Archive for the ‘Everyday Life’ Category

Helpful Hints For Starting A Small WordPress Website or Ecomerce Business

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

hints-for-starting-wordpress-site

Wordpress is the web application collection of PHP program behind thirty four percent (43%) of the internet’s websites, and fifteen percent (50%) of the top one hundred websites in the world, so if you’re considering it for your website then you’re perhaps thinking in the right direction. Small start-up projects a community website or even a small personal owned blog or mid to even large business presentation site  can benefit greatly from setting up their Web Platrform or Ecommerce shops on a WordPress website platform (that of itself depends just on a small number of technologies such as a Linux server with a Web Server installed on it to serve PHP as well as some kind of Linux host installed Database  backend engine such as MYSQL / PostgreSQL etc. …

But if you really want to create a successful ecommerce website on WordPress, that can seem a little intimidating at first as the general complexity to start up with WordPress looks very scary in the beginning. However in this article I’ll point to fewhelpful hints should get you off on the right foot, and make your entry into the world of Wodpress / WP Ecommerce a little easier and less scary.

This article is to be less technical than expected and in that will contrast slightly with many of the articles on this blog, the target audience is more of Web Marketing Manager or a Start-up Search Engine Optimization person at a small personal project or employed in the big bad corporate world.This is no something new that is going to be outlined in this article but a general rules that are known for the professional SEO Gurus but is most likely to be helpful for the starting persons.

If you happen to be one of these you should know you have to follow a set of well known rules on the website structure text, descriptions, text, orientation, ordering of menus and data etc. in order to have the WordPress based website running at full speed attracting more visitors to your site.
 

Photos
 

 

Importance of Photos on a Webiste
Although the text for your website is very important – more on that later – when a user first opens up your website in their browser, their eyes are going to be caught by the images that you have laid out on your website. Not using images is a big mistake, since it bores users’ eyes and makes your website seem amateur and basic, but using low quality images or irrelevant images can also harm your chances of appearing authentic to a user (yes here on this blog there are some of this low quality pictures but this is due to fact this website is more of information blog and not ecommerce. Thus at best case always make sure that you find the best, high-quality images for your website – make sure that you have the correct rights to use the images as well (as copyright infrignmenets) could cause you even a law suits ending in hundred or thousand dollar fines or even if this doesn't happen any publicity of such would reduce your website indexing rating. The images placed should always be relevant to your website. If you find a breath-taking sunset or tech-gadget picture, that’s great, but maybe not for your healthy food ecommerce store, but for your personal ranting or describing a personal experience.

 

Product Photos


Assuming that sooner or later even if you have a community website you will want to monerize it to bring back to yourself in material form at least part of the many years effort to bring the site to the web rank gained.
Leading on from that point, you’re going to be selling or advertise items – that’s the whole point of ecommerce. But users often find ads / online shopping frustrating due to not being able to properly see and understand what they’re buying before they make their purchase. This can lead to ‘buyer’s remorse’, and, consequently, refunds galore, which is not what you want. Make sure that images of your products are always available and of a high quality – investing in a fairly high quality camera might be a good idea – and consider many pictures for different angles or even rotating images so that the user can decide for themself which angle they want to look at.

 

Engaging Descriptions


“I can guarantee that you can’t remember the last five product descriptions you read – not even word-for-word, but the general ideas and vocabulary used will have been tossed into your short-term memory and forgotten in an instant. This is where your website can shine, and become better than ninety percent of those lingering on the internet,” Matthew Kelly, a project manager at WriteMyX and NextCoursework, suggests, “since putting effort into writing your product descriptions and making them lively and engaging will make your website memorable, and your subscribers will turn helpfully soon loyal customers will be more likely to come back time and time again and become repeat business, as well as mention you to their friends (social mounth to mouth marketing) and that way working as free advertising for you and making your website incredibly effective.”

 

Mobile-Friendly

 

Which device is most used to check email Laptop / PC or Mobile statistics as of year 2019

These days with the bloom of Mobile Devices that are currently overrunning the user of normal Desktop PCs, Laptops and Tablets and this trend is likely to stay and even increase, “If your website isn’t mobile-friendly in this day and age, then you won’t get anywhere with it.” Anne Baker, a marketer at BritStudent and Australia2Write, states. “Most people use their phones when they access websites, especially when they go shopping on the internet.

Statistics on user stay (secs / mins) stay on a website from Desktop PC and Mobile devices

On WordPress, this means finding a more recent theme – an older theme, maybe four-five years old, will probably not support mobile, and you just can’t afford to lose out on the mobile market.” In short, find yourself a mobile-friendly theme or install the right WordPress Pluguin that will enable you to have a Mobile Friendly theme in case if blog is accessed from a Mobile Dev or many of your customers will become frustrated with the badly formatted ‘mobile’ version of your website that they end up using, which might be for instance meant for a much larger screen. It can also ruin the atmosphere (experience) created at the accessed user site and have negative impact on your audience opion of your site or business. This is even more the case  if your website or webapp is targetting to be modern and keeping with the times – or especially if it deals with IT and electronics (where the competition is huge)!

 

Registration

 

Registration Ecommerce website

Registration form (Sign Up) on a website and the overall business cycle idea behind web product or business is of critical importance as this is the point that will guarantee intimidation with the customer, failing to have the person be engaged will quickly make your website rank lower and your producs less wanted. The general rule here is to make your registration be an easy (to orientate for the user) and be present on a very visible place on the site.

Registration steps should be as less as possible as this might piss off the user and repel him out of the site before the registration is completed. Showing oportunity to register with a Pop-Up window (while the user clicks on a place showing interest for the produce might be useful in some cases but generally might also push the user back so if you decide to implement it do it with a lot of care (beware of too much aggressive marketing on our site).

An example


The registration process should be as intimidating as possible to leave joy in the user that might later return and log in to your site or ecommerce platform, e.g. be interested to stay for a longer time. The marketing tactic aiming to make the user stay for a longer time on the website (dragging his attention / interest to stuff)  is nothing new by the way as it is well known marketing rule integrated in every supermarket you buy groceries, where all is made to keep you in the shop for as longer as possible. Research has shown that spending longer time within the supermarket makes the user buy more.

 

Returning customers can be intimidated with membership or a free gift (be it even virtual picture gift – free email whatever) or information store place could be given or if products are sold, registration will be obligatory to make them use their payment method or delivery address on next login to easify the buy out process. But if registration is convoluted and forced (e.g. user is somehow forced to become meber) then many customers will turn away and find another website for their shopping needs. Using a method like Quora’s ‘login to see more’ in that case might be a good idea even though for me this is also a very irritating and irritating – this method however should never be used if you run a ecommerce selling platform, on ecommerce site gatekeeping will only frustrate customers. Login is good to be implmeneted as a popup option (and not taking too much of the screen). Sign up and Login should be simplistic and self-explanatory – always not required but optioned and user should get the understanding of the advantage to be a member of the website if possible before the sign up procedure. Then, customers are more likely to sign up and won’t feel like they’ve been pushed into the decision – or pushed away, as the case may be.

Katrina Hatchett works as a lifestyle blogger at both Academic Brits and Assignment Help, due to a love of literature and writing, which she has had since youth. Throughout her career, she has become involved with many projects, such as writing for the PhD Kingdom blog.

How to make Samba smbfs / cifs mount share location with user / pass credentials authenticate via file stored credentials

Friday, July 19th, 2019

how-to-use-username-and-password-to-authenticate-to-samba-share-server-or-linux-share-server-linux-samba-logo
That's pretty trivial and perhaps if you had to manage samba server or cifs on a Linux host you already know it but for beginners, that might be interesting.

