From Jekyll to Hugo
Jun 19, 2019

I have decided to switch the site over to Hugo from Jekyll. In the process, I also switched from using Travis CI to GitHub Actions. I’ll cover the CI switch in a follow-on post. In this post, I’ll cover the motivations and what I did to switch.

Jekyll served me quite well for quite some time but there are a few factors that motivated the switch:

  1. Ruby toolchain updates This isn’t really Jekyll’s fault. I just don’t really do much Ruby development any longer and, since it’s pretty obvious that I don’t post here often, I typically find myself wanting/needing to do chores such as updating dependencies and chasing down any issues. Though, typically there haven’t been many. I will note that, while I have been doing more Go development, Hugo is distributed as a binary and really the only Go you need to know about relates to templating (unless you want to contribute).
  2. Batteries included As evidenced in my Adding Disqus to Jekyll post, Jekyll takes an approach where you should install plugins and assemble things yourself. I see some advantages to that for customization and leaving out dependencies that you don’t need. However, this site isn’t really all that complicated and I just want things like Disqus, pagination, etc… to work.

Open Sourcing Dockerfile Image Update
Apr 8, 2018

My colleague Andrey Falko recently published a post on the Salesforce engineering blog about a tool we built and open sourced called Dockerfile Image Update. It’s a pretty nice way of pushing pull requests to child Docker images when a parent image has changed while avoiding using the latest tag by plugging it into your CI/CD flow. Check it out!

Setting Jenkins Node Monitor Thresholds with Groovy
Mar 24, 2017

Today I ran across a case where we were trying to programmatically set the threshold for when Jenkins will automatically turn off a Jenkins agent (found under https://$YOUR_JENKINS_HOST/computer/configure). The default is 1GB and we’d like to bump that up a bit. We’re periodically wiping out any nodes that are offline (as well as the resources behind that node) so doing this will clean them out sooner.

Free SSL Certificates
Jan 26, 2016

I got an e-mail today from Amazon informing me that they have released the AWS Certificate Manager and that they would make it easy to get certificates added to your AWS resources. And, best of all, it is free.

I had originally intended on using Let’s Encrypt for my SSL certificates but I had read about some issues with automation and limitations on what you could do. I’m not sure if they’ve resolved those as of yet but they may have.

Adding Disqus to Jekyll Site
Dec 19, 2015

As I mentioned in my Hello Jekyll! post, I’m administering this site with Jekyll. I’ve got all of my code in GitHub and am using Travis CI for continuous integration / continuous delivery of the site. That’s been working quite well thus far, though I’d like to add more testing utilities.

One thing that was missing once I moved my blog from Blogger to Jekyll was a commenting system. I’ve seen Disqus used quite frequently and it seemed like a nice way to get a commenting system introduced without adding annoyances to users (or for me) since it allows people to use Disqus credentials or credentials from various other providers (e.g. Facebook).

Python Testing and Structure
Dec 13, 2015

I’ve been working a little more on my [Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor][pi-temp-monitor] and wanted to check out how to do some [Test-driven Development][TDD]. So, I started by looking into how I might write some tests and structure my code so I looked at the [Python unittest documents][py-unittest] and [class documents][py-classes]. I also ran into [this guide][py-guide] which was quite informative. I think it turned out alright (though I’m sure things may have evolved since 2009, when the guide was written. Like anything else, the code can be refactored and improved incrementally. [TDD]: [py-guide]: [py-unittest]: [py-classes]: [pi-temp-monitor]:

Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor
Dec 8, 2015

I’ve been wanting to experiment a bit with a Raspberry Pi kit and a DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor that I bought. Well, my wife and I brewed our first beer together in our apartment not too long ago and this seemed like a nice excuse to generate some temperature readings to see what temperatures we usually see in our fermentation room.

Hello Jekyll!
Nov 15, 2015

I’ve decided to start using Jekyll to manage my site since it can all essentially be handled with a static content generator. I plan on moving my blog over here as well.

Sacrificial Architecture
Nov 19, 2014

Martin Fowler recently posted a new bliki about the concept of sacrificial architecture. He’s done a nice job of illustrating the concept so I won’t repeat too much here. This definitely falls hand-in-hand with not falling too much in love with your code. I can think back to instances where I or some colleagues may have been resistant to changing portions because they worked well and probably, secretly, we just liked how we put it all together.

Apple’s iTunes Match is live!
Nov 14, 2011

iTunes Match was opened up to the public today (you’ll need to update your iTunes). The simplest way to describe iTunes Match is that it makes it easy for you to back up your music collection (iTunes and all other music in your library) to the Apple iCloud suite. The service makes your music available to any iOS device (iPod, iPad, iPhone) or any computer with iTunes (Mac/Windows).

Looking for a better way to manage passwords?
Nov 10, 2011

I’ve been contemplating using various password management solutions over the last year or more (LastPass, KeePass, 1Password). I’ve finally made the jump and am starting to use it instead of remembering lots of different password schemes for different sites. I ultimately landed on LastPass even though they had a potential security breach. The fact is that they handled it well and it seems that there was little, if any, impact due to the way they store their data. If you’re looking for a great solution to manage your passwords, I’d recommend LastPass. Check out this great write-up on it on LifeHacker.

Chromebooks and Tablets and Phones, oh my!
May 26, 2011

It is fairly apparent that many people have begun embracing the web. There are many more people carrying around smart phones, mp3 players with web capabilities, and tablets. This is an interesting evolution from the times where many people, including the CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, didn't expect non-business customers to need or want a computer. Of course, people bought them at some point and the cost of computers started going down. Business needs led to consumer adoption.

Best Phones for Each Carrier in the United States
May 23, 2011

The other day when I was thinking about really getting my blog going I thought it'd be great to post my picks for the best smartphones for each carrier. Well, Engadget beat me to the punch with their Smartphone Buyer's Guide. I took a look at their picks and am in agreement for the main Midwest carriers. Generally, Android is the right platform if you're on Verizon (or most other carriers for that matter).

I didn’t make the first cut of the rapture!
May 21, 2011

Alright, so I have been posting a lot about lasik and that's not in the spirit of this blog. Thankfully, I've got until October to correct that. However, some are speculating that the end of days talk isn't true. Gasp! Then again, maybe God clicked too fast through the rapture installer. Either way, I probably ought to help out in the rapture pets market so that I can attempt to undercut the competitors.

Lasik Update / Hello Again
Feb 14, 2010

It’s fairly obvious that I don’t keep this up to date. I stumbled upon the blog again after getting Google Buzz.

Lasik Update
May 3, 2008

Well, it has been about 3 and a half months since I had Lasik surgery at Wolfe Eye Clinic and I continue to see better and better. At my last eye appointment I was able to read 20/15 in each eye. The dryness in my eyes has gone down quite a bit. Thanks, in part, to switching from drops that had preservatives in them to a drop that has a safe preservative. The halos have gone down significantly. Last night I drove home while I was tired and everything was extremely clear. I am very happy with my results and would recommend it to anyone who has a strong prescription. 

Feb 5, 2008

I recently had Lasik surgery and it is absolutely wonderful. The specific method that they chose for me was IntraLase. The flap is loosened with a laser as opposed to a microkeratome blade so it lessens the possibility of infection (and it made me more comfortable with the procedure).

So far I have had excellent results. I can see very well and about the only negatives so far are that my eyes are dry, I see halos at night, and I’m somewhat sensitive to light. This should all heal over time though. So that’s a positive.

Anyways, I better get cracking on my homework. That’s all for now.

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