Tag Archives: ibm

A great article / repo to learn about Kubernetes, Terraform, IBM Cloud, Scripting, and more

If you are looking for a way to gain knowledge in a lot of different ways (Kubernetes including ingress, services, and COS as a way to holding information, plus Terraform and more) then I recommend this article.

It has a link to a repo you can use that had 2 issues at the time, so I forked a copy and in the meantime to fix the issues. You can get it here.

What’s nice about this is it comes with some shell scripts that use terraform to build and configure the cluster. It’s a good way to learn many things at the same time. Recommended.

IBM Cloud tip: take advantage of free IBM cloud products, including the IBM Kubernetes Service

IBM has numerous free products in its Cloud Service, and you can find them, here.

One I recommend especially is the Kubernetes Service. You can create a free cluster and learn a lot about both IBM Cloud and Kubernetes by using this.

If you aren’t sure where to start, I put together a github repo to help you get started. It gives you all the information you need, so you can go from a simple web page or node.js app on your own machine to having it up and running on the IBM Kubernetes service. You can find it here: blm849/networkcontainertesting: a simple way to test connectivity in and out of a container.

It’s up to date as of May, 2022. While there are plenty of tutorials out there, you may want to see if they are up to date. For example, some features may be deprecated.

Drop me a comment if you have any feedback. Good luck!

What I find interesting in tech: DevOps and CI/CD (April 2022)

Yesterday I wrote about DevOps. One of the things I emphasized there was that DevOps was more than Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). And while I still think that, I also know that for many people, CI/CD is a very important part of DevOps. It’s important for me too. Here’s a list of things I’ve found interesting in that area that I thought were worth sharing:

Generally:

Toolchains:

Tekton:

Helm

GitOps

On DevOps, or the important of a good reference architecture when doing IT Architecture

If you are designing an IT system, you can greatly benefit from a good reference architecture. A good reference architecture can be:

  • a superset of whatever architecture you design
  • a guide to what is possible in your design
  • a reminder of what is essential and what you may have left out
  • an explainer of all the potentially relevant parts to your design
  • a supporter of whatever architecture you do decide on
  • like a mentor providing you thought leadership and guidance on what works and why you need it

IBM has long put together such good reference architectures. Of all I have seen, this is one of the better ones I have seen: DevOps architecture: Reference diagram – IBM Cloud Architecture Center.


It covers all the stages of DevOps, from Planning to  Deployment to Learning. It shows the logical parts of the DevOps Architecture and what tools support that. It reveals the relationships between the parts, both static and dynamic. It reminds you of the things you need that you might not be aware of. I think it’s fantastic.

I think it is great for another reason. Implicit in the architecture is the definition —  at least for IBM and I — of what DevOps should be. It’s not just CI and CD. It’s not just a toolchain/pipeline from Dev to Ops. DevOps is really this entire cycle:

Each stage is important. Too often the focus is on Development and Deployment. But stages like Planning and Learning are an essential part of the DevOps cycle  that are essential not just for code quality but testing quality and ops quality.  It all ends up with better results for all the stakeholders of an IT system, from the business sponsors to the users.

Anyone involved with IT architecture, system design, IT testing, system operations or DevOps in general would benefit from studying that reference architecture.

(Images are links to IBM pages)

Tiny DOOM! And other things I find interesting in tech, February 2022


I’ve been doing work in a number of areas recently: IT architecture, Azure, Kubernetes and more. As I do that, I collect a number of links, which I have below. As well, I put together some Raspberrry Pi links, because I love my Pi. Also DOOM because I will always click on a DOOM link. Lots of good material. Let’s review!

IT architecture: I’ve been thinking much about IT architecture these days, and I’ve been writing about it here: BLM on IT. One thing that helped me think about it was this: 5 diagrams you need to document your solution architecture. This is also helpful: Editable architecture diagram resources: IBM IT Architect Assistant. In addition, something on DDD:  Apply Domain-Driven Design to microservices architecture.

Devices: These two pieces are on new trends in devices:  Dell envisions a sustainable laptop allowing you to replace parts creating a design you could grow old with and Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 Laptop.

