Blog / Sysadmin

Free alternatives to Mandrill for sending transactional emails

March 12, 2016

If you're a Mandrill user, you've probably already gotten an email from Mandrill that they will completely be integrated with MailChimp and will require a paid MailChimp subscription to continue its use. The cheapest paid MailChimp subscription at the moment goes for $20/month.

If you're bootstrapping a startup, you look for any savings you can get. That $20/month could be used for other things, like 4 DigitalOcean servers to run ...

Apache warning message on Ubuntu 10.04: ‘__default__ VirtualHost overlap on port 443, the first has precedence’

November 15, 2011

Got this message when I restarted the apache2 daemon after I added a new virtual host in/etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl on Ubuntu 10.04:

[warn] _default_ VirtualHost overlap on port 443, the first has precedence

I checked the other Apache config files and inside /etc/apache2/ports.conf there’s a comment on what to do:

Step 1. Add NameVirtualhost *:443 entry in ports.conf (inside <IfModule mod_ssl.c>)

NameVirtualHost *:80
Listen 80

<IfModule ...

Migrating WordPress from a shared hosting environment to a virtual private server

November 9, 2011

I was migrating this WordPress blog early this morning from Bluehost to a dedicated Rackspace Cloud Server that I’m already using for a web application I’m writing. It was almost painless! Just ran into a few minor post-migration issues.

The reason I’m migrating is mainly because I want more control, like being able to use my own self-signed SSL certificate without paying extra, for example. I figured since I’m getting very ...

Windows Tip: Run applications in the background using Task Scheduler

July 21, 2011

I was working on a project a couple of weeks ago which involves Celery for processing tasks. I wanted the Celery process to run in the background as a service but it didn’t come with a Windows service installer, we will have to write our own. Since we were still just working on a proof of concept, I didn’t want to spend too much time on this at this point and then I ...

How to enable Telnet on Windows 7

July 10, 2011

We have a computer at work that runs on Windows 7 and I needed to check whether it can connect to our internal SMTP server so I can use it to send emails. The quickest way to do this is to telnet to the SMTP server on port 25 but it turned out telnet is disabled/not installed by default on Windows 7. It gave the message “‘telnet’ is not recognized as an internal or ...

How to sync the date and time to a time server in Ubuntu Linux (command line)

June 16, 2011

I just logged in to my Rackspace hosted virtual server running Ubuntu Linux 10.04 and noticed that the time drifted almost a couple of minutes.

Type in the command below to sync your server’s date and time to a time server (where ntp.ubuntu.com is the time server):

sudo ntpdate ntp.ubuntu.com<br>

To automatically correct the time drifting issue in the future, you could also install the ntp daemon:

sudo apt-get ...

How to set the proxy settings in Windows via command line

June 11, 2011

Once in a while I need to download and install Python packages at work and having switched to Linux (Ubuntu) at home, I find it quite annoying now to have to go to a website, download the package I need, then manually install.

Fortunately, the pip installer works for Windows as well, allowing the installation of Python packages automatically with a simple command (pip install package_name). But at work, we’re behind a proxy server ...

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