Tag Archives: hardware

Paper Macs! Doom on Doom! Build a Voight-Kampff machine! And more (What I find interesting in tech, Sept. 2022)

Here’s 70+ links of things I have found interesting in tech in the last while. It’s a real mix this time, but still contains a good chunk on cloud, hardware and software. Some good stuff on UML, Pi and Doom as well. (Love Doom.) Dig in!

Cloud: here’s a dozen good pieces I recommend on cloud computing…

  1. I think hybrid cloud is the future of cloud computing for big orgs, and IBM does too:  IBM doubles down on hybrid cloud
  2. Not to be confused with multicloud: Multicloud Explained: A cheat sheet | TechRepublic
  3. Speaking of that, here’s 3 multicloud lessons for cloud architects | InfoWorld
  4. Relatedly, Vendors keep misusing the “cloud native” label. Customers may not care. You should care, though.
  5. Cloud Foundry used to be the future, but now it’s time for this:  Migrating off of cloud foundry.
  6. I always find these RCAs good:  Details of the Cloudflare outage on July 2 2019
  7. Speaking of outages: Heat waves take out cloud data centers
  8. Google Gsuite: now with a fee. Good luck with that, Google.
  9. Is your app resilient? Consider this four step approach to verifying the resiliency of cloud native applications
  10. If you are an AWS/Oracle user:  using aws backup and oracle rman for backup restore of oracle databases on amazon ec2.
  11. Good tips:  How to add a custom domain to GitHub Pages with Namecheap – Focalise
  12. Good argument:  Rural carriers: We need more subsidies to build 5G

Software: here’s a mix of software pieces, from how to write good bash to how to run good scrums….

  1. Is Internet Explorer dead? Nope!  IE lives! In Korea.
  2. For bootstrap noobs:  Bootstrap tutorials
  3. Fun to consider:  How is computer programming different today than 20 years ago?
  4. Helpful:  Using Loops In Bash – Earthly Blog
  5. More bash goodness:  Bash – Earthly Blog
  6. Related:  Good SED advice
  7. Some python help:  Automate Internet Life With Python | Hackaday
  8. More python:  Analyze Your Amazon Data with Python.
  9. I found this useful indeed:  Google API’s and python
  10. Load testing vs. stress testing: What are the main differences? Don’t confuse them.
  11. Good IFTTT guide:  Send me new jobs available every Monday – IFTTT
  12. Intriguing:   marcoarment/S3.php 
  13. Deploy any static site to GitHub Pages
  14. For fans of either: Visual studio and Terraform
  15. My friend Carl wrote this and it’s good:  The basics of scrum 

UML: I’ve been doing solution architecture lately, and as a result I have been using Visio and PlantUML. I love the latter and found some good links regarding it.

  1. I love PlantUML. Here’s some links on how to use it with Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code:  PlantUML – Visual Studio Marketplace.
  2. and here  UML Made Easy with PlantUML & VS Code – CodeProject
  3. PlantUML and YAML:  https://plantuml.com/yaml
  4. PlantUML and Sequence Diagrams
  5. More on  Sequence Diagram syntax and features

Hardware: here’s some good (and not so good) hardware stories….

  1. This is cool:  teenage engineering google pixel pocket operator
  2. Also cool:  paper thin retro macintosh comes with an e ink display and runs on a raspberry pi (Image on Top of this post!)
  3. Robots:  Roomba Amazon Astro and the future of home robots
  4. Macbook problems:  Macbook Air m2 slow ssd read write speeds testing benchmark 
  5. More Macbook problems:  Macbook repair program: FAIL
  6. Not great:  Starlink loses its shine
  7. A really dumb idea: the switchbot door lock
  8. Finally:  The 20 Most Influential PCs of the Past 40 Years


Pi: I still love the Raspberry Pi, and I want to do more with them soon.