On the other hand, we have this: BlackBerry phone with keyboard is not dead. Remember netbooks? They were great little devices. Here’s a piece on them: Netbooks: The Form Factor Time Forgot.

Cool: Here’s something fun: The Best of 404PageFound and Other Primitive ’90s Websites That Still Exist. I love DOOM, so: Is this one of the smallest playable DOOM devices? and Pocket-Sized Doom Is Actually Playable. Speaking of small things, we have this, A VM in your browser,  this Writing a simple 16 bit VM in less than 125 lines of C and this System/360 simulator. Also this: CHUNGUS 2 – A very powerful 1Hz Minecraft CPU.

Raspberry Pi: for Pi fans, here’s some good links:

Cloud and DevOps: here’s some things I found worthwhile in that space

IBM: Here are two good initiatives my employer is providing: Good probono program from IBM to help environmental groups  and A good initiative from IBM to help on the matter of Racial Justice.

Azure: I have been doing tons of research of Microsoft’s Azure and so I have many links on it here. Enjoy!

Kubernetes:  I have been doing some Kubernetes work too which lead to these links in

Finally, here’s some other useful links I didn’t want to lose:

It’s Monday. You need some inspirational quotes to perhaps fire you up. Here’s 10

EpictetusMark Dymond, a senior leader in my part of IBM, has put together a good list of leadership quotes that I think can benefit a wide range of people. My favorite of them is from one of my favorite thinkers, Epictetus:

Anyone can hold the tiller when the sea is calm.

Check out his list for the other 9. Worthwhile.

(Image of Epictetus from Wikipedia)

IBM Cloud, Terraform and DB2 (or some of what I find interesting in tech, nov 2021)

Wow! I haven’t done one of these posts on things I have found interesting in tech since July! So of course there is a lot here! I need to do these more often.

For this one it is mostly on the cloud and IBM cloud especially. Not so much Kubernetes this time, but lots on Terraform and DB2 in the cloud. A bit of IoT. Some software. I have a section on IT history which I like too.

Grab a coffee or tea or what have you and dig in. Take what you can use.

IBM Cloud: As usual, I’ve been doing work on cloud…mainly IBM Cloud. Here’s some IBM Cloud Docs on using their API. This on the IBM CLI is  a good reference. Here’s a good Alerts Overview on LOGDNA. This is massively helpful: the API Reference for  https : //sldn.softlayer.com/ … it’s very useful on how to use the API to work with IBM cloud. Here’s something on Alerts using sysdig. More on tracking:  IBM Cloud Monitoring Logging and Activity Tracker with Teams ( a good repo).

Other clouds: While I support IBM Cloud, if you are leaning otherwise, this could be helpful: Accelerating your Migration to AWS. Speaking of  AWS: Augmenting VMware Cloud on AWS Workloads with Native AWS services. Here are some pieces on Azure: Microsoft Azure cloud vulnerability is the worst you can imagine. I have no comment. Hey, maybe it’s time to get off Windows and SQL Server 2012 (or run them on Azure). If that’s you, read that.

On cloud in general, in case you were wondering, the answer to this question: Resiliency Is Automatic When I Move to the Cloud Right? is No. Here’s an interesting piece: The love/hate relationship the cloud has with Linux

Time flies! Happy 15th Birthday Amazon EC2. Lastly, here are the 5 Biggest Cloud Computing Trends In 2022 

Terraform: in working on cloud recently, I’ve been using Terraform and gathering links on using it. Lots of them. Here they are in somewhat random order. For example, discover best-practice VPC configuration for application deployment. Another piece on   IBM and Terraform.  Here’s more on it. Need a terraform Template for Monitoring with Sysdig Teams? If you need to plan create and update deployment environments using TF and IBM Cloud. This is a good blog post on Provisioning IBM Cloud Services With Terraform. If you need to deploy a n-Tier Web App in a Virtual Private Cloud using Terraform & Ansible. This piece is essential if you want to create services in IBM Cloud using Terraform IBM Cloud Services Info. Here’s how to give a .tf file as input in Terraform Apply command.  A page on data sources in Terraform resources explained with example. How about how to create Multiple Instances in a VPC Using Terraform. Or how to create reusable infrastructure with Terraform modules. Or a VPC. Or an n-Tier Web App in a Virtual Private Cloud using Terraform & Ansible .Here’s a piece on IBM Cloud Toolchain- Managed Devops for Schematics/Terraform. If you want to create Virtual servers in IBM cloud Terraform with for loop. A good intro: Getting started with IBM Terraform provider.

