Setting up a Debian-based Bitcoin node

I’ve previously mentioned how fullnode.co is a scam.

However, I was a bit too optimistic about the state of Bitcoin availability
on mainstream Linux distributions, and the state of Debian.

As it turns out, there is a bitcoind for squeeze, but not for the more recent wheezy. Not that it matters, as that version is way too old to be useful.

There is however a bitcoind in unstable. And that’s where Debian sucks: it’s still too damn hard for most users to deviate from the main repository.

I feared that bitcoind would not be started automatically after the installation like most daemons (which would be for good reasons, given the resource requirements). Well, it’s worse: there is no init script at all!

So my easy Debian instructions did not work and the real ones won’t fit in a few commands. That’s why I made bitcoin-node, a simple fire-and-forget script to properly upgrade and configure a Debian server into a public Bitcoin node. It also has the added bonus of running bitcoind without the wallet feature, to lower the resource requirements and reduce the attack surface. In the end, my main goal is achieved: you mostly have to trust Debian to get you a good binary.

I recommend that you check out LowEndBox for cheap VPS offers. Look for at least 30 GB of storage (you don’t need SSD), and 512 MB of memory (part of it can be swap). This should cost you around $20 a year; sometimes less if you find a good promotion. That’s clearly better than what fullnode.co offers.

Then get the script, it’s pretty straightforward; you shouldn’t have to be overly technical to run it.

Upgrading multiple WordPress blogs, the painless way

There is a fast, safe and easy way to upgrade multiple blogs using SVN. First, you have to install WordPress by following the instructions here.
Upgrading through SVN saves you from downloading and extracting a ZIP file manually, and if you made modifications to some files (mostly workarounds to stupid PHP bugs), they are kept.

Then just use this script:

set -u
LASTVERSION="2.3.3"
for WP_VER in "lolcats.domain.tld" "ronpaul2008.domain.tld"
do
    cd "${HOME}/www/${WP_VER}/" || exit 1
    svn sw "http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/${LASTVERSION}/" || exit 1
    lynx -dump "http://${WP_VER}/wp-admin/upgrade.php" || exit 1
    sleep 5
done

Obviously you need SSH access. If you don’t have SSH access, most likely on shared hosting, switch hosts. Nobody can live without SSH.