So in this short article I will explain how to make configure smbfs / cifs authentication from Linux host A client to Linux host B server running smbd and nmbd samba server (which is the smfs / cifs share server) by using external authentication file for either mount command or if /etc/fstab used to automatically authenticate using a preconfigured mount saba share via /etc/fstab.

Before you start to do anything with samba on Linux host A client machine, you will need as a minimum to have installed cifs-utils or smbfs (assuming you're on Debian Linux like you can check with dpkg -l and if missing install it via:

 

 

apt-get install cifs-utils

 

Or on older systems or for smbfs support

 

apt-get install smbfs

 

The general mount smbfs share command without specified external credentials file would look like so:

 

mount //mynetworksharename/ /shares/data -o username=myusername, password=mypassword


So how to use external auth file to prevent samba shares  users and passwords to not be stored in root user history all the time?

To do so it is pretty straight forward all you need to do is to create a single user / pass credentials variable defined lets say to file called .smbcredentials or .cifs under some directory lets /root/.smbcredentials.

One note here is (many people prefer to store the password under /root) for security reasons as root directory is usually readable only by administrator and would prevent a non-privileged user to read the user / pass which are stored in plain text.

.smbcredentials is described in mount.cifs man page, here is what it says about credentials variable understood by mount / mount.cifs command  file syntax:
 

 

credentials=filename
    specifies a file that contains a username and/or password. The format of the file is:

         username=value
         password=value


For a CIFS (Common Internet File System) which is a new implementation of old Windows Share (SMB protocol) avaiable in newer Windows XP / 7 / 10 machines, to do the cifs mount manually:
 

mount -v -t cifs //WINSHARESERVER/topsecretfiles /mnt/network/ -o credentials=/mnt/creds-file

or use 

 

mount.cifs //WINSSHARE/topsecretfiles /mnt/network/ -o credentials=/root/.creds-file

 

For old smbfs protocol for backward compatibility so older Win 2000 or Winblows server XP PCs configured to also access the Linux samba mount.

mount -t smbfs //WINHARESERVER/topsecretfiles /mnt/network/ -o credentials=/mnt/.smbcredentials


Once you have the defined .smbcredentials file name, be sure to also protect it with properly set permissions like 0600 (rw) readable only for root user. 

chmod 0600 /root/.smbcredentials

Note that in that example .smbcredentials is set to be a hidden file on purpose as this is a hidden file it will make it slightly less seenable if introduder breaks on the server (an example of security through obscurity)

 

Next lets see how to mount the Windows Samba Share permanently with predefined user / pass server login

For many non secured Windows shares one can use /etc/fstab line definition as simple as:
 

//server-share-name/sharename  /mnt/shares/sharename  cifs  guest,uid=1000,iocharset=utf8  0


For password protected Win Share mounts however, the simplest way to do is via /etc/fstab line add like so:

 

 

 

//servername/sharename  /mnt/shares/sharename  cifs  username=msusername,password=mspassword,iocharset=utf8,sec=ntlm  0  0


Note that the sec=ntlm is optional and remote samba server or Windows Share server version has to support this kind of authentication and in some cases you could safely reove sec=ntlm, just use it, when you know what you're doing. iocharset is good to have as for Russian / Bulgarian e.g.  Cyrillic, Chineese, Indian and other exotic languages and other strange language encoding to be supported and properly shown on the mounted share it should be properly defined …, 

A good permissions would be:

chmod 600 ~/.smbcredentials

To use the external /root/.smbcredentials password it shold be like so:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# cat /root/.smbcredentials

username=msusername
password=mssecretpassword
56#

 

 

Finally /root/.smbcredentials record should be as so:
 

//share-server-name/sharename /mnt/shares/windowsshare cifs credentials=/home/ubuntuusername/.smbcredentials,iocharset=utf8,sec=ntlm 0 0


Note You should already have

/mnt/shares/windowshare created on server B (the ount client) with:

mkdir -p  /mnt/shares/windowshare


To mount /etc/fstab defined filesystem to mount on next server boot then do

mount /mnt/shares/windowshare


or completely mount / remount all present /etc/fstab filesystems with the common

mount -a


(but here be careful as this might cause you troubles already other NFS or whatever FS is mounted and being read by clients) :

And you the remote Samba Share (mount location) – should be reachable with ping command and traceroute and remote server ports 139, 445 etc. should be up running opened and connectable from server B share-server-name/sharename

If you face some issues when trying to mount remote share with mount -t smbfs / mount.cifs then you can use smbclient with debug option to find out some more on the connectivity / authentication issue by using the smb share server IP address instead of hostnae and lets say a debug level of 3 like so:

 

 

 

 

smbclient -d3 -L //10.5.8.118/Files -A /root/.smbcredentials

[0] smbclient -d3 -L //10.2.3.111/Files -A /home/acteam/.smbcredentials     lp_load_ex: refreshing parameters
Initialising global parameters
rlimit_max: increasing rlimit_max (1024) to minimum Windows limit (16384)
Processing section "[global]"
WARNING: The "syslog" option is deprecated
added interface eth0 ip=10.2.3.127 bcast=10.2.3.255 netmask=255.255.255.0
Client started (version 4.3.11-Ubuntu).
Connecting to 10.2.3.111 at port 445
Doing spnego session setup (blob length=120)
got OID=1.3.6.1.4.1.311.2.2.30
got OID=1.2.840.48018.1.2.2
got OID=1.2.840.113554.1.2.2
got OID=1.2.840.113554.1.2.2.3
got OID=1.3.6.1.4.1.311.2.2.10
got principal=not_defined_in_RFC4178@please_ignore
GENSEC backend 'gssapi_spnego' registered
GENSEC backend 'gssapi_krb5' registered
GENSEC backend 'gssapi_krb5_sasl' registered
GENSEC backend 'spnego' registered
GENSEC backend 'schannel' registered
GENSEC backend 'naclrpc_as_system' registered
GENSEC backend 'sasl-EXTERNAL' registered
GENSEC backend 'ntlmssp' registered
GENSEC backend 'ntlmssp_resume_ccache' registered
GENSEC backend 'http_basic' registered
GENSEC backend 'http_ntlm' registered
GENSEC backend 'krb5' registered
GENSEC backend 'fake_gssapi_krb5' registered
Got challenge flags:
Got NTLMSSP neg_flags=0x62898215
NTLMSSP: Set final flags:
Got NTLMSSP neg_flags=0x62088215
NTLMSSP Sign/Seal – Initialising with flags:
Got NTLMSSP neg_flags=0x62088215
NTLMSSP Sign/Seal – Initialising with flags:
Got NTLMSSP neg_flags=0x62088215
Domain=[TMGRID] OS=[Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard 9600] Server=[Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard 6.3]

 

        Sharename       Type      Comment
        ———       —-      ——-
        ADMIN$          Disk      Remote Admin
        C$              Disk      Default share
        Files           Disk
        IPC$            IPC       Remote IPC
        MappedDrive     Disk
Connecting to 10.2.3.111 at port 139
Connecting to 10.2.3.111 at port 139
Connection to 10.2.3.111 failed (Error NT_STATUS_RESOURCE_NAME_NOT_FOUND)
NetBIOS over TCP disabled — no workgroup available

 

Sum it up

Lets Summarize a bit, here I described how to mount smbfs and cifs mount shares with mount command, how to define the auto mount on server boot via /etc/fstab, how to mount manually /etc/fstab defined mount and what should be the syntax of .smbcredentials user / pass file and also pointed how to debug problems on samba / windows server location share mounts with smbclient command.
 