Still more on getting started with Terraform. Something harder: How to deploy high-availability web app using Terraform.

DB2: I have been doing lots of work on using DB2 on IBM Cloud. Here’s something on querying the IBM Cloud Databases API from the Command Line. Here’s something on using RESTful APIs and Microservices to Work With Db2. Here’s some examples of using the DB2 API: DB2 get about info,  and  Db2 get overall stuff, and Using the DB2 API.

Kubernetes: doing less stuff on Kubernetes this month, but I thought these were good: OpenShift vs. Kubernetes: What is the Difference? Helpful: Enable Rolling updates in Kubernetes with Zero downtime. Also helpful: Configure Liveness Readiness and Startup Probes.

Software (plus AI): for my DB2 work, I was calling the APIs using bash scripts. Here’s the answer to the question: What is the simplest way to dockerize a bash script? from Quora . Here’s something on executing a SHELL script in a docker container. Relatedly, here’s how to run a Bash script in an Alpine Docker container? 

Here’s some Unix pieces: Canonical extends Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 life cycle to 10 years. Good! Here’s how to do this on Debian 9:upgrade python 3.5 to python 3.7. Relatedly, here’s how to Install Python 3 on Mac – Brew Install Update Tutorial. Also related: Python on MacOS (Big Sur) . More related stuff on this:  How to fix “macOS: xcrun: error: invalid active developer path missing xcrun” error? 

I used to love the language APL. Here are two things on it: Is APL Dead? and Dyalog APL Tutor. I am curious to see how this plays out: Microsoft announces Windows 11 SE a new Chrome OS competitor.

Here’s two random AI links: The Secret Bias Hidden in Mortgage-Approval Algorithms (bad) and Motorist fined after CCTV confuses his number plate with woman’s T-shirt (funny bad).

IOT: Need to build front panels for your IOT projects? This is good for them. Relatedly the Ultratroninator3000.

Speaking of IOT projects, here’s some worth checking out: Top project ideas for the Raspberry Pi Zero. Then there is this: Simple Raspberry Pi Weather Station. Related: E-Ink Tide and Weather Tracker. This is a cool project for finance folks:  This tiny IoT ticker-meter turns your tabletop into a miniature stock forex and crypto market! Nice: Kobowriter transforms the Kobo Glo HD into an E Ink typewriter. I loved this: The Simpsons TV Made IRL with Raspberry Pi @Raspberry_Pi #PiDay #RaspberryPi.

IT History: here are a few good pieces on IT history. This was a great piece on how the iPod was developed: A Prototype Original iPod. Going back in time, here’s a good article on Sinclair’s amazing 1974 calculator hack. There was lots of talk about Sinclair computers after the great Home computing pioneer Sir Clive Sinclair dies aged recently at 81. Meanwhile in ancient history, IT wise: 50 years ago today the first UNIX Programmers Manual is released.

IBM History: I was reading this piece on  How IBM “lost the cloud” and it got me thinking. First, I don’t think IBM has lost the cloud business. I also think that IBM’s history is never straightforward and it is risky to count it out. For example, after e-business, IBM tried to promote the idea of autonomous computing. Here’s two pieces on it: Autonomic computing and Q&A: IBM sticks to autonomic computing agenda. It was a good idea, and it supported the work IBM was doing in the Tivoli space, but it was not as big a success as e-business IMHO. From there IBM did work on their Smarter Planet campaign and I believe it was more successful. I did some work in this area myself. From there IBM went into cloud. First there was a homegrown service, and then IBM bought Softlayer and went with that to compete with Amazon and then later Microsoft and Azure. For now the history is still being written. No one has won or lost until cloud is over or someone exits the field. Again, my opinion only.

