Category Archives: Technology

Technology related blogs

Optimising Mac Storage

Discovered that optimising storage is not a good thing for the server. Basically fills my SSD up for no good reason.

Recovered over 100GB of space by turning this off. Its not like I even keep anything useful on this account in terms of photos, etc.

Proxy server Fix

Just worked out (yes – I’m that slow..) that all I needed to so was change the $_SERVER environment variable so that I can properly record the IP address of incoming requests.

Since I set up the proxy server a while ago to split out the websites onto different virtual machines, all my site stats recorded the proxy server as the originating site of the web page requests. Which was sort of true – everything was coming via the proxy server – but I do like to know where in the world people are coming from looking at this site.

For the record the fix just required this entry in the wp-config.php file. I basically rewrite the REMOTE_ADDR variable to look into where the proxy has forwarded it from.

/* By MGV on 20200607 - New entry to handle proxy server
     - this will allow us to see the real IP of the client
     - rather than the proxy server IP */

$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']=$_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR'] ;

I guess this could blow up if the site goes to a different server, but for now, its getting the right Internet address for site stats.

Weekend at Home

Can’t complain really – its been a nice weekend overall. Have enjoyed myself and relaxed.

I think its time to start getting back into the exercise again. Gyms open up in a week I think, based on the reduction in restrictions. I’ll need it.

Certainly had a good ride, even if the start had to be delayed due to the really cold weather.

Got to play with my raspberry pi’s. The new case works well without needing a fan. Definitely the way to go. Cute little critter. And really quite amazing for what it costs.

Mac Mini

Just spent the weekend configuring my Mac mini that’s arrived – its a 2020 model (ie the 2018 model with the feature bump):

  • 1 TB SSD
  • 16 GB ram (I know I could have got 8GB and expanded up for less)
  • Core i7 with 6 cores/12 threads.

Its a nice little server, and not a bad desktop. So I’m ready for when/if my 2012 Mac mini server fails… Amazingly its going strong to this day.

But this is a nice desktop, with room to grow. Interestingly, I noticed that my 500 GB server is actually doing ok now that I’ve pruned the snapshots of the virtual machines. So I have enough space for a while yet despite the emails that are filling it up. Still, ready for when that time comes, which will no doubt be fairly soon.

Server relocation

After the (brief) server downtime today, I’ve realised it’s the mesh wifi that is part of the problem. So the server has gone to the node now. It’s truly a headless box.

I was a bit worried about the temperature but the fan seems to hold it at 57-60 degrees which is ok I guess.

Mail Server

This is for documenting the server woes I’ve had. In fact, it started as woes not related to my server, but to the email server that net registry was running for painscience. That just failed on friday.

After two days, being told by tech support that they couldn’t fix the problem with cPanel, I decided to build my own email server.

And it works!

Along the way, its been a voyage of discovery, with SSL certificates (to secure the webmail), and even a lot of pain with getting wordpress generally to work with SSL. But that seems to work now after a lot of experimentation.

So, for better or worse, I have a mail server now running in its own VM… At least the cost per user is pretty low (like, zero other than my time).

I’ll probably need a bigger SSD at some stage, but for now mostly its about backups.