How to remove ‘active contents’ from PDF file on Linux / Strip Active Contents from PDF

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

how-to-remove-active-content-from-pdf-with-ghoscript-on-gnu-linux.svg

I'm updating my Autiobography (CV) with my latest job eployeers, technology expertise and certifications and usually use the EuroPassCV standard web service to update already generated PDF files.The service as web based application service allows easy edit from the web as most web services which is quite handy and then allows Export to DOCX or PDF file format. So far so good but today I faced a really weird problem after, I've used successfully EuroPassCV service  and downloaded the PDF to my computer and tried to submit my Curriculum Vitae application to SAP's Successfactor newly created account for the purpose I faced a weird I error saying

"The system does not allow files with Active contents. Please …"

the-system-does-not-allow-files-with-active-contents-pdf-error-successfactors-errors

Of course if this error message was received on a Start-up application on Application upload that would be fine, but come on this is SAP's Successfactors, it cannot accept a standard generated PDF from EuroPass which nowadays is a standard for CV here in Europe and hosted on of official European Union website europa.eu

To me this is a clear signal SAP needs an experienced ICT specialists and Quality Assurance testers like me to fix their mess and I will be willing to help them if they contact me until its too late for them, but let me go back to the topic of this article which was how to remove active contents from a PDF file 🙂

So first lets make clear what is Active content in a file ?

Active contents is content that includes programs like Internet polls, JavaScript applications, stock tickers, animated images, ActiveX applications, action items, streaming video and audio, weather maps, embedded objects, and much more. Active content contains programs that trigger automatic actions on a Web page without the user's knowledge or consent.
Active contents (Macros) could exist in many file formats that are used daily in most companies / organizations daily, active content can be contained in documents such as MS Excel,  Word, PDF, PowerPoint and so on.

So why does some applications disable document support for Active contents?

Well just for the reason of security, Active contents could often be some kind of malware or crapware and they can mess up with the web application (in case of bugs) or even mess up with server software if it is a complex warm like behavior exploiting some kind of vulnerability.
One thing to say about active contents removal on file upload by applications is that this practice could only be tolerated if the organization had already adapted a security through obscurity which most likely is the case with SAP's Successfactors and many other applications out there.

So next question is how to  Panicea (Resolution) Active Contents existing in a PDF file

Assuming you have a GNU / Linux Desktop or server with ghostscript package installed (which is the case by default with virtually any modern Linux distribution), removing Active Contents from PDF to make possible file to be submitted to the picky Security Conscious application with a single command:
 

gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOUTPUTFILE=CV-Georgi_Dimitrov_Georgiev-Europass-20190718-EN-noact-content.pdf -dBATCH CV-Georgi_Dimitrov_Georgiev-Europass-20190718-EN.pdf


After that the stripped active contents PDF file would succeed in uploading to web app.
 

 

 

Putty load as default session another session – Save other Putty session configuration to default howto

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

putty-load-button-screenshot

Recently I had to use PuTTY which I haven't used for years to open a number of SSH Pernanent Tunnels necessery for my daily work as a SAP Consultant.

I've saved them under a certain new profile and saved the set SSH Tunnel configuration not in the default Session but in separate named one, therefore had to press Load button every time after clicking over my Putty shortcut icon. 

That was annoying and took few seconds out of my life every next morning for about a week, so finally I found osme time to google it and it seemed it is pretty easy to have any Putty sessoin loaded you like.

Here is how:

1. Create a new Putty Shortcut

putty-screenshot1

putty-shortcut-screenshot-windows

Click over Putty icon while holding CTRL + SHIFT (Control SHIFT keys simultaneously ) and move the mouse somewhere on the desktop to create the shortcut.
 

2. Right click on Putty Shortcut

putty-target-screenshot-windows1

putty-target-screenshot-windows2

 

"C:\Program Files\PuTTY\putty.exe" -load "your_saved_session" "username@your_server_address" -pw "your_password"


fill out "target" field of shortcut using above code (alter to your own properties).
click Apply button.

If you need to pass a user and password from Shortcut itself (which is a bad practice for security but sometimes useful, for not so important Tunnels – for example a tunnel to an Open Proxy), do it by typing in the target field like so:
 

"C:\Program Files\PuTTY\putty.exe" -load "your_saved_session" "username@your_server_address" -pw "your_password"

 

And Hooray !!! After that when you click on PuTTy shortcut it loads your session automatically using given username and password.

Prevent rsync cronjob to run multiple times via cronjob on Linux

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

prevent-rsync-rsync-to-run-multiple-times-via-cronjob-on-linux

Today I had a report of a server whose Load Avarage keeps at the high level of 86, the machine runs on a bare metal rock solid hardware and even with such high Loads of the kernel it runs fine, but due to the I/O overhead the SANs red from a remote NetApp storage device started to be sluggish and hence it needed to be reviewed, thus I jumped in via the hop station (jump host) into the server.
 

1. Short investation on root cause for high server load


After a short investigation, I've found an rsync job set by someone on a cron job to be routinely run every 30 minutes, thus the old scheduled rsync, which seemed to run multiple times on the server (about 50 processes) of same rsync (file system synchronization was running) and as expected the storage was saddled with mutiple Input / Output requests.

The root cron job was like that:
 

server:~# crontab -u root -l |grep -i rsync
/usr/bin/rsync -ax /var/www/htdocs/directory_to_synchronize / /srv/www/synch_back/directory_to_synchrnize


A process list showed the following high number of running mirrored rsyncs:

 

server:~# ps axuwwf | grep -i rsync | wc -l
80


 

2. The Fix – Set Rsync to only via cron only in case if it is not already running in background


In order to fix it, I had to kill all current running rsync (here luckily only same single instance of rsync was running, but generally I was cautious to check no other rsync jobs are running – otherwise I would have mistakenly killed some other rsync job ongoing …)

Then I set the following new cron job one liner quick shell script that does the job to assign a pid file that is created before rsync and deleted after rsync completion.
 

if [ ! -e /tmp/repo_dba_sync.lock ]; then touch /tmp/repo_dba_sync.lock; /usr/bin/rsync -ax /var/www/htdocs/directory_to_synchronize / /srv/www/synch_back/directory_to_synchrnize ; trap 'rm -f /tmp/repo_dba_sync.lock; fi' EXIT  >/dev/null 2>&1


The cron job looked like so:

 

*/30 * * * * if [ ! -e /tmp/repo_dba_sync.lock ]; then touch /tmp/repo_dba_sync.lock; /usr/bin/rsync -ax /var/www/htdocs/directory_to_synchronize / /srv/www/synch_back/directory_to_synchrnize ; trap 'rm -f /tmp/repo_dba_sync.lock; fi'  EXIT >/dev/null 2>&1

Just in case if you're wondering
a trap should be used to verify that the lock file is removed when the script is exited for any reason.
This way the lock file will be removed even if the script exits before the end of the script.

An alternative and more simple ways to do it is via:
 

pgrep rsync > /dev/null || rsync -ax /var/www/htdocs/directory_to_synchronize / /srv/www/synch_back/directory_to_synchrnize

 

Or if you don't want to use bash's:
 

if []; then; fi


condition but still use a file lock the flock command can be used like so:
 

flock -n lock_file -c "rsync …"

Flight to Dresden German via Munchen and a few impressions about Dresden

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Dresden-Germany-side-view

Last week I've flew to Germany to start as a contractor for Itelligence AG a SAP contractor company on its own. 
I've been hired by a small bulgarian company called BST (Business Services and Technologies), but let me skip the details and go to the main goal of article to just share few impressions on my flight from Sofia Airport Terminal 2 (code named SOF), Bulgaria to Germany Munich Airport (Flughafen Munich – codename MMC).

