Ben Tasker's Blog

Creating a DOS Games Server

This post assumes you've followed my guide to Setting up Xen on Ubuntu 12.04. and will talk you through the steps required to set up a web-accessible server for playing classic DOS Games (I've got Commander Keen, Duke Nukem 3D and Quake in mind!).

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I've gone Joomla 3!

Joomla! 3.0 was released in September 2012, and I've been planning an upgrade of the site ever since. As should be obvious by the change in layout, the migration is now complete. 

There are quite a few changes that have been made at the same time, some obvious, some far less so...

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Introducing PHPCredLocker Version 1

For a little while now, I've been working on a small PHP based project designed to store passwords securely. After a lot of testing, bug-hunting and fixing, PHPCredLocker has reached version 1.

Designed to prefer security over convenience, the system takes every step it can to protect stored credentials. Depending on the version of PHP you are running, passwords will be encrypted with either OpenSSL or MCrypt. A different key is used for each credential type (think FTP password vs Joomla password) and the database has been designed to be as unhelpful as possible to any miscreant who should manage to get a database dump.

I'm not an interface designer, so the template is very basic, but PHPCredLocker has been designed so that you can adjust and override as necessary (modules and views can be overridden, and templates are easy to create).


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My love/hate relationship with Responsive Web Design

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, not a web-designer. I can write and understand CSS but completely lack the ability to look at something and think it would look nice if I did this, ultimately I'm a sysadmin and a developer at heart - the visual stuff just doesn't interest me.

However, just because I can't design something doesn't mean I don't come in contact with it, and 'Responsive' design is becoming increasingly popular (for example, Joomla 3 is responsive by default), and I regularly do - both as a user and in my professional life.

Responsive design is how things should have been designed from the beginning. Of course, we didn't have to worry about such a range of different devices accessing sites, so no-one really thought too much about it - every one was far too busy working out how best to deviate from the standards so that IE would display things correctly.

The growth of responsive design does cause me some concern though, and in this article I'll be explaining what my concerns are, and how we can best avoid them.

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My Most Used Android Apps

My other half's new phone arrives today, replacing a very old and knackered Sony Erricson. Once the Galaxy S2 Mini gets here it'll be down to me to set it up, which has set me thinking about which Apps I use regularly (aside from games) and which of those will actually be of use to her (somehow, I can't see her using ConnectBot!)

I don't think any of the apps I use are too obscure, but then people's exposure differs so hopefully some of these will be of interest to other users!

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