Tag Archives: howto

How to: Install and Configure PPTP VPN on a cPanel server

This tutorial will show you how to easily install and configure a PPTP VPN server on a cPanel (RHEL/CentOS) server. A VPN server can be used to access geographically restricted websites if your cPanel server is located in a non-restricted country. Also you can use it to encrypt your data connection between your computer and cPanel server if for example you’re connected to a public WiFi hotspot and want to visit your web-banking account. Continue reading

Using netselect-apt to find the fastest Debian mirror

Setting up a VPS.NET server in Tokyo today was the first time I worked on a box in Asia and because USA and EU Debian mirrors where ~300ms away (and I was getting like 30-40KB/sec), I had to search for a local Japan Debian mirror.
First I thought I’d just got to the Debian mirrors list, find the URL for the Japan mirror and apply it to my sources.list file.
But again I was getting max 0,8-1MB/sec which still was very slow for my expectations (Japan is amongst the Top 3 of countries with the highest Internet connections speeds).

The solution was: netselect-apt

I just did a

root@dev:~# apt-get install netselect-apt
root@dev:~# netselect-apt squeeze

and a few seconds later I got

The fastest server seems to be:

Writing sources.list.

Then I just copied the sources.list netselect-apt created to my /etc/apt/ folder and ran apt-get update again.


So what does netselect-apt do actually? First it downloads a list of all the worldwide mirrors from the official Debian website using wget. Then it pings each and every server to see which one is nearer to the physical location of your server. Finally it writes a sources.list file in the current directory. Do note however that it doesn’t speed-test every server, but only measures the latency between the mirror and your box. So to be precise you’re getting the nearest server, not the fastest. In todays networks though, with 100Mbps and 1Gbps uplinks, it’s almost certain that the nearest server will also be the fastest too.

How To: Reveal Hidden Passwords in Firefox

Today I wanted to replace my router and realized that I don’t remember my ISP’s username and password. Like in any router’s web interface, the ISP’s password is saved behind asterisks (or dots in case of Windows Vista/7) but there’s an easy way to reveal this password in Firefox:

Just paste the following code in your browsers address bar when you’re on the page that displays the username and password of your connection and press Enter.

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How To: Use the Apple Magic Mouse on your Windows PC

Back in October 2009, Apple released the Magic Mouse, the first pointing device with a multi-touch surface. Like with the iPod or the iPhone, you interact with the device using gestures. And of course like with any other mouse, you can click it: The mouse itself is the button!

The Magic Mouse

I bought the Magic Mouse from the London Apple Store during a quick trip there and because my previous mouse was a Logitech MX518, when I first started using the Magic Mouse I got a little bit disappointed by the lack of precision when trying to do some very detailed work. Getting it to work with Windows 7 is not that difficult, all you have to do is follow the simple steps of this how-to.

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