Tag: Hardware

Arduino: Basic Network Temp and Humidity monitor

by on Aug.23, 2012, under Microcontrollers, Networking

I don’t know why I can’t flip this image. It’s cursed.

The (albeit crooked) image above is a basic environmental monitor I built for the server rack that I keep my house’s servers in. This project features network connectivity via an Arduino Ethernet shield, an HTF3223 humidity sensor, a TMP36 temperature sensor and a Sparkfun serial LCD for a decent monitoring station that is self-reliant.  Read more for build details and the code to get it all working. (continue reading…)

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Networking: Installing and configuring pfSense Embedded

by on Nov.11, 2011, under Embedded devices, How-To's, Networking, Security, Software

pfSense Logo

After publishing the last post on networking and the security series, I felt it was necessary to go ahead and publish a piece on building a custom router.  I have been a fan of pfSense for the past four years and swear by it. It has the ease of use of a commercial GUI-driven router and unrivaled flexibility limited only by the hardware it is installed on.  In this howto article, we will cover installing pfSense on an embedded platform and initial configuration for getting your router up and running.

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Reviews: Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit at Mircocenter

by on Sep.09, 2011, under Hardware, Microcontrollers

Sparkfun logo

Sparkfun at Microcenter!

After reading this post on Hack-a-day, I went to the local MicroCenter to see what all they had to offer in a brick-and-mortar store.  I remember when Parallax and RadioShack had joined together and while the new availability had made it easier to get started with microcontrollers, the most common expression recalled is one of sadness at the general disarray of the parts cabinets.  Thankfully Microcenter seems to have done Sparkfun right.  Read on for my initial impressions of Microcenter’s offerings and a full review of my first Arduino kit, the Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit. (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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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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