Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Slackware and openBSD

I was a very early adopter of the Slackware the next distribution so in hindsight it was no surprise when I transitioned to openBSD. With the exception of the security concerns in the openBSD project kernel contributions they package up a very similar looking product.

Since I'm installing both operating systems for fun I decided to compare them. Unfortunately I did not get past partitioning the drives.

The first thing I noticed and forgotten about was that Slackware requires that the administrator partition the disk system manually. The installer reads the partition tables looks at the partition types and then decides the installation strategy. By comparison the open BSD system gives you an opportunity to install the operating system using their opinionated partition table. I have installed many hundreds of computers over the years and therefore partitioning drives is not something that's unfamiliar to me however I have gotten used to be openBSD installer.

I have also gotten used to the fact that not all of the software that I depend on in a minute some environment is available on the openBSD.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

How I survived Disney world as a strict vegan

Soy milk, raisin bran, baked potato with ketchup, stirfry veggies with the broth instead of oil, raw vegetables, salad, Shredded wheat, Fruit, coffee.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

LXC hits 1.0, Docker and CoreOS

If you are an ESX and VMware user then you can see the value of CoreOS and Docker. It's clear to me that there are just too many similarities in their functionality... and now their price tag. I've misplaced the post/screenshot (although all you need to do is read their website) but it seems that CoreOS (a) is not providing source, (b) documentation is poor (c) is charging $5000 for unlimited licensing. On the other hand it's a great idea.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My dentist and how he implemented the four hour workweek

My dentist was not actually present that my last appointment, However, his assistance took x-rays. That was about four weeks ago and I have not heard back any information about the x-rays.

I called today in order to make an appointment to have the doctor update me as to when he thought we could move onto the next app however when I contacted the office I was greeted with his service. The service was not willing to take a message for the doctor.

This is his subtle way of achieving the four hour workweek.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

it bares repeating: discipline discipline discipline

Discipline is scenonmous with process or procedure. The idea of having the discipline to follow the process or procedure is going to be critical to success and sustainable success. High speed trading companies that do not have development and operational discipline will crash and they have.

There is, however, also a critical corollary. "Stupidity begets stupidity". I get to this corollary after having pulled many an alnighter in order to correct some bug or other mallfunction in production ... live. Without discipline one tends to repeat the work, miss critical code paths, deletes or in my case truncates master account tables, fails to copy changes back into SCCS and so on...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Did I get it wrong?

The author of the four hour workweek suggests that I should not be reading as much as I do. That research should be left to the time when research is required. The problem with his hypothesis is that work that is inspired by the research will be completely messed and opportunities to improve on existing work may also be missed.

There is no doubt that I spend too much time reading various news articles and technical journals in order to keep up with what the thought leaders in our industry are doing. However there is a point at which one has to stop reading and start doing! As I reflect upon the breath of articles that I've added to my reading list I realize that there is no possible way that I can become a subject matter expert in that wide variety of topics.

There are definitely a number of system frameworks languages and other third-party tools that require attention in addition to develop my own applications and architecture ideas.

For example one of the key ideas tonight and connecting with right now is the notion of using regular relational databases to store application logs similar to those generated by syslog. So instead of storing the events and flat files store them in a relational database so that they can be processed. There are way too many reasons for a while logs – and similar utilities are overengineered.

Consistency using Configuration as Code

Sometimes it's not enough to offer a '-h' command line option. The sad reality is that if the help is not clear and precise the sysadmin is likely to experience any number of complications trying to deploy an application across dev, staging, and prod. Keep in mind that the application de jour is never the only application that gets care and feeding.

It's so much easier to define the hardware requirements and then build the software based on those requirements... keeping any command line arguments to a minimum if none at all.

Just try it... you'll like it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Strategic programming languages and the timing to pick a new one

Back in 1995 I elected to start researching the Java programming language. Version 1.0 I just didn't release and 1.0.2 was around the corner. The former was useful as a proof of concept the ladder ended up being the first version used in production and it lived up to the expectation that the network plus the computer.

20 years later and java's popularity is starting to wain. Over the last 10 years perl has been challenged by both Python and Ruby. 

So the question on my mind is which programming language will be the next programming language for the next 20 years.

There are a number of languages which are showing promise. GoLang, Julia are two examples. There are a number of reimagining of the java virtual machine however they are no different then any DSL. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Continued reflection upon my Apple iPad mini

As much as I really like having that form factor in my hand while I'm reading a book on the couch there are still a number of failed use cases for the device. As a computer professional being on call means being connected to the Internet a moments notice. The iPad keyboard is just not sensitive enough for touch typing on a remote console. The latency of several of the Bluetooth keyboards has also been prohibitive. My Apple keyboard does a nice job and is sufficiently responsive however it's a bit bulky and there is no usable case.

When considering a smaller keyboard like one from Logitech I imagine that the buttons are just going to be too small to be able to type efficiently. I'm looking forward to getting out of try.

The 11 inch MacBook Air may still be the device requiring the fewest compromises.

another bad day for open source

One of the hallmarks of a good open source project is just how complicated it is to install, configure and maintain. Happily gitlab and the ...