South Park + Lynda = After Effects

Watching “Cartoon Wars” part one and realize I could also use South Park as examples for practice since my jobby job is paying me to learn After Effects.

Posted in After Effects, animation | Leave a comment

E is for Email Part 2

As it turns out, the CentOS 7 Cookbook has oodles of yummy information that Mastering does not including a simple up-front test to see if Postfix is already installed, running, and working. First, you send a local user a message

echo "this is a test" | sendmail username

and check the log to see if it worked:

tail -f /var/log/maillog

but that last command told me maillog doesn’t exist. Google told me, among other things, try restarting syslog. It turns out, that wasn’t even installed!

A quick

yum -y install rsyslog

fixed that …

well, I also …

but I got the stuff described in this

so I did the solutions provided in that and tried again

That didn’t work (see notes) so I uncommented that line and tried this instead (which maybe I should have tried first)

that totally didn’t work so I found and tried this

and now dovecot works so I’ll try the test mail message again

totally worked! So now I’m going to send a message to my gmail account …

KICK-FREAKING-ASS! It worked! It went into my spam folder but it worked! And most of these tutes and such include stuff so your messages don’t go to spam and you don’t get blacklisted so I am on my way!

Posted in Server Admin | Leave a comment

S is for Security

Google‘s gMail security is so amazing. I’ve gotten warnings before but today’s was like, wow.
See a similar previous episode: gMail Security Roxor My Soxor
I’m working on my app and testing an email function for which I was using a temporary gMail account. I uploaded the file to (what was until a few minutes ago) a public GitHub repo with the address/username and password fully visible.
In less than a couple minutes, the red band across the top of my gMail page appeared, telling me somebody in the Phillipines had my password and just tried to get into my account! Immediately, I …
  • Changed the password to that gMail account
  • Turned off “Allow less secure apps” (I had it on while troubleshooting)
  • Added my cell phone number to that gMail account for recovery purposes
  • Upgraded to a paid* GitHub account and made that repo private
  • Changed the database user’s password for that app
  • Setup two-factor authentication for my host’s control panel

*Yeah, security is worth the investment. A point made by the caption, “Think security is expensive? Try [getting hacked].” Click comic below for the source of that quote and the comic.


Posted in Security | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I Am So Ungrateful

Hours and hours today of stuff going right. Things installing easily and working perfectly. Updating huge chunks of code (without testing) without a problem.

Then, after about twelve hours … one little thing isn’t working … and I feel like throwing a tantrum.

Stupid SSL!

Update: Nevermind. It worked fine. It just look longer than my patience allowed for.

Posted in Security, Server Admin | Leave a comment

Making a Mail Server

Links so far:

Posted in Server Admin | Leave a comment

What I’m Proud Of

So, I have a B.A. from one university and I completed 10 of 12 classes toward a Master’s (I stopped going when my former employer stopped paying) at another but I never put a bumper sticker on my car for either of those schools or wore any clothing … I did, however, buy a totally rockin’ t-shirt from Schoolcraft College (a community college in Michigan)¬†that said “Computer Graphics Department” while I took a Typography class there. I loved that shirt.

If all goes well, by the end of the day, I’ll be registered for a couple database technology courses at Hillsborough Community College and start tonight! I hope they have a decent nerd-related shirt in their bookstore. I’ll be taking:

  • Database Design
  • Database Administration

It’s taken a lot of phone calls and emails trying to get an override so I don’t have to take the “Introduction to Computers” pre-requisite.

Posted in myLearning, MySQL | Tagged | Leave a comment

PDFtk on CentOS7

Months ago, I tested it with positive results on either Mac OSX and/or Ubuntu¬†14.04 so now I’m gonna test it on the new CentOS7. If it doesn’t work, I’ll either wipe the VPS and install CentOS6 or Ubuntu 16.04. First, I have to remember how I used the templates I created to test it. Ugh.

Watching The Defenders on Netflix, btw. I wanna like Iron Fist so bad. Loved the comics. Iron Fist, that is, not the Defenders. Except for Defenders: Indefensible.

So, testing process is:

  1. Get form field info using dump_data_fields
  2. Export fdf from a filled-in form using generate_fdf
  3. Import that fdf data to fill in an empty version of that same form via fill_form

I have a PDF form that, filled out, looks like this:


So, first, I need to get the names of the form fields.

pdftk AlbumFormEmpty.pdf dump_data_fields >AlbumForm.txt

That was successful. Yay. Result looks like this:


Now, I’ll export the data from the filled-in form’s content — not normally a part of this process, but it’ll quickly get me the data and other shizzle I need for testing.

pdftk AlbumForm.pdf generate_fdf output AlbumData.fdf

Cool cool cool, that worked fine. It’s hideous, but I have it.

Later, I will/would write a PHP script to create such an fdf file out of data from an html form but for now, I’ll put that fdf back into a PDF form:

pdftk AlbumFormEmpty.pdf fill_form AlbumData.fdf output filled.pdf

Perfect. Awesome.

One of the places where I learned stuff:

Posted in CentOS, PDF, Server Admin | Tagged | Leave a comment