News archive October 2017 - Koos van den Hout

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2017-10-31 Spammers overdoing it a bit
Dear Professor Epocafe,
Yes, there is an e-mail address that looks like repocafe@ but it's not a person.

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2017-10-30 I am a paranoid bastard
PGP lock logo I needed to look up some gpg commands and found GPG Cheat Sheet and it had what I was looking for.

Looking at this page I found this gem:
Ok, so what if you're a paranoid bastard and want to encrypt some of your own files, so nobody can break into your computer and get them? Simply encrypt them using yourself as the recipient.
That makes me a paranoid bastard since I use this to store passwords and other secrets.

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2017-10-30 I participated in the CQWW DX contest
This weekend was the CQ World Wide DX Contest. This is indeed another phone (voice) contest, so I connected headset, footswitch and the remote head of my radio. I had some time to participate on Sunday early afternoon and Sunday evening. On Sunday afternoon the logical band to try was 20 meters, on Sunday evening 40 meters. In the end I made 51 contacts.

All I did was 'search and pounce', checking for stations calling CQ that I could understand good enough and transmit my call back to them in the hope they would hear me. Some stations had me on the first try, some took several tries and some never heard me. The DX that got away was a Kazakhstan station who could not decode my call even after several tries.

I used the yfktest contest software for Linux again. This wasn't very hard as yfktest has a standard definition for the CQWW DX contest.

I heard both serious contest stations and single operators just calling CQ on the air. Interesting was to work OH1LWZ/M who according to his qrz page is really contesting mobile from his car or bicycle.

For next time I have to check the compression and gain settings for SSB on my Yaesu FT-857D radio when using the headset.

Claimed results:
Band    QSO    Qpts   Dupes Countries Zones
  20     40      48       0      15       5
  40     11      19       0       9       6
 ALL     51      67       0      24      11
 Total Score: 2,345
A few times I heard the contest call PA0AA of my radio club who worked very hard to get the antenna at the club ready for contesting, but only in the background when I was trying other calls. It would have been nice to get them in the log.
Read the rest of I participated in the CQWW DX contest

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2017-10-23 De spam voor een Belg gaat maar niet dood
Ondertussen leven we op ruim 5 jaar sinds de eerste spam die te herleiden was tot een belgische lijst maar er kwam er vandaag weer een binnen van een belgisch bedrijf met kenmerken die lijken op de eerste spam die binnenkwam. Dus ook gebruikt spamlijsten. Die ondertussen oud zijn.

En ook Aqua service gebruikt oude spamlijsten. En bijvoorbeeld ook ART-company.

Eerder, eerder, eerder, eerder.

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2017-10-21 (Radioselfie from an earlier mobile activity)
Google+Koos van den Hout : Radioselfie from an earlier mobile activity
2017-10-20 (I had time this week to test the fibermast I ordered and found a nice but remote location to do it. ...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : I had time this week to test the fibermast I ordered and found a nice but remote location to do it. Learned a lot about setting up the mast on my own and made a few nice radio contacts.
2017-10-20 (I had time this week to test the fibermast I ordered and found a nice but remote location to do it. ...)
Google+Koos van den Hout : I had time this week to test the fibermast I ordered and found a nice but remote location to do it. Learned a lot about setting up the mast on my own and made a few nice radio contacts.
2017-10-20 Testing the new fibermast from a remote location
I had time this week to test the fibermast I ordered and I wanted to do this at a location away from houses. Someone suggested the location 'Trintelhaven' which is a small harbour in the dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad. This is a harbour of refuge in which ships on the Ijsselmeer can find a safe location to spend the night or wait out a storm.

Usually I do my outdoor radio activities at cycling distance, but this was an interesting location, I had the day available and I felt like going a bit further.

The Trintelhaven is originally an island created for the construction of the dike between Enkhuizen and Lelystad, which was going to form the 'Markerwaard'. But that plan was cancelled and now it is the 'Markermeer' (lake) with a new project to bring more life into it.

In the end I learned things about the new fiber mast, played radio, enjoyed the outdoors and had fun.
Read the rest of Testing the new fibermast from a remote location

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2017-10-16 Information gathering for ssh attacks
Someone has been looking at websites I run to think of ssh login names to try:
Oct 16 16:21:53 greenblatt sshd[19367]: Invalid user weather from
Oct 16 16:22:11 greenblatt sshd[19387]: Invalid user weatherstation from
Oct 16 16:55:07 greenblatt sshd[22596]: Invalid user weerstation from
All valid and published websites on this system:,,

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2017-10-15 Getting to play VIC-20 games again
VIC-20 startscreen Ages ago my first homecomputer was a Commodore VIC-20. I did basic programming on it and played some games. I remember the game Centipede and loading games from audio cassette.

