Our Latest News

Zeroshell 3.9.3 - Install 2020

Wednesday, Feb 26 2020
ZeroShell Linux Router

I've installed the latest release from Fulvio, 3.9.3.

This has become so easy I spend more time writing up news than I do upgrading customers.

I use some of my favorite HP hardware with Intel CPUs and Intel Dual or Quad Port NICs in a Small Form Factor. The latest are old G1's that came with Windows 7 on them in their past. I spoil them with a brand new $50 SSD from Crucial (Micron). All simple choices and overkill for what I'm doing but I like to have the extra power and storage, just in case.

I'm still digging into some features I have never used. Will setup a point to point VPN in the next few weeks.

Check out the nice new look of the Zeroshell website.

ZeroShell and traffic shaping - QoS

Sunday, Jul 23 2017

I have been doing quite a bit of work with ZeroShell lately. I manage a campground WiFi network with 4 ethernet interfaces. The last couple of months I have been working on implementing QoS. This is not Layer 7 QoS. This is routing QoS - based on IP, and Ethernet interface.

It is simple when you break out the pieces.

ZeroShell uses iptables to tag packets.

  • The Classifier Tab defines these iptables rules - The tag is in a dropdown at the bottom of that screen.
  • The Class manager sets the QOS for the tag you assign in the Classifier.
  • The interfaces get the QoS classes applied to each.

Simple right? Well not quite.

QoS only works on OUTBOUND traffic. To make all of this work without bridging interfaces, you need to think it through and have setup your router to segregate traffic already.

I have all the traffic i want to throttle in their own private networks.

ETH00 is the Internet

ETH01-03 are networks with many subnets.

I want to limit customer access via WiFi outbound and inbound.

I was able to use the outgoing interface and the network to mark the traffic and throttle outbound. The remaining default traffic I gave a high priority.

Cow Parsnip found in Parks - Grand Island NY

Thursday, Jun 29 2017
Cow Parsnip at Buckhorn Park, Grand Island, NY

Cow parsnip dangers.

Found along trails in both Beaver Island and Buchkhorn Island Parks on Grand Island. Do not touch these plants unless you are protected. For some reason the parks do not think this plant is invasive, yet I do not remember them as a child growing up here. Since they are growing in the parks it is illegal to kill or harvest them. Ridiculous!

Contains furanocoumarins (fyur-a-no-coo-MAR-inz), phototoxic chemicals which are activated by ultraviolet rays in sunlight. If sap gets on skin, and is then exposed to sunlight, it can cause a blistering itchy rash. Skin reactions caused by furanocoumarins take a long time to heal, sometimes months, and may even leave scars.

Phytophotodermatitis (PPD) is a cutaneous phototoxic inflammatory eruption resulting from contact with light-sensitizing botanical substances and long-wave ultraviolet A (UV-A, 320-380 nm) radiation

Edible - but be very careful harvesting

Wild Edibles: How to Harvest and Cook Cow Parsnip Greens

More on ZeroShell

Thursday, Jun 29 2017

I have been using ZeroShell for 3 years now and the latest version is very stable. Found a nice used Intel 4 port GigaBit NiC and a small form factor PC. A simple save of the settings and loaded onto the new machine. Very easy.

The instructions online are not that clear. You can simply install this on a built in hard drive or SSD. You don't need a lot of space but its easier. This will all fit on a USB stick but the drivers for the USB bus need to handle that.


Tuesday, Sep 30 2014

Zeroshell is a Linux distribution for servers and embedded devices. It provides all the network services you need in a simple web interface. It has all the features of linux and basic Linux configuration is already completed. It installs and runs off a USB drive and is easy to move from system to system.

This is a great tool for any experienced Linux Admin. I am trying it out on a client site this month.

Google Penguin makes us better!

Sunday, Jun 3 2012

By Joe Buscaglia

Preliminary results look very very good. Google penguin, the latest update to Google's search engine algorithms, cracks down on SEO link title and backlink tricks. Although the content delivered on the base2co CMS could be used this way, I have always discouraged these tactics. Instead we created titles that are human readable and contain the keywords; dedicated pages to keywords; and tuned the copy on each page carefully.

Here are a couple of good articles by Danny Goodwin to check out:
  • The SEO experts view of the WSJ article about Small businesses being hurt by Penguin
  • Analysis of Penguin's impact
  • A nice article on Link Authority - Authority can be thought of as a "weighted trust" factor Google uses for each website. I believe (but have not searched nor found it documented) that Google also tracks authority on website creators, hosting companies, content management systems and more. My theories are based on how humans trust others. If you get truthful answers from someone, and over time this remains consistent. Then over time the trust you have for that person will appear to increase. I say appear because it will often be the case that the other people you know can become more untrustworthy.
    It is easily predictable that Google will establish rankings based on the way humans trust each other.

Is Google the benevolent dictator? So far yes! Keep your content honest, trustworthy, usable and well organized and you will be rewarded.

Initial findings - Branches of Niagara - the tough case - Authority

Branches has some entrenched competition. The competition doesn't have the best SEO either. What they do have is content and authority. In our 3rd year we have rose up and now have 25 keywords (that we track) that are in the top 5 positions in Google search results. Only 6 of our 46 keywords are not in the top 10. Of course, we hold the top position for most Grand Island camping results. And new this month we made 1st for niagara falls cabins!!

Branches of Niagara Opens With a New Look

Monday, Apr 2 2012
Branches of Niagara Website upgrade for April 2012

By Joe Buscaglia

Diane Pierce did a wonderful job redesigning the website. She worked tirelessly for weeks and put up with my constant nagging to preserve existing SEO while adding more keyword density to the whole site.

Navigation has been upgraded to use YUI menus. The photo carousel has been altered and updated to use fades and overlays.

I tried a few new CSS tricks and gave up on some others. In the end using the center float trick seemed to work best across browsers. We did some mouse over opacity tests across browsers as well. That did NOT work out so well when testing IE 7,8, and 9. I reverted back to using the YUI event handler instead.

The SEO for this site just keeps getting better. Huge page counts were created during the first year by adding photos. Those photos led to new content which matched the needs for new sections of the website. Activities and Local Attraction sections now provide even more key word usage.

Overall I think this size site will now command a nice page rank over many sites for our keyword targets. I expect that the page count and keyword density we have achieved will now allow us to be more free to spend time adding content that has greater visual appeal with lesser SEO value.

The new season starts April 9th! Get out and visit our friends at Branches of Niagara!

Infrastructure Upgrade

Saturday, Mar 31 2012

All hosting was brought up live in November 2011, on new servers with more power and bandwidth. Our Content Management System is now running in "preferred mode" from hosts in the New Jersey datacenter on Linode.com, with backup hosting in Toronto on myhosting.com.

Performance on linode servers has been superior. It is on the same Verizon backbone network as our old T1 but much much faster with multiple redundant Gigabit uplinks.

Speed test it here:Linode Data Center Speed Test

I am seeing latency at about 6ms to the Rochester router for Time Warner Cable Internet that serves Western New York and websites are noticeably faster.


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