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Server on Willem's Blog

Understanding the security concerns in shared hosting

Considering open ports and unused network facing services

Feb. 28, 2019
People pay me to hack them, provided I'll explain how I did it. Read along to learn how hackers use security holes to hack your app, webshop or website!

People pay me to hack them, provided I'll explain how it was done, so future hacks can be prevented. As security consultant, I scan for weaknesses in my clients' apps, webshops and websites. Very often a hack starts by exploiting a security hole that is visible remotely. Read along to learn how hackers find security holes and what you can do to secure them.

Is the Apple Watch the modern tool watch?

Testing the Apple Watch's usefulness in real life

Nov. 2, 2018
I tested the Apple Watch during my work in Frankfurt this week where I had to go inside an internet data centre.

This week I went to Frankfurt for business. I had to perform maintenance to servers in a data centre. This seemed like a great opportunity to test the Apple Watch's usefulness in real life (other than health and fitness). I wondered, is the Apple Watch the modern tool watch?

Optimising images for the web and performance

Reduce filesize with jpegoptim, optipng, pngcrush and pngquant

Sep. 26, 2018
Make your website faster by optimising the images. This posts explains how you can do this.

One way to make your website faster is to make it smaller. Not with tiny fonts, but with less bytes! More than half the weight of an average website is because of images. Yet very few people optimise their images for the web and performance, time to find out how much bytes you can safe!

Google Analytics vs AWStats

Understanding web traffic statistics software

Aug. 20, 2018
Comparing Google Analytics with AWStats to find out where they differ and which is better.

This month I have been working on website statistics, tracking traffic using different technologies. Some of my customers use Google Analytics, others use AWStats, and some use both. Which is better is often debated, but few people really understand the differences. Time to shed some light on the magic of web statistics.

Cyber security: 5 easy tips to protect your server against hackers

Server hardening best practices for Windows and Linux

Mar. 10, 2018
These 5 practical cyber security measures will improve the safety of server, website and data.

This week one of my clients was hacked and asked me for emergency assistance to help secure their server infrastructure. It was a web server that ran WordPress websites on Apache (with PHP/MySQL), including a few webshops with customer data. This hack could easily have been prevented with the following best practices, is your server secure?

Updating Snake '97

About the challenges of developing a wildly popular game

Feb. 21, 2018
This month I bit the bullet big time: I redesigned the game engine of the wildly popular Snake '97 game. Read about the design challenges in this blog post.

Few years ago my brother threw a beer on my iPhone in an Amsterdam bar. The poor thing didn't like the Dutch brew as much as I do: it died. While waiting for a new phone to arrive, I used an old one that couldn't do anything but texting, calling and... Snake! The idea for Snake '97 was born and this month it was time to update the wildly popular game.

Clouds below my floor

Building a little datacenter in my basement

Aug. 31, 2017
Building a little datacenter in my basement utilising a very fast internet connection.

At my home I have this crazy fast optical internet connection. It is a 600MB up and down fibre connection which directly arrives in my home (no copper cables involved). It's like a private internet highway. Reason enough to find out if I could do something to make better use of all this speedy fiber galore...

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The Apple Watch has numerous sensors to collect data
The Apple Watch has numerous sensors to collect data
Test image, containing solid colours, photographic and textual content
Test image, containing solid colours, photographic and textual content
The data centre is where your server lives. Even though it may be physically secure, you should check upon its software too!
The data centre is where your server lives. Even though it may be physically secure, you should check upon its software too!
Analysing gameplay speed differences using slow motion video
Analysing gameplay speed differences using slow motion video
Sitting on some concrete tiles the modified PC is connected to the internet
Sitting on some concrete tiles the modified PC is connected to the internet
Controlling Snake using a Super Nintendo gamepad is awesome (using a SuperSmart-joy USB connector)
Controlling Snake using a Super Nintendo gamepad is awesome (using a SuperSmart-joy USB connector)
The actual code from Snake '97 handling distance calculation using the Pythagoras Theorem
The actual code from Snake '97 handling distance calculation using the Pythagoras Theorem
Connected a monitor and keyboard to test the systems
Connected a monitor and keyboard to test the systems
World champion of Snake '97 - but not for long...
World champion of Snake '97 - but not for long...
A typical server in the datacenter, a physical machine that can host apps, webshops and websites
A typical server in the datacenter, a physical machine that can host apps, webshops and websites
iPhone 4 - ahhh sweet developer memories when one (small) size did fit all...
iPhone 4 - ahhh sweet developer memories when one (small) size did fit all...
The Apple Watch is a tiny wearable computer
The Apple Watch is a tiny wearable computer
Happy engineer with Apple Watch inside the data centre!
Happy engineer with Apple Watch inside the data centre!
Apple Watch - a modern tool watch?
Apple Watch - a modern tool watch?
Graphs from the connection monitoring system (from the real datacenter) cleary show when I tested my little server
Graphs from the connection monitoring system (from the real datacenter) cleary show when I tested my little server
Different kinds of hosting: Shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting visualised (a circle representing a physical server)
Different kinds of hosting: Shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting visualised (a circle representing a physical server)
Server hardware inside a rack in the data centre
Server hardware inside a rack in the data centre
Once a hacker knows what software your website uses, its easy to lookup known security holes using databases like cvedetails.com
Once a hacker knows what software your website uses, its easy to lookup known security holes using databases like cvedetails.com

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