Flight To Munich

My flight was an International one from Sofia to Munich and then a secondary (local Germany Shengen zone flight Dresden -> Munich) and this happens to be my second flight with Lufthansa, previous one was from Sofia -> Poland, Warsaw see my previous blog post Trip from Sofia Bulgaria to Minsk Belarus through Warsaw and how to issue VISA for Belarus.

a320-lufthansa-airbus-plane

Airbus-A320-LH-168-Lufthansa-passengers-placing
Both flights went pretty smoothly and I can confirm the general good reputation of Lufthansa as a flight company, the first flight was the longer one about 2 hours flight on a Airbus A320 which is a relatively big plane.

The second flight which was a short one about an 1 hour time was on a small Charter plane with the funny name Bombardier CRJ 900.

Bombardier_CRJ_900-airplane-Lufthansa_CityLine

Bombardier-CRJ900-plane-placing-Lufthansa

Well I thought good that I've been send for a Company Start-up training but I never planned bombing Germans 🙂 … But well enought jokes, its enough the hell they went through mainly from British and American bombings during  World War II …

Anyways the trip with both planes went smoothly thanks God. This time I travelled with my future colleague Hristos Hristov and as always the travel with someone is less scary and more enjoyable.

The Munich to Dresden flight

The Munich (the German word for Munchen) airport  is the second-busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic after Franfurt Airport and the 7th busiest airport in Europe and is in the top 40 biggest airports in the world, even though that if compared to Netherlands Schiphol airport it was a cozy and a very easy to orient, the passport control after the flight was a quick and efficient in a German way. We had to further reach for Terminal E on the airport and it happened that to reach the Terminal we need to pick-up a an S-Bahn train (a free one) which moved us to the other opposite passengers building.

Deutschland-DDR_flag

East Germany DDR Times Flag


An Airport Surprise The East German Car of Future 🙂 Trabant !

Arriving in Dresden around 12:30, my first impression was the Trabant car (old cardboard made of car produced in the times of DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republic) / GDR or (German Democratic Republic) was state a part of the Eastern Bloc (Communist Bloc). 
 

Trabant-Dresden-airport-Germany
Trabant was like the car of the future, it was low cost cheap to produce, very light (a one person could move the car!) used little gasoline to run but it used a lot of oil 🙂
In Bulgaria it was a mass used car during Socialist Times. Nowadays the car is sold mostly in United States as an antique
for its low price. For example in Bulgaria one can buy one of this cardboard cars for 150 EUR or so 🙂

The problem with the car is if you enter an accident with 50 to 70 km you die 100%, so it is only suitable for small villages nowadays or maximum of a small town use for short distances.

Dresden-Trabbi-picture-the-Eastern-Block-cardboard-car

The car is super simplistic and surprisingly has even a baggage space in the back 🙂

Trabant_inside-the-car

Trabant_Engine_Block

For more check what wikipedia says about this magical car Trabant 🙂  …


The Transportation in Dresden (ticket fees and few impressions)

Immediately on Dresden's airport we head to information and asked the nice German old lady on how and where we can buy a monthly all transport ticket for Dresden and Surprise, Surprise the ticket was sold on Information Kiosk itself it costed 61.50 EURO (divided by 30 days that's about 2.05 eur per day), for Germany its a great price.
The normal ticket costs 2.80 eur per single trip and 6 euro for a daily ticket for all transports. 
To arrive to Dresden Central from Airport it was quite quick and efficient with the S-Bahn (S-Train) which is partially kinda of partially underground train similar to Metro for rapid transportation but not exactly. Iit seems this transport is very popular in Germany and Austria).

S-Bahn-Mehrverkehr_03-S-Train-rapid-transit-system

To arrive to Dresden Main (Central) Train Station, we had to travel to Haupbahnhof – the German Word for TrainStation and go down on Dresden Hbf.
Dresden-S-Bahn-Lines.svg

Schema for S-Bahn Dresden Germany


Dresden-autobahnohf-neustadt

We had reservation for Hotel Terrasenufer which is on old socialist times Hotel situated 5 minutes from the Dresden Old City (Alt City) with an unique sideview to Elba River.

Trams-in-Dresden-how-they-look-in-2018.jpg
To reach there, we had to walk about 300 meters and pick up a Tram number 3 and go down on stop the Synagogue tram stop.
Trams in Dresden are clean modern and very fast, so you have a speed which can be a concurrency of a normal Metro.
The overall infrastructure the bus stops and everything is outstanding and designed obviously by great Dresdners great engineering mind.
The city's transportation includes Bus / Tram and Trolley and the frequence of shuttles is really short about 3 / 5 to 10 minutes time.
For most important destinations New / Old / City, I've used Tram or bus number 3 / 7 or 8.

The Synagogue

The Synagogue stop is called that way for a reason as on those stop there is a new rebuild Jewish Synagogue ​
– The Fuhrer Adolf Hitler would definitely not been happy to see it in 2018, but as the War hell is over and German attitudes to Jewish are friendly that's not a problem.

Dresden-Synagogue-building-and-a-bus-station


Hotel Terrasenufer

As I've seen it being lighted and many people to go and go the building it seems the Synagogue is functioning.

Terrasenufer-hotel-near-Dresden-city-center-for-a-non-smoker-hotel

The Terrassenufer is an inner city street in the city center of Dresden directly on the left bank of the Elbe and part of an important inner-city east-west axis. It runs on the northern edge of the districts Inner Old Town and Pirnaische suburb, following the Elbbogen. It is named after the Brühl Terrace, which stands on its south side. On the terrace bank is the mooring of the Saxon steamship. Parts of the terraced shore are protected as a cultural monument.
 

Terrasenufer-hotel-sideview-over-window-and-the-hotel-room

Terrasenufer is famous for being a non-smoker hotel and even though being an old construction inside is a confortable and the big advantage of it is the rooms are big ones for a hotel rooms (in my opinion). As you can see from the picture the sideview to Elba River and City Center Gothic styled buildings is unique, especially in night time.

Am_Terrassenufer-Dresden-Aussenansicht-night-view-to-Dresden

What is impressing in Germany that it is genererally really clean in the city and obviously it is invested in maintaining the greenery parks, trees. People also are really polite and helpful and most of people speak a decent English.

Dresden food prices the old and new city

The prices of the Alt Stadt city center are a little bit expensive especially for us Bulgarians a decent Dinner costs about 10 to 15 euro, but the new city (Neue Stadt)'s is full of relatively cheap fast food a lot of small breakfast rooms offering Shoarma (Duners) / Pizza / Noodes most of which run and served by Pakistans / Turkish or people from far east and a couple of Asian / Viatnamese run by Chineese / Viatnamese.
To grab one of that "fast foods" costs about 3.50 to 6 euro, a food I tried on a few times is 30 Cm Pizza which costs 4.5 euro and the best thing is the beer's price is 1.50 / 2 euro in some of the pizzerias like for example a small one called Pizza Bitte owned by a Pakistanian guys, where we eat many times and it was pretty good. The prices pretty much okay and not far different from Sofia.
We ate a couple of times at a small pizzeria ran by a Pakistani. The pizza price for that quality was fantastic.

donner_kebap-durum-buzek-pide-gozleme-Dresden

I've spend about 1 week now in Dresden and I can say the city is much calmer and "there is no feeling of stress in the air", people here perhaps of the good living standard seems more relaxed and stressed than in Bulgaria. 
As an ex Eastern Bloc country there are some remains of the Soviet times in Dresden before the fall of the Berlin Wall a building Communistic (Soviet) Mosaic near the square of the Old city is a good example of that.