  1. Nice to see this:Raspberry Pi Pico W: your $6 IoT platform – Raspberry Pi
  2. Related:  How to Connect Your Raspberry Pi Pico W to Twitter via IFTTT | Tom’s Hardware
  3. How cool is this?  LISP on Raspberry Pi
  4. Awesome: make your own VK Machine:  Cool Pi Project (image above)

Sensors: one thing I was going to do with a Pi is build a CO2 meter to check on air flow. However the sensor most used for this, the MQ-135, is not all that great. It’s a problem with cheap sensors in general: you just don’t get good results. To see what I mean, read these links:

  1. BUILD YOUR HOME CO2 METER
  2. MQ-135 Gas Sensor with Arduino Code and Circuit Diagram
  3. Measure CO2 with MQ-135 and Arduino Uno – Rob’s blog
  4. Measuring CO2 with MQ135
  5. Air Pollution Monitoring and Alert System Using Arduino and MQ135

Doom! I love stories of how people port the game DOOM onto weird devices. Stories like these….

  1. So many different ports!  Weird devices that run DOOM
  2. Cool!  Even DOOM Can Now Run DOOM! | Hackaday
  3. More on that:  Run Doom inside Doom!

Kubernetes: Still keeping up my reading on K8S. For example:

  1. You’ve written a kubernetes native application here is how openshift helps you to run develop build and deliver it securely.
  2. Benefits of Kubernetes 

Twitter: I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten tired of the drama around Elon Musk wanting to buy twitter. However I had a recent spasm where I was reading somewhat on it. Here’s what I read:

  1. Twitter, Musk and Mudge
  2. More on Zatko
  3. Also  Zatko
  4. More on Twitter
  5. Whistleblower: Twitter misled investors FTC and underplayed spam issues. Ok, that’s enough.

Finally: 

  1. Beware Tiktok!  TikTok’s In-App Browser Includes Code That Can Monitor Your Keystrokes. These special browsers have to go.
  2. A bad use of AI in France:  taxing pool owners with hidden pools. It’s bad because the success rate is poor.
  3. Lots of good tech articles at Earthly Blog
  4. Lots of good tutorials at Earthly Blog too.
  5. How do I link my domain to GitHub Pages – Domains – Namecheap.com
  6. Mark Zuckerberg braces Meta employees for “intense period”. That’s a shame, said no on.
  7. Updated: Hardware vendor differences led to Rogers outage says Rogers CTO. More on that Rogers outage.
  8. How to:  Fine-Tune and Prune Your Phone’x Contacts List from The New York Times. Useful
  9. Also useful:  4 iPhone and Android Tricks You May Not Know About – The New York Times
  10. Good to know:  How Updates in iOS 16 and Android 13 Will Change Your Phone – The New York Times
  11. Charge your phone differently:  Phone charging.
  12. Canadian orgs struggle with  Ransomware still.
  13. Apple expands commitment to protect users from mercenary spyware. Good.
  14. Related:  84 scam apps still active on App Store’s steal over $100 million annually

Kubernetes and Clouds and much more (What I find interesting in tech, July 2022)


Since April, here are a ton of links I found useful while doing my work. Lots of good stuff on Kubernetes and Cloud (both IBM’s and AWS’s); some cool hardware links; some worthwhile software links. Plus other things! Check it out.

Kubernetes: plenty of good things here to explore if you are doing things with Kubernetes like I was:

Terraform: Relatedly, I was doing work with Terraform and these were useful:

IBM Cloud: one of the two clouds I have been working with. Alot of the work was Kubernetes on IBM Cloud so you’ll see some overlap:

AWS: I work on alot of cloud providers. Mostly IBM Cloud but others like AWS

Software: some of these were work related, but some are more hobby oriented.

Hardware: the pickings are few here

Finally: here are an odd assortment of things worthwhile:

The end of an era: the iPod Touch is being discontinued. Here’s why you still might want one.

I’ve been a fan of the iPod Touch since I wrote this in 2008: Why I love my iPod touch. It was a great device then, and 14 years later it is still great. Which is why I am sad to hear it is being discontinued, according to AppleInsider and others.

