Sal Aguilar's Bilingual Adventures in IT

computers are easier to deal with than people

Tigo vs Claro en Nicaragua – mi experiencia — February 20, 2019

Tigo vs Claro en Nicaragua – mi experiencia


Esta semana decidí hacer un corto video explicando mi experiencia al pasarme de Claro Nicaragua a los nuevos servicios residenciales de Tigo

Les comparto el video:

 

Cualquier pregunta o comentario, lo pueden hacer en YouTube, en ésta misma página o públicamente en Twitter @riper81

 

FREE Apps that I NEED on my MacOS computers — January 26, 2018

FREE Apps that I NEED on my MacOS computers


Chrome

Google ChromeIt’s my go-to browser. I can publicly confirm that I don’t have love for Safari (#DieSafariDie) or Opera (#OperaWho?). I use Google’s Chrome as my personal browser and I use Firefox for work. Yes I keep my personal and work life separate and you should too. However Chrome is far from perfect, so I always add the following extensions:

  • UBlock Origin – To get rid of all the ads on all pages including ads on YouTube.
  • Ghostery – disable trackers, analytics, chats and other stuff and be ghost online.

>> DOWNLOAD CHROME NOW <<

KeePass

keepassx

As an IT Professional & SysAdmin, I do have to login to several services, servers, and its not SECURE to use the same password for EVERYTHING, nor to write them down on notepads or post-its.

I use KeePass as my centralized password manager, it allows you to create groups with icons, and it can help you generate secure passwords and even copy them securely and remove it from the clipboard as soon as you used them. And yes its FREE!

>> DOWNLOAD KEEPASS NOW <<

MonoSnap

Working on support you are in constant need of sharing screenshots or capture part of your screen to point out specific parts either by highlighting. It also includes a useful feature to record a video of the your screen or partial regions of it.

It also comes with keys shortcuts for easier use and it comes with a free service that uploads them to a website and creates a short URL that you can share via email or social media.

>> DOWNLOAD MONOSNAP NOW <<

Spectacle

One of the things I was missing from Windows & Gnome when I migrated to MacOS a few years back, was the ability to resize the windows of the apps and move them either to the sides or the top or even doing a maximize screen which MacOS was lacking. I found Spectacle and it solved my problem right away.

Managing the windows becomes as easy as if you were using Windows or Gnome. Try it out TODAY!

>> DOWNLOAD SPECTACLE NOW <<

DropBox

Keeping my documents and important information backed up and available on any computer makes me able to work from any computer or any place in the world. That is what I love about Dropbox.

>> DOWNLOAD DROPBOX NOW <<

iTerm2

The built-in terminal app that comes with MacOS is not bad, however iTerm2 brings many features that will make it way better, you will love the split panes, the search, paste history and much more.

Try it out  and you will never go back to the default terminal app.

>> DOWNLOAD ITERM2 NOW <<

FileZilla

Its a vital part if you work on the web, a FTP/sFTP client. The most used client in the world and that is FREE.

Saving different sites, credentials and different authentication methods. It’s a no brainer!

>> DOWNLOAD FILEZILLA NOW <<

 

VLC

Resultado de imagen para vlcThe multimedia swiss knife app that you need to have to be able to see almost any video format and other types of media. It can even allow you to change media formats.

VLC is the the only video player and media player that you will ever need.

>> DOWNLOAD VLC NOW <<

SublimeText

The last text editor you’ll ever need. It just… works. It has support for several programming languages and has tons of plugins that can enhances the functions of the site, such as git and other features.

It’s FREE so give it a try right away!

>> DOWNLOAD SUBLIMETEXT NOW <<

Caffeine

If you want to prevent your computer from going into screensaver mode or prevent the monitor from shutting down when you are away from it, then Caffeine is your solution.

It runs on the top bar of your MacOS and is ready to help you when you need!

>> DOWNLOAD CAFFEINE NOW <<

Typinator

In support jobs that I’ve held in KOM-1, Site5.com, Sucuri.net & Kinsta.com you need to share the same instructions to customers or same greetings. This is where Typinator comes into play. 

