Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Tagged: events

elementary OS at Lincoln LUG

As previously mentioned, I attended Wednesday night’s Lincoln LUG meeting with a clean install of elementary OS. I also took along a bootable elementary OS USB key and managed to cajole a number of LUG members into giving it a try. I was interested to know what the other members thought of the distro, so I sat with them while they explored it.

Each member used the distro for between 10 – 30 minutes and although they only really scratched the surface, their initial impressions were positive. The look-n-feel of the desktop got a big thumbs up, it really is very pretty and nicely themed, and all the members managed to navigate around the system with ease, which is not surprising given that they’re all seasoned Linux users.

Some of the comments and observations that I found interesting were:

  • Obtaining a WiFi connection was the first thing that most of the members did. This worked without fail on all the systems and a couple of the members expressed some surprise that it worked out-of-the-box on their systems.
  • Some of the members commented on the choice of default applications that were available in the dock. The lack of a launcher for the file manager was highlighted as an example.
  • There didn’t seem to be any easy way of adjusting preferences in the default terminal application.
  • The App Store didn’t appear to offer many apps, which was very surprising given the Ubuntu heritage.

Again, the members really only scratched at the surface of elementary OS, but I did get the impression that given more time, they would have picked it apart. I know it’s a generalisation, but Linux users (myself included) can be a difficult group to please and I doubt any of the members will be switching to the distro anytime soon. Still, it was good to try something different.

Penetration Testing With Sec-1

I spent today at a free penetration testing seminar. The event was held in Leeds and hosted by Sec-1. Before the event, I was a bit skeptical about the quality of the content that would be delivered, but I’m happy to say that I was concerned for no reason. The event and main presentation was awesome.

Sec-1's penetration testing presentation.

Sec-1’s penetration testing presentation.

I think I was mainly concerned that the presentation would be a dumbed-down explanation/definition of penetration testing. It was not. Instead, the presenter actually blasted through a whole range of pentesting techniques and demoed how to exploit weaknesses in common web applications, as well as Windows domain networks.

The presenter was obviously well practiced in his trade and he didn’t seem to hold back at all. He also showed an enormous amount of pride in his work and the speed at which he pwned systems was actually quite scary. I certainly wouldn’t want to piss him off.

I was delighted to see that Kali Linux featured heavily throughout the presentation, go Linux! Also, WordPress was mentioned on numerous occasions, but not in a good way. That said, the mentions were mainly related to WordPress plugins and not the core product, although I may need to take a look at how password resets are handled.

All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed the event and it was well worth attending. If you ever get the chance to attend one of Sec-1’s seminars, they hold them regularly, I would highly recommend it!