Blog Posts

Below you'll find my blog posts. Unlike my "Evergreen" writings, my blog posts can be considered ephemeral and most likely not kept up-to-date.

Enabling LCM Dark Site Mode via CLI

I was looking for a way to automated the enabling of LCM Dark Site mode in order to ensure we can very quickly deploy Nutanix Objects without continuously hitting Amazon S3. After about 10-12 hours of reverse engineering a million different things, this is what I ended up with.

Using Netcat to Watch Port

As I was reverse engineering an internal API today, I found myself waiting for the API service to come back up fairly frequently after re-imaging the cluster I was working on. Rather than run the full API query using watch, I decided to use Netcat instead. This is for me down the road when I inevitably forget the exact switches to make this work.

Resize CentOS LVM

I always have to look up how to do this, but I’d much rather use my own, known working, walkthrough than find the right things on StackExchange.

Using the Objects API to Create Users and Buckets

A coworker of mine, Laura Jordana recently sent me the API commands to create AMI Users and Buckets for Nutanix Objects using our API and I figured it was worth posting for posterity and my own reference in the future.

Taking Back Tuesday

“Let’s just throw a quick 30 minute weekly meeting on the calendar for status on XYZ.”

Regex

Less than two weeks ago, if you said I’d be writing a post that helped consolidate my fledgling knowledge of Regex, I’d tell you that you were crazy. But, as all things do, I ended up needing to learn how to use Regex to properly rename the tracks in my Dave Matthews Band archiving project. I ended up working with the Python re library, but this is pretty well true across all Regex.

Personal Library Building

“Personal library building is a noble pursuit.” -Unknown

Caring for Cast Iron Skillets

For the longest time, I struggled with caring for and using Cast Iron Skillets. The truth is, if you treat them properly, they’re extremely easy to Season and Clean for decades.

Content Not Architecture

This blog, in fact any website I’ve ever run, has been content light. I have spent so much of my time re-architecting the sites, rather than actually writing content.

Lower Electric Bill

Since we moved into our house, I’ve been running a ton of equipment to keep my “lab” and “production” services up and running. I had dual 10GbE switches, an extra lab 1 GbE switch, older servers to run Plex with a TON of drives attached, etc. What I found was, I was not getting the value out of this equipment that I thought I would and my electric bill was in pain because of it.

Using CI/CD in Home Infrastructure

As I’ve written about previously, I’ve always had a pretty large home lab setup. Unfortunately, it has lead to a huge electric bill that I can’t justify for the few services that are actually running. I had plans of grandeur to support a bunch of other things from home, including a huge storage footprint for Live Music, it just was not cost effective.

Family Terms of Service

I work in the computer industry, but not in technical support. This means that I understand how computers and networks work, but I don’t deal with day-to-day support anymore. This does not mean that I cannot or will not help you with issues, but it means that my knowledge base is more specific.

Wipe Flash Drive on MacOS

Something happened when MacOS went from OS X to MacOS: Disk Utility started sucking. For some reason, if a flash drive is bootable, I never have the ability to erase it using the GUI Utility. So, I always search for the proper syntax on how to do it.

Respect Your Readers

Maybe it’s because I’m slightly grumpy, maybe it’s because the internet has lost it’s weirdness - and I miss that - but I’m tired of getting my “news” and “reading” through user hating sites like Medium. You can also add in almost every News website out there. The more local, the worse it is.

You're Not Inadequate, Just Slow

As I’ve written about previously, I’m starting a new role. I’m a very self-critical person when it comes to productivity and I expect that I’ll exceed at getting the job done very quickly. There’s very few things in my previous role that would require a ton of my mind-space. If you do enough sizings, no matter the actual size, the outcome is - it’s easy.

Writing Every Weekday

A new part of my day job will require a lot more writing, authoring blog posts, white papers, and lots of documentation. The only way to get better at writing is to write and publish more and more. So that’s my goal. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to write something short, every day of the work-week. So that’s what I’ll be up to on this blog from here on out. Writing.