Dresden Socialist Soviet Architecture remains

Dresden-Communism-socialism-mosaic-remains

Of course as a country which was almost a member of the Soviet Union, there is a lot of pannel construction near the end of the city, but even they are nowadays seriously renovated and doesn't look so scary like a lot of the old unmaintained buildings in Bulgaria, Ukraine (Smaller towns in Russia) and even partially Romania.

Dresden-old-communism-times-blocks


Churches in Dresden and few old city landmarks

A notable building in the city is the Frauenkirche (Protestant Cathedral Church) from year 1738 that was fully destroyed in World War 2.

frauenkirche-dresden-Protestant-Cathedral

and rebuild in 1993 – 1994.

Very near is found a majestic architectural master piece the Catholic Church

Kathedrale_Hofkirche-Dresden-Holy-Trinity

the Catholic Church Holy Trinity (Sanctissimae Trinitatis) of the royal court of Saxony / Katholische HofKirche

Near the Roman-Catholic Gothic Style Church is situated the Zwinger Palace, a unique peace of Barocue Art architecture.

Zwinger_palace-dresden2

Zwinger Palace Dresden

Zwinger-palace-dresden-garden
 

The Orthodox Russian Church

The Address of Orthodox Church in Dresden is Fritz-Löffler-Straße 19, 01069 Dresden an information about their and information about the Holy Liturgies, Vespers and Night services is on Dresden's Church official site here. to reach there from Synague Tram stop near Synagogue I've to pick up Tram Number 3.
As an Orthodox Christian both of them does not hold any spiritual interest, even though I personally think Roman-Catholicism is closer to the true faith which is closer to ours the Holy Eastern Orthodoxy.

The best Architectural master piece in the city in my opinion is the Russian Church / Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche – des Heiligen Simeon vom wunderbaren Berge (Saint Simeon Styler the Younger)

Icon-Ikona-swjatogo-saint-Semiona-Divnogorca-Stylpnik-mladshi-Dresden

and just as a proof of the true faith in my opinion it was not a coincidence that those church was the only building within a wide area which remained relatively intact (only the bell tower suffered damge), through the brutal bombing of city in February 1945 by British / American Allied forces. The Church has a historical value as it was build in 1872 – 1874 before Soviet Revolution in 1917 During Russian Empire Tsarist times and (currently is about 147 years old). 

Russian-Church-Dresden-saint-Simeon-Divnogorec

The world famous Russian Composer Rachmaninov himself as he lived a 3 winters in Dresden donated money for a new gas installation of the Church which is in operation to this very day.

saint-Simeon-Divnogorec-Orthodox-Christian-Church-in-Dresden

Russian-Eastern-Orthodox-Church-saint-Simeon-Stylpnik-the-Younger-Divnogorec

In 1875 the Russian Emperor Alexander II visited the Church a memory board donation by him is still present in. It is interesting fact that one of the Great Russian Novelist and perhaps, the greatest psychologist of all times Fyodor Dostoevski named Lubov was baptized in the Orthodox Christian Church

This Sunday I visited the Church for a Sunday Holy Liturgy  and was nicely surprised to find the Church choire was singing like Angels.
The priest is an aged one and seems a very gracious man. The Church was full of people, among which were many young people and parents who brought their kids to receive the Holy Sacraments.

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Russian-Church-Dresden-picture-12

The Church alter is painted back in the day of Church cration by a German painter the Alter wall of iconostasis is made of marble.

Russian-Church-Dresden-picture-7

As it is often seen in Russian Church, there is a crucifix on one of the sides of the Church in those it was left side and in front as usual were burning candles for remember of deceased.

Russian-Church-Dresden-picture-4

Among the impressing bits of the Dresden Orthodox Church are the Window glass frescos, that are so common for Western Europe Cathedrals, except that the frescos are purely Orthodox, it is the first time I saw such and I can see it is really beautiful.

Dresden-Window-on-Dresden-Orthodox-Church-icons-of-Savior-Jesus-Christ-and-the-Holy-Theotokos

Climate in Dresden

The Climate here is more moderate when compared to Bulgarian and even though at times it is a bit windy with a cold wind, the weather feels quite nice in Autumn seasen time and temperatures are more stable – the temporature is stable at least for my stay and it feels more like an Autumn should be and in that sense resembles Dutch climate. The weather is sunny enough so the Dresdener Germans are privileged to have less of that gloomy Netherlands cloudy weather.

The Military History Museum Dresden

Next after the Sunday Holy Liturgy service, I've visited the War Museum (The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History in Dresden) which on address Olbrichtplatz 2, 01099 Dresden.

Military-War-Museum-Dresden-Heavy-tanks-and-war-vehicles

To reach there the Tram number 7 goes from Synagogue Bus stop, the bus stops about 150 meters from the Musem.
The museum exhibits about 10000 military artefacts and things connected to pre and post WW2. 
In the museum coutryard as common for military objects are some old Tanks and heavy military vehicles, tanks, mine destroying machine, cutters, armored personnel carrier and even a Patriot rocket launcher platform and even a nuclear head transporter.
The tanks were mostly German tanks from 1955 'till late 1980s and few Russian machines T72 and other Soviet equipment.

Inside the museum are exhibited many traditional German flags, remains of Napeleon war times, a few Nazis equipment and more modern American one guns, uniforms etc.

German-War-Flag

Most impressing are the few enormous rockets that are directly in the building. The 5 stages show political stuff related to war, old military cars, nearly 10000 war related paintings, flamethowers and reconstruction dummy models of various submarines, tanks, helicopters, ships and pieces of military art and military time German life and propaganda posters from Nazi times ….
war-museum-1-anti-mining-heavy-vehicle

Mine searching and destroying heavy machine

war-museum-2-german-emperialistic-eagle

The German Eagle and Uniforms

war-museum-3-animals-and-war

Animals used in War – museum section

war-museum-4-rockets

Rockets

war-museum-4-russian-old-gazka

Soviet Union Gazka Emergy Medical Aid

war-museum-5-german-tank

German anti-aircraft missle tank with Radar on top

war-museum-6-rocket

Ballistic Rocket (Maybe?)

war-museum-7-miniature-ship

Model of Old Ship

war-museum-8-rocket-launcher

Rocket Launcher

war-museum-10-war-holder

Nuclear Head Transporter

war-museum-11-nato-military-guns

Machine gun rifles

There is perhaps much more to see on Dresden, the Zoo, the Porcelan Museum, the famous Dresden Painting Gall, the Royalty Zwinger Palace, The Semper Opera, The Socialist Museum, The Museum of Hygiene but I still have time for that once I see some more or get impressions I'll come back to update this article. 
 

Run custom user script after reboot with a cronjob on Linux

Friday, September 21st, 2018

howto-add-custom-script-on-reboot-with-non-administrative-root-user-on-gnu-linux

Perhaps you have a websites on a server on some Linux distro / FreeBSD / AIX / HP-UX / Sun OS that uses Vixie-cron cron jobs to run / respawn dead php / python perl scripts etc.  that do stuff on the server every lets say 30 minutes an hour or even every 12 / 24 hours in the background.
But sometimes due to server or Linux kernel upgrades you need to reboot the server with reboot command or shutdown -r now right in the minutes the scripts were supposed to run and do a database backup / synchronize some data with a remote MySQL with replication configured or do some site maintenance job such as clearing old Messages / Spam / data log file records.

Of course one possible workaround to that is to add the non-root user scripts in question  to /etc/rc.local to run on every server boot, but that fix requires a root access and very often developers did not have that, neither sysadmins are willing to bother  add a user sudo-ed scripts e.g. add  (sudo -u whateveruser "/path/to/script") to /etc/rc.local.