Cool stuff: here’s something on a A LOST 1981 TRS-80 ADVENTURE GAME (SLIGHTLY REMASTERED FOR THIS CENTURY). Do you want to Turn your Android phone into a pocket Mac Plus? .Of course you do! Here’s a cool tool:  Doodle Ipsum. Check this out: This tiny Simpsons TV lets you watch tiny Simpsons TV. Very fun!

Here’s some cool Microsoft stuff:  Microsoft accounts to no longer need passwords and how to use a VBA procedure that deletes the current page in a Word document. Also this: Office Editing for Docs Sheets & Slides.

Here’s some cool Mac stuff: 12 Clever Apple TV 4K Settings Everyone Should Know About and macOS Terminal commands every Mac user should know

Very cool:  Need a new monitor for your computer? You can wear one on your face.

Generally:  here’s how to How to Mass Delete Emails in Gmail. Here’s a PrinCube Mobile Printer. I like it. Another cool device is this gloriously Fixable Laptop.

Speaking of laptops, here is the  Best cheap laptop of 2021. And here is something else cheap: The HP Chromebook 14 is just over $230 at Amazon right now. Relatedly, here’s 9 Reasons You Should Buy a Pixel 5a Over the iPhone SE.

These are some simple free fully responsive one-page sites for pretty much anything. And Elon Musk says Tesla is working on humanoid robots…sure…whatever edgelord.

Finally: document your code.  And remember, no matter how fast your networks get….

… never, never, never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway. 🙂

As always: thanks for reading this!

(Top photo from the story on the ipod. Bottom photo by Mostafa tarek on Unsplash)

 

IBM Cloud tip: take advantage of tags to better manage your cloud environment

Last week I encouraged you to  consider your naming standards before adding services. This week I’d like to encourage you to use tags as well to help you manage your IBM Cloud environment.

 

As this piece from the IBM Cloud Docs on Working with tags explains, you can use tags to

organize, track usage costs, and even manage access to your resources. You can tag related resources and view them throughout your account by filtering by tags from your resource list. To see a full list of tags in your account, go to Manage > Account in the IBM Cloud® console, and select Tags. You can apply user tags to organize your resources and easily find them later or help you with identifying specific team usage or cost allocation. By creating access management tags, you can control access to your resources without requiring updates to your IAM policies.

Here’s some examples, partially taken from the same piece:

  • Use tags to identify or even manage access to your development environment, not to mention QA, UAT, Production and DR
  • Use tags to identify or even manage access to a project: project:lw-wizard, app:poc-app
  •  Use tags to define compliance requirements: dataresidency:germany, compliance:hipaa, compliance:pii
  •  Use tags to help you automate optimization: schedule:24×7, maxruntime:12days

So use tags: your IBM cloud environment will be easier to operate if you do.

For more on this, here’s a good blog post on tags, here: Characteristics of User and Access Tags on IBM Cloud | IBM

And this piece in IBM Cloud Docs is a good tutorial that will guide you:

…through the steps to centrally manage access to the resources in your account at scale (using tags). By completing this tutorial, you learn how to create an access management tag, add the tag to selected resources, and define a policy to assign access to resources based on the tags on those resources.

Good stuff. Start using tags more and you will find it much easier to manage your resources in the IBM Cloud. If you are unsure, start with a few for now (e.g. tag your production environment, tag resources belong to specific groups).  You’ll start to see the benefits soon.

IBM Cloud tip: consider your naming standards before adding services

Before adding services to your IBM Cloud environment, consider adopting a naming standard for them. By default IBM Cloud services will give them a unique name (e.g.IBM Log Analysis-4g, DB2-r0). While that may be fine, giving them a name that clearly identifies their role and service (e.g. DB2-Development, IBM Log Analysis for Production) helps the support teams do their job easier. It can also help later if you are deciding to pare back services. If you have 10 instances of DB2 or 100 devices, clear naming standards will also help you decide which ones to delete and which ones to keep.

On Pepper and Watson


If you have even a passing knowledge of IT, you likely have heard of Pepper and Watson. Pepper was a robot and Watson was an AI system that won at Jeopardy. Last week the Verge and the New York Times had articles on them both:

  1. Go read how Pepper was a very bad robot – The Verge
  2. What Ever Happened to IBM’s Watson? – The New York Times

I don’t have any specific insights or conclusions into either technology, other than trite summations like “cutting edge technology is hard” and “don’t believe the hype”. AI and robotics are especially hard, so the risks are high and the chances of failure are high. That comes across in these two pieces.

