If you’ve ever configured a VPN on a Cisco PIX or ASA and used pre shared keys or PSKs, you’ll know that once they’ve been entered in the the configuration they simple appear as ‘*****’.

If you ever need to make changes or duplicate the VPN configuration on another firewall, it can be a real pain in the ass unless you’ve made a note of the PSK. I recently was in such a situation and after a bit of googling I came across this little trick:

ASA# more system:/running-config

This will show you the complete running config along with the pre shared keys in plain text.

Alternatively, you can copy the running config to a tftp or ftp server. Once the config is stored on the server, all passwords and PSKs appear in plain text.

Hope you find this as useful as I did….

With the EBHC fast approaching it was time for more EFAA practice and another round at the Artemis wood. I had hoped to shoot a different round this time out but it ended up being another field round. I’m not too disappointed, the field round is a good test of stamina as well as skill. The added bonus would be that I could compare the results like for like.

I’m not sure if it was a hangover from the 3Ds or I just treat it as a practice session but the day didn’t go well. Last time out on the field round I finished with a course with a score of 236. This time out I was hoping to break 250 and get an A classification. Unfortunately, the day didn’t go as planned. This time out I didn’t even break the 200 mark. Still, the field round is good practice, with a total of 112 arrows shot and the majority of distances being over 40 yards. Thankfully, the distances for the EBHC are a maximum 60 yards (in theory, anyone who went to Austria will know better) and a smaller percentage are over 40 yards.

Still, the round did highlight the areas I need to practice and with only a couple of weeks left I need to crack on.

I’ve deliberately waited a while after the competition before writing this post. To say I was a little disappointed when the results were announced is an understatement, hopefully now the initial disappointment has passed I can give a more open minded assessment.

After my third place in Scotland, I was hoping for a good performance at the 3Ds this year. I’ve never done very well at either of the national competitions and missed out on the 3Ds last year as Artemis were setting one of the courses. I was hoping to get more practice prior to the competition but the weather put pay to that. I only managed a couple of practice sessions of around 100 arrows in the garden the week before the competition.

I was under no illusions Saturday morning, I wasn’t in a position to win this competition but I was hoping to be in the top three. I would be happy if I was in the top 5 and realistically, anywhere in the top ten would be an ok result.

The competition itself was a story of two very different days and very different courses. The A course which we shot on the first day was a really clever course with interesting shots and good use of the ground. I was caught out a few times, as well as having a few brain-farts of my own. I ended the day with a score of 652 from the 40 targets on the course which I was fairly happy with. Once I’d got off the course, I heard some of the scores from my class and was disappointed to find out I was almost a hundred points from the top score. I expected this to put me somewhere around 20th place. There were no overnight results posted so I had to wait for Sunday.

When I booked in Sunday morning, the overnight results were printed and posted in the admin tent. To my surprise, despite being 100 points less than the leader, I was still in 5th place and only 10 points from 3rd. The bad news, there were only twenty points separating 3rd to 12th place. First and second place were in a class of there own and barring a complete meltdown they wouldn’t be caught. Third place was up for grabs on Sunday.

We were shooting the B course on Sunday and boy what a contrast to the A course it was. Out of the 40 targets there were only a couple that were stretched past 30 yards. The rest were right on top of you and begging to be hit. This meant the day would be more of a precision round than a big game round. You could see the inner kills on almost all the targets and you needed to be hitting them on a course like this. Unfortunately, I didn’t. Well not enough of them anyway. I ended the day with a score of 734 from the 40 targets and I knew at this point it probably wasn’t going to be enough.

I ended the weekend with a combined score of 1386. I hoped this would be enough to get me a third place, but realistically I knew it wasn’t. When the results were announced I missed the 3rd spot by a total of 32 points. I’d still have to wait until the full results were published to find out my final position. As it turns out, I’m managed to hold on to my 5th place, 14 points behind 4th.

On the whole I was please with my performance over the two days. It’s probably my most consistent performance at a champs yet, although not my best result. It certainly made a change to be shooting for something other than to be in the top 10 on the Sunday. More practice is required before our trip to France in a few weeks though. Still, I can’t wait for the EBHC.

I can never find the bloody instructions for the light on our Biorb fish tank and it’s not the most intuitive piece of equipment I’ve ever used so I thought I’d stick the instructions here so I’d always know where I can find them.


