An Ang Mo Geek in Singapore

Qmail: Routing outgoing SMTP through smarthost

If, like me, you are still using an old style LAMP stack combining Web and E-Mail, then you certainly made a “stay over” in SPAM-paradise. The Stack I self-host my E-Mails, using QMail and vpopmail with a bunch of intermediate tools like Spamassassin, Clamav, Greylisting, DNSBL checks. This helps to clean out incoming SPAM. Messages are delivered to users through courier-imap or qmail-pop3d. For outgoing messages, Qmail sends (via qmail-remote) the messages via SMTP to the concerned MX servers.

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Ubuntu, Flash and DRM hell

Yes, there are still peoples serving content through flash, and yes there are still peoples using DRM. I was struggling getting movies with Adobe-Access DRM to work on Ubuntu Raring (13.04), and the cryptic “3323 error” didn’t help much.

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Android: Open an app from web link or fallback to market

For the Android app we developed at Spuul, we needed to redirect users to the app when they opened certain links on their device. The first problem was that not every link should open the app, since some pages are ment to be visited by a mobile device. The second problem was to redirect users to Google Play when the app is not installed. Opening the app for certain links only Android apps have the ability to interact with the network stack and launch an app according to known patterns in an URI.

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Squeezebox on RaspberryPI

I was looking to find a usage for my (RaspberryPI)[http://www.raspberrypi.org/]. Why not a headless Squeezebox-Client? To control the player, the Squeezebox app on your Android phone is the perfect choice.

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WordPress, Total Cache and Cloudflare

Everybody is aware that WordPress is a heavy truck to display some “mostly” static content. Each Plugin or Widget that is added ads some stylesheet calls, javascript calls and database requests. This all together slows up the loading time of your blog. And it gets even worse when the site become popular and has to deal with thousands of requests. Why request for each visitor something from the database when the content only changes once in a while? Why go through all the PHP logic when the final rendered HTML is always the same?

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First steps into Cloudflare

While writing about Cloudfront, I came accross another CDN service called Cloudflare. The free entry price made me suspicious, hosting and transport has a price. Since I had nothing to loose and that this domain was new, I decided to give it a try. So far, didn’t find any dirty trick. What is Cloudflare? CDN is one of the features, but in fact, they do more than just delivery.

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Skip use of CDN near hosting region

The server hosting this domain is a VPS hosted in Switzerland by Nimag network SàRL. Access speed from Asia is pretty bad, specially due to network latency on the pipes Singapore-US and US-Europe. In using a CDN to serve assets, we improve global page loading time in lowering the loading times of assets. The VPS has a good European connexion, there is not much need for visitors in Europe to use a CDN.

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Network Speed Testing

Everyone is aware of tools like speedtest.net to get a sens of the Internet connectivity speed to certain regions. While it works on mostly every device it allows you to test speed to only one server at a time. And is primarily meant to test the speed of your ISP. I wanted to test connectivity to several part of the world in an one click way, usable on multiple devices. The answer didn’t struck me at once, but it all can be done with some Javascript and mainly with the xhr object.

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