Speed-up X over ssh

Even though I run a pretty fast network and vpn at home I still have the occasional hiccup running demanding applications (i.e. digikam) at home.

A few simple options can speed up X considerably. Connecting with the following parametters will enable a fast encryption cipher and also enables compression:
ssh -X -C -c blowfish-cbc,arcfour user@host.example.com

Of course you can make this permanent by adding the following to /etc/ssh/ssh_config (might be different on your distro):
Cipher blowfish
# default line
##Ciphers aes128-ctr,aes192-ctr,aes256-ctr,arcfour256,arcfour128,aes128-cbc,3des-cbc
## see man page for more info on Ciphers
Ciphers blowfish-cbc,aes128-cbc,3des-cbc,cast128-cbc,arcfour,aes192-cbc,aes256-cbc
Compression yes

Using Xenu with authentication

I needed to scan a Joomla site that only shows most of its content when logged in in the frontend. Xenu FAQ suggests using Cookies. That didn’t work for me. So I used Fiddler web debugger and it’s scripting engine.

First start Fiddler and set it to capture traffic. Log in in the site using a browser. Check and find the cookie data – copy it to the clipboard.

Open ‘Customize rules’ in Fiddler and search for

static function OnBeforeRequest(oSession: Session)

Before any other code paste:

oSession.oRequest["Cookie"] = "data you copied earlier";

Now start Xenu as you would on any other site. Remember to disable Fiddler after that as it might offer weird results later.

Extending the range of a WiFi stick adapter

I relocated some of my networking gear and by doing that one of my pc’s found itself in a blind spot of the wireless network. I decided to try and see if I can extend the range of the usb wireless adapter it uses. I had a few antennas available but unfortunately the usb adapter didn’t have a connector. I decided to solder the antenna wire directly:


First I pried open the usb adapter and located the internal antenna pads. With this particular adapter the internal antenna is composed by the two spiral tracks at the right.


I cut the connector and stripped some of the insulation. After that I separated the core from the shielding and striped some of the core insulationIMG_1771I soldered the middle lead to one of the antenna pads and the shielding wire to the metal housing.

I didn’t do any special tests but the change was that from dropping the connection every 2 minutes and running at 11Mbps now the adapter maintains a stable connection at 54Mbps