Daily Archives: Thursday 23/01/2014

SSL Shopper’s Useful Online SSL Certificate Debugging Tools Software & Sites 23 JAN 2014

certificate_good_serverI’ve mentioned SSL Shopper’s useful SSL Checker online utility before, but I don’t think I’ve every made a full note of the great set of SSL certificate debugging utilities that they currently host on their site.

So more for my reference than anything else, I’m going to go ahead and doing exactly that now:

SSL Checker: The SSL Checker makes it easy to verify your SSL certificates by connecting to your server and displaying the results of the SSL connection including what SSL certificate is installed and whether it gives out the correct intermediate certificates. The SSL Checker even lets you set up a reminder of a certificate’s expiration so you don’t forget to renew your certificate on time and avoid embarrassing error messages.

In other words, it will help you diagnose problems with your SSL certificate installation. You can verify the SSL certificate on your web server to make sure it is correctly installed, valid, trusted and doesn’t give any errors to any of your users.

CSR Decoder: Use this CSR Decoder to decode your Certificate Signing Request and and verify that it contains the correct information. A Certificate Signing Request is a block of encoded text that contains information about the company that an SSL certificate will be issued to and the SSL public key. Once a CSR is created it is difficult to verify what information is contained in it because it is encoded. Since certificate authorities use the information in CSRs to create the certificate, you need to decode CSRs to make sure the information is accurate.

Certificate Decoder: Use this Certificate Decoder to decode your PEM encoded SSL certificate and verify that it contains the correct information. A PEM encoded certificate is a block of encoded text that contains all of the certificate information and public key.

Certificate Key Matcher: You can use this Certificate Key Matcher to check whether a private key matches a certificate or whether a certificate matches a certificate signing request (CSR). When you are dealing with lots of different certificates it can be easy to lose track of which certificate goes with which private key or which CSR was used to generate which certificate. The Certificate Key Matcher tool makes it easy to determine whether a private key matches or a CSR matches a certificate.

The Certificate Key Matcher simply compares an md5 hash of the private key modulus, the certificate modulus, or the CSR modulus and tells you whether they match or not.

SSL Converter: Use this SSL Converter to convert SSL certificates to and from different formats such as pem, der, p7b, and pfx. Different platforms and devices require SSL certificates to be converted to different formats. For example, a Windows server exports and imports .pfx files while an Apache server uses individual PEM (.crt, .cer) files.

Related Link: http://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-certificate-tools.html

LEGO on the cheap: Enlighten Bricks My Life | Toys 23 JAN 2014

enlighten lego girls train setAs a child I adored LEGO. Obviously we didn’t have very much in terms of LEGO sets, because even in the 80’s LEGO was ridiculously overpriced and we were poor(ish). Today it feels even worse. (The overpriced LEGO, not being poor.)

A brand new, wonderfully stocked exclusively LEGO store opened in Willowbridge Mall a few months ago. It’s an awesome browse, but man, I can’t see myself buying anything for Jess at her current age at those prices. It’s disheartening that one can charge so much for what amounts to little more than a few moulded pieces of plastic.

Anyway, I know I’m preaching to the choir here.

Now I’m no stranger to buying counterfeit LEGO systems, indeed I got a great big bundle of the oversized blocks from Mambos Plastic Warehouse for Jess when she was a little younger, which she thoroughly enjoyed. (We’re very lucky with her in that she completely skipped the stage of putting everything she could lay her hands on in her mouth, meaning that from an early age I was quite content to play plastic bricks with her).

jessica lotter building lego tower

Towards the latter stage of our December holidays I stumbled across a nice surprise. PNA in both the Somerset Mall branch as well as the Strand branch was stocking something that looked remarkably similar to your standard LEGO sets but coming in easily at a third of the price!

Enlighten Brick has been around since the 60’s apparently, and it is produced by a company called Zhongyue Industry Co. operating out of Cheng Hai, China. It’s a pretty infamous and controversial LEGO clone, with the majority of sets being little more than rip-off clone copies, often featuring slight modifications just so as to get away without being called a direct copy.

Curious, I purchased a few small box items for Jess over the course of a few days, all of which ranged between R10 and R30.

And I have to say, I was very impressed.

The packaging is fantastic, all the pieces are present (with build guides as expected), the colouring is good, the plastic quality is great, and the bricks fit well together – heck, it is as if they got their hands on original LEGO moulds to be quite honest!

In other words, I can definitely recommend this as a cheap alternative for introducing LEGO to younger children without the worry of them destroying it in the first week and in the process blowing a full month’s salary.

Oh, and the topping on the cake? LEGO is notoriously anti-military, but ENLIGHTEN doesn’t suffer from that. They’ve got some pretty fun military-themed sets that is sure to delight the boys!

As for Jess, well she’s in the stage of loving planes, trains and automobiles! :)

enlighten lego rocket launcher military series

Related Link: http://bricker.info/osets.html?brand=ENLIGHTEN