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Member since: June 2008
Sandra Henry-Stocker has been administering Unix systems for more than 25 years. She describes herself as "USL" (Unix as a second language) but remembers enough English to write books and buy groceries. She currently works for TeleCommunication Systems -- a company that builds innovative technologies to make critical connections happen -- where no one else necessarily shares any of her opinions. Send comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The history feature in Unix shells can save you a lot of time when typing long, fairly repetitious commands, but don't count on it to accurately represent history.
2 days 21 hours ago
- If someone told you that, on average, an advanced attacker was on a system for 243 days before he was detected, would you fall off your seat? If so, then, fall off your seat.
1 week 2 days ago
- Knowing how and when to use the escape character can make your day, but commands get a little hairy when you first have to escape your escape.
2 weeks 2 days ago
- You can make your life a little easier and more productive by adding some Unix power to your Windows system.
3 weeks 2 days ago
- Sandra Henry-Stocker wrote Unix: Book Review -- Absolute OpenBSD: Unix for the Practical Paranoid by Michael W. Lucas, Open Starch Press, 2013BSD -- the Berkeley Software Distribution flavor of Unix -- is alive and well and thriving on a remarkably secure system near you. And the second edition of Absolute OpenBSD (Michael W. Lucas, 2013, no starch press) is ready to teach you all about it.
4 weeks 1 day ago
- Whether you're setting up accounts for existing users on a new server or providing accounts for a crop of new staff members on your primary server, it's nice to be able to do the job quickly and accurately. The newusers command in Linux is designed to make this process as smooth as possible, but it may not do everything you expect -- especially if your data file is, uh, sloppy. Let's take a look at what it does and where it might fall short of expectations.
5 weeks 1 day ago
- Bash has quietly made scripting on Unix systems a lot easier with its own regular expressions. If you're still leaning on grep and sed commands to get your scripts to do what you need from them, maybe it's time to look into what bash can do on its own.
6 weeks 2 days ago
- Cron is not in charge; you are. All you need to do is tell it what you want done and when you want it done.
7 weeks 2 days ago
- Don't let an ISO 27001 audit ruin your week. Chin up and follow some simple rules to chase away the pain and the worry.
8 weeks 3 days ago
- Sandra Henry-Stocker wrote Unix: Cheat sheets -- everything you wanted to know about everything ... almostA treasure trove of cheat sheets is yours for the clicking. Visit OverAPI.com for help with nearly any language or tool imaginable.
9 weeks 2 days ago
- A number of people have asked recently what it takes to be a Unix systems administrator, what “core competencies” are required, and what are the best and worst aspects of the job. Here are some answers that might work once we get beyond “it depends”.
10 weeks 2 days ago
- Are you someone who never met a Unix command you didn't like? OK, maybe not. But are there commands you just can't imagine living without? Let's look at some that have made a big difference on my busiest days and those that people I've worked with over the years have said are their most important essentials.
11 weeks 2 days ago
- While pipes are one of the things that make Unix such a powerful and versatile operating system, they don't always make sense. Many people still fall into the "useless use of a pipe" habit while still others use pipes in situations in which pipes simply don't function at all. Knowing when to pipe and when not to pipe remains a sign of Unix mastery. If you want to look Unix savvy, use pipes only when they provide a critical service and never when they're superfluous or downright wrong.
12 weeks 2 days ago
- Finding a computer infection that is, above all else, designed to remain hidden is not easy work, but neither is it impossible. With some good insights and tools, you might just get a leg up on how the multi-billion dollar spyware industry is attacking your systems.
13 weeks 2 days ago
- You could have a rootkit infection right now and be totally unaware. One of the key goals of a rootkit is, after all, to go undetected. If the rootkit is hiding files, processes, logins, etc., how would you know? If you can't see it, how would you remove it?
14 weeks 2 days ago
- If you haven't worried about rootkits in a while, what are you waiting for? Rootkits remain one of the stealthiest and most worrisome forms of malware compromising systems today.
15 weeks 2 days ago
- If you've ever wondered how Unix systems identify files, you might be surprised to learn that file names really aren't an important factor. Unix systems reach into files looking for special codes called "magic numbers" to figure out what your files really are. They also examine other file content to pick out additional details.
16 weeks 2 days ago
- Malware represents one of the greatest threats that organizations face today and IT departments are coming to understand that their AV tools can only do so much to protect them. When malware is discovered on their systems, they want to know what it might have done, if the threat is still ongoing, and what they might have lost to the infection. Answers can be very tough to find, but reverse engineering the malware might just be the way to provide them.
17 weeks 2 days ago
- Don't throw up your hands if your boss won't buy you Tripwire and a modern debugger. There are a lot of things that your Unix system -- right out of the box -- can tell you about files and processes.
18 weeks 2 days ago
- The quickest way to determine what and how many processors are installed on a Linux system is to turn to the mighty gateway of kernel data -- the /proc pseudo-filesystem. In it, you'll find a file called /proc/cpuinfo that provides a lot of information in the processors in your system. Read on to see how easily you can get answers to questions and an explanation of what those answers really tell you.
19 weeks 2 days ago
- Hard links are not called "hard" because they're difficult. They're just ... mildly elusive. Read on and find out why one long-time Unix admin thinks hard links are the penguin's meow.
20 weeks 2 days ago
- Planning to spend the next six months fighting with troublesome data that you might have to scrub, decode, reformat, store, classify, annotate, visualize, analyze, explain, report and then start all over again? Maybe you should first get some advice from others who have been there, done that.
21 weeks 1 day ago
- If you're only comfortable with CIDR when the / is followed by a multiple of 8, a quick refresher on how the numbers work might be just what you need for a balmy January afternoon.
22 weeks 2 days ago
- Before the chilly winds of a RIF blow in your direction or a pile of your friends take off for greener pastures, you need to be prepared with an easy way to freeze account and preserve what might be of value in the abandoned home directories. In today's post, we'll look at some commands for inactivating accounts on Unix systems and provide some starter scripts for you to adapt to your environment.
23 weeks 1 day ago
- Sandra Henry-Stocker wrote Python for kids ... and adults intimidated by the very idea of programmingIf you love Unix but fear programming or have a kid who you'd like to convince that programming is fun, here's a book you really should consider.
24 weeks 3 days ago
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