last update:

Every now and then I run port scans of the VPS running this site to check there’s nothing untoward and that I can see everything I expect to see. Recently, one thing that gave me pause was the fact that when I do this from home there are extra open ports in nmap’s output. After convincing myself that my server hadn’t actually been owned, I decided to look into it.

fscking CentOS 7!

At work, we’ve recently had problems with one of our SANS, and as a result we ended up with some filesystem corruption and a little data loss. As part of our clean-up effort, we rebooted and checked each server, mainly by running the classic shutdown -F -r now, to force a reboot and fsck. On systems where there’s little or no damage, this does exactly what you’d expect, and you end up with the system coming back up happy, but on some CentOS 7 systems where there was corruption this is where the fun began.


EventScripts is a fairly advanced Mac OS X utility with a bit of a learning curve. Its job is to run scripts in response to certain events, from things like your external IP address or location changing, to bluetooth devices being seen, or screenshots being taken. You can also talk to it using mobile devices using EventScripts Mobile. It’s a little like Hazel, for system events. The interface is a bit austere, so to start with it can be a bit overwhelming.

Like lots of people I’ve dabbled in step and fitness tracking for a while now, and one of my favourite tools to help me make sense of things is Exist. Exist is a (non-free) web service which pulls togther various tracking apps, like step trackers, mood, smart scales, runkeeper, last.fm and weather data and then shows you everything on a cool dashboard. While I use the dashboard as the main feature, Exist goes a step further and actually tries to correlate your different sources of data in order to help you gain some knowledge from all your tracking.

Update: after about a year and a half I realised I had a typo in the hardware name! It’s ESP8266, not ESP2866. I’ve updated the post to reflect this! You can find the corrected post at: https://hackerific.net/2016/02/21/an-iot-thermometer-with-esp8266-and-mqtt/