Rationale for laptop integration into car

letter to try to obtain funding for car modifications to enable efficient working environment “on the move”.

I commute three hours per day (round-trip to work from Oxford to Romsey), this is an enforced commute as relocating is not an option due to the complexities of personal care, healthcare, local reliable support worker, building adaptions etc.

I utilise these hours in the car to work in order to maintain competitive productivity in the workplace (I rely entirely on voice recognition which, in some cases, is inefficient and requires extra out of contract time contribution to catch up with the productivity level of other engineers). Due to the age of my previous laptop I required a replacement to meet the performance requirements of the voice recognition (and other work tools) software. This new laptop is significantly larger than the old one and I cannot use it on the dashboard as I did with the previous one. As a result of this I now need another solution which I have identified as installing a small, relatively inexpensive LCD screen in the roof (near to the sun visor) and a docking station in the passenger side front foot-well which will house my laptop safely. There will also be (in addition to a display cable) a USB extension cable run up the side of the car to accommodate my headset for the voice recognition and integration of my phone into the computer and car stereo.

My employers have kindly purchased the required over spec laptop with solid-state hard drive and 3G modem to accommodate my mobilised working needs. This means that with the adaptions I will be sufficiently productive during the commute and customer visits or conferences.

The supplier I have sourced is extremely good value and the parts are common and relatively inexpensive compared to the majority of audiovisual car components.

Hopefully you can accommodate my needs and enable me to be necessarily competitively productive in my workplace. If you think this is a worthwhile endeavour I will engage the supplier for a quote.”

December update

dealing with ups and downs in the winter months. Being cooped up away from the cold create some hazards such as cabin Fever related anxieties and associated mood swings.

Looking forward to the eventual arrival of the off-road wheelchair thanks to help from generous people. Should be here sometime in the New Year.

Wish I could have a break from constant care and health concerns but there we go, very fortunate all things considered. My heart goes out to those without a roof over their heads in this cold weather.

Work very interesting, increasing the level of parallelism within network traffic processing code. On a self driven project which has a trade-off of benefits and risk. Time management time management time management…

Looking forward to a lovely Christmas, cosy and familial.

Love and greetings to all

Anonymous FTP setup on Ubuntu

Debian anonymous FTP tips:
use a vsftpd.conf similar to that at the following site:
http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-91887.html
anon_chroot parameter is important, must point to a NON-WRITABLE root for anonymous

users.

It seems that there are various possibilities for anonymous login credentials

including client specific settings (e.g. anonymous checkbox, I don’t know what this

actually sends to the server), the user “anonymous” or “”. Passwords can include “”,

any arbitrary string e.g. e-mail address or “guest”.

A specific criteria for anonymous users is that the anon_chroot directory that is the

root for the anonymous user is non-writable. I.e. owned by different user to that of

the anonymous FTP (ftp user for vsftpd). This does mean that the anonymous users

cannot create directories or write files to the root anonymous directory. They can

however to a subdirectory of this root directory (/var/ftp/pub in my case).

In the case where my anon_root=/var/ftp and there is a subdirectory “pub” within this

directory then the following configuration applied the necessary permissions:

(As root)
chown -R ftp /var/ftp
chgrp -R ftp /var/ftp
chmod -R 755 /var/ftp
chown root /var/ftp

This should remove the “vsftpd: refusing to run with writable anonymous root” error.

Example steps:

sudo apt-get install vsftpd
this will also create ftp user and group. On my Ubuntu setup this didn’t

create home directory.

The following steps setup alternative user home directory, autostart, edit the

config, create a backup file of the config and restart the Deamon.
51  usermod -d /var/ftp ftp
52  sysv-rc-conf –list
53  sysv-rc-conf vsftpd on
55  cp /etc/vsftpd.conf /etc/vsftpd.conf.bak
54  vim /etc/vsftpd.conf
56  service vsftpd  restart
Note: if using graphical FTP client, don’t forget to refresh, gets me every time.

After deciding I didn’t want anonymous uploading, I changed the chown parameter in the config to ftpsecure, another user with a password. I set chroot_local and disabled others users from FTP by adding them to /etc/ftpusers. I then added some symbolic links to the home directory of ftpsecure. This seemed to offer the right balance of security that I needed. I enabled chroot_local_user and disabled chroot_list_enable. Disabled anonymous_enable etc. Until deemed necessary later.
Remember to keep group and owner permissions of all contents of ftpsecure to itself otherwise may get problems trying to edit etc over FTP.