Neil Sabol's Blog - Information Technology (IT), Bikes, Etc.

   

Microsoft (MS) Flow: Outlook Meeting or Appointment Reminders through text message (SMS) - free

Outlook 365 supports text (SMS) messaging of calendar items/appointments out of the box, but only for a handful of cell providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the US) and a few countries (United States, Canada, and Romania). I used the feature heavily when my mobile carrier was T-Mobile (several years ago), but none of my subsequent mobile phone carries are supported by the OOB functionality. If your carrier is not supported, no fear! Read more...

Splunk and cPanel: Analyzing cPanel domain (apache) access logs without changing cPanel's Apache log path or format

Splunk is a wonderful tool for mining apache access logs and obtaining other useful information. Out of the box, cPanel places all domain access logs (apache logs) in separate files (named by domain) in /etc/apache2/logs/domlogs. This blog post assumes you are already forwarding and indexing your cPanel domain/apache logs in Splunk with a very basic configuration like: # Apache logs for each domain in cPanel # Note: Slightly different path to avoid symlinks [monitor:///var/log/apache2/domlogs/*. Read more...

Getting started listing an EC2 reserved instance (RI) on the Amazon marketplace (errors and meanings)

I recently finished using an AWS EC2 reserved instance (t2.nano) ahead of schedule by 3 months but had already paid Amazon for a year. I planned to chalk this up to a sunk cost but discovered the Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance Marketplace. It looked like a very promising option to recover at least some of the reserved instance (RI) cost that I paid up front last April. Quick Tips Be patient - while working through the steps to sell a reserved instance on the marketplace, I had to wait several hours (possibly overnight) between each step. Read more...

Apache (httpd) LogFormat (log format) for common vhost or combined virtual host analysis with goaccess

I use goaccess to quickly and unobtrusively collect analytics on a handful of websites I am responsible for. If you need a very lightweight (and easy to operate) web server log analysis tool, I encourage you to check out goaccess. My apache (httpd) instance was configured for COMBINED logging (access_log) - this was fine but did not allow me to obtain “per vhost” traffic stats in my goaccess reports. I figured it would be relatively easy to obtain this information using either Common Log Format with Virtual Host or NCSA extended/combined log format with Virtual Host. Read more...

Find and replace (sed) inside multiple files and directories WITHOUT SSH (shell) access

In the interest of up front honesty, the title of this post is a little misleading. Instead of the Linux commands “find” and “sed”, I will describe a process using WinSCP and PowerShell. If your web host offers SSH/shell access, finding and replacing a word or phrase in many files and directories IS generally accomplished with sed (or find + sed). If your web hosting provider DOES NOT offer SSH access (only FTP/SFTP/FTPS) performing a recursive find and replace inside multiple files and directories requires a little more creativity. Read more...

Microsoft (MS) Flow, Google Voice, and UberGallery: Post images or pictures to a website through text (MMS) message (free)

I have always been intrigued with real time integration of sms/text/mms messages and web applications. What is described in this post is certainly not unique - Flickr offers similar functionality with their Upload by Email functionality and I have seen other services with this feature. However, MS Flow offers additional flexibility in my opinion. For example, your target gallery need not be hosted by Flickr; you can deposit pictures submitted via text/mms to any webserver with FTP(S) or SFTP access. Read more...

Street Rambler (StreetRambler) outdoor elliptical bike replacement parts

I am the proud owner of a “Street Rambler” outdoor elliptical bike. Machines like this can be purchased on eBay or through Alibaba - Street Ramblers are basically a lower cost reproduction of the “Street Strider” elliptical. I suspect the difference in price is at least partially attributed to the quality of the parts and construction. Although it has been relatively reliable, when things go wrong, it is often a challenge to find proper replacement parts. Read more...

Comparing the Kickbike (kick bike) City G4 and Schwinn Shuffle scooter (review)

I had been a recreational cyclist for a long time but got to thinking about weight bearing exercise later last year (2016). This led me down the path of looking for something equally fun (and comparably paced) but weight bearing in nature. Enter the Kick Bike. I recalled seeing a cross between a bicycle and skateboard during my college days. I had no idea what it was at the time (and had honestly forgotten about it) but after a little online research, I discovered that what I saw all those years ago was a kickbike of some sort. Read more...

Microsoft (MS) Flow SFTP connector tips, tricks, and errors

The SFTP connector in Microsoft Flow has quickly become my personal favorite. It is quite robust - I am most pleased with its support of SSH key based authentication and SSH/SFTP ports besides 22 (the default). In light of this, I wanted to share some of my findings in hopes this will be of value to someone else. Quick tips Read on for more detailed information about these tips Read more...

FNBO Direct and PopMoney: Receiving or requesting money (payment)

As an FNBO customer, I was excited to learn that First National Bank of Omaha partnered with PopMoney to facilitate online payments. Recently, occasion arose where I needed to request (via email) that someone else transfer me funds (payment for service). I fired up FNBO Direct online banking and noticed the following: Looked promising (especially the “not seeing a payment you are expecting” bit), but as it turns out there is no way to request a PopMoney payment through FNBO Direct online banking. Read more...