In the apache conf file, most of the time inside the SSL VirtualHost declaration, there will be a SSLCipherSuite line item similar to the following:


This needs to be chaged to:

SSLProtocol ALL -SSLv2

Configtest and graceful apache/httpd

If you are in need of redirecting all HTTP traffic to HTTPS traffic for a VirtualHost based Apache install, this simple line will do the job:

<VirtualHost     >
 CustomLog              logs/sybaspot-access_log combined
 ErrorLog               logs/sybaspot-error_log
 DefaultType            application/octet
 Redirect permanent     /                        https://ha-lb4-sb1/

Also, if you are looking to remove a subdomain from a URL (say you moved the document root or changed to a new server, or maybe want to remove WordPress or Joomla subfolder from showing in the URL:

RewriteEngine          On
RewriteRule            wordpress\/(.*)              /$1 [L,R=301]

What does this mean?  The (.*) says to grab all the extra URL parameters (subfolders, GET requests etc) and insert them into variable $1

I often forget the exact command to run or which server to run it on, so I’ve outlined the process here for a simple SSH key exchange.

On the server which will be initiating the SSH connection, run:

ssh-keygen -t dsa

and continuously press return to all questions until you return to the command prompt.  This creates a file ~/.ssh/ which we need to move over to the server which will be receiving the ssh connection.

ssh-copy-id user@SERVER

Type yes if prompted to accept the ssh key sign.  That is it – now just ssh SERVERNAME to get in without prompt.

Often when you first create a Virtual Machine using VirtualBox, you set quite  a small size hard drive and you end up using this Virtual Machine far more than you expected.  All of a sudden you are running out of disk space, and you didn’t create a dynamic disk that increases automatically… Below are the steps to increase the size of your Windows Virtual Machine in VirtualBox.

  1. First you need to shutdown the Virtual Machine for the change to work, which makes sense.  Imagine upgrading a physical machine without shutting down.
  2. Using Terminal (on a Mac) cd into the directory where your virtual drive is found (usually ~/VirtualBox VMs/{Your VirtualBox name})
    cd ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/WinServer
  3. run the modifyhd command with the new size (in MB) I choose 80GB (80 * 1024mb = 81920MB)
    VBoxManage modifyhd WinServer.vdi --resize 81920
  4. VirtualBox will resize your hard drive and you will see the following output from the system indicating that the process is complete:
  5. Now start up your Windows Virtual Machine. Log in, on Server editions open ‘Server Manager’.  On client, right-click on ‘Computer’ and choose ‘Manage'.
  6. Click on the Disk Management option on the left panel (in Windows Server editions, this is found under ‘Storage’). You will notice some black space next to your C drive (this means the space addition was successful.)
    Screen shot of additional allocated hard drive space
  7. Right Click on the C drive and choose ‘Extend Volume'. Follow the wizard (Next, Next, Finish) and you have successfully increased the size of your VirtualBox disk.
    Select to Extend the volume to increase the VirtualBox hard drive size
    The hard drive has now increased in size
    Drive C is shown to now of been increased/expanded

There are a lot of methods for setting up and deploying iPads.  Apple Configurator is mainly used to setup and configure iPads in a small classroom environment, for example K-6 where iPads are shared amongst students.  This article, however, describes how to use Apple Configurator to prepare iPads for a larger deployment in a one to one situation.

When a large number of iPads have been purchased, they don’t always arrive with the same or latest version of iOS.  This guide ensures that all of the iPads are on the latest iOS version, that they are activated and named individually.

Section 1 : Download and install Apple Configurator and latest ipsw

  1. Requirements: an iMac running Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8), an Apple ID and an Internet connection
  2. Download and install Apple Configurator from the Mac App Store
  3. Download and install the required iOS full package.  To do this, I use the direct links from OSX Daily, however you can plug one iPad into Apple Configurator and it will download the latest.  I usually google for “osx daily ipsw” and the latest iOS version which at the time of writing is iOS 6.3.1, then I right-click on the appropriate distribution and copy the link, paste it into a new browser window and add a s to make it https:// which I find is faster method of downloading as it bypasses any proxy servers.  You will receive a SSL Error message however this is often safe to continue.

Section 2 : Set up Apple Configurator

  1. Launch Apple Configurator and you should be on the “Prepare” screen.  Enter in a generic iPad name, for example “MKC iPad 1” and tick the box to rename sequentially.
  2. Ensure Supervision is OFF.
  3. In the iOS drop-down, select Manual, hit the + and select the download ipsw file from Section 1 step 3.  If you have multiple iPad models (eg iPad 1, 2 etc you can select multiple ipsw files and Apple Configurator will apply the one that applies to that model iPad).
  4. Tick “Erase all content and settings”
  5. WARNING: When Apple Configurator is running in Prepare mode (next step), any iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) will be automatically erased and configured as set.  Ensure to not plug in any device you don’t want erased!
  6. When you are happy that all the appropriate settings are made, click on the “Prepare” button at the bottom of the screen
  7. Plug in a USB hub if you want to prepare more than a few iPads, I like a rounded number like 10 to be done at a time.
  8. Plug in each iPad and they will all automatically be erased, updated and configured.
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