This seems to happen every couple of years.

I keep trying to find a Canadian hosting provider that offers capabilities similar to the one I use in the US and at a similar price point. Every time I find one, it ends up getting bought out. The last one was adequate, but had a number of issues (no shell access for starters) that I had problems with. This time I’m using a VPS from a Montreal provider to see how well it works. The initial tests were quite good, so I have migrated over. As it is a full virtual server as opposed to a chrooted area, I have more control and I’m happy with that.

I expect I may have missed a setting or two while performing the migration, so there may be some things that do not work as expected. The last time I set this up, it was on a RHEL based system and this time it is Debian based, so there are a few differences in how you accomplish some of the tasks. Learning is always good.

I’m sure someone will point out issues if they find any. Comments should be open for a couple of weeks and there is always the mailing list.

Met up with a few sysadmins for SysAdmin Appreciation Day at Pasticceria Gelatteria Italiana in Ottawa’s Little Italy. Not everyone was in the picture, I only managed one due to conversation.


Good times… lots of stories, work talk, tech discussion, good natured insults, vocabulary expansion, coffee, paninnis, gelato, pastries, etc.

Looking forward to next year.


We had an informative talk by Kelly on online training options based on his recent experiences. As we discussed the information, we discovered the talk could be expanded to include all of the local and online resources to provide continuous self-improvement for sysadmins who either have free time outside of work, are working part-time, may be between contracts or are looking to take some time off for training.

Kelly is looking to update the talk to include the extra items we discussed and possibly do a followup talk in the new year. When he has done the updates to the current talk, we will make it available online for anyone who be interested in the resources we talked about.

Other items we discussed included:

  • The venue for our end of year annual social event. We will have a brief discussion on that next month, after the talk.
  • Firmware mods for commercially available consumer devices, a topic item for next months talk.
  • Cisco selling its Linksys line to Belkin
  • Out of left field, video editing. I mentioned the open shot video editor as a possible solution.

I also plan on posting a follow-up to the May talk on environmental monitoring once I have built the probes and done the testing to go with the unit I talked about. It is a little late, but I have been involved in other things and have not spent any time on it.

After the April meeting, I have scheduled the rest of the year. topics are picked, people scheduled, descriptions added (subject to edit), and I still have a list for next year. I’ll be talking to people over the next couple of weeks to see who wants to cover some future topics.

After our discussion, we came up with a list of topics for future meetings.

I’m going to do a talk on the environmental monitor unit I brought with me based on the Raspberry Pi and a few add-ons for May

We have the following items listed, with a couple of volunteers so far:

  • Basic firewalls – re-purposing EOL gear for ongoing use (August)
  • OpenVPN
  • Security, an example would be the SANS Top 20
  • Zabbix (maybe June)
  • Coursera experiences talk  and discussion (July)
  • Small NAS appliances such as Synology including:
    • Package Creation
    • encfs
    • sshfs
    • deduplication
    • NFS
    • ipkg
    • Third party software packages
  • Crypto basics(using OpenSSL)
  • Pen Testing with Metasploit (tentatively in November)
  • Hardware simulation on different platforms
  • Using the XBMC API for message and video injection
  • Online learning experiences (panel type presentation)
  • Diskless Raspberry Pi
  • Network and Automated installs of almost everything
  • Configuration management with current tools
  • Screencasting/training
  • Good looking documentation with open source tools
  • WordPress usage cases

For anyone interested, Bruce mentioned that Udemy has their top 1500 courses on for $10.00 each.

Don’t forget, BSDCan is on next month at the University of Ottawa and there will be a Puppet Meetup on the Thursday night before the conference starts.