Hardware

Networking: Duplicating Drops in structured wiring

by on Jul.29, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Networking

Networking

Structured wiring in businesses and the enterprise are as expected as the sun shining and a regular paycheck, however in the home a structured wiring solution can be an unexpected gift from the Gods of Ethernet.  While structured wiring in an apartment complex is usually done central to a utility closet or shelf, sometimes the central point isn’t always convenient for your router or you find yourself needing to run multiple networks.  In this tutorial, I will show you how to turn one structured wiring drop into two drops for carrying two different network segments, something that can be of benefit should you ever need it. (continue reading…)

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CVS Netbook Revisited

by on Jul.25, 2011, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Software

A few months ago, I posted a hardware teardown of the CVS Sylvania Netbook pictured above. After working with it and performing a lot of research on it, I promised a follow up article, and here it is.  To sum it all up, with a bit of modification to the software, a spare SD card and a lot of patience, you can actually turn this thing into a somewhat useful Linux device.  There’s also some improvements and suggestions to be had for improving the Windows CE side of things should you decide to continue using it in its default state.

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Building Snort and Nessus – Ubuntu IDS Part 3

by on May.20, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

 

In this final article in the three part Ubuntu IDS series, we will go over installing, compiling and configuring Snort and Nessus on our new IDS device.  We will use Snort to analyze traffic as seen by the IDS and we will use Nessus to perform vulnerability testing on the network. The process for installing Snort will also cover installing SnortReport provided by Symmetrix Technologies so we can translate Snort’s cryptic messages into a more readable format that we can take action on.  Read on as we wrap up the installation and finish our IDS device.

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Setting up bonding networking -Ubuntu IDS Part 2

by on May.04, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

In an earlier article, I demonstrated how you can build a passive monitoring device for an Ethernet network as the first part to a three part project to build a home IDS device.  In this article, the second in the series, I will describe how to set up the networking for an IDS using the passive tap that I built earlier.This setup will involve using a technique called bonding to take two physical interfaces and bond them together, creating a logical interface that we can use for Snort.  This article will also explain where is the best location to place the tap and what you can expect to see once the networking is set up using common Linux utilities like tcpdump.

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Build a Passive Ethernet Tap – Ubuntu IDS Part 1

by on Apr.06, 2011, under Hardware, How-To's, Linux, Security, Software

Image courtesy of forums.overclockers.co.uk

One of the things that the GCIA study has taught me is that being able to monitor the network your computer is on is a critical necessity to maintaining a secure network. Corporate environments can set up IDS devices to monitor traffic however monitoring doesn’t work unless you have proper connectivity to what you want to monitor. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have central wiring in our house and expensive managed switches that can set up span sessions with which to monitor traffic in transit.  In this HOWTO, I will cover how to build your own monitoring connection that you can use on your own network to monitor traffic without breaking the bank. This article is first in a three part series on how to build your own home IDS for monitoring your network traffic. Look for the other two sections soon!
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Hardware Pr0n: Sylvania “netbook” from CVS

by on Jan.08, 2011, under Embedded devices, Hardware, Hardware Pr0n, Investigative Dissassembly, Windows

cvs logo

Well, the annual gift-giving season has drawn to a close and now we are left with retailers trying to get rid of all that extra stuff that thy have left over in their inventories.  Of course as a hardware geek, I’m always on the look out for another great hack. While at my CVS I came across a Sylvania netbook device for under $100. Even better, I got mine as an open box for only $30 making it an awesome find.  Read further to discover what this little beastie’s hiding under its hood. (continue reading…)

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GUIDemo – A full VGA Library for the Propeller

by on Nov.19, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Microcontrollers

The Parallax VGA GUI Demo is great for adding a pre-built GUI for your projects. The bonus is that the drivers for using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse and a VGA display are pre-built and ready to run.  With a little bit of configuration, you can add a well built UI to your application and make it easier to display output and receive input from the user.

In this article, I will demonstrate some of the basic options that are needed in order to get the GUI up and running.  While our application is going to be turning on a few LEDs, once you have these basics down you should be able to use this article and build whatever user elements are required for your application. (continue reading…)

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TI Launchpad Dev Kit for under $5!

by on Nov.05, 2010, under Hardware, Microcontrollers, Product Reviews

So many months ago (in June), Hackaday and Make were all abuzz about the TI Launchpad which is a new development platform centered around the TI MSP430 microprocessor.  The most interesting thing aside from the processor spec itself was that the entire platform came under $5 for a professionally built development kit. I placed my order and in a week, I got a backorder slip and eventually forgot about it.  (June is years ago for those of us with ADD.)  Well even though I had forgotten about it, TI had not.  A couple of days ago, I got a call from the apartment complex that it had arrived! Read on to find out what all’s in the box!

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Dead Dockstar Resurrected with JTAG!

by on Sep.08, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's, Linux

Hey, I never said I was a graphics designer.  This was created in MS Paint after 15 minutes searching for a zombie icon and a JTAG icon or an angel I could slap JTAG over.

The reason I haven’t written any more about my fun with the Dockstar was that due to an unfortunate set of circumstances I was left with a bricked dockstar. (read: I did something stupid.)  After performing a lot of research and thanks to a bunch of people over at the PlugApps.com Forum site who helped me, I was able to get it running.  Read more for a complete list of what you will need including how to build an adapter and where to get the needed JTAG kit. (continue reading…)

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Squirrelcage blower keeps small form factor PCs cool

by on Aug.14, 2010, under Embedded devices, Hardware, How-To's

Squirrel cage fan cooling. Not chuck squirrels through fans at nuclear reactors.

As long as there has been electronics, there has been the problem of how to keep them cool.  Unfortunately, the problem gets more complex the smaller that computers get and what works for one PC might not work for others.  This is clearly the obstacle to overcome when trying to cool down a settop box.  Read more to find out how I was able to pull it off very well for a little over $10 in parts and still maintain all my hair.

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