BitDay

Happy to say I'm helping out hosting the awesome BitDay wallpaper series, courtesy of BloodyMarvellous.

A lot of enthusiasm about this on reddit, and with good cause. Amazing set of wallpaper from a really talented artist.

Get yours in your desired resolution here. For auto-change-by-time-of-day instructions see here.

Enjoy :)

Install Steam on 64-bit Debian Wheezy-based distros.

This guide right here is spot on. I'm using a Debian-based distro called CrunchBang and it worked flawlessly.

Steam on 64bit Debian Wheezy (7.0)

If you are using nVidia drivers, you'll also need to add this step after you're done.

sudo apt-get install libgl1-nvidia-glx:i386

Props to the author.

Traffic Spike!

Hello to everyone who has come via theuselessweb.com! As you can see, it's been a crazy few days - with no real signs of slowing down.

Glad everyone is enjoying the pixelated lil fellas!

Feel free to throw me a comment on twitter if that's your thing :)

 

 

On Operating Systems and Firewalls

I consider myself an OS agnostic developer. I use OSX on my work laptop, Debian and CentOS for servers I run (at work and home) and for personal home use I use Windows 7, mostly for gaming. I don't hate any of these OS's. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, weird issues and great features.

The first piece of software I download and install on a fresh OS is an app-level firewall. There are plenty of these out there for every OS, and I've used quite a few. There is one in particular I've been completely floored by recently, but I'll get to that.

Windows 7

Some say you're fine using the built in firewall, and they're probably right. It does a pretty decent job at keeping you protected from external threats at public hotspots, while at home keeping your network nice and open and accessible - which is generally fine for a secure (i.e. not open or WEP encrypted) and trusted network. It does lack some ease of use and also doesn't protect you from any advanced attacks (such as APR poisioning).

COMODO Personal Firewall

I consider this the best firewall available on Windows 7 to date. It feels a lot like the early versions of Zone Alarm did back when it wasn't crap.

It's easy to set trusted and untrusted zones. It lets you know when new software dials out. It can even lock down your ARP table. And the basic version is free!

Windows 7 Firewall Control

Despite the horribly unoriginal name, this is actually a pretty decent front-end for the built in Windows 7 firewall. Yes, that's right, it's not actually a firewall in itself, which makes it very lightweight compared to others out there.

No really advanced features here, just a nicer interface to the W7 firewall. Mostly aimed at users that need to be notified of new software connecting out and maybe set some trusted zones. Does a pretty good job and has a very low memory footprint. Also free with a premium version available.

OSX

So as far as I'm aware, there are only two app-level firewalls I've seen people use on OSX.

Hands Off!

I've only trialed the demo for this one, but it does seem very nice. Easy to configure rules, nice notifications, very solid. $49.99 USD. Free trial available.

Little Snitch 3

Pretty much the best firewall I've used on any operating system. Version 3 brings some very nice features to the table. Still in 'preview' but very much ready to use.

The network monitor is awesome. You can see at a glance what software is connecting where, and how much traffic it's using. If you like you can also dump a specific app's traffic to a pcap file. That's such a cool feature, and should be the standard for all app-level firewalls.

My only gripe here is it can't lock down your local ARP table, but this really isn't an issue for most people.

Free trial. $34.95 USD. Totally awesome. Highly recommended.

Linux

Not to forget about Linux! I used to be a massive fan of the Linux desktop a few years ago, but I'm sadly a little ignorant of it these days, only using Linux as a headless server for the most part. This means manual config of iptables for me when needed :)

For those who use the Linux desktop daily please feel free to email me your favorite Linux firewall app or iptables front-end (and why you like it) and I'll be sure to add it here!

OMFGTABS

OK, so not quite tabs, but sheet music!

You can also download the midi file to the music here. Very nice rendition of the track actually. Arranged by the incredibly talented Sebastian Wolff. You should go check out more of his stuff. Now. Go. Do it. I'll wait.

It's been pretty crazy seeing OMFGDOGS get as popular as it has. Thanks for the support everyone! Glad you like the lil pixel fellas. :)