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Top 5 Linux DVD RIP Software

A DVD ripper software allows you to copying the content of a DVD to a hard disk drive. You transfer video on DVDs to different formats, or make a backup of DVD content, and to convert DVD video for playback on media players, streaming, and mobile phone. A few DVD rippers software can copy protected disks so that you can make discs unrestricted and region-free.
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Poll: Your Favorite Scripting Language?

Like most sys admin, I'm lazy. I try to automate almost all things in order to save time. Inexperienced sys admin and help desk staff working under me finds all these tools useful. It saves their time and avoids security issues. Automation allows help desk staff to do things that they don't have enough direct system knowledge to do themselves. However, selecting correct tool and applying correct methodology is very important.
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Windows PowerShell vs UNIX BASH Shell

Shell scripting is fun. It is useful to create nice (perhaps ugly) things (read as solutions) in shell scripting. Now Windows got Powershell. But how does PowerShell measure up to traditional shells like Bash?

Linux Magazine's Marcus Nasarek compares Windows Vista PowerShell with Bash:

Both Bash and the Windows Vista PowerShell include commands for navigating directories, managing files, and launching other programs. System administration is an important duty for the shell, and Bash and PowerShell are equipped to help manage systems from the command prompt. Whereas Bash typically relies on a combination of newer tools and classic Unix utilities, the PowerShell has its own set of command-line programs. Windows refers to PowerShell commands as cmdlets. The PowerShell cmdlet called Get-Process is a counterpart to ps, and the cmdlet Get-Content corresponds to less. PowerShell differs significantly from previous Windows command shells.

Some time I need to work with on Windows Servers and I find this article interesting. However, I prefer to use Perl or Python for complicated stuff.

Ubuntu / Debian Linux Find Weak OpenSSL keys

This bug really was a bad one. I've client with over 200 Debian Linux server. Updating all systems wasn't the problem. With the help of Cfengine I was able to push updates but managing all workstation ssh keys (over 1000+ Windows and Linux/BSD workstations) and testing everything took so much time. Debian shouldn't have modified the package in first place. I also had to upgrade over 30 SSL certificates and a whole new CA for OpenVPN. Luckily VeriSign is providing revocation and replacement of SSL certificates (generally it is not provided free of charge) till 30-June-2008.

How do I find out all weak keys?

You can check all your weak keys with following commands:
# wget http://security.debian.org/project/extra/dowkd/dowkd.pl.gz
# wget http://security.debian.org/project/extra/dowkd/dowkd.pl.gz.asc
# gpg --keyserver subkeys.pgp.net --recv-keys 02D524BE
# gpg --verify dowkd.pl.gz.asc
# gunzip dowkd.pl.gz
# perl dowkd.pl host localhost

You should see 0 weak keys. If you run Debian or Ubuntu Linux upgrade your OpenSSL and fix all the affected softwares. There is also wiki page that will address all your concerns. Overall it lasted for few days for large clients. How many hours did you spend updating Debian systems?

AWStats is a free powerful tool that generates advanced web, streaming, ftp or mail server statistics, graphically. This log analyzer works as a CGI or from command line and shows you all possible information your log contains, in few graphical web pages. It uses a partial information file to be able to process large log files, often and quickly. It can analyze log files from all major server tools like Apache log files (NCSA combined/XLF/ELF log format or common/CLF log format), WebStar, IIS (W3C log format) and a lot of other web, proxy, wap, streaming servers, mail servers and some ftp servers.

You can easily configure awstats under Lighttpd web server.
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If you would like to copy a set of files for all existing users, use the following scripting trick. It will save lots of manual work.
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Happy 20th Birthday Perl!

Perl is a dynamic programming language created by Larry Wall and first released in 1987. Perl is used in many sys admin and web related projects. Perl 1 was released to the public by Larry Wall 20 years ago today. Perl 5.10 isn’t just a bug fix version: it’s full of new features that I’m eager to use: named captures in regular expressions, state variables for subroutines, the defined-or operator, a switch statement (called given-when, though), a faster regex engine, and more. You can read more here and here.