News items for tag english - Koos van den Hout

2019-10-14 Sharing some of my CQRLOG scripts 1 month ago
Since January 2015 I've been using CQRLOG as the main amateur radio logging program. So each contact that I make ends up in the databases of this program eventually.

Being the person I am I added some scripts of my own to export data from CQRLOG to the PE4KH amateur radio station website in several formats.

I've made a few of these scripts available for the public via KHoos/CQRLOG-scripts: A collection of scripts around the CQRLOG amateur radio logging software on github. I've set the license to GPLv2, but I may have to change this as one script contains a lot of imported code.

Anyway, share and enjoy. Maybe these are of use to someone. Or someone adds the enhancements I've been thinking about but never got around to.


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2019-10-11 Slow(ish) syn floods probably targetting Maltese Casino websites 1 month ago
Cybercriminal While looking at some network issues at home I noticed some weird traffic coming in from the outside: forged SYN traffic. Fast enough to trigger my iptables rules to stop being part of tcp syn attacks so all traffic gets dropped. Searching for a bit finds Hell of a Handshake: Abusing TCP forReflective Amplification DDoS Attacks - usenix which discusses this kind of attack.

At the moment it's about 1 or 2 packets per second. The traffic itself isn't notable on my connection and even without the firewall rules it still wouldn't impact my system. But do this with a lot of systems on the Internet running some tcp service and quite some traffic will go to the targeted IP address.

I guess someone doesn't like some Maltese Casino website. I don't like casino websites either because they promote addictive behaviour but I'm not about to use a DDoS.

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2019-10-06 A new HF radio, with plans for remote operation 2 months ago
The last years I've been dealing with increasing levels of interference on the HF bands at home. One clear source is the rising numbers of solar panel installations, with a clear difference between hiring the cheapest installer versus hiring a good installer but paying more.

I don't want to start discussions with all neighbours about their solar installation and the latest news seems to be that the Dutch telecoms regulator takes the stance of solar panels being needed for our economy so radio amateurs have to accept the interference.

Moving house is not in our plans for the coming years so I started reading about the options for remote operations, where I can sit at home with the microphone and morse key looking at the display of the radio and hearing the audio while the receiving/sending part is at a remote site with a lot less interference.

I found out about RemoteRig which does just that, and with the right choice of radio allows complete remote operation over the Internet. With their offering I started looking at compatible HF radios and found a nice secondhand Kenwood TS-480SAT. This radio has better filtering options for SSB and morse than my Yaesu FT-857D.

The radio is now at home and I made the first few SSB contacts with it. The filtering already helped me understand stations better.

Now for the next steps, cables, remoterig units and other things. And a remote location. I have an offer from a fellow radio amateur to do the first tests at his house. When all that works out I'll go and find a nearby location to do the complete installation.

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2019-09-27 SSH user names are not very creative 2 months ago
A search for the top 10 tried usernames for ssh gives a nice list:
     52 admin
     23 pi
     19 test
      7 oracle
      6 support
      6 nagios
      5 user
      5 ubnt
      4 ftpuser
      3 virtualbookcase

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2019-09-22 First morse contact, trying FT4 for the first time and participating in the BARTG Sprint75 contest 2 months ago
This weekend is the BARTG Sprint75 RTTY contest. I set up my endfed antenna on Friday evening. On Friday I listened around the band for any morse special event stations and found LZ304EW active. The station was calling with a morse speed of about 21 words per minute and I answered my callsign with 12 words per minute. And no, I can't decode morse at 21 words per minute, I used the computer (fldigi) to help me decode the morse and the nanoKeyer to help me send my callsign and the 5nn TU 73 to finish the 'contact'. I felt secure enough in hearing my own callsign in morse to be able to do this.

Most of Saturday I made a number of FT8 contacts all over Europe. Nothing really exciting, just trying to get a number of new calls in the log. I think I saw some new gridsquares.

The planned amateur radio activity was the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group Sprint75 contest on Sunday evening (17:00 utc to 20:59 utc which is 19:00 - 22:59 local time). I set up the radio Sunday afternoon and listened on 14.080 MHz, which is the default frequency for RTTY on the 20 meter band for as far as I know. I saw different signals, which turned out to be FT4 signals, the relatively new mode in WSJT-X. It's been around for a while, I just never got around to playing with it.

So I started WSJT-X and tried FT4. I made three contacts, one with an amateur in England, one with 4S6NCH in Sri Lanka which is a new country for me, and one with an amateur in India, which was a new 20 meter country for me. Not bad for trying a mode for the first time.

