I’m going to move away from Feedburner, as I am no longer confident in it’s long term viability. This is thanks to Google shutting down reader and moving everything towards the walled garden that is Google Plus. So, if you are one of the two or three people that still follow this blog via RSS, you’ll want to move to the feed at https://greg.nokes.name/feed.xml instead of any other. I will not be shutting off the feedburner anytime soon but that day is coming.
rss -> feedburner -> rss
One of the interesting things about using a tool like iTunes for a long time (over 5 years for me) is that you can build up a lot of metadata around your use of that tool. In iTunes there are really two pieces of metadata that are interesting to me - the number of times that I have skipped a song and the number of times that I have played a song. I’ve used the smart playlists feature for several years to surface intreating songs that have not been played in a while or other such neat stuff. Today I wanted to find something - what were my most played songs? Well, there were a few in there that were not my favorite songs for sure. So I went ahead and added in a new search criteria - most played song that I had not skipped.
Building a custom build pack on Heroku - the HARD WAY
So you want to build yourself a custom heroku buildpack, and you want to do it the hard way? Look no further, for within lies insanity.
Odd little gem error
While hacking at my favorite tavern, I noted that I needed to update a gem file. When I tried, gem said that it had succeeded, but there were some odd little errors:
Using environment variables for application configuration
One of the cool things about what I do, is that I get exposed to some really interesting paradigms. One of the latest is the 12 factor app. It's an evolution of some of what I have thought in the past, and a radical departure in others.
RVM, Lion and Commandline Tools
So, I was updating ruby etc on my Lion box, and I ran into a few issues.
The Hardest Thing
Today, I was blindsided by my 3 1/2 year old self. You see, when I was prying my 6 year old son off me, he was screaming “I don’t want to leave daddy!” and I was taken back to when I was 3 1/2. That is when, as far as I can recall, my mom and dad split. I really don’t remember what happened, but I was hit by a wave of emotion. From way back in the peanut gallery of my past selves. Abandonment, fear, pain, sadness. Uselessness. A feeling of things spiraling out of my control
One of the issues that I have run into several times is the securing of access to server farms. You generally end up with a ton of keys laying around and it gets really messy. At one of my past jobs, they had written a pretty killer tool that gave me the springboard for pssh. Pssh is cool because it knows what servers you have by interrogating the AWS APIs, what keys they need and even what their internal DNS name is in your cloud.
Quick and dirty storage
With the advent of low cost, high capacity storage solutions, and really easy SAN tools baked into most linux distros, a DIY SAN solution is a lot easier then it might seem.
Social Aspects of Scaling Web Applications
Sometimes you have to kill the sacred cows in the room to get the job done. Some times the cows kill you.
I think that we have moved past “ruby does not scale” or “rails does not scale”. However the feedback that I have gotten over the last few months is more along the lines of “Rails is just kids, hackers and rockstars. It’s not a serious contender”.
Privacy vs. Anonymity
One of the perceived issues with the increased use of social networks and pervasive online activities is eroding of personal privacy. Some would have us believe that there will be no privacy in the future, and we just need to accept that fact.
Building an ArchLinux hosting box (part 1)
One of my favorite linux distros has been archlinux since the early oughts. It’s default install is super lightweight, and it’s configuration system is a joy (especially after working with several distros with many rc directories and hundreds of symlinks).
NoGUI VMWare Fusion
One of the things that I like to do it launch my VM's with out a GUI - it takes a little less resources, and it does not clutter up my Mac's desktop with windows that I do not need. It's been hard to do in the past.
I just had an interesting woops. Installed iPhone SDK onto my snow lepoard machine (for the first time) and it added a
PATH= to the
/etc/profile file. That took a little working around!
Binary Searching and other tools of the trade
One of the tools that I use on an almost daily basis is the Binary Search. I think that this tool is one of the ways that a good troubleshooter seems so much more efficient then a mediocre troubleshooter.