However, there are several reasons y0u still might want to buy one. At the time I first bought mine, I was locked into using my Blackberry device, but I wanted to experience what Apple devices could provide. If you have an Android phone, you can still get that experience today.  You can have the best of both worlds: an Android device for some things and an Apple device for others.

If you are a parent, you likely have experienced your kids wanting to use your phone to play games, etc. With the Touch, you can give them that to use instead. Much cheaper than an iPad.

If you want to cut the cord — somewhat — on your technology use, a Touch can help you. You can take it with you on outings and from time to time connect to a wireless signal to check on things, but the lack of a cell phone signal means you are much less tethered than normal.

The iPod Touch is still a great device. Get one new, while you still can.

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One quick thought on the new Mac Pro

One thing that struck me about the new Mac Pro is that Apple has finally gotten to do design again for a hardware. Most of their products these days are as minimal as can be when it comes to design. With the Mac Pro, at least, they can apply new design ideas to their product. I like it, even if it is compared to a cheese grater. But I liked the previous model, even though it was compared to a garbage can.

For more on the device, see:  Apple announces all-new redesigned Mac Pro, starting at $5,999 – The Verge

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Some thoughts on my new Amazon Fire 7 8GB FireOS 7″ Tablet for $59 at Bestbuy.ca


I saw this in Best Buy the other day, Amazon Fire 7 8GB FireOS 7″ Tablet With MediaTek MT8127 Quad-Core Processor – Black : Android Tablets – Best Buy Canada, and after reading some reviews and other articles (see below), I decided to get one. The $59 price tag had a lot to do with this.

My first thought was to try to use it as much as I could out of the box without making modifications to it. I set it up according to instructions, which were simple. I think you really want to have an Amazon account/userid to do this. I did and so things went smoothly.

The Amazon Fire has a modified version of the Android OS, which means it’s like an Android tablet, but not exactly. Likewise, Amazon has an App store, which is a limited version of the Google Play App store. You can get a number of apps from the Amazon App store, but not everything you can get on the Google Play store.

I wanted this device mainly as a place to consume media. Good news is it runs Netflix, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Mail, Texture and a modified version of YouTube.  I was especially interested in Texture, which allows me to read magazines like New Yorker, Bon Appetit, Wired and others. I have been trying to read them on my phone and the experience was poor. On the tablet, the experience was much better, and the resolution was good. Likewise, YouTube videos are better on the tablet than the phone.

Downsides?  First the device is slow compared to my iPhone 6. You notice it with things like Twitter and Instagram. You don’t notice it for things like Texture because there is more reading time and less scrolling.  It’s not terrible, but it is noticeable if you have a newer device. If you have an up to date phone or tablet, you will notice this.

Another downside is the limited number of apps, especially media apps. I could not get the New York Times, Guardian or CBC app for it. It comes with the Washington Post, not surprisingly.

The browser that comes with it is slow. You cannot download other browsers without hacking the device.

One upside is you can get quite a few apps working for it. I downloaded Remember the Milk (for todos), Simplenote (for notetaking), WordPress (for blogging), Dropbox and more. I mainly want to use it for media consumption, but those things make it better.

To summarize: for $59, I think it is a great device for media consumption and basic functionality. If that’s all you want, I think you’d be happy with it. I’m glad I got it. Some reviewers said it is better to get the Fire 8 or 10, but for the money, I think the Fire 7 is surprisingly good.

P.S.Originally I was going to hack it to make it more like an Android tablet, but for now I think I’ll leave it as it is. If you did want to hack it, here’s some links to articles along that line:

P.S.S. This is not sponsored content.

How To Set Up Your Raspberry Pi For The First Time


If you just bought or are thinking of buying a Raspberry Pi, then two things:

  1. Congratulations!
  2. Read this: How To Set Up Your Raspberry Pi For The First Time – ReadWrite.

Not only will it help you get set up, but it also has a list of projects to get your started on doing something useful with it. As well, there’s some links to other resources.
There’s lots of material on Raspberry Pi’s on the Web, but if you haven’t found them yet, try this one at ReadWrite and get started.