Networking 2015: Hello pfSense

Having spoken previously about how I’m done with using Cisco for my networks, I now need a replacement. This has come in the form of pfSense. Given that it doesn’t have the name recognition of a brand like Cisco, perhaps some explanation is necessary. The fundamental element of networking is moving packets of information across physical networks. Once upon a time, this required specialist hardware that could move these packets quickly enough, giving companies such as Cisco their market. Today, commodity hardware is cheap and powerful enough that it can act as a network router. This is where software such…
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Networking 2015: Saying goodbye to Cisco

For the past five years I’ve been in a relationship that I’ve had no business getting involved with. That is, with Cisco networking equipment. Back in 2010, a friend decided to begin learning Cisco and to obtain his CCNA with a view to becoming a network engineer. Because I can’t resist fiddling with technology, I soon picked up enough to build networks, and eventually had built four of them using Cisco routers and switches. Unfortunately, there’s a  few downsides to using Cisco, which I’ll cover below. In part two of the Networking 2015 series, I’ll introduce the technology I’m replacing…
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TalkTalk: Words fail me

On Friday, as the whole TalkTalk hacking was blowing up in a big way, I sat down to write an article about the fiasco, if fiasco is a strong enough word to describe the mess TalkTalk find themselves in. The problem is that every time I managed to write a bit the story had once again changed. As with many things however, the more you sit and watch it, the more you recognise patterns. Two such patterns that have come out of this debacle are: Here’s another company that has failed to invest in Information Security; The CEO – Dido…
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The technology has become a tool, and I’m not sad

I would like to say a big thank you to Facebook. The other day it thought it would be nice to remind me of a photo I took at university, something I still think of as being not that long ago, But no, Facebook had other ideas, and helpfully depressingly reminded me that it was in fact five years ago. The photo is from my lab in my final year. I was working on a project around home automation, so I had lots of fancy electronics kit, a couple of computers and a whole bunch of time on my hands. It…
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Oh no! I’m using WordPress (and I quite like it!)

When I bought this domain eight years ago, I looked at a few CMS platforms, but none of them did what I wanted at the time, so I built my own. Since then I’ve always looked at WordPress and it’s ilk as being the lazy way to build a website, and if I’m honest, I still do. Why then you might ask is this site proudly using WordPress to display content? That’s simple, I no longer have the time. When I was at university, I had virtually unlimited free time, and developing a website was a useful application of what…
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Protecting a website against spammers and robots – CallamMcMillan.com

This post was originally going to be a talk about what I did with CallamMcMillan.com to stop comments, followed by another article on how I dealt with a robots problem on the article voting system. After re-reading the article though, I decided to explain the problem a bit better and make this article somewhat informative so that you can use it on your own websites. If you’re like me then you’ll enjoy getting feedback on your work. The feedback may not always agree with my point of view, or it may suggest that my technical solutions are lacking, but at…
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CallamMcMillan.com is 7

At seven years old, CallamMcMillan.com can now be considered technologically midlle-aged. And now, like many things that have grown up, people are starting to give the site more attendtion. Admittedly some of it unwanted, thank you very much spammers. There are a couple of searches on Google for which this site comes up on page one. Searches that have nothing to do with my name or this site. One of my biggest successes is the article talking about how to connect a Cisco router to a BT Infinity fibre connection. For some searches on that, this site shows up as…
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I’m back… And I have a big broom!

I know, I’ve been away for a while. Perhaps a bit longer than I should have. However I couldn’t leave it any longer… The sight of 800+ (mostly spam) comments awaiting moderation was driving me mad. What I find interesting though, is in amongst these spammy comments was a couple of little jewels. I found some thank you messages from people telling me that they found the content on here useful. Seeing that made me smile, and perhaps, if people are reading, then I’ll keep writing! I may disable the posting of links into comments… If anybody is still reading,…
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Taking a tough line with Spam Comments

It’s been a few weeks since I really had chance to work on anything for the website. Which is not to say that I have given up with it, just that I have been somewhat busy with other bits and pieces in my life. What I haven’t been able to avoid though is the sight of how messy the comments sections now looks. I don’t like the old way of publishing on the web where I talk at you and you choose to read or not without ever getting a chance to feed back. So I have always designed my…
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BT Infinity on Cisco Router: Read This First!

BT Infinity – BT’s implementation of Fibre-To-The-Cabinet (FTTC) is great, especially when you compare it to standard broadband. Sadly the same cannot be said for their provided router (the HomeHub) which is useless, and happens to use your bandwidth to provide a publicly accessible hotspot for any pleb to come along and use. This guide will talk you through setting up a Cisco router to take the place of the HomeHub and teach you how to avoid some of the pitfalls that may otherwise blight your installation. First of all, you need to understand the hardware you have and what…
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