Edvinas Urbasius

@edvinasurbasius

Tutorials, reviews, and other articles about technology.

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https://edvinasurbasius.com/ @edvinasurbasius
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A Different Approach

I have been inactive for a few days. I haven’t tweeted anything for the #100DaysOfCode challenge, because I decided to change my approach once more. I am not quitting anything, it’s just don’t want to tweet useless things all over the place and instead I want to focus on my own blog where I could provide more value to other people.

So from now, I am planning to write more detailed logs about my work. Somehow Twitter 140 characters are limiting me. However, I will not stop tweeting, but I will try to give more specific details about my projects.

Today I started working on a calendar system. The ultimate goal is to build a full stack application. The user should be able to log in or sign up and then connect to the calendar itself which consists of calendar, agenda, and chat. Here is a link to my work so far.

The idea itself is not a unique one, I got it as a part of the test for potential front-end position in some company. The team provided me with mockups and documentation, so I just had to implement it. That time I was focusing only on a front-end part, but this time I am trying to do the whole thing.

I will update you with my progress via Twitter and I will post some journal logs here. I am also experimenting with videos, but I haven’t opened them for a public use. That can wait. What’s important now is to focus and work on a project every day consistently.

Password Security and Bitwarden

Let’s talk about passwords. Some of us hate it, but passwords are an important piece of our life. Without a password, we wouldn’t be able to access our bank account, connect to social networks or encrypt our hard drive. Even in the opening days of the Battle of Normandy, paratroopers used word flash as a challenge to which others responded with a password thunder.

As you see, passwords are everywhere, but we tend to neglect them. We make them weak, we reuse the same passwords everywhere, we leave notes filled with them in our offices, we just don’t care!

Strong password security is like a habit and it takes time to develop it. To ease up the process, we could use a password manager. This type of software gets a lot of criticism, due to its sensitive nature. It protects lots of passwords with one master password. If it's compromised – you are done. However, with 2FA and ability to inspect the software’s code, I think we can get some level of trust.

If I have convinced you to try a password manager, let me introduce you Bitwarden. It’s a free and open-source password management solution for individuals, teams, and businesses. I liked the software so much that I even bought a license. Here is why you should give it a try.

Sync all of your devices

Secure cloud syncing gives you the ability to access Bitwarden from any device. For example, I have two laptops, a phone, and a tablet, so I use Bitwarden with all of my devices. And if you are wondering about how secure is cloud syncing, Bitwarden uses AES 256 bit encryption. It's been adopted by the US government and used worldwide ever since.

Bitwarden app for every platform

Native desktop application for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

The browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor Browser.

App for iOS and Android.

Open Source

Bitwarden is open source software. The code is hosted on GitHub and everybody can audit. That's so different from a typical proprietary software model where only one entity can edit the code and others are kept in the dark. Due to Bitwarden's sensitive nature, it's important that code is in public. There is a greater chance that someone will discover a bug or vulnerability.

Two-step login (2FA)

To increase your account security, you can use 2FA which is available for free and premium users. What 2FA does, it gives you an additional step of protection. Let’s say your master password for Bitwarden vault is compromised, the attacker would have the difficulty of logging in without an access to the second step.

I use the authentication app and YubiKey. When I was a free user, I relied only on the app, but having a license gives me more flexibility!

Self-hosting

If you are super paranoid and do not trust Bitwarden's servers, you can self-host entire infrastructure stack on the platform of your choice. At the moment I do not have the means to do it, but it's a tempting option to try!

Conclusion

Bitwarden is very easy to use. I tried plenty of password managers before, but I always go back to it. Cloud syncing, two-set verification, open source are the most important features for me and I highly recommend others to try Bitwarden. If you like the software, do not hesitate to buy a license. It costs $10 and it’s valid for a year. Give it a try!

Things To Do After Installing Debian 9.5 (Strech)

A month ago I decided to switch from Ubuntu to Debian. It was a strange thing to do because for the past two years my main distro was Ubuntu and I got used to it. I am not a distro hopper per say, but people's comments about how Debian is created by people (not a corporation) and consists of free software made me think about a possibility of trying Debian for the first time! An hour later I was already preparing a USB stick with Debian 9.5 (Stretch) and getting ready to install it. In this article, I want to share with you what I did after I successfully installed Debian to my laptop.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

This command ensures that your local list of software packages are up to date and if there are outdated packages, upgrades them.

Install AMD/ATI Open Source Drivers (if you have these graphic cards)

I am not going to list the commands here, I think it's better if you checked Debian documentation yourself. Here is a link.

sudo apt-get install ufw && sudo apt-get install gufw

This command installs Uncomplicated Firewall and its graphical user interface. Make sure Incoming is set to Deny and status is set to On.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Some packages are not available by default, due to Debian having DFSG. In order to get them, we have to add non-free repositories in the sources.list file. Here is how it looks on my laptop.

deb http://ftp.dk.debian.org/debian/ stretch main non-free contrib
deb-src http://ftp.dk.debian.org/debian/ stretch main non-free contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main contrib non-free

And it's pretty much it for now. I haven't had a chance to tinker with the system a lot, as it comes with pre-installed software. I am trying to be minimalistic as possible, so I don't install a lot of software. My needs are basic!

I hope this short article helps. In the future, I will update it with new commands as I am just starting my journey with Debian.

Introduction

You are probably wondering what this blog is all about? Well, I bought the .tech domain with an intention to write about all things related to various technologies. You see, I am a Web Developer and IT-technologist, but not with five years experience on my belt. I am just a recent graduate who wants to advance in his IT career, so I created this blog to solidify my technical know-how and share the things I learned with all of you!

At the moment, I am interested in Linux, front-end, open-source, IT security and privacy, so expect lots of tutorials, reviews, and other articles. I am not a great writer, nor do I am the coding star, but there is a drive in me to become a better developer every day thanks to #100DaysOfCode and #freeCodeCamp projects.

And that's pretty much it for now. I already started writing a short article about things to do after you install Debian (that's the distro I use) and I hope to publish it at the end of this week!

See you soon!

Edvinas