From Technologia Incognita
Jump to: navigation, search
Participants Narya
Skills Software, Social Networking, Common sense, Cryptography, Learning
Status Active
Niche Software
Purpose Education


Make my laptop more MY laptop (and my e-mail.. my calendar... backup... social networks... and well, anything really)


Some of the things I did so far

Several things below were/are new to me, so if you have suggestions for other options or for improvements, please let me know.

Laptop / phone

  • OS
    • Encryption of my home directory (ticked the box to encrypt my home directory in Ubuntu)
    • Ubuntu sends searches to Amazon, disabled this
    • Reinstalled laptop with Debian
  • Changed browser: using firefox now i.s.o. chrome
  • Installed [several browser plugins, e.g.
    • HTTPSeverywhere - make use of https as much as possible
    • Better privacy - remove super cookies
    • DoNotTrack - block advertisement, trackers, web stat trackers
    • Ghostery - comparable with DoNotTrack, but works better
    • NoScript - block JavaScript and Java stuff
  • Alternatives for Google stuff
    • Use DuckDuckGo in stead of google search
    • Removed the mail forwarding to google mail and switched back to my own provider. Actually, it would be better to install your own mail server.
    • Using a paper agenda now - couldn't find a good portable electronic alternative yet. This works just fine. (use the calendar of owncloud?)
    • Using owncloud calendar, synchronized with phone
    • Replaced analytics with Piwik
    • OpenStreetMap i.s.o. google maps
  • Removed mail and online banking from my mobile phone (can perhaps be put back after I changed the OS)
  • SSH tunnel to encrypt internet traffic from another network (e.g. a public wifi spot) to a place I trust more
  • Tomboy notes with rsync in stead of Evernote
  • Created a PGP key and set the default settings to "encrypt mail" for the people who are already in my list (key ring)
  • Social media
    • Played around with Diaspora (as alternative to Facebook)
    • Checked out Retroshare - it's retro... and you can share things (chat, forum, mail, file, all friend2friend), uses PGP
    • Problem: no friends :( Have shut down my FB account anyway. Added bonus: more time to do more important stuff than clicking away evenings
    • Tried to install a Diaspora pod. Too complicated. I might try again once the debian package comes out
    • Betting on now. Installation up to configuration was easy. So far, so good. Next step is to configure it.
  • File storage, sharing, backup
    • Using encfs together with Dropbox - How to
    • Have switched to ownCloud (see section "Server")
  • Text messages via but I'll probably replace this with messaging via my own communication server


  • Installed Debian
  • Encrypted disk (option during setup)
  • Have set firewall rules (with Shorewall)
  • Have installed ownCloud - can be used ala dropbox, and it has apps for calendar and contacts
    • I want to have the data on at least two different locations (because... backup):
      • Have to figure out how to set up a virtual encrypted disk which is synchronized with another location
      • If possible synchronize the user database too, so that I can run mirrored ownCloud instances
      • Relevant thread:
      • Raspberry Pi with external USB drive might work. Synchronization by BTsync or something like that
    • Need to investigate how to make use of this more secure (info here)
  • Working on setting up https (some explanation, example 1, example 2)
    • Forwarded the https port. Now I need to figure out how to redirect http requests to https
  • Installed Etherpad, as a service, only accessible from certain ips - for making and sharing notes
    • To do next: integrate etherpad with owncloud


  • Comm server
    • The plan is to use SIP phones and a client for chatting and/or video calls
    • Installed Asterisk and tried out the LinPhone and Blink clients
    • Communication works, now stuck at making TLS and sRTP work Tutorial
  • Subrosa is a really nice alternative for Skype. You can install it on your own server or use it via It is web based
  • Trying out Mailpile - a web client for your mail with PGP encryption