It’s a text expander that optimizes the time you spend repeating similar replies to customers. You set short codes for sentences or paragraphs and avoid typing and Typinator replaces them with the entire values that you previously setup.

>> DOWNLOAD TYPINATOR NOW <<

Slack

Resultado de imagen para slackThe modern communication tool to get rid of 200 emails a day. Slack is a super powered IRC platform, with tons of integration into the most popular platform like DropBox, Google Drive, New Relic, GitHub, BitBucket, etc.

It has clients that can run on web, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS & Android. They do have a FREE TIER and other PAID plans that offer extra options.

>> DOWNLOAD SLACK NOW <<

What about you guys? What app am I missing from this list?

Matt writes about Gutenberg & WordPress — August 28, 2017

Matt writes about Gutenberg & WordPress


TinyMCE seems to be counted, a few months ago, we were presented with the future editor of WordPress, this editor will replaced the TinyMCE editor and will help define the web moving forward. This editor is called Gutenberg.

The editor is not like your classic WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, but it is built out of the user experience and the increase of Page Builders like Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, BoldGrid, etc. It has received several criticism, but be aware that everything that is different will always find some contrary reactions and its fine.

I am honestly excited for what is to come because I do believe on Matt Mullenweg’s work as he has been vital to making WordPress so popular that is on 28% of all websites (that is amazing btw). So you can read the full thread below:

https://ma.tt/2017/08/we-called-it-gutenberg-for-a-reason/

La Prensa is back and it’s new — November 17, 2015

La Prensa is back and it’s new


Yup, the issues from yesterday were due to a change of providers.

DOAP is no longer managing the infrastructure and web services for them. They are now running it themselves.

What happened?

After 12 months of several issues with their provider, a slow website with a lot of issues, poor UI/UX, they decided to change.

  1. They kept WordPress but developed a theme in-house.
  2. They also kept AWS EC2 and are trying to implement CloudFront again.
  3. The developers were pushed/rushed into deploying the version that was scheduled for January due to the long list of issues with the previous provider.
  4. The site was not complete so there are still some bugs which the local Developer Community in Facebook is trying to report so they can fix it asap.

Conclusions

  1. Rushed development and deployment often come with a lot of bugs. But it’s better done than perfect.
  2. Better UI/UX this time and I only hope it gets better and gets to the high standard that El Nuevo Diario has set due to the awesome team of KronosCode.
  3. There are still a lot of bugs that have been inherited from the previous provider. They are still trying to patch things up.
  4. They really really need the caching layer, or they are going to pay a lot of money with a higher amount of EC2 instances.
  5. Some security measures are needed. Disable XMLRPC and protect wp-admin.
  6. Ah by the way their small sister site Hoy.com.ni was also updated.
La Prensa Nicaragua is Down! —

La Prensa Nicaragua is Down!


Yes! Many users have reported constant errors and the horrible horrible WordPress White Screen of Death.

Some background about La Prensa

  • La Prensa is one of the biggest newspaper in the Nicaragua.
  • It runs on Worpdress. Previously to running on WordPress it ran on a custom CMS
  • It runs on AWS with EC2 instances and RDS databases.
  • It uses AWS CloudFront for cache service.

Below we are going to break down more info!

La Prensa’s core: WordPress

Yes, as you can see on BuiltWith.com the site itself runs on WordPress, we do not know which version as it is hidden for security purposes. What I do know about it is that is running on a WordPress Multisite edition.

We do know it also uses Contact 7 & a Flip book plugin for image Gallery.

A good thing that I noticed is that they have XML-RPC disabled, if you have been reading my blog, on previous articles I have stated that is is an important security fix to disable this feature to avoid bruteforce attacks.

 

La Prensa runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Yes, let’s see the facts:

Name Servers – Amazon Route 53

Run this command on your terminal:

dig laprensa.com.ni ns

and you will get this (or something similar):

laprensa.com.ni. 160353 IN NS ns-1491.awsdns-58.org.
laprensa.com.ni. 160353 IN NS ns-1654.awsdns-14.co.uk.
laprensa.com.ni. 160353 IN NS ns-229.awsdns-28.com.
laprensa.com.ni. 160353 IN NS ns-831.awsdns-39.net.

