Hacked ⛏️ ⛏️ ⛏️ ⛏️ kind off

So yesterday evening I wanted to look something up in my own blog. At least my blog posts are useful more myself sometimes 😉. My site behaved differently, the content was there, but not styling. The first thing that came to my mind was that my CDN was down, so I looked into the Chrome Developer Tools and BAAAM!

My site requested like 5 javascript files from pastebin with suspicious names (not that loading files from pastebin wouldn’t be suspicious enough). Everything after that initial rendering the DOM was blocked by these scripts.

So what happened?

Instead of just pulling out a backup and rolling it over the hacked version, I wanted to understand, what’s wrong there. I got some mechanisms on my servers, that would recognize, if files are changed, or if someone is trying to access my server. Actually it couldn’t have happened through SSH or root access. Next I checked my logs for user logins. Also nothing. Only me from my IP address. I searched the code for links to pastebin. Again nothing.

A quick research on https://wpvulndb.com/ opened my eyes. The GDPR plugin I use, and probably a ton of people… It opened a backdoor, where could use the REST API of WordPress to just do everything.

And that’s what happened to me. I mean, the attacker could have done worse things to my page (which I am quite happy, that he didn’t). He only enqueued some scripts and changed some settings in the database. So I could easily pull out a backup, sync it and I was done.

But the feeling of “OH FUCK, I GOT HACKED”, I can tell you, is not that nice in the evening. See you tomorrow! 👋

What makes a good evening routine?

TL;DR everything that helps me to fall asleep faster and get up easier

I really put a lot of thoughts into, what a good evening routine for me could be. In the past week I started with preparing for the morning, which includes

  • filling up a bottle of water and putting it onto the sink in the bathroom
  • preparing my clothes for the next day
  • packing my backpack or sports clothes

This works out pretty well, but that ain’t the end goal. I am still struggling with some things. So I put more thought into, what could make the end of my day better.

What bothers me is a messy desk in the evening. So I put a things more into the routine, which now means, I put everything off my desk in the evening. Today I will add another thing, which is putting up my iPad there, connected to my charger, to be ready to write a few hundred words in the morning. Be it into my journal or directly to the blog.

So my evening routine just got a few new points.

See you!

But where to get rid of ALL THE THINGS

Since I started to think about all that minimalism stuff, the one question that bothers me most is not, how to choose what I want to get rid off. Instead, it’s where to get rid of all the stuff.

Probably since IT school or even earlier I started to hoard stuff. Be it computers or cabels or clothes or anything else. I really got tons of stuff. And when I was unhappy, I even purchased more, and more, and more. But that’s not the story of today. That’s a story for another time.

For the last two months, I really have a good schedule of getting rid of stuff. Not too much and not every day. But at least one time a week, I spend my evening decluttering. At the moment I am decluttering my office, next is the basement, then my closet. But that’s also not the thing for today 😉

The thing is, when I started reading about minimalism, I thought, yeah nice, but then I need to drive every day to the recycling depot or sell everything on eBay, I want quicker results, and that held me back. Not knowing where to get rid of the things, really was a problem.

I am very conservative about what I throw into the trash and since I live in Germany, there are of course rules for everything. But if you just take a short look into the regulations (they all have websites btw), you will recognize, it’s not that bad. And you could throw almost everything into it, with a few exceptions. Just do a quick search on Google with your city name and trash and you should get some results.

The next thing is, selling stuff. Since I started, I only sold one thing and that was a lens for 500 Euro. The rest I have put into eBay for free. Things that cost less than 20 Euro, I just give away for free. Why am I doing this? Nobody is willing to buy such things and you will keep them forever there. And you won’t get anywhere, so I just put them in for free and in most cases I can get rid of them in a few days or even hours. And a big plus, I can make somebody else happy with that.

Minimalism has hooked me

Instead of going on the nerves of my girlfriend all day long, I have decided to put my thoughts on my road to minimalism here on my blog.

I am into the idea of minimalism for a long time now, but haven’t done anything about it, because I loved my stuff. I moved to a new flat about a year ago and my new office was 9 square meters instead of 18. By only having half the size, I started to notice how many shit I own. That was like a punch in the face. All that money I spent on this things. And I never use them. Camera equipment, little gadgets, adapters, electronics, lenses, phone cases, hard drives, books and tons of other things.

At that moment I decided to take a deep dive into minimalism and the last two weeks I started taking action. I already have thrown out garbage bags, full of stuff I haven’t used in a while. My office has already improved by less stuff. But there I don’t want to stop. I won’t to apply minimal principles on more parts in my life. Digital, physical, health and many more things. And there is a ton to improve.

Let’s try something entirely new

Right now, I have this magical feeling of motivation. I have done a few things, that I always pushed to the next day, the next week or the next month. For example Codalong.

When you look at the registration date of codalong, it should be something around January or February of this year. And since then, I have put it off. I have always waited for some magical moment that will come and push all my doubts away, magically. I have planned and developed multiple versions of a frontend, with React and Gatsby and Django and so on. But I haven’t written any article.

I am sure, I will develop another frontend solution than a quite basic WordPress theme, but not for now. First let’s start with putting out some content. Even if I don’t promote it right now, the content can still work in the Google index and bring me some visitors. Better than waiting for another year until I come up with a solution I like.

And about the new thing; I haven’t put out a single video since September last year. I don’t want to talk about excuses here, instead I want to start putting out something again. So this morning I started filming some stuff and I want to put this together and narrate some of the parts. I have seen this on the channel of a game developer, that actually eats all the time on camera and therefore cannot speak that well, so I thought why not. Because when I am outside, I usually have a tight schedule, but I want to give you a story, that fits together and not only weird parts that come to my mind (Those weird parts are saved for later ;)).