Run custom user  script after reboot the cron way

Happily there is ctually a better cron way to do that by telling crond to execute a cronjob during boot and assuming the non-admin user on the Linux has access to shell and access to using cron jobs by using @reboot cron direcive.

Here is few examples on how to run a re-run cron job on start up:
 

linux:~$ crontab -e


Some editor as nano or vim will open listing all your previous set system jobs to add scripts phpjob.php

@reboot  /user/dir/path/to/phpjob
@reboot  /path/to/shell_script
@reboot  /path/to/linux-command

That's pretty shitty situation but thanksfully remote access of website username with SSH will be enough to set the right cron activity (of course this can't be made for servers that are missing crond service running.

The scripts set in cron job that way will respawn right after the OS system had booted and there will be no need for them to wait the next hour to execute configured data synch.
For more on how to run a tiny script respawn every second using a single cron job check out my previous article How to set a crontab to execute commands on a seconds time interval on GNU / Linux and FreeBSD.

Historically it is interestingly to mention that in times before systemd appeared in modern Linux distributions,
a cool thack to run a script that had to be respawned every second after boot for a privileged user was to use /etc/inittab (no longer available in most all non System V Linux distrubutions in 2018), to do so
if you happen to still administer some old Linux servers CentOS 7 etc. you and you need to add a custom script to run and respawn all the time by including a line in /etc/inittab (again assuming a System V Linux is on remote machine):
 

mysvc:235:respawn:/home/me/bin/my_service_starter_script

Putting a service to respawn in that way via inittab uses init (process) and the kernel and keeps re-running it.

Note: 

If a command fails when it starts, and init is configured to restart it, it will use a lot of system resources: init starts it, it fails, init starts it, it fails, init starts it, it fails, and so on, ad infinitum. To prevent this, init will keep track of how often it restarts a command, and if the frequency grows to high, it will delay for five minutes before restarting again.If the kernel 
Using inittab should always be tested on a testbed before adding to remote server, note that if the script is using a lot of memory and keeps crashing it can easily leave out the kernel without memory and the system is about to get errors like:
 

process respawning too fast 

 

Another useful thing if you have doubts that the script might be crashing is to use something like monit to monitor the script (assuming the script does provide some kind of tcp / udp connection on port) and report you via email / sms about issues with crashing script.
If you hear monit the first time I recommend you read my previous article Monitoring and restart server services (Apache, Mysql, Bind) with Monit to prevent server downtimes.

Install Slack and Mattermost clients for Start Up Business communication on Linux

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

install-slack-and-mattermost-clients-for-start-up-business-communication-on-Linux
Many businesses nowadays are lookig for alternatives to the Microsoft dominated market of communication – Skype / Skype for Business Chat Audio and Video desktop client.
The two are the defacto standard for most of Corporate Businesses and is heavily used across most largest Corporations (companies) such as IBM / Xeror / DXC / CSC / Oracle / SAP / Microsoft / Amazon / Adobe … the list goes on and on.

However even though Skype is so easy to use across Microsoft Domain connected Computers the many start-up companies of today often try to avoid its use. The reason, well Skype is totally Proprietary non-transparent and by using it you probably get spied by Microsoft the CIA and God knows how many other Country Agencies. Besides that Skype has a bad history often had problems with Audio (Linux microphone and Video settings) in Free Software (Linux, FreeBSD etc.) realm and even though nowdays situation is improving and Skype Video / Audio runs fine on GNU / Linuxes its Skype for Business has no working release by Microsoft and has left-up Free Software users and Staring Business companies platform of the size of 20 to 1000 people  that choose Linux as a main Desktop / Work had to look for other ways to communicate internally within company and with clients.

Jabber XMPP communication protocol has been one alternative for a long time and historically many compainies that were running out of Skype use for their work often were using Small internally company hosted jabber servers, however as Jabber's  communication clients such as Gajim development is lagging behind seriously over the last 7 years and it prooved so buggy many businesses were looking for ways to avoid it.

Slack_Technologies_-corporate-communication-alternative-to-skype-Logo.png


Slack is multi platform just like Skype and has versions for Linux / Windows for macOS but its power comes mostly because most of its users use it via Skype Web Client (while Skype is a Desktop app and heavily used in Web Browser.

slack-web-communication-client-in-webbrowser-screenshot

Slack reminds in a what of things to the good old IRC chats and has channels in a similar fashion, it support Audio conversations but unfortunately at the moment didn't support Video.

The emergency of New Age of Computing and the quick adoption of Clouds as an aim to cut business costs put Jabber totally out of the game and in the niche and in August 2013 on the scene raised Slack (Team Messaging) which is an acronymi of (Searchable Log of All Conversations and Knowledge) – a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services, founded by Stewart Butterfield for the purpose of online Game (now defunct) called Glitch.

asana-for-slack-integration-2018-2-linux
The problem with Slack is that it is a freemium product, whose main paid features are the ability to search more than 10,000 archived messages (the ordinary free version allows the user to make up to 10000 searches in chat history), the paid Slack versions adds also unlimited apps and integrations and theoretically unlimited number of users (though this is seriously doubtful).

slack-10000-messages-per-user-limitation-shot

One very handy feature of Slack is its integration with "The World's Leading Software Development Platform" – GitHub .

To solve the problem with the little amount of Slack Chat history in Users conversations many Start-Up Business Companies do use Slack as a communication media with Clients and does often use as a communication Media another very popular Cloud messaging Open Source Software called Mattermost deploys to Cloud infrastruture but is at IT control of your company or your hired support and not third party vendor supports, making it a great communication tool for small and mid-sized companies who want to save money of purchasing a special server and hiring an admin or paying for one to support it all the time but instead directly use their Cloud account and deploy it there.

Mattermost is capable to Reach anyone, anywhere on any device. From the airport to data center, safely connect teams with EMM apps, hybrid cloud deployment and enterprise-grade flexibility to meet the unique needs of enterprise.

It is capable to Integrate with existing applications and build new workflows and empower your teams especially operations and DevOps – to perform faster and effectively. Mattermost


To install Slack on Linux:

Go and Download slack from Slack Linux download (the DEB / RPM 64 bit package)

As of time of writting this article latest Slack Desktop packages are: slack-desktop-3.3.1-amd64.deb and slack-3.3.1-0.1.fc21.x86_64.rpm

Depending on the type of Linux distribution install it with dpkg or rpm

1. Installing Slack Desktop client on Debian / Ubuntu Linux

On Debian / Ubuntu / Mint install Slack with:

 

root@ubuntu:~# dpkg -i slack-desktop-*.deb


For Ubuntu users there is also unofficial third-party Slack app ScoudCloud

it integrates well with Ubuntu Unity desktop (which I personally dislike 🙂 ) and gives you some extra goodies such as showing in an Unity manner unread message count, notification, bubbles, unity quicklists for fast-switching between Slack channels etc.

2. Installing Slack Desktop client on Redhat / Fedora / CentOS Linux

On Redhat / Fedora / CentOS install it with:

 

[root@fedora ~]:# rpm -ivh slack-*.rpm

 


3. Installing Mattermost Desktop client on Linux

mattermost-open-source-communication-in-the-cloud

Download Mattermost Linux package from download URL here

As of time of writting the DEB versions are mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-amd64.deb mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-i386.deb and there is no official RPM package for Fedora / CentOS users however I guess the .deb package can easily be converted to .rpm with alien tool.