Those nameservers are AWS Route 53 Nameservers. See more about AWS Route 53.

www A records

Then the next step is to determine where the http://www.laprensa.com.ni is pointed at, so you go to your terminal again and run this command:

dig www.laprensa.com.ni 

And you will get a similar output to the one below:

www.laprensa.com.ni. 60 IN A 54.149.215.96
www.laprensa.com.ni. 60 IN A 50.112.175.81

Now to know who that IP belongs to we can run the following command:

whois 54.149.215.96

#
# ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
# available at: https://www.arin.net/whois_tou.html
#
# If you see inaccuracies in the results, please report at
# http://www.arin.net/public/whoisinaccuracy/index.xhtml
#
#
# Query terms are ambiguous.  The query is assumed to be:
#     "n 54.149.215.96"
#
# Use "?" to get help.
#
#
# The following results may also be obtained via:
# http://whois.arin.net/rest/nets;q=54.149.215.96?showDetails=true&showARIN=false&showNonArinTopLevelNet=false&ext=netref2
#
NetRange:       54.144.0.0 - 54.159.255.255
CIDR:           54.144.0.0/12
NetName:        AMAZON
NetHandle:      NET-54-144-0-0-1
Parent:         NET54 (NET-54-0-0-0-0)
NetType:        Direct Allocation
OriginAS:
Organization:   Amazon Technologies Inc. (AT-88-Z)
RegDate:        2014-10-23
Updated:        2014-11-13
Ref:            http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-54-144-0-0-1
OrgName:        Amazon Technologies Inc.
OrgId:          AT-88-Z
Address:        410 Terry Ave N.
City:           Seattle
StateProv:      WA
PostalCode:     98109
Country:        US
RegDate:        2011-12-08
Updated:        2014-10-20
Comment:        All abuse reports MUST include:
Comment:        * src IP
Comment:        * dest IP (your IP)
Comment:        * dest port
Comment:        * Accurate date/timestamp and timezone of activity
Comment:        * Intensity/frequency (short log extracts)
Comment:        * Your contact details (phone and email) Without these we will be unable to identify the correct owner of the IP address at that point in time.
Ref:            http://whois.arin.net/rest/org/AT-88-Z
OrgTechHandle: ANO24-ARIN
OrgTechName:   Amazon EC2 Network Operations
OrgTechPhone:  +1-206-266-4064
OrgTechEmail:  amzn-noc-contact@amazon.com
OrgTechRef:    http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/ANO24-ARIN
OrgNOCHandle: AANO1-ARIN
OrgNOCName:   Amazon AWS Network Operations
OrgNOCPhone:  +1-206-266-2187
OrgNOCEmail:  amzn-noc-contact@amazon.com
OrgNOCRef:    http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/AANO1-ARIN
OrgAbuseHandle: AEA8-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Amazon EC2 Abuse
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-206-266-4064
OrgAbuseEmail:  abuse@amazonaws.com
OrgAbuseRef:    http://whois.arin.net/rest/poc/AEA8-ARIN
#
# ARIN WHOIS data and services are subject to the Terms of Use
# available at: https://www.arin.net/whois_tou.html
#
# If you see inaccuracies in the results, please report at
# http://www.arin.net/public/whoisinaccuracy/index.xhtml
#

As you can see based on the all the facts, La Prensa Nicaragua is indeed in AWS.

La Prensa is cached by AWS CloudFront

After doing a quick review of the site’s source I found that it was using CloudFront using the following CNAMEs:

  • laprensa11.doap.us
  • laprensa12.doap.us
  • laprensa13.doap.us
  • laprensa14.doap.us
  • laprensa15.doap.us
  • laprensa16.doap.us
  • laprensa17.doap.us
  • laprensa18.doap.us
  • laprensa19.doap.us

They are all CNAME’s for d130eh1tuk2jcl.cloudfront.net. 

But even with CloudFront enabled we (and I mean Nicaraguans) have seen the site go down several times lately. There is something fishy right there.

