Ben Owen

Full time nerd. Professional eater of cake.

Latest Blog Posts

Effective Communication for Software Engineers

We've all heard the stereotypes about programmers having poor social and communication skills, but building high quality software solutions is a team effort and is as much about communication as technical skill and expertise.

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Building My Home Server (Part 4 - Blocking Ads with Pi Hole)

Nobody likes ads. They tend to be intrusive, irritating and inconvenient. Not only that, but they are usually delivered alongside tracking cookies and analytics code, which despite all the data sent back to the mothership, usually fails to deliver adverts that are truly meaningful or relevant.

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Building My Home Server (Part 2 - Set up remote backup server)

In my previous post, Part 1 - NAS setup and local backup, I discussed how I set up my new Unraid NAS and configured my Windows PC to back up to the NAS. However, while this protected my data against hard drive failure, both sets of data were stored inside my house - I had no protection against disasters such as fire, lightning, etc. In this post, I will outline the steps I took to set up a remote server ready to recieve the backup data from my NAS. In the next post, Part 3 - Back up NAS to offsite server, I will cover the actual backup process between the two servers.

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Debugging: Always ask "Why?"

The three most important attributes of a software engineer were identified by Larry Wall (author of Programming Perl) as "laziness, impatience, and hubris". I would suggest that a fourth great virtue would be "curiosity".

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Decluttering DNS with PowerShell

My web server hosts a number of small sites - personal, family and friends. Today, I was setting up a secondary DNS name server - something I've been meaning to do for a while - on my new storage box (which I provisioned following my recent no-backup experience!), when I noticed that several domains that I was migrating did not actually resolve to my server anymore.

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