To install Mattermost on Debian (in moment of writting September 2018):

 

root@debian:~# wget https://releases.mattermost.com/desktop/4.1.2/mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-amd64.deb

 

root@debian:~# dpkg -i mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-amd64.deb


mattermost-linux-client-2-screenshot

Mattermost supports file attachment (send) / Video previews (you can play sent Web videos directly within the Mattermost client) and on experimental level even supports Video and Audio Calls.

mattermost-linux-client-screenshot-1

mattermost-markdown-help-linux-screenshot

One nice feature of Mattermost for those who love coding is using tags to format messages

There is plenty of features of Mattermost among the best ones are integrations Private Cloud open source integrations (Jira, Jenkins, Bots, clients), supports Webhooks, Restful APIS, CLI and Public Cloud connections via Zapier – a connect and uatomate workflows e.g. gives you ability to move info between web apps automatically.

Happy New Church Year ! – The Eastern Orthodox Church Year celebrated every 1st of September and some history on the Indiction

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Eastern_Orthodox-Church-new-year-indiction

Happy New Year, Happy New Church Year !  🙂

On first of September every year the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church to which I belong is celebrating the beginning of a new Church Calendar feast year.

It is a common practice here in Bulgaria (as we are one of the 14 Eastern Orthodox Churches worldwide) it is a tradition to serve holy liturgies across the country and prayers are lifted to heaven for the well being of the Bulgarian nation and the world.

In the past the beginning of the new year was called also the beginning of the indiction.
In the VI-th century at the time of Emperor Justinian The Great in Byzantine Empire was introduce the Cyclical Calendar based calculation of days (based on indictions ) – this is delivered from latin word indictio (meaning announcement).
Indictions
were celebrated originally on a cyclical periods of 15 years when the а financial review of the properties (possessions) of citizens  that were taxated.

In the Latin Empire the word indictio has been used to mark the exact amount of taxes owed each year and in this is how with the beginning of the new indiction was beginning the new financial year of the empire according to some historians the origin of indictions system has been originating from Egypt.

The official byzantine calculation of indictions begun at the time of Saint Emperor Constantine on 1st of September year 312 A.D.
Historically it is interesting fact both in the Western and in the Eastern Latin empire March was another time marking a New Year …

On 1st of September in the Church it is accepted to read the Bible chapter where Jesus Christ red in the synagogue the prophecy of Isaiah (Is. 61:1-2) for the occurance of the favorable year of God. The Byzantines see in that reading a reference of the Lord for a celebration of a New Year. 

In the Menologion of Basyl II from the 10th century it is said "From that time, he has granted to us the Christians this feast".

Primary_Chronicle_Povesti_Vremeninnih_let-baptizmal-of-Olga

It is interesting fact that in Byzantium this Bible reading was red in the Church by the Patriarch in Hagia Sophia Church Cathedral or another Church where it was common for him to serve Holy Liturgy on that date.

In Russia even though the Baptismal and Christianization of the nation until 15th century the Church New year begun on 1st of March. This is evident from all medieval manuscripts including The most famous and among most ancient Russian manuscript written by the eminent Nestor so called Primary Manuscript (Primary Chronicle) also called Tale of Begone Years.
 

With an Emperor decree of King Peter the I-st (The Great) the new year in Russia is transferred to 1st of January.

Saint_Simeon_Stylites-Stulpnik

Saint Simeon the Stylites

Our Bulgarian Orthodox Church by tradition according to the main Church service instructions book – the Typikon marks on the first day of the new year as a very important "tiny Lord feast" and has tradition to celebrate the memory of saint Simeon the Stylites who spend mostly all his life praying on a Stylite and was a notable ascet of the Orthodox Church.

 

Recovering from Herniated Cervical disc (neck) and spine disease – keeping in good shape your Back and Neck in easy 4 steps Exercises

Friday, August 31st, 2018

recovering-from-herniated-cervical-disc-and-spine-disease-keep-your-back-in-good-shape

If you are a long term computer geek, IT specliast, system administrator a hacker or any type of office worker that spends as a maximum 8 hours / 5 days a week and you do not do some kind of Sports (Running Heavy Lifting, Back or neck Exercises, do Fitness) etc. sooner or later you will start noticing a change in your normal back posture and heavy pain either in back or neck of your body.

The posture you have is in risc and your muscles will slowly start atrophying. It is very likely with years that you will start developing a body muscle strain in the area of neck or back and you will feel tensed / anxious most of the time without a clear reason on what is causing the constant stress you experience.

A heavy and constant anxiety you might develop with the months and years of chair sitting, sedentary lifestyle and staring into the computer screen or spending many hours driving might lead you into sleeping problems a bad blood flow to the brain (if you have neck problems) and other not nice health issues such as ringing in your year / head (tinnitus) and as an impact of all the degeneration of body a change in bone tissues and even brain might happen.
If you're suffering a back spine or neck disease the pain it is about to create daily for you will also impact the level of depression you experience and often it alone could be a cause for depression, because of the violated bodily organs blood flow (especially the brain) …

That's heavy health issues and if you are young you might thing that all this is just an imaginations and it will never happen to you but unfortunately in today's digital age where people tend to spend 10 to 14 hours daily in front of PC notebook / monitor and smartphone or in few hours conversations on the phone, all this with years contributes and sooner or later you will face the terrible reality of suffering from some of the many existing types of Herniated Cervical Disc disease.

So what is Herniated Cervical Disc Disease (shortly explained) ?

Spinal disc herniation, also known as a slipped disc, is a medical condition affecting the spine in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings.

The reason to get a herniated cervical disc is usually due to aging a genetical predsposition, constant straining of back due to many hours without physical activity sitting or in bed, traumas, injuries attained during heavy lifing or sports etc.

* What are the symptomps of Herniated Cervical disc ?

The symptoms vary depending of the location of a herniated disc and depends on the soft tissue between the bones that gets involved. Common symptoms however is severe and unrelented neck pain, low back pain, pain in knees or feet, undefined pains in thight etc. … it really depends by the affected region served by affected nerve roots that are irritated or impinged by the herniated material.

Some people suffering from spinal disc herniation is symptoms of numbness, tingling of limbs, overall muscular weakness, paralysis and effection of reflexes, double vision, noise in the head / ears, insomnia and more …

If the herniated disc is in the lumbar region, you will experience scietica (a pain going down the leg from the lower back).

The things becomes even worser and the risk even higher if you're not using a comfortable computer chair at work or home, but you are into the habit to use a laptop or as the girls / women like to do lay on the bed and do stuff on the computer or tablet such as chatting all day long in a social networks such as Facebook or watching movies after a heavy office day.

Just take a look at young people's necks around leaning up and their crooked back posture on the street in bus or metro if you don't believe me and thing and you will be amazed how terrible deformations so many youngsters (teenagers) and even mid age person suffer some early or advanced stage of kyphosis disease (a deformation of the spine / neck) without even realizing it.

Herniated-Lumbar-Disc-pinched-nerve

Suffering Kyphosis (and the usual surrounding Herniated Disc illness) is a terrible thing to experience and this is a silent killer that is plaguing people worse than any other disease, because the disease is developing relatively slow in time it is few that really catch it in early stage and it usually is tracked once you already suffer with some kind of constant pain in neck / back and a Spinal disc herniation or  you had a pinched nerve somewhere in the body because of some kind of constant compression in between spine bones etc.


cervical-herniated-disc-cervical-disease

The majority of spinal disc herniation cases occur in the lumbar region (95% in L4-L5 or L5-S1 – this is a doctors naming for regions where it occurs). The second most common site is the cervical region (C5-C6, C6-C7). The thoracic region accounts for only 0.15% to 4.0% of cases.

For IT specialists Gamers and mostly and people whose profession includes spending their days sitting in front of the computer screen C5-C6 / C6-C7 regions are very common (something that could contribute additionally for the disease is if you suffer some kind of astigmatism eye disease and because of that you keep your neck constantly even more forward to see better what's on the PC screen)

aging-and-body-back-deformation-in-grown-and-aging-people

With age spine and bones are decaying (wearing out) and as a result the spinal cord gets deformated and this is a normal process, we can't change but we can delay it with some daily exerices and work on our bodies so at old age we experience a little better health ..

