Alexa Skill Endpoint (non-lamda, letsencrypt ssl) and “Unable to reach the requested skill” error, server doesn’t receive request.

I’m not a recipe blog with a large intro before telling you the fix. I’ll describe the problem and the steps later. I’m here to help, because I’m nice and my time is your time. Possible solution: sudo nano /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf       #add “ALL:” to the start of cipher lists and ctrl-X then yes sudo systemctl restart apache2 Problem: No matter what you do, Alexa (even in the test function) is unable to contact your intent endpoint and says “Unable to reach the requested skill” no matter how reachable the host. You have a valid SSL cert (if you […]

VPS backup script – automated Ubuntu

You’ve spent hours configuring your Virtual Private Server exactly the way you want. You have everything working, even that infuriating WSGI module in Apache to run multiple Python apps… Maybe I’ll do a write up of that soon. But for now what if your VPS provider has a bad day and loses everything? It would be silly to not backup your VPS. And it’s easy to do. I’ve written an automated script to take care of it. Let’s create a backup script. nano /home/username/scripts/ Alright. Lets put the following in the file. Tailor to your needs. I’ll explain after. #!/bin/bash […]

Dynamic DNS update from cron

We can use crontab to update our Dynamic DNS. It’s a nice feature and super easy. Who wants a whole application dedicated to telling a remote server your IP? Create a script, not necessary, can do it right in crontab, but why? make a script. If you don’t have a scripts folder in your home directory make one. mkdir scripts I’m not here to teach you basic bash commands. nano /home/username/scripts/   Put the following in the script.   #!/bin/bash curl   OR, I use this one now, but same concept (the q tells it to be quiet and […]

NFS on Raspberry Pi with ufw, NTFS, and connect from KODI

So here was the problem. I have an NTFS external usb drive I wanted to connect to my RPi home server and share with NFS to an Amazon Fire TV with KODI. Couldn’t get it for the life of me. KODI wouldn’t even see the NFS server in browse. Finally figured it out. Firewall problem. So first part sets up regular NFS with an NTFS drive on an RPi suitable for NFSv4. The second part setups up for KODI devices. And finally I add Samba as a backup.   Part 1: Mount the drive.   Obviously plug in the harddrive. […]

Connecting a Sip Cisco 7940 IP Phone and Plivo

The time has come once again to share something that took me hours to fix. Most of the random projects I work on are really only useful to me when I finally have a breakthrough, but on rare occasion I do something that many boredom warriors have attempted, but been left with unanswered threads and no hope in sight. This is one of those occasions. I like to pay it forward in hopes that eventually this will help someone, somewhere in the future. The project? Hook a Cisco IP phone to a sip trunk. I decided I really don’t need […]

Windows 8 File Permissions (Access Denied in 3rd party applications)

I just started using Windows 8 and I’ve found a few frustrating issues. If you are using 3rd party apps (for me that’s alt.binz and 7-zip) that do folder and file modification outside of your documents directory you may be having issues. I use my external storage drives for a lot of work and have for many years. Some of the folders and files in these drives are 10 years old and have permissions to match. This was not an issue in Windows 7, but 8 seems to be Linux level specific on who can or can not access a […]

MSDN listing for recursive file search is incorrect.

The MSDN listing for how to recursively search files is incorrect. Their code (in C#, but it applies to all languages) is below. [This is for Directory.GetDirectories and Directory.GetFiles method only] void DirSearch(string sDir) { try { foreach (string d in Directory.GetDirectories(sDir)) { foreach (string f in Directory.GetFiles(d, txtFile.Text)) { lstFilesFound.Items.Add(f); } DirSearch(d); } } catch (System.Exception excpt) { Console.WriteLine(excpt.Message); } } The problem with this code may not be obvious, but if you look careful it takes in a directory, looks in that directory for sub-directories and then spits out the files in each sub-directory. It completely skips all […]

Wifi Anywhere. For free!

Edit (3/3/2018): Wow, this was pretty new/geek only information 10 years ago. Jailbreaking a phone and putting on other apps is common place now. I’ll leave this post, but it’s not exciting as it was back then.   It’s been an interesting day for me and my phone. I decided today, why not root the device? That means giving your user account on the phone full access to all of the data files and all of the phone process (same as Linux root). This is handy, because then you can have full access to the phone for backups, VNC control […]

Samsung Epic 4G TV-Out Not functional

Well, I got my Samsung Epic 4G about a week ago and thought it would be wonderful. But, unfortunately, I was lied to like so many others. The phone for some reason or another appears to have slightly different hardware then its GSM Galaxy S counter part (meaning this post applies to the CDMA Fascinate from Verizon as well). The CDMA phones from sam sung have a different 3.5mm headphone port driver chip then the GSM phones and apparently they are not cable of composite TV-out. I have heard that the option was available in the menus when the phone […]

Kindle 3 and Wireless Security (MAC Filtering)

I thought I would start off this new site with something remotely helpful. I hope. I received my new Kindle3 wifi on Sunday. Its a great device and I absolutely love it, but I had a terrible time connecting it to my wireless network. I live in one of those massive apartment complexes where EVERYONE has a wireless router. It becomes quite a hassle to secure yours when you know someone eventually is going to try to leech off of it. Being a geek, I went above and beyond (by far) what was necessary for security. I set up a […]