Companies from Tesla to Boston Dynamics and more are making grand claims about their AI and their robotics. I suspect much of it will suffer the same fate as Pepper and Watson. Like all failure, none of it is final or fatal. People learn from their mistakes and move on to make better things. AI and robotics will continue to advance…just not at the pace many would like it too.

In the meantime, go read those articles.  Especially if you are finding yourself falling for the hype.

(Image: link of image on The Verge)

What I find interesting in tech, May/June 2021

Here’s what I found interesting lately in tech, from cloud to coding and lots more.

Cloud: I’ve been doing lots of work on Azure recently. Some things I found useful were this listing of Virtual machine sizes Also disk types. This piece on how to expand your virtual hard disks on a Linux VM was good. If you want to run Websphere on Azure, read this: Run WebSphere Application Server on Azure Virtual Machines.  If you want to learn more about deploying applications in Red Hat, read this. Finally here’s some good stuff from IBM on
Cloud Architectures.

Coding: If you want to print coloured text in Python — and who wouldn’t? — this is good. If you want to turn your HTML into an RSS feed, read this.  This will help you set up VS Code to do PHP Development. For people wanting to learn more about machine learning, IBM can help you. If you love Prolog or Javascript — or both! — check out: Tau-Prolog

Raspberry Pi/IOT: This is a great guide on how to troubleshoot problems with a Pi. This is a cool project using an OLED to make a clicker counter. If you need to load an OS or anything else on a Flash card, check out balenaEtcher. Here’s some advice on getting started with Bluetooth Low Energy. If you want to connect a raw serial terminal to a bluetooth connection, read that. If you want to do a cool Raspberry Pi Pico project with a MIDI, see this.

Fun and cool: Not a real Captcha, but a real fun one! DOOM Captcha – Captchas don’t have to be boring. Also fun: Crappy robots, ranked!. As an old user of 3270s, this downloadable version of 3270 fonts is awesome. Speaking of cool, here’s kinda the source code for Eliza! Check it out.

Other: Here’s some help on how to control smart home devices using speakers and displays. Here’s a good reminder that robots have a way to go yet: Peanut the Waiter Robot Is Proof That Your Job Is Safe. Developers! Here’s What’s Hot/What’s Not in terms of skills. Finally, have you considered how to
write software that lasts 50 years?

(Image via Raspberry Pi)

How to spot a really old IBMer


Here’s a good list, albeit from a decade ago: How to spot an old IBMer. There’s fewer such IBMers any more that recognize those terms, but no doubt there are still a few. Ahem.

P.S. From this blog, which is still current and great: Aussie Storage Blog

P.S.S. Another way you can spot one is if he ever used the computer above. I have! Via Reddit.

Two good pieces addressing racial inequality in tech


Here are two good pieces addressing racial inequality in tech

  1. If Toronto wants to be a global tech hub, it needs to nurture Black talent | TVO.org
  2. Racial Justice Open Source Projects – Call for Code for Racial Justice – IBM Developer

In my humble and limited opinion, tech has many gaps when it comes to who works in the industry, especially when it comes to women and when it comes to black and indigenous people. Any efforts to address these gaps are a good thing.

(Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash)

It’s my IBM Anniversary

Every October 3rd I mark my anniversary starting working at IBM. Back then, I took a 1 hour commute via the “Red Rocket” to 245 Consumers Road in Willowdale (now Toronto) to start work in the tape library (which looked a lot like the photo above).

What else was happening with IBM back then? Only the advent of the IBM PC. Here’s a story on it here.

Quote

The designer of the barcode (i.e. Universal Product Code (UPC)) Designer George Laurer has died

It’s iconic and feels like it’s been around forever, but the UPC is a fairly new invention. The inventor, George Laurer, worked for IBM and invented it in the 1970s. There’s a good write up on him and his invention, here: Universal Product Code Designer George Laurer Dies At 94 : NPR.