Let’s see how this works…

Don’t waste yourself

You know, today I encountered this situation again.

I need to grind through this and get it done, at all costs.

You know what, I didn’t. For a reason. It’s a simple formula.

But first, a little disclaimer: If you have a deadline, tomorrow and your job, your money and everything depends on it, grind. But if it’s not that urgent, don’t.

If I would have stood in the office, until 10 PM and finished this project, yes, it would be done and wouldn’t bother me tomorrow. But tomorrow is not the deadline for this project. I got plenty of hours finishing it.

The reason for not putting in the hours today are simple.

Let’s get through this. I would end this project by 10 or 11 PM. I would feel good but also exhausted. I would be at home by 10:30 PM to 11:30 PM. My girlfriend could be at sleep at this time, so I would have only seen her in the morning. I would need an hour to calm down, at least. I cannot come home and go straight to bad. I need some time to think about the day, write some notes and put some stuff in my journal. So it would get late. Tomorrow I have to get up at 6 AM. I would get less sleep than usual and since I am not sleeping that much anyway this would cause a bad mood in the morning and probably the whole day. I couldn’t deliver by my standards and would be mad at myself which results in even worse mood. As you see, this is a downward spiral.

If you would calculate it, you are trading a few hours for at least one day, where you can’t bring full power and engagement.

What I would recommend instead?

Make a clear cut. On whatever project you are working, you can find a time where one part ends and a new begins. In the most companies there are used some kind of project management like Jira anyway. So after you finished that task, go home. Or write a quick reminder for yourself, where you have been for the next morning.

Trip to Croatia

Good Morning, today we will start a rarely short trip to Croatia. We will be there from Friday till Sunday for a birthday. Since we have no car I had to rent one and I am quite happy with the outcome, it is a Ford Focus Tournier (a bit underpowered ;)).

We started around seven and now we are doing a little break at McDonalds for some breakfast. Sam is working and I am just writing this little post, since I have to drive again and I didn’t want to bring my laptop because I won’t have a chance to work when we are there anyway.

Since I stopped the pressure with writing my 10 minutes writing it is also way easier to write again. I don’t have to pull something out, I just can enjoy writing 😉

We still have 6 hours to go as we are only around Munich at the moment. Gladly the streets aren’t to full at the moment, because the school holidays are over now 😉

See you when we are there 😉

Let’s end this now

I (again) haven’t kept up my schedule of writing everyday. Or not writing, better said publishing. I am writing every single freaking day.

But writing for the sake of just putting some words out everyday, it started to become annoying to me. I didn’t publish because I didn’t find the time to. I sat there and just didn’t feel like sitting there and just writing something to put it out there. And that’s the main reason, I won’t be doing this anymore.

Instead I will focus on longer stories. Maybe there will be also one daily, but maybe not, if I don’t think it’s worth a single post. Maybe there is also a one sentence post about a thing that I encountered that day, or maybe nothing.

That 10 minute writing thing also kind of limited me in the end. If I wanted to put out more I was afraid that I couldn’t fill the next day and so on. That’s why this 10 minute things ends for now. And no, I won’t publish anything like “here is season 3” tomorrow 😉

Instead of “See you tomorrow” here is a “See you when a new post is ready 🤷‍♂️

The Never Ending Story of my Home Network

If you are just starting out in tech, you probably won’t understand. If you are longer in the tech field, you can surely relate.

When I began with IT stuff, I had switches, firewalls and servers in my little basement apartment. 8 years later, I just want this shit to work and don’t want to do anything with it. Set it up once, run forever. So I have this business connection with about 150 MBit/s for almost two years now. I bought a cheap router / access point after getting the modem for it and never looked at it. The connection was quite fast and I had nothing to complain about, since I was connected by cable most of the time.

When I moved to the new flat I just connected the thing and did’t think about it either since there were more important things at that time.

A year later, my girlfriend started to work from home and then the whole story began again. I just debugged the line and realized, that I only have 30 MBit/s instead of 179 MBit/s which I have at the modem.

End of the story I replaced the broken router, now the wifi in the living room is pretty fast again at about 160 – 170 MBit/s. But the connection in both offices still sucks at 50 MBit/s.

So I experimented with a powerline kit, a cheap one I still had left. But I coulnd’t get more than 50 MBit/s in my office.

Today I went to the store and bought another kit and tried the whole evening to get more through the line. I ended up with 170 MBit/s on the outlet in the bathroom. Great.

Next try will probably be some wifi mesh stuff.

That’s it. See you tomorrow!

Sharing is Caring

In most teams there are people with different specialities. One is better in frontend, one is better in backend and somebody else knows better how to handle databases. Well, that’s a good thing. You can learn from each other. If you are willing to share and admit what you don’t know.

Actually everything is said in the first paragraph, so I could stop here 😉 But let’s dive in a bit.

The problem I often see is, people are afraid to share their knowledge, because they think they make themselves obsolete. When you are the best Javascript developer and teach everybody else on the team about the new cool ES6 features, you are easily replaceable and could lose your job. Well that’s bullshit.

In the moment you prepare to share something or teach someone, you notice things you didn’t know. At least that happens to me all the time. Especially in tech, you shouldn’t stick with your knowledge. Remember flash? Sure you do. The best flash developers are unemployable today, if they wouldn’t have advanced in other topics.

And on the counterpart, if you admit, that you don’t know everything, you will learn so much new stuff and go through the world which your eyes wide open and encounter cool new things, that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.