fnc: interactive text-based fossil user interface

02 Mar 2023

This is a long overdue announcement for a project I have been developing for a while.

Tags: code vcs


28 Feb 2023

A selection of sites I find useful or visit regularly.

Tags: links

fossil self-hosting repository server on openbsd

20 Jun 2020

With my preferred Git repository hosting provider preparing to introduce some changes that don't cohere with my philosophical ideals, I finally decided to make the move to Fossil. Git has never been favoured but its ubiquity made it hard to ignore. The OpenBSD development of got was more than a desireable improvement but now that I needed to self-host, there was no longer an obstacle to using Fossil that could be avoided by staying with Git—and so I switched. Fossil is super simple, clean, and consistent—making source code management and version control easy. In the same vein, installation and setup is just as painless. On that note, the following presumes an OpenBSD 6.7 installation.

Tags: openbsd vcs

l2tp ipsec vpn with npppd on openbsd

24 Feb 2020

If you're even slightly security- or privacy-conscious, which in the present era of Big Data and tech oligarchs is a provident predilection, you should, if not already, be using a VPN (Virtual Private Network). And I don't mean one of the oft-advertised commercial offerings you see plastered about social media—but one that you control. Where every outgoing request that leaves your computer is tunneled through an encrypted private network owned and operated by you. Fortunately, the OpenBSD base tools make this a trivial task—and free if you already have a VPS. But even provisioning a new VM will likely be cheaper than the aforementioned commercial alternatives, with the added benefit of being more secure, and not only private in name but in practice; you can rest assured that only you and the endpoint will be cognizant of your traffic.

Tags: macos openbsd

rsa encryption algorithm

22 Dec 2019

RSA is perhaps the most well-known asymmetric cryptographic algorithm. When it was first introduced back in 1977, it revolutionised cryptography. The public-key cryptosystem, developed by creators Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, uses prime factorisation to create a trapdoor function that produces both a public and private key known as a key pair. And by creating separate keys for encryption and decryption, this groundbreaking innovation removed the need to secretly and securely share a single secret key to exchange encrypted messages; with wide distribution of the public key, effectively anyone could encrypt messages to send to the owner of the key pair. And provided the private key was kept secure, a high degree of confidence that the message remained obscured to any third parties was virtually guaranteed. This made widespread encryption practicably feasible for everyone. Remarkably, four years earlier the same algorithm had already been developed in 1973 by United Kingdom Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) cryptographer Clifford Cocks. Due to the sensitive nature of cryptography for state and military use, however, it was classified. And it was not until 20 years after Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman's namesake was publicly released that the UK government in 1997 declassified the findings, whereupon Cocks revealed its existence along with related contemporaneous research at a conference in England. The rest, as they say, is history.

Tags: cryptography
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