Runner-up for Weapon of Choice in the Socially Awesome Sysadmin Awards

I have to admit I was a little gratified and fairly amused to see that I was runner-up for the “Weapon of Choice Award” in the “Socially Awesome Sysadmin Awards” as a result of using the obscure Twitter client YoruFukurou. Unfortunately I stopped using YoruFukurou a while back as it wasn’t being updated, and I switched to Tweetbot instead as it has all the powerful functionality and configurability that I like, plus comprehensive mute filters with a regex option, decent syncing across the platforms I use, and a nice clean interface. read more

How to use Flickr favourites as your screensaver in OS X Yosemite, Mavericks and Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion was an improvement on Lion, which I had mixed feelings about when it was released. Unfortunately, however, Apple apparently decided that RSS is a dead technology (although it seems to be creeping back into Safari), and consequently the handy RSS screensavers were removed, which means there was no simple way of creating a screensaver out of one’s Flickr favourites in Mountain Lion, and this remains the case in Mavericks and Yosemite. read more

Get a continuously updating display of client IP addresses on a web server using X-Forwarded-For

Sometimes it’s desirable to have a continuously updating display of the IP addresses which are hitting a web server, with an indication of how many times each IP address has made a request. This may be because you suspect a DoS or DDoS attack, or there may appear to be some other odd activity, or you may simply be curious. If a web server is sitting directly on the Internet then it’s possible to do this fairly easily with a tool such as netstat. Often, however, a web server is behind an ELB or another type of load balancer, which means that if you try to use netstat then you’ll just see the load balancer’s IP address, not the address of the client which made the request. But if your load balancer is passing the X-Forwarded-For header (as it really ought to be) then you can use this header instead of the client IP to get a continuously updating display. read more

Python script to convert ICS-exported List from Reminders app to plaintext

I make extensive use of the Reminders app* in OS X to keep track of tasks and to-do items, and I wanted a way to export a list of reminders to plaintext, so I knocked up a quick Python script to take an ICS file exported from a List in Reminders (which you can do from the File menu) and output it in plaintext. If this is something you find yourself needing to do then this might work for you. read more