it. 

Donnerstag, 13. September 2012

Creating a secure user for home banking

People (like me) tend to use more and more useful applications like skype, dropbox and others that run as a service in the back. Additionally, a couple of addons are installed in the browser. Everytime I enter enter my homebanking account in my browser, my gut says: Do you really trust all of the sofware? It could easily log your banking PIN and forward it to some criminals.
To make my gut feel better, I created a separate windows user just for home banking. To be clear: If you're infected by a virus, this doesn't help. Always keep your antivirus updated! Benefits of this solution
  • No apps running in the back that could be nosey about my PIN
  • No addons in firefox that could grab inputs or modify outputs
  • Separate user data that can be secured
Step 1: Normal Accounts
First of all, your regular user account should not be an administrator. If you accidently download malware, it's very helpful if your account does not have admin permissions.

Step 2: Create new user
Create a new user account named "Homebanking". Make the accound a regular account, not administrator and set a password.

Step 3: Disable autostart
Login with the new user and run "msconfig" from the commandline. In the startup tab, you can see all autostart applications and the location they are configured to be started. Most of them are located in the windows registry in HKCU or HKLM. To disable the startup only for the homebanking user, there's a simple trick. Open startup the registry editor "regedit" as administrator. Navigate to the paths listed in the location column. In total, there are only 3 or 4 locations that should get you covered. All of them have a "run" folder. Right-Click the run folder in the regestry editor and change the permissions. Disable access for the "homebanking" user. This way, this user won't have any autostart.

Step 4: Encrypt the data
Logout the homebanking user. Login with an administrator account and navigate to C:\Users
Open the properties of the "homebanking" folder and enable encryption.

Step 5: Setup Browser
I prefer firefox. Install it (if not done, yet) and run it. You should have an empty profile now with no addons. If there are any addons, please carefully check, if you want them there or not. I'm okay with a addon from my antivirus software. Everything else will be uninstalled. Setup the bookmarks to your bank accounts or just set the default start page.

That's it!

I recommend not to use the homebanking account for anything else but home baning. I typically even don't visit any websites but my bank site.

Sonntag, 16. Oktober 2011

Installing Android on HP Touchpad


Cyanogen Mod 7.1 is released in an alpha version which you can install on the HP Touchpad. It’s a ported version of android gingerbread. The procedure will take you about 15-20 minutes overall. There are some issues with the alpha such as instable wifi, but I already like it much better than the WebOS.


What you need


Install Novacom

Run the setup of the SDK/PDK you downloaded. Select only the commandline interface tools



Copy the files to the Touchpad

  1. Connect the touchpad via USB. Tap the device notification on the touchpad to mount a drive in windows.
  2. Create a new folder called “cminstall” in the root directory of the tochpad.
  3. Copy the moboot, update-cm… and update-cwm_tenderloin… zipfiles into the folder
  4. Unmount the drive and unplug the USB for the touchpad to go back to normal operation mode




Start the installer

  1. Replug the USB cable, don’t connect as drive this time
  2. Reset the touchpad throuch Settings > Device Info > Reset
  3. When the screen turns dark, hold the volume-up key until the USB-Symbol appears
  4. After a few seconds, the PC should recognize the touchpad device
  5. Open a commandline window and navigate to the Novacom installatin location. In windows this is C:\Program Files (x86)\Palm\SDK\bin
  6. Unzip the and copy the ACMEInstaller file to the novacom location
  7. Run novacom boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller
  8. After a few seconds, the touchpad shows a linux terminal and executes the installatin procedure
  9. When done, it’ll boot into Android


Install the google applications

Cyanogen Mod 7.1 comes without any google applications such as Market, GMail, Maps, etc. Here’s how to install them.

  1. Boot the touchpad to android
  2. Connect it via USB to the PC
  3. in the android taskbar, enable the USB Storage
  4. In windows, copy the gapps-gb-full… file (you downloaded in the beginning) onto the touchpad
  5. Reboot the touchpad
  6. In the boot menu, select “Clockwork Mod” using the volume keys. Confirm with the home button
  7. select install zip from sdcard > choose zip from sdcard
  8. Select the gapps-gb-full… zipfile for installation
  9. Reboot
  10. Setup your google account

That’s it. You now have a market and you can install any apps you want. You have about 1.3 GB for apps, so don’t worry about the space Smiley


My Wifi hangs

The only issue I had so far was the wifi. Sometimes it doesn’t connect anymore and if you open the Wifi settings, it hangs.

If that happens,

  1. delete your wifi from the list (navigation in the settings is very slow, but it still works). If you don’t manage, reboot it and try then.
  2. Turn the touchpad off (reboot is not enough!). When it reboots after you selected “shutdown” (happened to me) just select shutdown again from the boot menu.
  3. Wait 30s, then startup the touchpad
  4. Once booted, configure your wifi connection again

After those steps, it instantly connected.