While IBM has been associated with many IT innovations, this one particular one likely touches more people’s lives than any other.

For more on how to read UPCs, and to appreciate just how much information is packed into one, go here.

A dozen good pieces on Kubernetes


Here’s twelve articles on Kubernetes, from introductory to advanced.

Some introductory pieces on getting started with Kubernetes:

  1. Getting Started with Kubernetes: Deploy a Docker Container with Kubernetes in 5 minutes
  2. Deploy a Python Flask application in Kubernetes – IBM Developer
  3. Play with Kubernetes Classroom
  4. Three quick ways to start with Kubernetes – Katsuhi
  5. How to deploy a NodeJS app to Kubernetes | Sean McGary
  6. A Kubernetes quick start for people who know just enough about Docker to get by

Some good tutorials from IBM:

  1. Kubernetes Tutorials: 5 Ways to Get You Building Fast | IBM
  2. Learning Path: Kubernetes – IBM Developer

Some harder pieces for if you are already well versed with Kubernetes:

  1. Kubernetes 202 — Making It Fully Operational – uptime 99 – Medium
  2. Kubernetes NodePort vs LoadBalancer vs Ingress? When should I use what?
  3. Kubernetes On Bare Metal

(Image from pexels.com)

Quote

How machine learning (ML) is different from artificial intelligence (AI)

I am glad to see more articles highlighting the difference between ML and AI. For example, this one: How machine learning is different from artificial intelligence – IBM Developer.

There is still lots to be done in the field of machine learning, but I think technologists and scientists need to break out of that tight circle and explore AI in general.

(Image: from the article)

Quote

How to get up to speed really quickly on Kubernetes and Docker if you are an infrastructure specialist

If you are an infrastructure person and you are trying to ramp up really quickly on Docker and Kubernetes, here are some good links to get you started:

I also have this repo on github that can help.

Is this the last word? Good lord, no. But it can help you stay in the conversation and helps you map all this stuff to networks and processes and files and VMs and services and other tech you are used to.

Quote

My last work project…

is written up, here:  ATB Financial, IBM partnership focuses on digital transformation in banking | IT Business. 

It was a great project, with a great team, a great client, and a great working environment. All around great. I am glad I had the opportunity to do it.

Blockchain 101

IBM (my employer) has a great page that will get you up to speed on Blockchain. If you are interested in Bitcoin, crytocurrency, or just hot areas in IT, then you want to visit:  What is blockchain? – IBM Blockchain

Two additions to my github repositories: one for IBM Watson, one for monitoring Linux systems

I’ve recently added two repos to my github account:

The first one is some proof of concept code I wrote to demonstrate how to work with IBM Watson’s Tradeoff Analytics service using node.js

The second one is some sample code I have had for some time that does simple server monitoring of a Linux server.

There is no intellectual property involved in these repos: it is simple code based on documented code samples found in many places on the web.

For more details, see my Github landing page, here: blm849 (Bernie Michalik)

Two initiatives IBM is promoting for women of all ages

On this page IBM & Open Source for the Enterprise Developer, there is alot happening, but I want to highlight two things that IBM is doing.

First, IBM is

…partnering with Girls Who Code to promote gender diversity in software development. This summer, we’re hosting a seven-week immersion program for dozens of female high school students in New York City. In 2016, we’re taking it across the country.

And second:

We’re also working with GSVlabs to help women return to work in greater numbers than ever before by offering mentorship and placement programs after multi-year sabbaticals. In focusing on cloud development, IBM hopes to attract women back to the workforce with a new set of skills.

Two worthwhile initiatives, I believe.

Want to learn node.js? Here’s some great tutorials

Node.js is a hot topic and technology. If you want to see some good tutorials on it to help you learn, I recommend this, from developerWorks: Learn node.js development from these top Bluemix guides.

Want to learn more about Hadoop for free?

Here’s a place you can start: Hadoop For Dummies.
. IBM (my employer) is providing it. Once you get through this, there are lots of places online and in bookstores to get more information. But this is a good place to start.