Reflection

I’ve never been one who is good at reflecting on choices I made to get to any particular point in life. It always seems that I go with the flow and never decide what worked and what didn’t. I don’t often give myself the space to think about these things either, in fact, I have a notebook sitting next to my iPad with a To-Do list longer than I’d care to admit, but here I am reflecting.

Light Phone II

I will have green texts in iMessage for the next 30 days folks. I didn’t buy an Android phone, I’m not sick, I’m just experimenting with a Light Phone II.

Career Change

If you’ve known me longer than my career at Nutanix, you know that I’m an engineer that loves to get in the weeds. I love to get to know a topic deeply, even if I do have many interests. I’ve been a Sales Engineer for Nutanix for 4 1/2 years now, focusing on State and Local Government, Education, where 90% of my time has been focused on building the territory, finding more customers, and designing solutions for those customers. The unfortunate side effect of building a business for 4+ years is you start to have fewer and fewer hours to dedicate to technology and knowing something deeply.

iPad Only Challenge

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love using my iPad for most of my workflow. For 99% of what I do, the iPad just works. Every iPad Only post you find on the internet is almost solely focused on writers. There are a few network engineers that I’ve found out there that have posted about going iPad Only as well, but for the most part, you only find writers talking about it. I think we need some more information about working solely on an iPad, so here’s my stab at it.

Whisky Tastings

I love Whisky, specifically Scotch. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy whisk(e)y in all it’s various forms including bourbon, rye, Irish Whiskey, Japanese Whiskey and others, but I will always go for a Scotch before all of the others. My love affair with Scotch was not love at first drink, it took months of work. It took hundreds of dollars to find what I was looking for. Most of all, it took education. Understanding how to drink it, where to drink it, and the background of the liquid.

Syncing with Rclone

I have a ton of data spread across two different GSuite accounts. Well into the tens of TBs. I need to pull it all back down, without going through the process of manually screwing with it. I grabbed someone else’s sync script and set it up on my crontab for my local user.

Meditate to Run

I’ve been a lazy meditator and runner for several years now. I’ve found that through meditation I’ve been able to completely remove the use of anxiety medication from my daily regiment. I’ve found that my resting heart rate drops significantly from a steady running practice (not to mention my weight). I’ve found my ability to control my breath while running so much easier when I’m meditating and running at the same time. Controlling your breath while running is more than half the battle of improving your running times and going further distances.

Proxy Digital Ocean Spaces With Caddy

An upcoming project had a need to proxy Digital Ocean Spaces (an S3 compatible Object store) in order to serve static websites. It turned out to be relatively simple, so I figured I’d drop it here for future reference.

Fail2Ban

I love Fail2Ban, it’s a great way to secure your VPSs in the cloud. I deploy it on all of my servers and then enable certain “jails” based on the configuration necessary for the particular machine. Installing and configuring fail2ban is pretty straightforward for Ubuntu, but since I needed to look up the directions again, I figured I’d replicated them here.

Caddy Webserver

Deploying Caddy Webserver is pretty easy and I’ve posted the instructions in my Media Server Series, specifically in the Plex post. Still, it makes sense to have some of the information used in those posts separated out into their own post. Just like my ssh post, I will start putting all of my Caddy information in here.

Interaction With Readers

I’ve been thinking about interactions with users and how I could make it better. Right now, email is the option for interacting with me via the website. I personally hate everything about email, so I’d love to move away from that if possible. I do love Slack.

Extend Ubuntu Server LVM

Ubuntu Server has been not utilizing an entire drive when installing a new server utilizing the automatic formatting. This has bit me a few times so I figured I’d dump this information here to reference later.

Media Server - Pt 2 - Automatic Ripping Machine

Note: This is a living and breathing post series. It’s incomplete and subject to change! Do not just copy and paste commands, read them and understand them. These commands are specific to my folder structure and naming schemes.

