Process Automation with IFTTT

March 17, 2016

I’ve used this tool for quite some time but after talking with a number of people, have discovered that most have never heard of it.  It’s a web service that automatically does tasks for you based on whatever rules you give it (they call them recipes).  Here are some examples of processes you can automate with

The recipes follow the simple IF…Then methodology.

  • Download Facebook photos that you’re tagged in, upload them to a Google Drive.
  • Download gMail attachments, upload them to Dropbox.
  • Search Craigslist for keywords, notify you via email when a new listing is posted.
  • You can check out sample recipes or create your own at

    OpenDNS Alternative, SafeDNS

    I had once been a longtime user of OpenDNS for my home and some small businesses that I worked with. It served as a forward lookup DNS server and as a web filter for those networks. OpenDNS performed quite well. I don’t know why but I eventually drifted away from OpenDNS as a web filter and implemented Barracuda Web Filters or spun up Squid/Squidguard on pfSense if the need were to arise. Recently though, with my personal company, CloudFirst Technologies, I needed a reliable and AFFORDABLE web filter for my customers. I stumbled across SafeDNS. It seemed to have the same features as OpenDNS but until I tried it, I didn’t know how effective it was. I’m happy to report that it is a great alternative to OpenDNS. It blocks sites as expected, gives you control over the networks that belong to you, allows for custom profiles per network, etc. The price was not overly attractive initially, however, but they have recently reworked their K-12 pricing which made it the most cost effective filtering solution available.

    In order to utilize the service you simply point your computer or DNS forwarder to SafeDNS’s servers & then configure the network (source IP address) in SafeDNS’s dashboard/control panel. You create a profile (site categories you want blocked) and assign a network to that profile. That’s it, you are done.

    Give them a try at

    WordPress Simple Theme – Page Date Edit

    March 16, 2016

    I’ve been trying to get the look and feel of this site to a point where I’m happy again and something that has bothered me for some time now is the date at the top of the pages. This was a weird theme decision in my opinion. For what reason would a “static?” page need to have a date at the top of it?

    Development and coding are not in my wheelhouse but I’ve always been to understand php and some other languages well enough that I can typically make small changes. In this case, I was able to remove the date from the top of the Page Template (page.php) file.

    To do this, remove <?php the_date(); ?) from the page.php template.  Appearance –> Editor –> Page Template (page.php)

    Click Update File and you’re done.

    That’s it!


    Note: There is probably a better way to accomplish this but until I discover it, I’ll just have to fix the template any time their is an update.  Not a huge deal I suppose.

    XenCenter Issue after upgrading to Windows 10

    September 28, 2015

    After upgrading to Windows 10 on my main work computer, I could no longer connect to 2 XenServer 6.2 hosts and found out that the error was “Could not create SSL/TLS Secure Channel”.  After a bit of lazy searching I found a forum post that fixed the problem.

    Forum Post

    The actual fix for this is as follows.

    service xapissl stop
    mv /etc/xensource/xapi-ssl.pem /etc/xensource/xapi-ssl.pem.bak
    /opt/xensource/libexec/generate_ssl_cert "/etc/xensource/xapi-ssl.pem" ''
    service xapissl start

    Replace the with the IP of the server host you are attempting to fix. This should resolve your ability to connect from XenCenter.

    bitcoin CPU mining with Ubuntu 12.04

    December 16, 2013

    Please do not bother responding with how worthless this is.  This is purely academic.  A few of the guys at my office were curious and I was idle for a little while this weekend and got started with the basics of the basics in bitcon mining.


    Go setup yourself a bitcoin wallet here –>  There will be some tutorials, feel free to go through those.

    You’ll end up here –> This is where you can keep track of your account.  First let’s pop in there and grab the bitcoin address that we will use in a bit.  You can find it under Account Settings –> Bitcoin Addresses.  This is how others can give you money.

    Create an account here –> This is the only way that CPU mining is even relevant….which it’s really not.  This is a pool of individuals that work on mining bitcoin blocks.


    Ok, now that you have setup the accounts, here is the basic how-to for setting up CPUMINER on Ubuntu 12.04 Server.  I have this deployed on 16 VM’s running 1 processor and 512 Megs of RAM each for testing.

    Install Ubuntu 12.04 Server and get root

    chmod o+x

    edit for your worker user/pass found under “My Account” in the site.


    Now you are mining.  Please feel free to comment how fast or slow your mining is going.  I have 16 VM’s on modern hardware under XenServer 6.2 running on AMD processors all getting 4.57 khash/s.  Please note…this is very slow and you will likely never make your money back once power is concerned.

    If you want to learn more about bitcoin and bitcoin mining, here are 2 links that I found to be helpful. and