Sam's Blog

Deploying an IRC Server on Ubuntu

Posted on 09 Apr 2016

For fun, and mostly because I can, I deployed an IRC Network on my home server and I thought I’d write up the experience and steps of doing just that.

Screenshot of IRC Client

IRC Server with InspIRCd

Despite the punny name, InspIRCd appeared to be the simplest open source solution to deploying your own IRC server, since a package for it is in the Ubuntu repositories –you don’t have to faff around with compiling from source.

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A DIY Linux Minecraft Server

Posted on 27 Oct 2015

Minecraft Grass Block

Since I have a local server already running, I’ve set it up to run Minecraft so I can play (usually with my nephew) at home and not worry about keeping the world on my laptop or another computer.

I’ve designed this instruction set for a modular setup, allowing for one or more instances of a Minecraft server to run on one machine without much duplication.

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Using a Linux Server for Time Machine Backups

Posted on 12 Sep 2015

Since Mac OS is one of my daily operating systems, I use the in-built Time Machine software for backups, and since I have a server running Linux it seemed apt to make it Time Machine compatible.

Screenshot of mac OS Time Machine

To make a Linux server or old laptop or something a Time Machine, you can install Netatalk (plus some other stuff) on it. Netatalk is an open source implementation of Apple’s AFP file serving protocol, basically it allows a Linux computer talk to a Mac.

My Linux server is running Debian 8, so all of the following instructions will be for that. So if you do this and something breaks on your system (that isn’t Debian) don’t blame me. ;)

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Dealing with Password Hell

Posted on 09 Jul 2015

Out of the blue, I got an email that I had redeemed an Xbox Live Gold gift card to an unused Microsoft account. I don’t have or ever have owned an Xbox, so I suspected something was up. So I thought about going through the usual thing of resetting and changing my password, but it’s a hassle.

I’m Lazy

I’m willing to bet that you, just like me, are guilty of kinda being lazy and using the same password or same few passwords for all our online accounts over and over, like your dog’s birthday plus your favourite hot sauce with some puncuation in there: 05-05-2013.Sriracha. This is not secure but dealing with passwords is hell.

Enter 1Password.


1Password is a password manager that can sync locally or via their cloud service (it doesn’t have a free tier like LastPass, but it’s better designed so I went with 1Password).

1Password Logo

It does the job, their desktop apps are featureful and I use both the Mac and Windows apps (when I’m on those platforms), unfortunately there’s no Linux app but there are a browser extensions or a web UI if you opt to use their cloud service for syncing passwords.

Anyway, check it out. I recommend everyone use a password manager and I recommend 1Password.


Aeropress, My New Coffee Brewing Favourite

Posted on 03 Jul 2015

The Aeropress is rather a cult coffee brewer and few non-coffee-nuts know about it. But from the first cup of coffee I brewed with it, I was hooked. I now use it regularly for making coffee and my French press has been relegated to the back of the cupboard.


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