Media Server - Pt 1 - Hello Plex

Note: This is a living and breathing post series. It’s incomplete and subject to change! Do not just copy and paste commands, read them and understand them. These commands are specific to my folder structure and naming schemes.

My Beastly Home Lab Box

I have so much lab equipment available from my job, that Home Lab is probably a misnomer here. What I need out of a home lab is primarily “home production”. I will be utilizing ZFS to set up a proper amount of storage for our home use, as well as provide a solid backend to work from when I do need a test-bed.

Finding PCI IDs and Getting Info on LSI Cards

I had a need to find the PCI IDs of a few LSI cards in a server. The OS that I was going to be installing on it needs to have this information in the config layout before installation, so I needed to boot from a live ISO and then run a few commands.

Flashing LSI Card to IT Mode

There’s quite a few posts out there on how to update a LSI card to IT mode, but none of them specifically focus on trying to do so from an Ubuntu (linux) machine. Nearly every single post is based on creating a bootable FreeDOS drive using Windows and Rufus. Of course, I have no Windows installations in our house so I wanted to find a way to do this using Ubuntu.

SSH Knowledge

Below you’ll find my SSH tips and tricks. These are mostly as a note to myself, but you might find them interesting.

Installing Gitlab on Ubuntu 18.04

As part of my path of trying to self host everything I can, I figured the first thing I should do is get a solid Gitlab server setup to hold my website source code. My website source code will remain public, so you all can continue to see the fact that I don’t track you.

Using cloud-init on Digital Ocean

You may have noticed that Digital Ocean has a spot for Cloud Config files. This is great if you want your new droplets to come up with user accounts already setup for you. I’ve been doing this for a long time in order to add my user and SSH key to that user. Here’s a quick excerpt to get you going.

I Am Not Your Product

I’ve decided to go on a war against Google and frankly any company where I’m the product. This is going to be a long and drawn out war, with many battles to be fought. Our house is primarily an iOS/Apple household, no Android or Windows to be found. We have a number of personal devices and of course, millions of accounts online. I’m not expecting my lovely wife to go along with this battle until I figure it all out, so I’ll be doing this on my own VLANs and SSIDs for now.

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

This scotch is one of my favorite daily drivers. For the price, you really can’t beat this one. I’m currently battling some allergies, so I’ll update this review in the future.

Samsung 860 EVO Mounting Screws

I recently found myself trying to mount my Samsung 860 EVO SSDs in my Nutanix Community Edition node (an old Supermicro box). When I grabbed my hard drive mounting screws from the bin, I realized that they don’t fit the thin 7mm Samsung SSDs. I checked far and wide in my house but couldn’t quite find the right screw to mount my SSD into the hard drive tray. For a brief moment I thought about double sided tape, but I just wasn’t super hot on the idea of (4) 4TB SSDs being mounted with tape.

Getting rclone Setup for Google Team Drive

This is mostly just reference for me, because I get tired of hunting down all of the links and instructions for everything. I use a ton of storage for some of my projects and if you spend any time on /r/datahoarder, you’ll know why I use Google Drive.

My Linux Setup

This is mostly just reference for me, because I get tired of hunting down all of the links and instructions for everything. Several of the installations below rely on the basic tools listed in the first header. So if you pick and choose what you install and it doesn’t work, check the basic tools section.

Installing Ubuntu 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 9370

I bought a Dell XPS 13 9370 a while back with the intentions of running it as a full time Ubuntu laptop. It’s a very well built laptop with plenty of performance. Unfortunately it has been nothing but pain ever since I got it. First, I was having issues with it booting, which turned out to be a failed CPU - so off it went to Dell. After I got it back, it sat in a drawer for a couple of months before I took some time to actually work on it again.

Hoarding Live Audio

I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan, specifically their live music. Studio recordings generally don’t do much for me, although their newest album Come Tomorrow is pretty great. Thankfully, DMB is taper friendly - i.e. they allow you to freely tape their live shows. It turns out there are hundreds of artists that allow concert attendees to record the shows.