Donnerstag, 19. Mai 2011

Migrate Windows 7 to an SSD Drive

If you have the pleasure to own a brand new SSD drive: Congratiulations! It’s so much more fun than a disk drive. TO get you started quickly, here’s how you can migrate your existing windows 7 to the new drive. You’re going to perform the following steps:

  1. Tidy up your system
  2. Create a Backup
  3. Restore the Backup to the SSD
  4. Align the Partition
  5. Recreate MBR
  6. Tweak Windows Settings

Tidy up your system

SSD space is not only much faster, it’s also much more expensive. Typically, your SSD is much smaller than your previous drive. If so, you'll need to free some space before the migration.

  1. Oursource the Data (Pictures, Videos…) to another partition. See this post how to do it.
  2. Uninstall not needed software
  3. Clean up using CCleaner


Create Backup

Before you start, make a backup. Not only for safty reasons, we’ll use the backup in the next step to get an exact copy of the partitions on your SSD. Make sure you do a partition backup of drive C. I recommend to use Easus Todo Backup for this task.

Select Disk and partition backup



Give it a meaningful name



Select partition C



Select the destination. Best on an external drive.



Restore Backup to the SSD

Restore the newly created backup to your SSD Drive


Align the Partition

Partition alignment is very important for the speed of the SSD. If a partition is misaligned, the partition clusters overlap with the hardware blocks of the SSD. Writing one cluster on the drive results in writing 2 blocks. This dramatically reduces performance.

  1. Download the GParted Live CD
  2. Create a bootable media (e.g. burn the ISO to a CD)
  3. Boot the PC from the Media
  4. Start GParted
  5. Modify the Boot Partition, select exactly 2 MiB as offset at the beginning of the partition. Uncheck the “round to cylinder” option

Recreate MBR

We just broke your MBR. Didn’t notice? Try booting Windows… it doesn’t work.

This is fixed easily.

  1. Insert the windows installation disc
  2. Boot it
  3. After the language selection, click “Repair”

It will automatically detect the broken MBR and fix it.


Tweak Windows Settings

Disable Defragmentation

Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Manage -> Services and Applications -> Services - > Right-Click Disk Defragmenter -> Startup type: Disabled –> OK

Disable the Page file

If you have enough RAM, you should disable paging. If you don’t have, you should buy more Smiley

Start Menu -> Right-Click Computer -> Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Settings (Performance) -> Advanced Tab -> Change -> Uncheck Automatically manage -> No paging file -> Set –> OK

Depending on your needs, you can try more tweaks listed here.



Separating Programs and Data

There’s the golden IT rule: Always seperate Programs and Data. Why? Because you need to backup only Data. Programs can be easily reinsalled after a crash. If it’s mixed, it’s hard to maintain.


The target is to have two partitions:

  1. Drive C with Windows and all Programs on it
  2. Drive D with only Data on it

This way, you can easily delete and restore the complete C Drive from a drive image if anything goes wrong with Windows. Your data is still safe on D.

Backup Data

Before you start, backup your complete system to an external drive.

Splitting the Partition

If you have only one partition, you need to split it. If you have two, you still might want to resize them to your needs. For this tutorial, we’ll assume that you have only one partition.

You’ll first need some space. Delete all your data from the C drive. By data, I mean only

  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Downloads
  • etc.

No Programs! And don’t forget to backup first!

For the split, I recommend using Easus Partition Master Home

Start the software and select the Partition C. Select Resize/Move Partition


The new size should be between 50-100GB. You should have at least 20% free space on C after resizing. If you have enough space, you could give it 150GB, just to be safe. In this example, I gave it 90GB


Now create a 2nd partition on the unallocated space.


This partition should fill the rest of the disc.


Finally, Apply the changes. This might take a while and you might be asked to reboot.

Move your folders

Open your account folder from the desktop

Now, do the following steps for all folders in your account folder:

  1. Right-Click –> Properties
  2. Tab Path
  3. Change the Path to point to a new folder on drive D
  4. Confirm

Restore Data

Windows will locate your personal data on drive D. Now it’s time to grab the backup you made and restore all personal data into the new folders on drive D.

Backup Drive C

Now that everything is working, backup drive C as a drive image. You can restore this image anytime if needed without losing any data on D. For image backups, I recommend the free software Easus Todo Backup


Freitag, 4. März 2011

Caschys High-End lottery

Caschys blog is one of my favourite german IT-News Blogs. Today it's his 6th birthday, so...


A birthday comes with presents, right? Great! In this post, there's a lottery with 22 high-end presents like a Laptop, iPad, Harddrive, Mobile Phone etc...
Don't miss it!

PS: It's in german, so you might want to use google translate