Author Archives: admin

On BashLite and Shellshock

A number of people have been in touch with me about the fact that our Linux courses use an embedded target system that deploys BusyBox as standard and that there’s a “known exploit” doing the rounds called BashLite.SMB – this is obviously a cause for alarm!… Right?

WRONG!! Never one to shy away from defending my beloved Linux I wanted to make a quick public service announcement to say that this appears to be a fairly run-of-the-mill piece of malware riding […]

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Acorn Goes to Market with RISC Microprocessor

No I’ve not lost the plot, this was actually the headline from Electronics back in August 1985!

Recently my father was clearing out his loft at home and came across a couple of bagfuls of “rubbish” (garbage) which was full of various memorabilia from my degree days.  Among the various artefacts, to my great surprise, I came across a photocopy  of this article.

For those of you, like me, who were involved in electronics at that time, it’s a real trip down […]

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Static and Dynamic Libraries on Linux

A Quickstart Guide

We’re going to look at how to create and use libraries on Linux and try to gain some insight on how libraries work behind the scenes.

Decisions Decisions!

Often when working with 3rd party code you may be limited on the options available. Some well known open-source projects have dual-licensed binaries that dictate different terms for static or dynamic linking.

Writing a library is a good way to provide an interface to customers, get code reuse and can be […]

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Rapid Application Development with Python

Following on from my previous post on Python and our new course on Python for Test Engineers which takes an elementary approach, I felt it was time to pay homage to that wonderful language once again but this time focusing on its applicability for Rapid Application Development.

The Higher Level the Language; The More Productive the Programmer

I love writing Python. I’ll be honest, it’s the closest I’ll get to writing executable pseudo-code which best mirrors how my mind works and I’m […]

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Python – The everyman’s language

Python is a very nice language in many respects: enforced white-spacing promotes readability, extensibility and Python’s inbuilt Read-Eval-Print-Loop interpreter combined with its introspection capabilities provides a very easy way to learn and get to grips with the language.

But that can’t be all, can it? Why Python?

One of the reasons behind the success of our course has been customers wanting a good language for developing automated testing scripts and Python fits the bill brilliantly – it’s fast (enough), approachable and has great […]

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I Dream of a Cheeky Missile Launcher

I read a blog post by Matthias Vallentin a while back about getting a USB missile launcher working and thought that a similar gadget would be a nice candidate for the 2012 refresh of our successful EL503 Developing for Embedded Linux course so ordered a nice looking piece of hardware from Amazon – the Thunder Missile Launcher from Dream Cheeky.

Sadly these guys don’t provide Linux drivers and the hardware wasn’t an exact match for the launcher used in Matthias’ article […]

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Capturing the Stripe-d Flag 2.0 – The After Party

Following on from our previous article looking at Stripe’s Capture the Flag 2.0 challenge, Team Feabhas cracked the last of the levels and its members should hopefully be receiving their complementary t-shirts soon.

It has proven to be a popular article with lots of people coming to the blog for solutions and walk-through, and now that the competition has finished we have decided to share the way we approached each of these levels, their solution and the way in which the […]

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Capturing the Stripe-d Flag

In the first half of this year, the online payment company Stripe held a Capture the Flag competition as a way to draw attention to online security.

They state that:

“The hardest part of writing secure code is learning to think like an attacker. For example, every programmer is told to watch out for SQL injections, but it’s hard to appreciate just how exploitable they are until you’ve written a SQL injection of your own.” – Stripe

It was a fascinating challenge and […]

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Creating a Linux Live USB Thumbstick (The Hard Way)

Introduction

So recently I needed to create a live system and I had a spare 8 GB USB drive on which to do it.

Looking around the net there’s a lot of solutions to doing this but I needed something that would be independent of the host distribution – I used Fedora 17 in this instance but it might not be in the future – and would work quickly and easily.

This article seeks to document what I did in order to accomplish […]

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Raspberry Pi – First Impressions and Raspbmc

The Pi Has Landed

It arrived. After quite some delay my Model B Raspberry Pi has arrived.

The Raspberry Pi is powered by the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC which includes an ARM1176JZF-S core running at 700Mhz, 256MB SDRAM and a Videocore 4 GPU which is capable of BluRay quality playback (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC at 40MBits/s) which puts it roughly on par with a 1st generation Xbox with slightly better graphics.

There are two models of Pi. The Model B which is ‘available’ at […]

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