TECHNOLOGY

  • Todoist: First impressions

    I’m considering switching to Todoist. Here are my notes as I try to use the techniques in Time Management for System Administrators which are collectively called The Cycle.

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    • Stack Overflow Is Hiring Azure SREs

      Stack Overflow Is Hiring Azure SREs

      Looking for SRE’s with experience in the Microsoft stack!

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    • What Is Yak Shaving?

      What Is Yak Shaving?

      What is yak shaving?

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    • How should SaaS providers charge for training?

      The other day a vendor added $6k of “training” to my quote. Here’s how insulting that is.

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    • PowerShell and NAPTR DNS records: Part 2

      I think I’ve identified the bug in PowerShell’s handling of NAPTR records.

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    • PowerShell and NAPTR DNS records. Help!

      I can’t figure out how to Add- or Remove- an NAPTR record using PowerShell’s DnsServer module. Can you?

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    • Canon Imageclass Scanning to Gmail

      Configuring my new Canon printer to scan to gmail was a bit tricky.

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    • Evading or leveraging macOS's DNS mucking

      There are times when macOS mucks with DNS lookups. For example, a corporate VPN client might tell macOS that DNS lookups for certain domains (i.e. domains inside the company) are to be handled differently.

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    • Refactoring a Loop That Was Trying Too Hard

      I fixed bug last night.

      The bug was difficult to fix because the code was so complex. I wasn’t really able to fix it until I simplified the code. Once the code was simplified the bug was easy to fix. While doing this I found an anti-pattern that I now call “One loop trying too hard”.

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    • Google GSuite (nee Workplace) Secrets!

      Here are some of my favorite secrets about Google Docs, Google Sheets, Gmail, etc.

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    • Shipping used to be 6-8 weeks

      Remember back in the old days when if you ordered anything from a company, delivery was “6 to 8 weeks”?

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    • The Linux 'cal' command

      Five things you should know about the Linux cal command. There are many, many, more features listed in the man page but these are the ones you should know.

      The Unix cal command appeared in 1973 in what was called “Version 5 AT&T UNIX”. Linux and macOS (and all *BSD systems) have very different clones. Check the man page for details.

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    • A developer's view of umask

      There are a zillion pages explaining how umask works from the user’s point of view, usually with great charts and tables explaining all the bits.

      However in all my years I’ve never seen umask explained from the developer’s point of view. What do you provide to creat()/open()/mkdir() (in C) or os.OpenFile/os.Mkdir/os.MkdirAll (in Go) so that the user’s umask is in control.

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    • How to Learn Vi / Vim

      A coworker was amazed at my use of Vim, especially that I was able to navigate around files so quickly.

      Here’s my advice:

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    • Go has eliminated most of my off-by-one errors except 0... I mean 1.

      Go’s range operator (for x = range foo) has eliminated the most common trap where I make off-by-one errors. The next largest category of off-by-one errors would be eliminated if there was a way to specify the last item in an array. It would also improve a developer’s ability to convey intent.

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    • How do Google Captchas help train neural networks

      Q: I heard that the Google Captchas are used to train their neural networks so they can identify things like traffic lights, etc. How does this work since our thought process is in our brain?

      Original question

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    • Bash Env Variable Defaults

      In my previous blog post I explained a trick for setting bash env variables when you run a script. In this post I discuss how to write bash scripts that handle such variables properly.

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    • Setting env variables in /bin/bash

      If you want to set an env variable in bash for only 1 command, here’s some bad ways to do it:

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    • All I Do Is Play With Strings

      A poem I wrote earlier this year.

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    • Who Builds The H-Bomb? Not I!

      • “Who Builds The H-Bomb?”
      • Mark Levy, December ‘81
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    • Google Meets and Sneezes

      Dear Google Meets,

      We need to talk about your product.

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    • Working at home with dogs

      Most of my company works remote, and with C-19 we are now all working remotely.

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    • Clayton Christensen has died

      Clayton Christensen died on Jan 23, 2020 at the age of 67.

      You may know him from his 1997 best selling book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail.”

      He was incredibly influential, well beyond the typical author.

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    • Did Google just have their Osborne Moment?

      Do you know about The Osborne Effect?

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    • Comcast's concern is that they can't fuck you hard enough

      Comcast’s #1 concern is that if they can’t fuck you hard enough.

      Or, as Vice reported it, Comcast Is Lobbying Against Encryption That Could Prevent it From Learning Your Browsing History.

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    • How Not to Unit Test

      Dave Cheney started a Twitter discussion about when a unit test is not a unit test.

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    • It's time for Chocolately

      Increasingly, vendors understand that the inability to rapidly deploy their products affects the customers’ ability to rapidly purchase their products.

      (quoted from Page 152 of The Practice of System and Network Administration, Third Edition)

      I believe I first wrote that quote in 1999 when the first edition was still in draft form. That was 20 years ago. I’m embarrassed to say that in the last month I’ve had to remind two different vendors of this fact.

      Any vendor that thinks automated installation is a new concept… sigh.

      So what does that have to do with Chocolately?

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    • Reduce the maximum validity period for TLS/SSL server certificates

      Question: What would be the impact on your organization if the CA/Browser Forum approves a ballot reducing the maximum validity period for SSL/TLS server certificates from the current 825 days (27 months) at present to 397 days (13 months), effective for new certificates issued on or after March 1, 2020? (Existing certificates will remain valid for their full term).

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    • When you think about Google, what disappoints you the most?

      My reply to:

      wrote:

      My answer was a 17-part megatweet. I’ve collected them here and done a little editing.

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    • The Ask

      When did the word “Ask” become a noun and how do we stop this butchering of language?

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    Tom Limoncelli

    Tom Limoncelli

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    1. Stack Overflow Is Hiring Azure SREs
    2. Fake panic: How to get customer support to listen
    3. I no longer answer customer support surveys
    4. Todoist: First impressions
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