Beginner’s Guide to Backups

Backups are something most people never think about until it’s too late. Computers can be finicky, and if you value your digital data then you’ll want to have a backup solution in place. This post explores two aspects of backups: the various types of backups, and everyday tools for performing those backups.

Disclaimer: Parts of this guide include instructions that, if misused, could result in data loss. Never run a command without being 100% sure of the outcome!

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Contain Your Excitement: Building Portable Apps with Docker

Installing programs is something most people take for granted. How could it be easier – you simply download an installation file, run it, answer a few prompts, and before you know it you have a fresh new application ready to go. This is fine for a single-user system like a laptop or desktop, but what happens when you want to share that program with someone else, or migrate it – along with its configuration and settings – to a different computer? What if you wanted to do a clean reinstall without having to hunt for scattered or leftover files? Better yet, what if you could run the application in a completely self-contained environment without it affecting your main system? Docker provides a unique way of accomplishing this, and the technology behind it is quickly gaining traction. Continue reading “Contain Your Excitement: Building Portable Apps with Docker”

The World of Microcontrollers

A few months ago, I decided to buy an Arduino. For those who are unfamiliar, an Arduino is a small programmable computer typically used to power a specific application such as a smoke detector, medical device, watch, household appliance, or automobile engine. My reasons for buying an Arduino were twofold: I wanted to learn how small, embedded computers were being used to power our everyday lives, and I wanted to learn more about the Maker’s Movement. While this post focuses on the first reason, you can learn more about the Maker’s Movement through a variety of resources including Make Magazine and Wikipedia.

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Private Server Part 7: Wrap-Up, Tips, and Tweaks

Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! You have a server powered by open-source software that you can access from anywhere in the world, safely and securely. Now that you have a solid foundation in Linux and networking, you can start playing with different applications and services. Our final post will look at some tips for making the most out of your new server.

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Private Server Part 6: Public Access, Advanced Networking, and Advanced Security

If you’ve been following the previous steps of this guide, you should have a secure, freshly updated installation of Ubuntu Server which you can access from another computer on the network using SSH. If that’s the case, you can safely unplug the keyboard and monitor from your server – you won’t be needing them. If you’re running your server behind a router (e.g., on a home network), chances are your server won’t be accessible from the outside world. This section explains how to make your server available to the public Internet so you can access it from home or while on the go.

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Private Server Part 5: Web Hosting, ownCloud, and Subsonic

At this point, you should be able to access your server through your local network. You won’t be able to access it from the Internet, but don’t worry about that just yet. There are a couple of important security steps before your server goes public that we’ll get to later. In the meantime, let’s focus on the real reason you’re here: hosting your own file sync and music streaming services locally.

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Private Server Part 4: Security and Remote Access

Now that you know how to use your shiny new Linux server, it’s time to make it accessible over the network. After all, the client-server model mentioned earlier doesn’t work very well if the client and the server are the same machine. This part of the guide explains how to set up your server to communicate safely with other devices.

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