Update for Spectre And Meltdown, A Script for Checking Your System

I found a very nice program to run and check if my computer is vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown. It is now March 2018. Two months after the initial reports of the vulnerabilities against computer processors, what is the state of security with regard to these two vulnerabilities?
Thank you to this script by Stephen Lesimple. The link is a git clone link. It will download everything in its directory. Inspect the script before running it as root.
There are no options. It will check your system against 3 CVE's made for the "speculative execution" vulnerability. This is my output.
Spectre and Meltdown mitigation detection tool v0.35
Checking for vulnerabilities on current systemKernel is Linux 4.15.5-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Thu Feb 22 22:15:20 UTC 2018 x86_64CPU is Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4590 CPU @ 3.30GHz
Hardware check* Hardware support (CPU microcode) for mitigation techniques  * Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS)    * SPEC_CTRL MSR is available:  YES     * CPU indica…

Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu San Mateo, Rizal Philippines c. 1930's

undated photo scan of Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu church San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines

Desktops and Asus Zenphones

I put together my desktop three years and two months ago. It's an ASUS Z97 mobo paired with a 4th generation i5-4590 cpu. I am glad to go for a 16 GB RAM because I'm still smiling at how fast this machine is now after using it everyday all this time. Yes I've purchased hard disks and replaced old ones but I'm still using the original solid-state drive. It's a Crucial 240 GB SSD. The whole package cost 37,000 in 2014.
I am still using my ASUS Zenphone ZE551ML. I got this smartphone in 2014. It has intel atom quad cores and a 4 GB RAM. It has android.
I had to replace my monitor last year. I am now using an AOC 22 inch IPS monitor with a Full HD resolution.
I stopped using RAID and gained back storage space. I am enjoying a total of 10 TB in pooled storage after using logical volume management to put together 5 disks. 2 of the 5 are 3 TB disks and the rest are 2 TB disks. The mix is dictated by cost. The cost effective disk is still the 3 TB capacity.
I am trying to ge…

Updates For: linux kernel 4.14 -->> 4.15 ; systemd 236-->>237 And Libreoffice 5-->>6

I just ran my weekly Arch update with $ pacman -Syu
I updated my linux kernel from 4.14.15.x to 4.15.2.x.
Libreoffice is now running version 6. systemd updated from 236 to 237.
Pacman replaced the following packagaes with the ones in extra/repos. [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed xineramaproto (1.2.1-3) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed xf86vidmodeproto (2.3.1-3) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed videoproto (2.3.3-1) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed scrnsaverproto (1.2.2-2) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed renderproto (0.11.1-3) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed recordproto (1.14.2-2) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed randrproto (1.5.0-1) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed kbproto (1.0.7-1) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed inputproto (2.3.2-1) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed fontsproto (2.1.3-2) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed damageproto (1.2.1-3) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed compositeproto (0.4.2-3) [2018-02-12 13:24] [ALPM] removed fixesproto (5.0+9+g4292ec1-1) [2018-02-12 13:24] [A…

Installed Squid: A Web Cache Service On My Box

I am familiar with web servers. Boxes that you connect to in your LAN to get a web page. A very popular program that runs a web cache is Squid. What is new to me is that I can run Squid in my box so it serves the localhost and any programs that needs to connect to web resources. In any case, my desktop box can also function as a web server down the line if needed.
In Arch, install Squid with the command # pacman -S squid.
The configuration file is /etc/squid/squid.conf. The default cache directory is /var/cache/squid.
The only item i really have to modify is the http_port. The default port that Squid uses is 3128. Now I want all traffic which goes through the default network interface to be redirected to Squid. This is called transparency. To configure Squid just add [intercept] in the line like so: http_port 3128 intercept.
When you finish modifying the configuration file run a check with the command #squid -k check. Also, checking the logs can be very helpful. I got an ERROR: No f…

How To Get An Archiso Ready In A USB Device

You will need a computer with an internet connection. You will have to download the installation media from the Download page of the It is better to download from the official site rather than a third-party mirror server. It is recommended that you checksum the download with the iso signature also downloadable from the Download page.
I usually download using the magnet link (through torrent, using a torrent client) because it's faster and it's my way of giving back by seeding it for a while. I keep the latest .iso and the .iso.sig files in its own directory. Then do the checksum with # gpg --keyserver-options --auto-key-retrieve --verify archlinux-yy-nn-dd-x86_64.iso.sig

The Straight Forward Easy Way
We will use the dd command. It will overwrite the entire USB flash drive and any data will be deleted. You won't be able to write any data when using the installation media. You can zero out the USB flash drive if you want to reuse the device with # dd bs=512 if=/…