Posts

New Website Theme

I do a lot of different things – husbanding, software engineering, writing, model-building, genealogy, drawing, tinkering, etc – and I wasn’t happy with how previous iterations of this website presented those diverse interests. Of all the themes I looked at, the academic theme for Hugo seems like a good fit. So this is it, or the start of it anyway. As always, the work is never finished, but I think it’s a start.

Nested containers w/LXD

A couple days ago, someone asked me why they should care about nested containers. It’s a good question, so I thought I’d talk about how I’m using them.

Perhaps my favourite benefit of containers is keeping workloads isolated, and not just in terms of process space. It’s also a great way to avoid dependency bit rot and version conflicts. I have containers for my home media server, for jenkins, for various database servers that I need for this project or that.

Nested LXD on Ubuntu 16.04.2 (Xenial)

Edit – 1 Jun 2017: The issue is a problematic patch that caused a breakage between 2.0.9 and 2.13. LXD 2.0.10 is currently in the SRU review queue, and once it lands in xenial-updates the problem should go away. tl;dr: Nested LXD containers on Ubuntu 16.04.2 (Xenial) will break if you’re running LXD 2.12+ on the host machine, because the Xenial cloud image ships with LXD 2.0.9 and a version conflict between host and container causes nesting to fail.

2016 is a dumpster fire fueled by grief.

For most of us, 2016 has been a dumpster fire of epic proportion. For me, it began with the death of David Bowie, days after my father’s 69th birthday; a poignant reminder that our idols are also mortal. We’ve added a shitload of fuel to that fire, folks. Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, and George Michael; iconic artists who reflected pieces of ourselves back at us. Florence Henderson, Gene Wilder, Allan Rickman, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Kenny Baker, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; thespians who bared their souls through their work, allowing us to fall in love with them a piece at a time.

the authenticity of grief

I still hear his voice, almost a decade since we last spoke. Sometimes, I imagine it’s over the airwaves of amateur radio, an interest he rekindled and mentored me in. We come across each other by chance, calling out into the darkness for another soul to connect with, and pick up the pieces of what we once had, one tiny hurt at a time. Reality sets in, and I remember the hard lesson: time does not heal all wounds.

bzr "Insecure string pickle"

I’ve been bit by a bug in the bzr source code control system where running a commit throws an ugly stack trace blaming an “insecure string pickle”, but I’ve found a workaround.

Migrating to Hugo

Hugo, the static website engine, not the award.

I’ve grown frustrated with Wordpress and Dreamhost. Running a Wordpress site on a shared web host is a ticking time bomb. More users crowded on a server. I threw turned on caching and Cloudflare; readers should have had little trouble using the site, but my sessions were consistently timing out while using the admin dashboard, which makes posting new content a frustrating experience.

Ubuntu on Mac

I recently rebuilt a Mac Mini to work as the forth screen in my workflow. I googled around and pieced together what I needed to do by cherrypicking from various guides, and everything was running well until I updated to a new kernel and rebooted. I spent the better part of two nights trying to get the machine to boot. Unfortunately, it happened just after I blacklisted a module to work around a USB bug that was causing one of my drives to go haywire occasionally, and it took a while before I finally figured out it wasn’t a problem with my change but the kernel itself.

American Serenade

Back in 2009, we were winding down our life in the U.S.. We drastically culled things we didn’t want or need, and put the rest into storage for the eventual move to Canada. Andrea was home in August 2009; I was there on and off, until I was officially issued a visitor record in November 2010 and filed for permanent resident status. On that day, I entered the country with one large suitcase and a backpack containing some notebooks and my laptop.

Announcing Benchmarking with Juju

Benchmarking and performance are interesting problems, especially in today’s growing cloud-based microservice scene. It used to be a question of “how does this hardware compare to that hardware,” but as computing and service-oriented architectures grow the question has evolved. How does my cloud and application stack handle this? It’s no longer enough to run PTS on your web server and call it a day. Measuring every microservice in your stack, from backend to frontend, is a complex task.