• Setting Jenkins Node Monitor Thresholds with Groovy

    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

    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.

  • Adding Disqus to Jekyll Site

    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.

  • Python Testing and Structure

    I’ve been working a little more on my Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor and wanted to check out how to do some Test-driven Development. So, I started by looking into how I might write some tests and structure my code so I looked at the Python unittest documents and class documents. I also ran into this 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.

  • Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor

    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. The temperature sensor didn’t really have wiring instructions so I checked out a pretty nice tutorial from Adafruit. While it doesn’t use the same parts, I was able to adapt their instructions to what I had for hardware. Once I got it all wired together and working well, I started a new pi-temp-monitor project on GitHub. With a little help of the w1thermsensor module, I was able to whip together a project that is currently using cron to store readings to a file. The file writing is being handled by normal unix appending. Overall, I’m pretty happy with how it’s worked out so far. I’d like to get the results posted to DynamoDB or SimpleDB using something like Boto 3 to generate some charts on my website. I’ll be updating the pi-temp-monitor project as I progress.

  • Hello Jekyll!

    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

      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. At some point, parts of your code may let you down because of something you didn't know years or possibly months or weeks ago. I think we've all learned the lesson at one point that this secret love is probably going to cause issues and that it may be best to be somewhat humble about your code.
  • Apple's iTunes Match is live!

    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?

    I've been contemplating using various password management solutions over the last year or more (LastPass, KeePass1Password). 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.
  • Chromebooks and Tablets and Phones, oh my!

    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.
  • Best Phones for Each Carrier in the United States

    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.
  • I didn't make the first cut of the rapture!

    Alright, so I have been posting a lot about lasik and that's not in the spirit of this blog.
  • Lasik Update / Hello Again

    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

    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. 
  • Lasik

    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).

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