Monthly Archives: May 2013

My latest technical paper on Cloud Architecture is here on developerWorks #geekish

The paper, Select the correct cloud adoption pattern, was co-written with a very talented IBMer, Tina Abdollah.

As cloud architectures get more complex, patterns can help cloud architects communicate what is needed. If you are looking to develop more complex cloud architectures, take a look at the paper and see if it helps. Thanks.



My favourite movie trailers

Most movie trailers are mostly advertisements for a film, and while they are well edited, they are often just teasers composed of alot of short clips. Some trailers, though, are small films in themselves. Two such trailers are this one, for the movie, Comedian.

And this one, for the film, Somewhere.

Both of these can easily stand alone as things that can be watched in themselves.

You can find them here (Comedian Movie Trailer – YouTube) and here (Somewhere Movie Trailer Official (HD) – YouTube).

My favourite IBMer is the Cookie Monster

From the technologizer blog is the story of how Jim Henson made quite a few short films with some familiar faces before he went on to make Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. They were made between 1966 and 1976, and include such classics as this:

(Note the teeth: a feature dropped later on.)

For more videos and more on this story, check out the blog.

(Video: Cookie Monster for IBM – YouTube)

Wednesday Night Music: Stamp, The Rural Alberta Advantage

It came out in 2011, but it’s still fresh and perfect for midweek.

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Stamp – YouTube

Friday Night Music: Madeleine Peyroux – You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

Technically it’s Bob Dylan’s, but Peyroux’s is great too.

I was in a bookstore today at lunch and this came on just as a was walking by the poetry section. I looked over and there was a copy of Rimbaud’s poetry.


Madeleine Peyroux – You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go. –



A better way to change the size of your instance on Amazon EC2. #geekish

Let’s say you have a micro instance on Amazon and you want to make it bigger, either because it is too slow or you don’t have enough memory. You want to change it from a micro instance to a small instance.

One way to do this is to stop the instance and then right click on it and select the action: change instance type. If you see the new size you want, you can select it and then start the server.

However, that won’t work for all instance types. (For example, if you want to go from an m1.medium to an m1.large). In those cases, try the following approach. First, create the small instance. Make sure it is in the same zone as the micro instance. Indeed, try to keep as much the same as possible, including using the same AMI ID, security groups, key pair names, etc.

Second, once it is up and available, write down the instance and the instance ID and the volume IDs of all the volumes attached to the old (micro) instance and the new (small) instance. Also note how each volume is attached to the instance.
Third, stop both instances
Fourth, detach all the volumes from the small and the micro instance.
Fifth, attach the micro volumes to the small instance and the small volumes to the micro instance. In effect, you are swapping the volumes of two instances. Make sure you attach them properly.
Sixth, start the small instance and the login to the instance to make sure all the volume are attached properly and operational. Start up any processes or software you need on the new small instance and make sure it is working properly.
Seventh, if things are not working, stop the instance and swap the volumes back. If things are working, after a period of time, you can delete the old instance. Make sure the volume associated with it is gone too.

Finally, the other way to do this is create a small instance and then set it up the way you did the micro instance.

How gear shifts (and other analog mechanisms like the Wankel rotary engine) work

This post, World Of Technology: Complicated Mechanisms Explained in simple animations, has some great animated gifs of things like this:


For those technically inclined and curious, it’s a fascinating look at how some analog technology works.