Git 201: how to get to the next level with git


There are quite a few really good introductions to git. I’ve written about them here. Once you get past “git 101”, where do you go to learn more and be more productive with git? I’d like to recommend this article:
developerWorks: Learn the workings of Git, not just the commands. It should help you get to the next level. I particularly like the diagrams: there are alot of them, and they help you better understand the flow that can occur when you really start capitalizing on git.

How IBM SoftLayer’s Private Network works (technical, obvs)

Many clients ask about this, and there is often confusion over the private aspect of the network. Confused or not, a good place to get clarification is here: Private Network | SoftLayer Blog.

Here’s a representation of the networking layout (you can get a bigger version of it at the SoftLayer blog):

A simple example of how to set up a PHP-MySQL application in IBM Bluemix (including the code you need)

While PHP is not one of the standard runtimes provided in the Bluemix catalog, the sample code in this git repo (
https://hub.jazz.net/git/u27275/blm-hello-world-php/) will show you how to bring your own buildpack, and this buildpack will allow you to have PHP code running in Bluemix that also can talk to a MySQL database running in Bluemix.

Among the files there is a PDF providing detailed instructions on how to set things up in IBM Bluemix.

P.S. This is sample code.  See the licence file in the repo for more details.

How to set up Kanboard (a visual task board inspired by Kanban) on the IBM Bluemix platform

It is very easy to set up Kanboard on Bluemix, IBM’s PaaS solution. (For those of you not familiar with Kanboard, it it a visual task board inspired by Kanban). I encourage you to visit the Kanboard site for more information. 
 
Meanwhile, to set up Kanboard in Bluemix, I took the following steps, some which are optional:
 
1) Download the kanboard code from here: http://kanboard.net/downloads
2) Unzip the kanboard folder.
3) (Optional) Copy the kanboard folder into a local test environment. I had a Xampp test environment and I put the kanboard there. (e.g., C:\xampp\htdocs\kanboard). I started Apache and then pointed my browser at http://localhost/kanboard to see it working. (One of the benefits of doing this is I can configure the Kanboard environment before I push it into Bluemix. In my case, I created some new users, changed the admin password, and added some default tasks. If I push this folder, these changes will also show up in Bluemix.)
4) I had a copy of the Cloud Foundary executable (cf.exe) to push the code into Bluemix: I put the cf.exe file in the Kanboard folder.
5) I created a manifest.yml file in the Kanboard folder. In my manifest.yml file I had the following 
 

applications:
– name: <my app name>
  memory: 256M
  instances: 1
  host: <my host name>
  buildpack: https://github.com/zendtech/zend-server-php-buildpack.git
 
You can make the name and host name anything, though the hostname is part of the URL for the site, so it must be acceptible as part of a URL. Also the hostname needs to be unique in Bluemix. I tend to make the app and host name the same.
 
Open a command window, and from the Kanboard folder, enter the following commands:
  1. cf api https://api.ng.bluemix.net
  2. cf login -u <your Bluemix login account>
  3. cf target -o <your Bluemix login account> -s dev
  4. cf push
Once you see that the health and status for the app is “OK”, you can either go to Bluemix to check it out, or go directly to  the url: http://<hostname>.mybluemix.net/
You should be able to login and proceed to use it. (The default userid and password is here).

A good list of Bluemix benefits here

I highly recommend this post on the top five benefits of Bluemix for anyone considering using PaaS, Bluemix, or cloud technologies in general.

Bon Appetit teams up with IBM’s Watson for some great summer recipes, like these ribs



The story of IBM and Bon Appetit
is really interesting to me, since I love food and I am proud of the work IBM is doing with Watson. Anyone interested in the topic of innovation in IT or food should find it worth a read.

For people who aren’t interested in the high tech aspect of it, check out the recipes. In particular, these ribs with a range of flavours from bourbon to oyster sauce look fantastic.

Who will be the big losers in the recent price drops in cloud computing?

Over at The Motley Fool, there is this article, The Big Losers in the Cloud Pricing Wars, that talks about recent price drops for services at Amazon and Google and how these price drops will affect the cloud computing business. (The Cloud Pricing Wars is very dramatic – I am not sure it is an all out battle at this point: we need more time to see if that becomes the case)

Anyone interested in cloud computing should check it out.

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)