Mapping your network with 'nmap'

I got to play with nmap today. A machine I use as a backup repository was missing. Silly me – I couldn’t remember the IP address of the machine. Due to the following facts…

1. backup PC is headless
2. backup PC is in the garage, and,
3. I am lazy

…I decided to use nmap to determine the IP address of the missing machine (as opposed to walking 20 metres).

>nmap -sP

  •  nmap: the nmap executable
  • -sP: scan type of ping
  • scan IP addresses in range from to

It found all my machines (and identified them correctly when I changed the command to >nmap -sS -O )

Nmap even managed to find my DMZ when I loosened up the network from /24 to /16. I’d forgotten about my DMZ as I hardly have any use for it any more.

I was thoroughly impressed at the power of nmap, and kind of scared at the level of detail it could pull from the PC’s scattered around my network.

Network Diagram:

Network diagram

Gmail smtp down?

Today my mail client would not send email via gmail smtp. Thunderbird kept asking for my smtp password – I thought that gmail smtp server must be done.

It turned out I had to unlock my account! Why – I still have to figure that out.

Grrr – can't get WordPress "Post via e-mail" to work

I suspect my web host has some php functions disabled – maybe imap_open()? I’ve searched around the wordpress site and all looks OK as far as the version of PHP my web host is running. The error I get back is quite uninformative:



POP3 connect: Error [] []


Not very informative. Maybe I am an idiot…

1. This post indicates that I need to change my pop connection to ssl:// Didn’t help. But I think that is because of…

2. This post that indicates that the php method fsockopen() may be disabled by my free web host. Bugger – it is disabled.

Super-cheap website setup

I managed to get my website set up for the grand total of $25.98 – for two years!

Domain Registration $25.98 for two years smartyhost
Web hosting $free
Email $free Google Apps (just the email portion)

Why so cheap?
Freebies. I stumbled across an article on IT Wire titled Use open source to build your own online presence for nothing [Part 1 | Part 2] written by David M. Williams. I decided to use the ideas mentioned in the article as my launching point.

Domain Registration
The domain registration was probably the easiest thing. Stock standard – I searched for domain I wanted ( It’s available – yes. Thank you very much – here’s my credit card details. Yay – domain registered.

Web hosting
I followed Dave’s path and signed up for some free hosting at provides a PHP/MySql backend. Up to five domains and five databases can be maintained for free.

I used Google Apps to help out for the email side of things. I had to sign up for a Google Apps account, which was mostly painless. I told them I already owned my own domain. To prove that I owned it I had to FTP a small file up to the website for them to check it. They found it without a drama so the account was activated. I was not interested in Google docs, homepage, site, calendar or chat. I only wanted the email-handling capabilities.

This involved heading back to my web hosts control panel and changing the MX entry to ensure my email was to be handled by the Google mail servers. There was a ~24 hour period where I had to wait for the MX record change to propogate, but after that all I had to do was set up my email client (Mozilla Thunderbird 2) to access email from the Google mail servers.

So now I have a domain, web site, and associated email addresses for ~$13 a year.


I read every comic strip at xkcd today. Very funny – mostly weird, but in a good nerdy weird way.


sudoku - medium difficulty

counterstike meets grue

snakes on a plane 2

I think the next one is my all time favourite:

velociraptor math