After dinner it was time for the contest and that was a misery. I made 17 contacts in total, 4 on the 20 meter band and 13 on the 40 meter band. Propagation was not cooperating at all, mostly just giving noise and sometimes signals faded in and I had to work hard to get a contact.

Update: The bartg sprint75 rtty contest was a weekend earlier! Only when I tried to submit my results and the website told me all my contacts were outside of the contest timeframe I noticed my error. I guess some more radio amateurs had the wrong date as I have seen 'CQ BART SPRINT75' calls. And 75 baud RTTY mode is also rare. I notified the BARTG contest manageress to let her know. Not to complain since it was my error, but to make her aware of the problem.

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2019-09-19 Real IPv6 port scan/network mapping attempts 2 months ago
I noticed some interesting traffic in my home network this morning, an attempt at finding IPv6 systems. Since IPv6 privacy enhancements are enabled on most systems this is exactly like finding a needle in a haystack.

I noticed an amount of outgoing icmpv6 traffic, and looking at the destination addresses and the type of traffic found lots of 'unreachable route' messages to a few Chinese IPv6 addresses. Searching for the netblock '240e:f7:4f01:c' finds more reports of portscanning activity.
10:14:27.761704 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.12980 > 2001:980:14ca:1:5054:ff:feae:17.902: Flags [S], cksum 0xd0a9 (correct), seq 3726392987, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:28.278108 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.19933 > 2001:980:14ca:1:5054:ff:feae:8003.12587: Flags [S], cksum 0xe1cc (correct), seq 95632679, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:29.219766 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.41487 > 2001:980:14ca:1:5054:ff:feae:fff2.902: Flags [S], cksum 0x3c31 (correct), seq 500442149, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:33.637405 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.35832 > 2001:980:14ca:1:5054:ff:feae:15.902: Flags [S], cksum 0xa6ea (correct), seq 2324914849, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:34.468975 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.12470 > 2001:980:14ca:42::ffe8.16992: Flags [S], cksum 0x5a72 (correct), seq 3249792078, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:34.469038 IP6 (flowlabel 0x63971, hlim 64, next-header ICMPv6 (58) payload length: 72) 2001:980:14ca:61::13 > 240e:f7:4f01:c::3: [icmp6 sum ok] ICMP6, destination unreachable, unreachable route 2001:980:14ca:42::ffe8
10:14:35.230776 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.63145 > 2001:980:14ca:1:20d:56ff:fece:8006.19: Flags [S], cksum 0xb87b (correct), seq 4259180220, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:35.952841 IP6 (hlim 239, next-header TCP (6) payload length: 24) 240e:f7:4f01:c::3.9056 > 2001:980:14ca:42::8013.16992: Flags [S], cksum 0xbb3b (correct), seq 2896438720, win 29200, options [mss 1460], length 0
10:14:35.952880 IP6 (flowlabel 0x63971, hlim 64, next-header ICMPv6 (58) payload length: 72) 2001:980:14ca:61::13 > 240e:f7:4f01:c::3: [icmp6 sum ok] ICMP6, destination unreachable, unreachable route 2001:980:14ca:42::8013

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2019-09-14 The nanoKeyer morse keyer in its case 2 months ago
The nanoKeyer morsekeyer in case with paddles
The nanoKeyer morsekeyer in case
I found help at the radio club, Kees PA5Z made his metalworking skills available and now the nanoKeyer has a nice case and works fine in it.

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2019-09-11 First zone with valid DNSSEC signatures 2 months ago
My previous test with DNSSEC zone signing showed a problem with entropy in virtual machines. Today I had time to reboot the home server running the virtual machines including the virtual machine with the nameserver, based on bind9.

Now I can create DNSSEC signatures for zonefiles at high speed (0.028 seconds) with enough entropy available. My first test is with camp-wireless.com which is a domainname for redirecting to Camp Wireless but since that variant was mentioned somewhere I had to generate the redirects to the right version.

The next step was to upload the DS records for the zone to my registrar and get them entered into the top level domain. This failed on the first attempt, the DS records have to be entered very carefully at the registrar.

I tested the result with dnsviz for camp-wireless.com and found an error in the first try: I updated the serial after signing the zone. So the soa record wasn't signed correctly anymore.

I updated my zonefile Makefile to do the steps in the right order:
-zone-signedserial:
        named-checkzone $* $^
        ./SOA.pl $^
        dnssec-signzone -S -K /etc/bind/keys -g -a -r /dev/random -D -S -o $* $^
        rndc reload $*
        touch $@
For the zone camp-wireless.com the original data is in camp-wireless.com-zone, the DNSSEC signatures in camp-wireless.com-zone.signed. And make will abort when one of the commands gives an error level, so it will for example stop completely when I make a typo in the zonefile which will make named-checkzone fail. The -D option creates a file to be used with $INCLUDE in the original zonefile. This does create a circular dependency: named-checkzone will fail when the -signedserial file isn't available on the first run. So the first run will have to be manually.

