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I found that when you first install the Watchguard VPN software on Mac, you can give it a bad config server name and it'll try to use the last previous config. This will then error out a pointer to the location it expect to find it.

Mine said that the config would be stored in "~/Library/WatchGuard/Mobile\ VPN/client.ovpn". Right along side that file would be the certificates needed for the connection.


Using the official Drupal git repository

I'm excited, along with much of the Drupal community that we are converting from cvs to git. Since things are moving along and an official git repository for drupal actually exists I thought I'd document the process of taking advantage of this new tool. I'll assume that you, like me already have git installed have been using it to interact with other git repositories like the unofficial drupal ones on github. Thanks to dkl4 for putting some notes up on his website. This sped up the process a good bit.


Setting up OpenVPN on pfsense - Server Setup

Setting up OpenVPN on a pfSense firewall isn't one of those real obvious tasks, but can be accomplished easily enough with the proper instructions. I setup the VPN to depend on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). It would be easier to just use a pre-shared key, but less secure. For a more exhaustive, but slightly out-of-date tutorial, check out this pdf.


Free Drupal 6 Themes for Churches

I recently went through all of Drupal 6 contrib themes looking for which ones I could see myself building into a church site for churches on a budget. I thought I'd publish my list. Partially, it's so I don't have to do that all over again, but also so others can check it out and see if they might find something that would fit them well. Click on the thumbnail to see the drupal project page for these themes. Some depend on Fusion and Skinr to make the theme really work.


Drupal Offline Theme

Something not often considered when creating a small drupal site is the offline theme. I spent some time today figuring out how to make my own offline theme so that when I take a site offline, it isn't given the typical blue theme that has become a cliche in drupal world. I tried to also give it a bit of a "working hard" look to communicate to people that this is a good thing. Here's hoping brown plaid and tools say "quality work" to other people.


Case Study: A Small Non-profit Infrastructure Rebuild

At a small non-profit I consult with, we were able to take an office in the depths of chaos and confusion due to an unstable and unreliable technology foundation and rebuild it into a productive and flexible environment based on simple technology that repaid itself in under a year. The benefits to productivity and morale were also very tangible, though not measurable in financial terms.


CPOSC 2009

Here's the abstract for the session I'll be sharing tomorrow at Central Pennsylvania Open Source Conference. I've posted some "further reading" as well as a couple versions of the slide deck to help people retain the information. These conferences cram a lot in.

Linux has many advanced network traffic monitoring and manipulation capabilities. In this session we’ll assume you have command-line access to a Linux firewall or router between your network and the outside world. We’ll explore the tools available to most distros and how they can be used to gather and manipulate information from the network. We’ll primarily discuss tools available from the command line such as tcpdump and iproute2. The first will help us discover what is flowing and the second will help us manipulate it in the direction desired.


Arduino Project Video - Advanced Blinky Lights

I'm working on learning the Arduino, an electronics board with many interesting application for getting the physical world and the digital world to interact. It has been used to create interactive art, musical instruments, mass transit alerts, rc helicopters and super accurate espresso machines along with tons of other things. It has been used to take input from websites, streams of water, wii nunchucks and various items you might not expect.

For now, I'm just blinking lights and sounding alarms. I've given it three patterns for blinking 5 lights and am demonstrating the ability for me to instruct the arduino which pattern to use for the blinking. I'm also pointing out some other interesting things I stumbled on as I tinkered.

Arduino Project - Advanced Blinky Lights from Josiah Ritchie on Vimeo.


Using Bazaar to Manage Your Multi-site Drupal Environment

I've found a solution to my own needs for version control of my drupal multi-site environment. I'm sure there is room for improvement as I'm far from a master at any version control system, but this is now working for me. I welcome your advice on ways to change or enhance this environment, but first a few words on my goals and why I chose Bazaar over the other options.


A Brief Personal History of CCK & Views

I think back not so fondly of the Flexinode days. My first experiences with Drupal included the now defunct flexinode module and I never really got comfortable with it. That's probably part of why I went to Xoops for awhile. I comfortably ran a community site around Biometrics on Linux for a year or so on Xoops and think it is still an option worth looking at, but when I came back to Drupal after the release of version 5, everyone was raving about CCK and Views.

I didn't shed a tear when I found out Flexinode was done. It pioneered the idea of describing your content rather than putting it all in one big box, but CCK clearly trumped over it in implementation. Drupal 5 had become much more interesting. At this point, I had yet to really learn Views and part of that was because views was still ugly and unruly in the interface. It clearly had power to demonstrate the potential of CCK, but only if you could wield it. I messed with Views some, and put it to a bit of use, but the true power evaded me because the interface didn't communicate how the module worked. Module developers were beginning to move toward CCK and solutions to many problems that had previously required custom content types began to be solved by new modules that extended both CCK and Views and recipes to put all the pieces together. This helped to solidify Views and CCK as part of the vast majority of Drupal sites.