These days games seem to be enormously complex and expensive or filled with advertisments. I don't like these, the last time I seriously invested time in a game was Pinball Dreams.

I found out about the VIC-20 emulator xvic, part of the vice package. I even bought a cheap USB joystick to use. I never had a joystick with my VIC-20 so it was about time to get one. This joystick is a DragonRise Inc. Generic USB Joystick (yes, including the spaces) and I noticed today it wasn't working right: up and down on the joystick did not work. I found out eventually the left and right on the second stick mapped to up and down, thanks to a simple joystick tester from Joystick - Denialwiki in 7 lines of Basic.

Some searching found DragonRise USB Driver Issue - RetroPie which mentions this issue in hid-dr.ko happened in Linux 4.4 - 4.9.

I did not feel like going back to compiling my own kernels for this laptop, but there is a simple solution in Ubuntu 16.04: use hwe (hardware enablement) kernels. These seem to be aimed at the long term support server versions, but they fix my joystick problem and I can play centipede.

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2017-10-11 Haproxy on the new home server and devuan upgrades
I got around again to working on the new homeserver 2017 and I worked on the installation of a 'testing' virtual machine with virt-install. This test machine also runs devuan linux. The first application I was testing on there is haproxy.

haproxy I noticed some defaults I did not expect (such as preferring IPv4 over IPv6). It seems the 'stable' devuan has the same age issues as 'stable' debian. Otherwise haproxy does what it is supposed to and I may standardize on it.

Upgrading was easy, I looked at Upgrading Devuan Jessie to Ascii and just changed jessie to ascii in /etc/apt/sources.list and did an apt-get dist-upgrade. The only minor issue afterwards is that the system now insists on using framebuffer video, which I find overkill for a virtual machine. VGA 80x25 is fine.

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2017-10-10 Plotting the number of contacts (again)
After working through the results of my participation in the Russian worldwide digimode contest 2017 I decided to run a graph again of contacts per month as I did in Februari 2017. And remember how I made those graphs this time and save it in a plot script. qsl count plot

And the plotscript:
set output "qslcount.png"
set terminal png size 440,300 fontscale 0.7
set timefmt "%Y-%m"
set xlabel "Month"
set ylabel "Number of contacts"
set xdata time
set style data lines
set xtics format "%b %Y" 
set xtics rotate
plot "dataset-qsocount" using 1:2 title "Contacts/Month"
The interesting peak in January 2017 is still visible, it was caused by two contests I participated in: the ARRL RTTY roundup 2017 and the UBA PSK63 prefix contest 2017.

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2017-10-09 I participated in the Russian worldwide Digimode contest
Past weekend was the Russian worldwide digimode contest edition 2017. I mounted the endfed antenna outside and participated when time was available.

Thinks went good in search and pounce mode, there were multiple instances of making more than one contact in the same minute according to the log. Calling cq gave less response but I also got some contacts logged that way.
Band  QSOs Dupes Points Mults
160      0     0      0     0
80       0     0      0     0
40      46     0    280    32
20      41     0    129    35
15       0     0      0     0
10       0     0      0     0
Total   87     0    409    67
Claimed score is 27403 points
Since I operated in more than one band and with power above QRP levels I entered in the SINGLE-OP ALL HIGH category.

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2017-10-09 Interesting NFS exports problem
I am used to being unable to unmount filesystems as long as they are NFS exported. It took me a while to find out how to correctly unexport filesystems before trying to unmount them. The easy solution would be to unexport everything and just export the other filesystems, but I'd rather not interrupt NFS availability of other filesystems.

So it was time to check some large filesystems again and I'd rather not do that during boot as it can delay booting for up to an hour. Currently those filesystems are exported via IPv4 and IPv6. Removing the export for IPv4 is easy:
# exportfs -u
But for IPv6 it gets harder:
# exportfs -u 2001:db8:a::/64:/export
exportfs: Invalid unexporting option: 2001
So it is still exported via IPv6. And next thing I try to unmount it and notice it's ok to unmount a filesystem that is only exported via IPv6. I guess this shows some interesting bug.

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IPv6 check

Running test...
, reachable as PGP encrypted e-mail preferred. PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers

Meningen zijn die van mezelf, wat ik schrijf is beschermd door auteursrecht. Sommige publicaties bevatten een expliciete vermelding dat ze ongevraagd gedeeld mogen worden.
My opinions are my own, what I write is protected by copyrights. Some publications contain an explicit license statement which allows sharing without asking permission.
Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews
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