So now the zone is signed correctly. The next developments will be to find out how to monitor this extensively so I won't be surprised by problems and to redo the signing from time to time to make DNSSEC zone walking very hard.

And when I trust all of this I will implement it on other domain names that I manage.
Read the rest of First zone with valid DNSSEC signatures

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2019-09-08 A thumbs up for robust scripts 3 months ago
Encrypt all the things meme Today some of the letsencrypt certificates were older than 60 days, so the renewal script started to kick in. Last year I completely automated the certificate renewal of letsencrypt certificates with dehydrated and wrote some scripts around the renewal process with hopefully enough error handling.

Today some of the error handling got tested, one renewal gave an error:
  + ERROR: An error occurred while sending post-request to https://acme-v02.api.letsencrypt.org/acme/new-order (Status 500)
And indeed the dehydrated script gave an error level, the resulting (empty!) .crt file wasn't copied and nothing happened. On the next run of the renewal script this certificate will still be older than 60 days and therefore the renewal will be tried again.

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2019-09-06 The morse keyer is working with cqrlog 3 months ago
Next step was linking the morse keyer with the Linux radio logging and operating software cqrlog. A simple search gave me Nanokeyer with cqrlog - CQRLOG and indeed the suggested option 'WinKeyer USB' works. The option 'K3NG keyer' always stopped after a few characters of morse.

Now to get other software like fldigi and tlf working. And not have conflicts with both of them running.

Update: In the tlf manual I found a link to N0NB/winkeydaemon on github which works great too. I changed the default port /dev/ttyUSB0 to /dev/ttywinkey because USB0 is where my radio CAT control usually ends up, and two applications trying to use that serial port confuses the radio. The /dev/ttywinkey link is maintained by udev, with a rule in /etc/udev/rules.d/99-usb-serial.rules :
SUBSYSTEM=="tty", ATTRS{idVendor}=="1a86", ATTRS{idProduct}=="7523", SYMLINK+="ttywinkey"
I can't select on a serial number or anything more specific so devices with a QinHeng Electronics HL-340 USB-Serial adapter will probably all try to get a symlink to /dev/winkeyer.

I tested the result with cqrlog (selecting the cwdaemon option in cqrlog cw settings) and it works fine too. Next step will be to test with tlf.

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2019-09-06 The morse keyer is working 3 months ago
nanoKeyer morse keyer and morse paddle key
The nanoKeyer and the morse paddle key. Connections to the nanoKeyer from left to right: cw to radio, input from paddle and usb to the computer
After a few hours of thoroughly soldering and checking the results the nanoKeyer is done. I did find an error in my work so I had to get out the desoldering iron to fix it: I put the wrong resistor in one place.

Next step was to get the arduino that is the core of the nanoKeyer tested. There was an arduino nano included with the kit preprogrammed with the nanoKeyer software, but it still needed the print headers soldered: two rows of 15 pins and very secure soldering work. I did put the small tip on my soldering station for this work and used a magnifying glass to check my results. It seemed to work fine but I noticed soon the speed control potentiometer and the menu buttons gave no response. Both those functions use an analog input of the Arduino in the nanoKeyer. I had bought an arduino at a previous radio parts market so I tried that one. This one already had the print headers installed so there was less chance of causing a defect.

That one had to be programmed first, so I dove into getting the Arduino integrated development environment installed. After a few tries it seemed the only way to have working USB communications is to run the whole Arduino IDE as root (using sudo). Not very secure but at least I could continue my work. The right settings were made according to the nanoKeyer Firmware Upload Guide 2 and the Arduino nano I bought myself works fine. The result: sending morse code, changing settings with the menu button all worked fine.

The ultimate step was to get software controlled CW generation working. I soon found Winkey USB works in Linux - OK1RR which has a driver binary (no source unfortunately) which communicates fine with the nanoKeyer. The network UDP protocol is somewhat very binary so I used one of the cwdaemon test programs to get actual morse code sent from the computer.

Now for the (for me) hard part: making the right holes in the case. I'll try to find some help at my radio club.

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2019-09-04 New electronics project: a morse keyer 3 months ago
My learning morse is still ongoing and I'm taking the first steps in generating morse. I decided on a paddle as a first morse key to get the dot/dash (or better: Dit and Dah) timing correct automatically. Opinions on tbe best choice for first morse key differ: some say a straight key is the best, others say a paddle. I'm sticking with the paddle at the moment because I also have a tendency to develop RSI. Telegraph operators were the first profession to have cases of RSI so I hope to avoid that.

