A picture of a solderless breadboard, some screws, and plastic for holding a temperature sensor on a radiator

Learning about IoT and GoLang using MicroChip MCP9808 Temperature Sensors

Since the summer of 2015, I have been learning about the Internet of Things (IoT) with Raspberry Pi computers. IoT devices are the next generation of Internet connected devices that will soon fill our homes, from smart toasters and coffee tables, to smart fridges and freezers. I started out learning about Docker and Kubernetes, which I believe will be a future platform for running software on edge compute devices. It’s great that this technology scales down perfectly for low powered devices, but also scales up for clusters containing thousands of nodes....

January 22, 2016 · 3 min · 631 words · Matt Saunders

Identity Management Systems: Using Multiple LDAP Directory Services

As an IT Professional with over fifteen years of technical experience and specialising in Identity Management, I have been involved with designing, supporting, and debugging identity management systems in several academic institutions. Identity management is present in every IT environment. It determines whether a user can log in, who they are, and what they can do. Even though identity plays such a crucial role in IT, it is often neglected, understood by only one or two people, or thought of in overly simplified terms compared to the actual complicated business logic and user lifecycle processes involved....

October 5, 2015 · 5 min · 932 words · Matt Saunders

Shared File Storage (Part 2): Knowing Your Audience

Previously, Shared File Storage (Part 1): Identifying Technical Debt discussed the importance of identifying technical debt. In part 2 of this series, we explore the importance of understanding your audience. The term audience is used here to describe the people accessing the storage, their role and participation in the business, and the groups that are configured in Active Directory. Groups are the key to keeping your NTFS permissions simple to manage, so identifying your different audiences and adding them to a set of standardised groups is the first step....

September 29, 2015 · 2 min · 342 words · Matt Saunders

Shared File Storage (Part 1): Identifying Technical Debt

I would like to share some ideas on designing an elegant structure for shared file storage. It is something that every organisation in academia has to design, tame, reorganise, redesign, and continually manage. Even in the cloud era, most of us won’t be saying goodbye to our fast, local, and reliable on-campus Windows shared storage. These thoughts on shared storage are my own and have been shaped by 15 years of experience in academic and business IT environments dealing with storage and identity management....

August 25, 2015 · 4 min · 697 words · Matt Saunders
A Raspberry Pi computer stack with networking and power

Raspberry Pi Stack – A platform for learning about IoT

During the summer of 2015, I decided to focus on learning about the ‘Internet of Things‘ (IoT) and the supporting technology. The Internet of Things will consist of lots and lots of low powered devices embedded in common household appliances and gadgets. The area that interests me most is the communications between IoT devices and the Internet, including the APIs, encryption, protocols, and algorithms that will make IoT possible. The programming language I am planning to use is called Go (GoLang)....

August 3, 2015 · 3 min · 638 words · Matt Saunders

A different way of thinking: Agile and Focused on IoT

Over the years, many people have been surprised that I enjoy IT outside of work, as much as I do in work. During those years, my inquisitive mind has asked and answered many questions. Its mainly been a series of little experiments and learning along the way. Whilst this is really interesting and rewarding, it doesn’t really give you any constructive output. Instead of a bouncing between a set of experiences, I’ve decided to focus on a specific area, and its supporting technology....

August 2, 2015 · 2 min · 292 words · Matt Saunders

Powershell: Recursively List Folder NTFS Access Control Lists

This script will recursively list the NTFS Access Control Lists on folders in a large folder structure. It outputs the non-inherited ACLs on each folder recursively and shows where inheritance has been disabled. The NTFSSecurity module supports path lengths up to 32,768 characters. The output formatting could do with some improvement. In the future, I am looking to dump this data into a database, instead of the console. PowerShell Version: 4 Required PowerShell Module: NTFSSecurity Further Reading: Weekend Scripter: Use PowerShell to Get, Add, and Remove NTFS Permissions [CmdletBinding()] Param( [Parameter(Mandatory=$True,Position=1)] [string]$path ) Import-Module NTFSSecurity function ProcessChildren ([string]$path) { $children = Get-ChildItem2 $path -Directory foreach ($child in $children) { ProcessChild $child....

July 30, 2015 · 2 min · 240 words · Matt Saunders
A picture of KeePass

Improve your password security with KeePass 2 x

Would you continue to use your toothbrush after using it to clean the toilet? Obviously not, but often we like to reuse passwords for multiple websites and services. It’s not easy to remember great passwords for every website, so we need a secure method of storing them. The reusing of passwords is dangerous, and these days we regularly hear of websites that have been hacked and the user information has been made available on the Internet for fraudsters and hackers to abuse....

July 25, 2015 · 6 min · 1147 words · Matt Saunders

Ucisa Support Services Conference 2015 – The Experience

Recently, I attended the Ucisa Support Services Conference 2015. This was my first Ucisa event. It was great to network with Service Desk Managers, Customer Service Managers, IT Directors, organisers, and event sponsors. The theme was ‘Change is the only constant’. I knew that getting the most out of these events is dependant on what you put into them, so I was prepared to start networking. The more you network and get involved, the greater the experience and overall achievement....

July 20, 2015 · 3 min · 433 words · Matt Saunders