Archive for the ‘Geekery’ Category.

How to Read an EPUB on an Amazon Fire HD Using the Kindle App

I got a book in EPUB format and wanted to read it on my Amazon Fire HD 8 (5th Generation). It’s easy to do once you know the secret recipe:

  1. Get the free Calibre e-book management tool
  2. Use Calibre to convert your EPUB file to AZW3 format (the native Kindle ebook format)
  3. Connect your Amazon Fire to your computer with a USB cable
  4. Using the USB connection, find the folder named “Books” on your Amazon Fire HD
  5. Copy the AZW3 book file into the Books folder
  6. Open your Kindle app on your Amazon Fire HD
  7. Rejoice for the books are on your bookshelf!

Before figuring this out with the great help of my friend Michael, I tried several other methods unsuccessfully. See what doesn’t work.

 

 

Email Spam Proofing on Dreamhost with DKIM

Short form: Dreamhost showed me how to implement a method of decreasing spam at the domain level called SPF. They implemented another domain level method of reducing spam, DKIM, a few months after I showed them that they hadn’t set up their system properly.

 

Long Form:

Until recently, there was nothing stopping someone from sending email from lee.org illegitimately (called “spoofing” email). A lot of spammers used it to send junk email “from” lee.org. This bothered me because:

  1. spam :-(
  2. Sometimes I’d get thousands of bounced emails
  3. It reduced the assurity that my domain wasn’t hosting spammers, so sometimes real emails I sent would be marked as spam

I talked to Dreamhost support and they showed me how to setup an SPF record for my domain. See here and here on how to do it yourself.

Dreamhost support also suggested I create the emails postmaster@ and abuse@ because “I have seen some cases even though they are very rare cases in which not having these emails set up can cause some problems with servers receiving email.” Ok, sure. So I set those addresses up.

I created an account at postmaster.google.com to periodically check if Gmail is getting any spam from my domain.

I read up on spam-proofing a domain and realized that Dreamhost hadn’t implemented DKIM. Actually, they set it up for my domain but it was left in test mode. Even in Dreamhost’s DKIM example the test flag was set (see “Example of a DKIM Record, they write: k=rsa; t=y; p=GIMfMA0G…). So I had several back and forths with Dreamhost tech support starting in February and yesterday I got an email, “Our devs finally got around to removing the test flag and now DKIM records are properly being served.” Hurray!

In conclusion, you might want to check the headers on your outgoing emails. Look for the “dkim” header. Previously, when my account was still in “test-mode”, headers looked like “dkim=pass (test mode)”. And now they look like “dkim=pass header.i=@lee.org” :-)

I Fixed It

I’ve been thinking about a new phone because my battery isn’t holding a charge as well as it used to. When I found out that a new battery cost $5, I couldn’t, in good conscience, spend $450 on a new phone!

I was nervous about tearing my phone apart but it went exactly the way the video from IFixIt.com and Gwendolyn Gay said. Mad props to them for making great tools and a great video that walked me through it. I also replaced the headphone jack that was filled with pocket lint.

Total cost: $5 battery, $8 headphone jack, $40 kit, 1.5 hours of my time.

Awesome.

PS. Midway through the repair, I had the patient lying on the kitchen table with all the screws and wires out. I thought “there is the money shot. Take a picture!” Then I remembered that I was looking down at my camera in 20 pieces.

Backups?

I use a program to back up my computer online. It’s really good, it has saved me and Megan a couple times. Would you like to trade backup space? You backup your computer to me to me for free, I backup my computer to you for free. Message me.

Cloud storage hurmphyness and happiness

Cloud storage hurmphyness and happiness: Two years ago I got a free 48 gigs of space on Dropbox as part of a promotion. I’ve been using it to move photos, music, and files onto my phone. It’s great. The free promotion was expiring soon and I was loathe to spend the money on a full membership. Being the nerd I am, I spent some time setting up a do-it-yourself solution with ownCloud and Dreamhost. After several hours of fiddling, it still totally sucked. I think the reason was that ownCloud won’t run well on my shared hosting. But if I upgrade my Dreamhost membership, I’d be spending MORE than just getting the Dropbox upgrade. Hurumph. So I bailed on that and tried a couple other solutions. Well, today my Dropbox expired leaving me with a “measly” 6 gigabytes of free space. Hahah, That is exactly how much space I needed! They used to only give 2 gig of free space, which wouldn’t have been enough.

So, it’s back to life as normal.

Here’s a shout-out to Dropsync, the great Android app that works so smoothly on my phone to move files.

SSL Lee.org

I just installed SSL security on Lee.org. Now you should always see a green padlock next to the address at the top of the page. I installed it with the help of Dreamhost and Let’s Encrypt, free SSL. I was worried something would break but it was pretty painless.