Suggestions

  1. Due to the fact that this is a site with a lot of traffic. Which means that it probably takes 2 Million hits a month, I do think that the wp-login.php should either be changed/renamed/moved or that a security plugin should be implemented to limit the login attempts. I tried to login more than 10 times without getting not even a warning. This obviously leaves the door opened for someone to do a script that does a lot of HTTP POSTS to this file to try to authenticate.Some options are:

    – WordPress Limit Attempts by Johanee
    Bullet Proof Protection by AITpro
    Wordfence Security by Wordfence

     

  2. Improve the UI/UX. Clearly on this El Nuevo Diario is a huge winner by far.

What do you guys think I missed ?

The Internet is hating the New Macbook — March 11, 2015

The Internet is hating the New Macbook


Yes! Apple might make wonderful and appealing devices, but the latest computer, the so called “New Macbook” is provoking a lot of negative comments. This comes in par after my previous post from yesterday about The New Macbook. It seems consumers are now able to see beyond the Apple awesome marketing and careful design speeches. Below are some of the articles I have read:

From TechCrunch:

From Mashable:

From The Verge:

From CNET:

From Engadget:

So what did you guys think about the machine? Would you buy one or no?

The new Macbook pretty and slow — March 10, 2015

The new Macbook pretty and slow


The world already knows the new Macbook, which is not neither a Macbook Air nor a Macbook Pro. It’s the THINNEST Macbook Apple has ever built. Bigger keyboard with new technology.

The Pro’s

  • The thinnest and lightest Macbook ever built.
  • The most energy efficient screen.
  • USB-C
    Apple has always been a pioneer on new technology standards, I remember Firewire and now USB-C. Which is a step forward due to the fact that is a reversible port, which means its easier to plug anything into it; whether is a portable hard drive, secondary screen, printer or what not.

  • 3 different colors. Just like the iphone this new macbook comes on three different colors, Gold, Space Gray and Silver.
  • Bigger and better keyboard.
    Apple has reinvented the chiclet keyboard so it could be thinner for this New Macbook. And they certainly did, They even increased the size of each key and reduced the space between them. Also, a new LED system has introduced that now lights each key individually. This, Apple claims, also helps on reducing the electricity consumption.

  • New Trackpad with force sensor.
    Apple has now incorporated the force sensor on its trackpad as well as some haptic feedback to feel the buzz. The force sensor is something that Wacom tablets have incorporated long ago, and many, many Graphic Designers have learned to love and use on their day to day operations.


  • Improved battery life
    Battery life is something that has become really important for me, as I do like to move around the house when I work. I ditched my Dell XPS 14 in favor of a Macbook Pro 13″ Retina for that same reason. Not much for the OS, but for the amazing battery life. And now with the improved layered batteries on the New Macbook, Apple claims you will have a ALL DAY battery life; which it’s really 9 hours of battery life. (Apple is great at marketing).

The Con’s

  • The processor is slow because it’s energy efficient. It’s 1.1GHz. My Smartphone has more CPU power than the new Macbook. This CPU is half Intel Dual Core and the other half Intel Atom. This basically means that you are going to have a premium priced Chromebook or Netbook like the Acer Aspire One series that are targeted for a specific demographic of low income. To summarize this is slow.
  • 1 single USB-C port. This is used for accessories, charging the computer, printers and what not. I do wonder how’s it going to work if you want to attach a secondary display ? It would be either you have 2 screens or you charge the computer or would the computer pull electricity from the monitor via USB-C. I do need to answer this concern I have.
  • Too thin. Why it’s on my con’s list you might ask? Well, remember the bendgate? I am certainly afraid that this baby might break or bend. So I would stay away.

The conclusion

The new Macbook is certainly pretty and light. It has great battery life, but it is not the powerhouse I am used to use for my work. This new lineup item, is targeted for the masses, for folks who only need to use a browser, email and some office software like word processors, spreadsheets and presentations. If you are an IT Pro, a Power user, Designer or basically need computing and rendering power to do many things at onces, this is NOT a computer for you.

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