Well dying is ineveitable anyways 🙂 .. but why not make your quality of life and overall experience in the body a little bit better and do some exercises that will boost your mood to happiness, improve overall blood flow and either help you recover or protect you against a possible herniated disc problems?

I was to a doctor today for a Manual Therapy session, because I happen to suffer from Herniated Cervical Disc ( neck on C6 and C7) which bringing me a lot of unfortable nervous pressure and messing up with my quality of life.
To deal with my problem I went to see one of the best doctors in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Bulgaria and perhaps in the World Assen Aleksiev M. D. Phd in Aleksandrovska University Hospital.

Mr Assen Aleksiev is living legend and one of the bright persons as of time of writting this article he is:

1. Physician – specialist and expert in:

• Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (with emphasize on orthopaedic and neurological disorders),

• Manual Medicine (Osteopathy, Chiropractics)

• Clinical Electro-diagnostics, Electromyography and Electro-stimulation.

2. Lecturer., 3. Scientist/researcher., 4. Reviewer of medical literature., 5. Author and co-author of medical literature., 6. Manager., 7. National consultant for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014.
 

After seeing my case and having a number of cases, just like mine and did some Manual therapy fixing my neck back,  limbs etc.

I will share with you the 4 steps, he said I and anyone has to follow in order to prevent himself from Herniated cervical disc degenerative disease to progress  and in worst case to turn me into a mildly disabled.

Even though this exercises were prescribed as a cure and support mechanism for a herniated disc patient that I turned to be, the good doc. shared with me that this set of 4 steps if followed could prevent not only your spine and waist from experiencing the painful discomfort of herniated disc diasese but could generally strengthen the body functioning and protect you from dying from a future strokes (heart attacks) and a number of other cardiological diseases.

So here are the 4 Golden Exercises (STEPS) that, if practiced regularly  will keep you from spinal curvature, will keep your neck and back in a good motion and help you recover from herniated disc diseases.


1. ALWAYS TIGHTEN YOUR STOMACH WHEN YOU SIT DOWN OR STAND UP !!!

– Make the habit to always tighten your stomach when you sit and stand up, this moves the weight of the body on the muscles instead on the bones. If you sit down or stand up without tightened stomach (because of the gravitation the body weight you have increases doubles if you're 70 kilos the body / bones have to bear a weight of 140 kg or so …). Once, again  tightening the stomach makes the weight be received by your muscles and this saves your bones

2. CHANGE THE POSITION OF THE BODY EVERY 15 MINUTES (FOR EXAMPLE YOU'RE SITTING FOR 15 MINUTES ON A CHAIR STAND UP MOVE YOUR SHOULDER FOR 2 / 3 AND SIT BACK) !!!

– Stand up from your chair or whenever you sit and move around your shoulders

3. ON EVERY HOUR PRACTICE SCHOOL (GYMNASTICS) EXERCISES !!!

– 5 Table push ups (if you're in an office for example in a Focus Corner Room) or outside the office building on a bench or something) – compulsory is to make it with a tightened stomach

table-push-ups-Counter-Push-ups-1

Table Push ups (the table angle inclination degree should be at best case about 45 to 60 degree but if it is different angle it is okay as well)
wall-push-up-exercise
if you are in a place where you can't do a table push-up you can do a wall push up

Waist Rotation (Exercise) Put your arms on the waist (in a trinagle form), your legs should be a little bit far from each other in a small triangle like form too and turn your whole body left and then right do it 3 to 5 times each side.

waist-rotation-exercise

Spinal Stretch Exercise (Place fingers at the base of the spine bend forward and backward then left side and right side slowly! do it each direction at least 3 to 5 times (e.g. 5 backwards / forward, 5 left and 5 times right)

spinal-stretch-exercise-forward-and-back

The 8 tact exercise is a complex of 4 exercises each on repeated 2 by the (count number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

1, 2, 3, 4 – Put your heads on the level of the chest (bent them so the elbows point right and left then move  them both right and left to the maximum back and stretch cross shaped your both hands

5, 6 – Standing still move Right hand up and move it backwards as much as you can left hand down and move it backwards as much as possible

7,8 – Reverse the hands, Left hand up and move it backwards to maximum and right hand down and move it backwards to maximum

6,8

4. 3 TIMES A DAY (MORNING, MID DAY AND 1 HOUR BEFORE GO TO BED DO A SET OF 15 MINUTES ACTIVE CARDIO TRAINING EXERCISES) !!!

– This could be 15 minutes of running , jumping, push ups, heavy lifting, biking whatever you like to do but let the heart (pulse) rate be heavy loaded …

cardio-Exercises_Guide-you-can-do-at-home


5. Hanging on a lever (recommended not by the good doctor but by Dr. Georgiev e.g. hip0 myself) 🙂

Just find a lever and hang for about 60 seconds every day

Hanging-a-lever-helps-Spine-decompression-relieves-symptoms-of-herniated-disc
Image Source BackIntelligence.com (Image Copyrighted by Leon Turetsky)

Following this routine of exercises: will not cost you too much of a time daily

a. It is (3×15 minutes cardio) is 45 minutes of exercise (and maybe another 5 to 15 minutes to go to where you practice it) = 60 minutes (1 hour)

b. Each hour 1 minute of exercises (approximately 14 hours is 14 minutes or at worst case if it takes you two minutes to do the complex of exercises 2×14 = 28 minutes.

c. tightening the stomach once learned is 0 seconds and 0 minutes.

d. hanging (if you choose to do this as well) is 60 seconds (1 minute) – going to the lever is another 3 to 5 minutes at worst case (lets say an overall of 6 minutes)

f. change position of the body every 15 minutes (costs you just up to 5 secs) or (14 hours x (4 x 15) = 60 secs) – that means another 14 minutes.

So the overall time for keeping your spine and neck in a good shape is (28 + 14 + 6 + 0 + 60 minutes) = 108 minutes, that is less than 1 hours and 48 minutes at worst scenario a day.

One helpful program in oder to remind you to not forget your exercises schedule if you choose to give it a try is Workrave see here my previous article on how it can help you Preserve health  from computer Caused Strain Injury (RSI).

But the advantages of following this exercise routine would be your:

1. bettered overall health,
2. less noise in head,

3. better digestion,

4. less strain and pain in neck and back,

5. feeling less anxiety and stress,

6. feeling happier (more Serotonin and Dopamine and other liquids that are boosting mood and helping brian work are pumped up more regularly into the brian),

7. a better concentration / focus on things (something most computer specialists and computer related jobs people miss seriously,

8. a better memory and a better sleep + following the standard school gymnastics exercises is much more safe when compared to Fitness,

9. Less Body Mental Fatigue (as most people with Herniated cervical disc suffer from a body fatigue that often affects the mind and creates a mental fatigue)

10. You don't risk to receive a body or muscle trauma that will last for a life time 🙂

Well, I hope that article helps someone with a herniated disc out or at least serve as a BIG WARNING and push people involved in IT, Digital Marketing, Programming, Logistics and mostly all professionals who require a long hours of hovering in front of the PC to realize the great dangers all this keeps for their health and get more physical activity daily to protect timely from ending up with a spinal digenerative disease and suffer 'till the end of life.

I will be mostly glad to hear if anyone had a personal experience with herniated disc and any spinal / neck degenerative disease and give me more hints on useful things that help in living a life with a herniated disc disease?

Thanks for reading  !