Corsica 2017

Routing in Corsica

In September 2017 we hit the road for a camping trip towards Corsica in a rented VW bus. The rough plan was to drive there via Lake Garda and Pisa, take the ferry from Livorno and head back home through Zug in Switzerland.

As you can see from the picture on the left, we had to adjust our pace a bit. What looks like a miscalculation at first glance, turned out to be a pretty accurate estimation (and we even ended up taking the "slow" route east of the mountains). Especially on the west coast of Corsica, the roads are narrow with tall rocks on one side and steep cliffs on the other.

The east coast, on the other hand, is a fully developed tourist area with broad roads, big beaches and plenty of hotels. While this makes it easy to quickly cover a lot of ground, e.g. when you have a ferry to catch, the west coast is by far more beautiful, rough, and genuine.

Unfortunately we missed our chance to explore the central mountainous region since we eventually ran out of time. However, I'm sure this will not have been our last visit to this beautiful island full of "(Macchia)", wild boars, stinky cheese and mediocre (still amazingly delicious) wine.

Also check out the full gallery of pictures.

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Fixing broken DHCP configuration with OpenSMTPD

I've been using the popular AVM DSL routers (FRITZ.Box) for many years now. They're affordable and mostly do a pretty good job. However, there's this one thing, that has been bothering me forever ... the FritzBox's DHCP server sets the domain of all hosts to '' ... and apparently there's nothing you can do about it (that's what the internet keeps telling me at least). While this escalated from mildly annoying when using the shell, to rather annoying when SSH keys seem to be coming from '' to plain unacceptable when your mail headers look like this:

Received: from ( []) by (OpenSMTPD)

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The very basic SMTP setup now needs IMAP capabilities to be actually usable outside a mutt/shell environment. A bit of research revealed that apparently dovecot is the way to go these days. The following post outlines the steps it took me to get the setup up and running.

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Since setting up TLS worked so smoothly, the next order of business was finally setting up SMTP. Most of the configuration guidance was inspired by the excellent guide at technoquarter. But as usual, documentation beats internet tutorial - a couple of things are different in 6.3 (stable at the time of this writing) and for that particular setup, e.g. we will be using the TLS setup from the previous post.

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Let's Encrypt and ACME

Today is server maintenance time! I upgraded from 6.1 to 6.3 a couple of days ago and was, again, pleasantly surprised by the elegance of OpenBSD. While thinking about how to continue with OpenSMTP and reading up on the respective posts, I decided to start with the necessary SSL/TSL stuff first. The way to go these days seems to be Let's Encrypt and ACME.

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Kirkland and Seattle 2017

In August 2017, I had to travel to Kirkland (close to Seattle) for a business trip. During these days, I had a chance to go hiking in the Cascade mountains for a couple of hours and I also stayed an additional day to explore the more immediate Seattle area for a bit. This trip was particularly exciting, since the Portland/Seattle region (including the Olympic Peninsula) was my first trip to the US almost 10 years ago.

Lake Union at sunset from Gasworks Park

Lake Union at sunset from Gasworks Park

This post is a bit of a test balloon, I would like to see if it's more convenient to integrate pictures in a blog post like this or if I need to keep looking for "external" mechanisms. The full set of pictures are also available as a Lightroom Mobile gallery and the local Nikola gallery.

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KSH History

In the last couple of weeks, I started realizing that my OpenBSD KSH doesn't retain its history between logins. Besides the question why it took me so long to notice, the solution is pretty straight forward. Just put

export HISTFILE=~/.sh_history

into your .profile.