Archive for April, 2011

sometimes I even confuse myself

I’ve got this long standing personal project that I just can’t seem to finish.  It’s this file encryption program that I only seem to find time to work on in the 30 minutes before bed time.  I’ve got the core written and it’s working mostly everywhere (even on my Droid).  All I’ve got left is to wrap a GUI around it, and I’ll at least have a releasable beta.  I don’t care much for front-end development, so perhaps that’s why I’ve hit a roadblock… No sure.

Anyway, I’m sitting here looking at some of the high level crypto functions and I’m having trouble following the logic.  I can’t tell if my own code is genius or just plain dumb.

Creating your own self-signed certificates and keys (UPDATED)

I’ve set up a little PHP page that will generate self-signed certificates and bundle the associated private key in a PKCS12 file:

Basically it uses OpenSSL like this:

openssl genrsa -aes256 2048 > temp.key
openssl req -new -x509 -key temp.key -out temp.crt -days 365 -subj "/CN=John\ Doe/"
openssl pkcs12 -export -in temp.crt -out temp.p12 -name "my self signed P12 from" -inkey temp.key

It’s a handy little utility; a quick and dirty way to generate certificates for testing. I’m sure that I will be broaden the features soon.

Originally wrote some bash scripts that used the “openssl” command on the server, but it was kinda hokey with a bit too much file IO.

Now, the backend has been rewritten to use the (sparsely documented) OpenSSL functions in PHP.

Question for my audiophile buddies out there…

In my recent quest to sell some gear, I had an interesting encounter that I am curious about.

I am no audio equipment expert (never claimed to be), but I know enough to be dangerous.  One of the pieces of equipment I was selling was a rack mount effects processor; standard issue, nothing special.  The guys I sold it too (professional audio guys) were going through everything and testing it out, but they never could get this effects processor to work.  I was bummed at this point because I had the thing working just a few days before.

I have always used an Aux/Effects send and return to run these type of external units.  But, I go over there to have a look and the (professional) guy had the input for the processor plugged into the aux send, but instead of using the aux return he was going straight out of the processor into the line jack of another channel.  He said that this was the preferred way to do it because you had more control over the effect volume?  Although I kinda understand the theory, I have honestly never seen this done before.

Nothing worked hooked up this way, and it just struck me as odd.  I wondered why every manual I had ever read for mixers and effects processors showed it hooked up through aux sends/returns.  I also wondered why you would want to take up twice the board real estate by occupying two channels with the same input.  It made no sense to me.

So, I ask if I can rewire a few thing … hooked it up the way I normally would and everything worked just fine.  Then they were perplexed because that’s just not “not they way you do it.”  In the end though, they bought the unit because it did work.

My question is this:  Am I off base here?  Is it really standard practice to hook this effect processor that other way?  If so, please help me understand the rational (because I really want to know).

Free PKI Certificates from

If you don’t know what a digital certificate is or why you might need one, I’ll save you the effort and you can stop reading here.

If, like me, you are either too poor or too cheap to give VeriSign your money … seems like an ok option.

I know, I know … This IS NOT an enterprise class, super reliable way of certifying users.  However, it is probably good enough for playing with your friends.

Signup is easy, issuing certificates is easy, revoking your certificates is easy.  Go give it a try…

Here’s my cert:


You can also grab the root and intermediate certificates here.

gear for sale update…

I listed some stuff I’m selling here.  I’ve got to move it pretty quickly, so it looks like I’m going to let it go to a third party reseller.  As such, I’ve had to drop how much I’m asking.

Anyway, just listing one last time here before it all goes away.

  • Behringer JM150 amp w/J3 footswitch:  $200
  • 1999 Epiphone G-400 Custom (triple humbuckers, hardshell case): $175
  • 1997 Series Danelectro Pedals (DC-1, DD-1, DE-1, and D0-1): $15 each
  • Shure SM58:  $30
  • Behringer B-1 Condenser Mic (with case, shockmount, and windscreen): $30
  • Johnson J-Station amp modeler:  $45
  • Yahama DGX-500 88-key keyboard w/Stand:  $100
  • Carvin XP2 Vocal DSP (1u rack):  $30
  • Behringer 12 channel mixer:  $35
  • Behringer Autocom Compressor:  $30
  • Behringer FCB1010 MIDI foot controller:  $45

If you’re so inclined, you can have it all for $700.