The Intelligent Light Manual & Programming Instructions

Just plug the biorb intelligent light in and it automatically simulates a natural light light in your aquarium


Quick Start – Standard Cycle
  1. Plug the din socket into a Reef One 12v AC power supply (only use Reef One power supplies), the moonlight (blue LED) will come on and the light will be in standard mode. (time elapsed 0:00)
  2. The moonlight will then stay on as the light begins to rise up to daylight (white LED’s) simulating natural sunrise. (time elapsed 1:00)
  3. After 1 hour, daylight will be at full power with no moonlight.  In this mode, daylight will stay on for a further 8 hours. (time elapsed 9:00)
  4. After 9 hours the daylight will then start to fade into moonlight, simulating a natural sunset.  This will take a further 1 hour. (time elapsed 10:00)
  5. After 10 hours the moonlight will then remain on until the cycle repeats, this happens automatically, every 24 hours unless interrupted by a power failure or user input. (time elapsed 24:00)
  6. Then the light cycle repeats


Cleaning and Care

Clean the lens of the light regularly with Reef One cleaning cloths. If scale builds up, use the Reef One Plastic Scratch Remover and polish.



TIMER FEATURE: Simply plug the unit in and a light cycle of both sun and moonlight starts automatically!
LED’S: Enjoy a much longer life so no more new bulbs or tubes to buy!
SAFER: 12v power supply, safe for you and your fish
SAVES MONEY: On your bills by using less power for the same brightness!
LESS STRESS: for your fish as the light unit gradually fades up and down, just like sunrise and sunset in the natural world!


Other things the Biorb Intelligent LED Light can do when the bubble button is held down for…

Hold – to delay 24 hour cycle
1x flash – Normal 24 hour light cycle will start from this time of day
2 x flash – Daylight is turned off for 2 hours and then resumes previous cycle (blue LED is not affected by this and will remain on).  Ideal for watching movies or when doing maintenance.  To resume earlier than 2 hours, press for two flashes.


Hold to adjust timings

3x flash – 24 hour standard cycle with 8 hours of daylight
4x flash – 24 hour  cycle with short daylight (5 hours of daylight)
5x flash – 24 hour  cycle with extended daylight (14 hours of daylight)
6x flash – 24 hour permanent daylight with no moonlight
7x flash – 24 hour permanent moonlight with 8 hours of daylight
8x flash – 24 hour daylight and moonlight
9x flash – 30 second demo cycle.  To exit, disconnect from power.


Hope someone else finds this of use.

As I’ve already stated in previous posts, I’m a bit of a paranoid server operator. I’m responsible for several servers that are sat out there on the big bad internet of things and I like to know what’s happening with them.

One of the biggest areas of concern is SSH access. Most people don’t bother tying it down tightly enough and the default install of most linux distros seem to leave it open to the general internet. I highly recommend restricting SSH connections to known IP addresses. Even having access in place doesn’t mean that your server is safe. Sometimes people who have access to the server can break stuff. For that reason I like to know who is connecting to the servers, especially if they can SU to root.

How cool would it be if your server would email you each time the root user logs in? Well it can and it’s fairly easy to set up. Here’s how.

Firstly you’ll need to install the MailX package if it isn’t already. To find out if you have it installed login in to your server as root and execute the following

# rpm -qa | grep mailx

If you have MailX installed, you should get a response something like this


If the command returns no output, you will need to install MailX:

# yum install mailx

Once MailX is installed, switch to your root directory and edit the .bashrc file.

 # cd /root
# vi .bashrc

Add the following line to the bottom of the .bashrc file. Be sure to replace ServerName with the actual name of your server and replace you@yourdomain.com with the email address that you want the alert sent to.

echo 'ALERT - Root Access (ServerName) on:' `date` `who` | mail -s "Alert: Root Login/SU from `who | cut -d'(' -f2 | cut -d')' -f1`" you@yourdomain.com

Once you’ve added the line, save and close the .bashrc file.

To test it’s working, logout and log back in to your server as root or as your user account and then su root. Congratulations, every time someone logs in to your server as root or SUs to root you’ll know.

If you would like to be notified of all user logins, there is another .bashrc file located in the /etc/ directory. Add the same line to this file.

Stay secure!