The Adventures of Greg DevOps Travel Make Lifehack

Some random links

I’ve been cleaning out my email today, and finding several gems among the cruft..

A friend sent me a link to a pretty rocking collaborative whiteboarding application: Dabbleboard

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The bailout - why you should say no.

In case you’ve been in a cave for the last year, lots of large corporate banks are on shaky ground after years of making exremely risky loans/investments and reaping huge profits in the process. Now the people who helped create this huge mess tell us if we just give them one trillion dollars (that’s $10,000 per US household) they’ll make it all go away, oh and they won’t be answering to congress or the courts on how they decide to spend it. To read more about why you should be very angry about this bailout and calling your senators to demand they block and vote against the bill see these links.

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Editing Video from SD Video Cameras

A month or so ago I got a Panasonic SDR-SW20 Video camera that records onto high-density SD. It is a handy small camera that’s waterproof (and dustproof!), and fits into a pocket. It records in a format that’s difficult to use in most editing programs (.MOV) so after shooting a bunch of video of Burning man I had to write my own converter with FFMPEG to get the video into Windows Movie Maker. If you have the same problem get a copy of ruby and ffmpeg for your windows box and use my script to import it

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Sizing your infrastructure before launch

So you got a webapp - How do you decide how many servers to deploy??? Even if you are still in development and don’t have a single outside user you can make an informed decision on how big to build and what your future network infrastructure will look like

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Maintaining documentation -- It's in the wiki!

One of the important things of maintaining a big network environment - with a small staff - is to keep up to date documentation on configurations, customizations, and instructions for frequently executed tasks. Commonly when I walk into a new company the documentation is terrible? Why? Because there is either no thought to maintaining documentation or the documentation system/procedure in place is too time consuming to use

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Small Business: How not to behave on the internet

This is an example of how not to behave if you are a small business on the internet. A friend of mine simply posted a question on a forum, the entirety of his question was: I’m curious if anybody knows anything about Lucas Environmental Stormwater Services, Inc.? This simple question has led to the owner threatening legal action in email and via rambling voice- mails. It is never a good idea to threaten someone unless they are blatantly in the wrong and doing something clearly illegal. Otherwise you just rile people up and turn what should have been nothing into a huge negative- publicity exercise for your company. For more information see: mhalligan: Greatest voicemail transcript EVER

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RoR: Testing with simple_captcha & HTTP-Auth

While developing a small Ruby on Rails application for The Pilot’s Camping Directory website I ran into a few problems that weren’t solved by a simple google search - so I’m documenting them here for future posterity and googling. I had problems with testing when using some security features to keep out riff-raff. It was not obvious how to handle simple_captcha or simple_http_auth while doing testing so I scratched around the net and pieced together a solution for each of the problems. These work with Rails 1.2. With Rails 2.0 YMMV - but then 2.0 breaks every rails tutorial ever written so I don’t feel bad if this blows up in 2.0

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Sharpening the saw, html and graphics.

In my off-season (winter) I am usually traveling internationally - mostly places that are sunnier and warmer than the San Francisco bay area. It’s often the perfect time for me to sharpen my various skills , being unconstrained by the usual grand infrastructure projects I do in the summer

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Baja Haha 2007

Much like the sailor tails of yore, I found myself shanghied on a sailboat in a foreign land. This is my story

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From California to Wisconson, 1700 miles in an experimental aircraft

In late July I flew my Long-EZ, a homebuilt experimental aircraft, from California to Wisconson to spend a week with friends at a lake house and to briefly attend the Oshkosh EAA airshow. The journey was 1700 miles and took me over some of the most inhospitable terrain in the country

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