I recently bought a paddle: the uniHam UNI-730a which is a nice affordable paddle for a starting morse operator. With the built-in keyer in my Yaesu FT-857 radio it is possible to create good morse code. I use the option to create the morse tone on the radio without transmitting to practise sending morse. I check the results with the Android application Rx Morse.

But, I want to be able to participate in morse contests in the future. For those a cw keyer is necessary that can be controlled both from a paddle (or a straight key) and the computer. I was looking at options when a fellow club member mentioned he had a nanoKeyer morse keyer kit available that he wasn't going to build himself because his radio can do all that work. So I bought the kit from him, including case and I'm soldering the first parts.

Since all parts are through-hole, I am soldering with the components 'hanging' from the board. I want all components to be as close to the printed circuit board as possible so for some things that want to 'fall' I use rubber bands to make them stay close to the board for the first soldering connections. I do avoid warming up the rubber bands, they will probably break and/or burn causing a nasty smell.

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2019-09-03 Back from holiday in Austria 3 months ago
Flag of Austria, cc-by-2.0 license James Cridland
Flag of Austria, cc-by-2.0 license James Cridland
We went on our summer holiday to the Montafon area in the Voralberg province of Austria. This is an area that can be reached within one day of driving.

We went camping and stayed at the Aktivcamping Montafon in Schruns-Tschagguns. This is one valley away from the campsite we visited in the Summer of 2018.

Activities included lots of walks in the mountains and a few "klettersteig" (also known as "via ferrata") routes. I tried climbing and abseiling with the right equipment last year and learned that it's something I can do.

We did a three day tour of mountain huts (sleeping in those huts for two nights). Staying in mountain huts makes more remote areas reachable.

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2019-08-26 3000 items on my homepage and counting 3 months ago
Over 3000 items I was just wondering about the number of newsitems on my homepage and did a check. An interesting value popped up: 3000.

Yes, a round 3000 items since I started writing more than 20 years ago (or rather: 7456 days ago) : I've created a virtual bookcase with an overview of books I like/read.

Graphic created with Retro Wave.

Hat tip to Wil Wheaton, who mentions 6584 days - Wil Wheaton dot net

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2019-08-21 Comparing yfktest and tlf for linux-based amateur radio contesting 3 months ago
Episode 295 of Linux in the Ham Shack is about the TLF Contest Logger. I wrote to Linux in the Ham Shack about my experiences with both programs. In 2017 I participated in the IARU-HF contest using yfktest and in 2019 I participated in the IARU-HF contest using TLF.
My opionion about both is clearly formed by my style of contesting. Phone contesting is rare for me, and I am a very casual contester. I operate in search and pounce mode, where I search for other stations calling CQ.

My experiences:

Both are textmode programs, which try to mimic DOS-based contest programs. No dragging around windows, you'll have to deal with how the makers decided to set up the screen. Also, on a graphical system, try to find the biggest and baddest monospace font to fill as much of your screen with the contesting software as possible.

The role of contest logging software is making it easier to log contacts in a contest. It does this by automating a lot of the tasks in a CW contest, by keeping the log and showing the outgoing serial number (if needed). It's a plus when contest logger can keep the live claimed score in the contest and when it can connect to a DX-cluster and show possible contacts being spotted. Both packages can do the basic contesting and scorekeeping, tlf is the only one that supports DX clusters

yfktest is written in Perl, tlf in C. For adding a new contest to yfktest you will soon have to do some programming in perl to handle the score calculations. For a new contest in tlf you may have to do some C programming.

yfktest has no cluster support, but tlf does have it. This is a huge difference to me. With tlf I could open a cluster window showing me where new calls were spotted and on what frequencies recent contacts were, so I could hunt for interesting new calls and multipliers

Specific to the IARU-HF contest and my use of the packages: yfktest supports the IARU-HF contest out of the box, so it gets the multipliers right. When I did the IARU-HF contest with tlf, I asked about it on the list and someone shared a configuration right at the beginning of the contest so it worked. Mostly: It did not count the multipliers correctly, so I had no idea of the claimed score during the contest.

Both are open source and welcome any additions. Looking at the commit history tlf is somewhat more active recently.

If you want to really add a contest to either of them you'll probably have to start thinking about that months before the contest and take your time to debug your rules/scoring configuration if you want good scoring during the contest.

I will probably stick with tlf because of the cluster support.
Linux in the Ham Shack took my shallow dive a lot further and went into a deep dive with installing, configuring and running TLF. Awesome episode, I really enjoyed it!

