R15Cookie Blog

A DevOps Engineer with an appreciation for simplicity.

  • The Scourge of Passwords

    This weekend I decided to rotate passwords for the sake of good account hygiene. What a pain! Fortunately, I had a password manager to help out, but that still did not reduce the 5-10 minutes per site to log in, find where to change the password, actually change the password, and verify the new password worked! It was a good exercise, but the idea of regularly rotating passwords for all of my accounts is pure lunacy.

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  • New Tagline

    Today I picked a new tagline for my site, referencing “an appreciation for simplicity”. I think one of my main attractions to the Unix philosophy is a fundamental simplicity…which may sound strange for those that are just coming into Unix/Linux for the first time, and perhaps have not had a lot of exposure to the command line. By providing a toolbox of single purpose commands that each to their singular tasks well, an administrator can put those together to fit the perfect solution.

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  • Blog Migration Complete

    My blog migration is finally complete! The technology stack I’m using is an exciting progression of the theme of the last few technology stacks I’ve used. I’ve always attempted to stick with formats that would be good long-term archives of my data. The stack should be open, with the ability to easily move hosting providers or even core parts of the stack. The newest platform stack that I’m using: The core of the site is kept as markdown, but I’m now using the Hugo static site generator.

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  • Embedded Equipment Extravaganza!

    As part of a recent vacation, I decided to finally go through my collection of embedded devices, and get them all up and running! I figure this will provide a nice repository of available devices for any upcoming electronics projects. With a new child on the way, I’ll certainly have less time to devote to these projects, but it still makes a great hobby. Take a look at my embedded page for more details.

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  • Moving To "Let's Encrypt" TLS Certificate

    As a fan of the EFF, and security in general, I was pretty excited to hear about the Let’s Encrypt project. Let’s Encrypt is a project sponsored by EFF, University of Michigan, Mozilla, Cisco and Akamai to provide free, signed TLS certificates. While I’ve used StartSSL in the past for free certificates, I’ve found their process a bit cumbersome (although in all fairness, they have done a ton of redesign this year).

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  • Chromebook Mysterious Reboot

    A few months ago I noticed a weird issue on the Chromebook where it would reboot hard if I performed a dd operation to write a Linux distro out to USB. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Browsing around the crouton source code for an unrelated project, I came across this section of code that explains the issue. The Chromebook OS has the hunk_task_panic timer set for 2 minutes.

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  • SparkCore Fun...

    I recently purchased a Spark Core development kit at Micro Center last week. The Spark Core is a cloud development board. Normally I try to avoid any cloud platform that may lock me into a vendor, but as Particle (the company) fully releases source code for the schematics, firmware on the device itself, and a node.js implementation of the server side, it seems like a very safe platform for development.

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  • CloudReady in Virtualbox

    The ChromeOS has been a great experience so far. One problem, however, is that you generally need to purchase a Chromebook to use it, or go through compiling the ChromeOS from source. A few days ago I came across Neverware’s CloudReady, which provides an freely available (to individuals) ChromeOS experience on generic hardware. Cloudready, however, does not support dual boot, so it will wipe away anything on the machine. Following some hints from this page I was able to get the CloudReady to install on a Virtualbox VM, without the need to create a USB bootable drive.

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  • Continuous Delivery In Ops

    Continuous integration, continuous delivery, and test driven development are pretty common on the development side of the house. In many organizations, however, operations still has too many instances of building and maintaining systems by hand. The article Why We Should Continuously Break Everything is a great summary why continuous delivery helps make change less risky and combat code and system configuration rot.

  • Home Lab Rebuild

    Recently a hard drive went out on my main home VM Server. It was in a RAID, so there was no data loss. But as I had to shut everything down to replace hardware (no hot swap…), it makes me think about also maintaining the software stack for the lab. Currently I have two physical systems that are libvirt/KVM hosts for my virtual machines, including the main firewall and fileserver. I’ve had my eye on a few newer technologies, so the lab layout requires maximum flexibility.

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