Links to all the stuff: Show Notes #295: TLF Contest Logger Deep Dive - Linux in the Ham Shack
yfktest linux based ham radio contest logger, TLF, a linux based ham radio contest logger.

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2019-08-13 Decompiling zonefiles 3 months ago
The authoritive nameserver on the homeserver 2017 is using bind9 version 9.10.3 (from Devuan packages). I wanted to look up something in a secondary zonefile and noticed it was a binary file.

Using 'file' to determine what to do next wasn't much help:
$ file secondary.domain-zone
secondary.domain-zone: data
But a search found an explanation at Reading a binary zone file from Bind - The Linux Page. With named-compilezone a zonefile can be 'uncompiled' to a readable file.
$ /usr/sbin/named-compilezone -f raw -F text -o /tmp/secondary.domain-zone.txt secondary.domain secondary.domain-zone
zone secondary.domain/IN: loaded serial 2018122523
dump zone to /tmp/secondary.domain-zone.txt...done
OK
$ file /tmp/secondary.domain-zone.txt
/tmp/secondary.domain-zone.txt: ASCII text
Which is a readable zonefile.

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2019-08-05 Time for a new plot of the number of radio contacts 4 months ago
QSO count plot up to July 2019 Time for a new plot of the number of radio contacts. Months with contest(s) stand out again as they elevate the number of contacts. In July 2019 I participated in the DL-DX RTTY Contest 2019 and the IARU-HF Championship 2019. That last one has added a few countries to my list of countries confirmed in phone modes.

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2019-08-01 IPv6 growing up: ssh attempts to an inside machine 4 months ago
IPv6 is growing up: I saw an ssh attempt to an inside machine, reachable only via IPv6. The source was a Chinese IPv6 address which had not tried anything on any other public service.
Jul 30 18:39:02 ritchie sshd[27454]: Bad protocol version identification '\026\003\001' from 240e:d9:d800:200::212 port 44926

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2019-07-29 Tried receiving ISS SSTV with the FUNcube Dongle Pro+ 4 months ago
This evening had scheduled Amateur Radio on the International Space Station slow-scan TV transmissions so I took Arrow antenna, the new FUNcube Dongle Pro+, cables and laptop outside.

I found out gqrx crashes when the dongle is on the righthandside USB port of the laptop, so that one is out. On the backside port everything was working, and audio routing worked routing the analog output audio (created by qgrx) to the recording by audacity and the image decoding with qsstv. Gpredict was set up to control the reception frequency in gqrx, and this whole setup was working ok.

But the signal from the ISS looked very very weak in gqrx, just a small rise in level above the noise when I pointed at the general direction of the ISS. No idea why. No images were decoded from it.

After the pass I tried receiving some other sources with this setup and receiving the PI2NOS repeater went fine. But that's on the 70 centimeters band. I saw no activity on PI3UTR which would have enabled a test on 2 meters.

This needs more testing. Maybe something to hold the antenna cables so they don't get pulled from the laptop/radio during a pass.

Update: Most likely culprit: interference in the 2 meter amateur band. With a handheld radio that has received ISS packet sounds before I could now only hear them very faint in the noise. The local 2 meter noise is killing weak signal reception.

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2019-07-26 My Android phone gets an IPv6 address from t-mobile... but no routing 4 months ago
I just noticed in Network Info II that my android phone does get an IPv6 address from t-mobile. The address is something like 2a02:498:1fe1:9a02:2:3:xxxx:xxxx which is indeed in IPv6 address space allocated to T-Mobile Netherlands.
% Information related to '2a02:498::/29'

inet6num:       2a02:498::/29
netname:        NL-T-MOBILE-20080609
country:        NL
So I tested directly whether I could make an IPv6 connection to my website, but it fell back to IPv4. Network Info II saw no IPv6 route on the phone, but in later checking I also saw no IPv6 route when connected to the wifi at home, where IPv6 works fine. And doing a traceroute to that address from home shows that a core router at xs4all says network unreachable:
 3  0.ae22.xr4.1d12.xs4all.net (2001:888:1:4032::1)  6.105 ms !N  6.063 ms !N *
So T-Mobile has activated some IPv6 address management in their network, but stopped at that point.

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, reachable as koos+website@idefix.net. PGP encrypted e-mail preferred.

PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 local copy PGP key 5BA9 368B E6F3 34E4 via keyservers pgp key statistics for 0x5BA9368BE6F334E4 Koos van den Hout
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Other webprojects: Camp Wireless, wireless Internet access at campsites, The Virtual Bookcase, book reviews