Tag Archives: IOT

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)

 

What I find interesting in tech, August 2021

Here’s a cornucopia of things I have found interesting in tech in the last month. As usual, lots of cloud, some Kubernetes, DevOps and software of course, as well as IOT. Grab a drink and read!

Cloud: 

Devops:

Software:

Kubernetes:

Security:

IOT:

Cool stuff:

General

(Photo by Sam Albury on Unsplash )

Tech Stuff I am interested in, Arduino edition, March 2021


Last March at the beginning of the pandemic I was doing a bunch of Arduino projects. I stopped for some reason. Well, a number of reasons. But I want to get back at it and dive back into these sites.

If you are interested in working with an Arduino, check these out:

  1. Circuito.io: a good site to draw and plan out circuits!
  2. Using Arduino with a Nokia 5110 screen
  3. How to use bluetooth and Arduinos together
  4. More on using bluetooth and Arduinos together
  5. How to use Infrared receivers and Arduinos together
  6. A good tutorial to start you off
  7. How to use LEDS and Arduinos together
  8. How to use LCD displays and Arduinos together
  9. How to use temperature displays and Arduinos together
  10. Morre on LCD displays
  11. More tutorials
  12. A classic intro: getting an LED to blink
  13. How to use Raspberry Pis and Arduinos together
  14. How to use Arduinos to check your website
  15. More on bluetooth
  16. How to use a 16×2 display and Arduinos together

A bonus Raspberry Pi section

Finally, the homepage for Arduino is here.

(Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash )

On the new Raspberry Pi products: the 400 and the Pico

Years ago I worried if  the future for Raspberry Pi would dim. I am happy to say I worried for nothing. The good folks at Raspberry Pi continue to stride boldly into the future with new and better products. Case in point: the Pi 400 and the Pi Pico.

The 400 has been out for a short time, but it is still fairly new. If you are wondering if it could be effective for everyday use,  read this: Raspberry Pi 400 for working and learning at home – Raspberry Pi. I am seriously thinking of getting one for some basic day to day computing.

As the Pi Pico, it is brand new! If you are a fan of the Pi for IoT work, the Pico could be the device you want. To see what I mean, read this: Meet Raspberry Silicon: Raspberry Pi Pico now on sale at $4 – Raspberry Pi. I have order four! I can’t wait to try it out.

The future looks bright for Raspberry Pi.

How to get the most out of your Google Home device?

Use Routines. As Wired magazine explains:

Instead of saying, “OK, Google. Turn off bedroom and play rain sounds,” and hoping Google correctly processes that those are two separate commands, you can say “OK, Google. Good night” and have a routine take care of the rest.

Essentially Routines are programs for Google Home devices to run. If you find yourself giving your Home device multiple instructions at a time, consider making a routine.

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Maybe Ballie the ball robot is a device we don’t need in our homes

Ballie is the cute little yellow ball above. Samsung unvailled ‘Ballie’ at the 2020 Consumer Electronic Show. If you go to the link, you can read all the things Ballie can do for you. What you don’t get to read is what Ballie is going to do for others. Because there’s never been a more potentially intrusive device in your house like this one. It can go around your house 24/7, recording not just sounds but images. Images (and sounds) that anyone back on the Internet can process.

Until companies and other organizations can demonstrate proper stewardship of such data, I wouldn’t recommend anyone get one of these things. They are far from essential and potentially harmful.

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Philips Hue – the missing manual

If you have Philips Hue products or are thinking of getting them, then I recommend you read this: Philips Hue super guide: How to set up and use your Hue lights.

The Hue is a great product, but it may not be the easiest thing to set up. This guide will help.

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The Raspberry Pi 4 is out


I love Raspberry Pis. They are great for playing around and learning about technology.  But until recently I would not recommend them as an every day computer, if anything because they are just too slow. Or they were before the Raspberry Pi 4. With the capabilities of the new Pi 4, they may be ready to become your main or at least backup computer.

If you are interested, you can Google them and get alot more information on them. Here’s two sources more:  Raspberry Pi 4 Computer | Uncrate and Engadget.

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An innovative IOT device from WestJet


Is this: Flight Light.

You can use it to track night flights of the ones you love. I don’t know how much traction it will get, but I personally find it appealing.

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A smart poster that knows the weather (and a great alternative display)

Is this:

It uses smart ink, so it’s low power. But it changes throughout the day, based on the information it gets from the Internet. It looks great, and it’s around $134, which is not bad.

I’d like to see more tech do this. A fine marriage of high tech and aesthetics.

For more information, see A smart poster that knows the weather | Yanko Design

A little story about why I think Tile is awesome

I lost my keys the other day and I figured they’d show up but after a few days I concluded they were lost. Luckily I didn’t have to do a search of the house because I had a Tile attached to them. (Yes I should have used it right away.) So I opened the app and figured it would tell me they were in the house, but it said they were up the street, approximately half a kilometer a way.I used the app to go right to the location was: a gas station where I was getting my bike tires pumped up a few days earlier. The keys must have fallen out when I was doing this. Great! I went inside and asked if someone had turned them in. Clerk says: nope! I was sure they were there. I start the app and get it to play music on my key fob. I can hear them! Another clerk comes over and opens a drawer with a bunch of keys, including mine! So no thanks to the first clerk but thanks to everyone else including Tile.

Some thoughts on this:

  • Don’t assume that if someone finds your keys or wallet that they will turn it over to you if you show up. The staff may be busy, or someone may have misplaced the items, or maybe the person working there just can’t be bothered to look. Let Tile help you here.
  • If you think: I can’t afford a Tile, consider the alternative. Consider the time and money it costs to replace your keys, wallet, etc. Chances are it’s less than a Tile.
  • Even when the items you lost are nearby, having the Tile saves you a lot of hassle of going around looking for the item.
  • Consider attaching your Tile to a remote control if you have people in the house misplacing it all the time.

What happens when you fill your house with smart devices?

Just how bad is it to have your house filled with smart devices? Kash Hill attempted to find out by connecting many of them up in her house and then track all the data that they sent out. The results are fascinating. Some of them send the data out in the clear, which is terrible. But even the ones that encrypt your data and leaking things about you via metadata.

Essentially whatever value smart devices provide — and some of that value is doubtful — they are monitoring equipment that you set up yourself. Just how much they monitor can be seen here in her study: The House That Spied on Me.

It’s a great read, and for some, it will be a great revelation.

Image via Home Depot’s web site.

What I find interesting in tech, November 2017


Here’s an assortment of 42 links covering everything from Kubernetes to GCP and other cloud platforms to IoT to Machine Learning and AI to all sorts of other things. Enjoy! (Image from the last link)

  1. Prometheus Kubernetes | Up and Running with CoreOS , Prometheus and Kubernetes: DeployingKubernetes monitoring with Prometheus in 15 minutes – some good links on using Prometheus here
  2. Deploying a containerized web application  |  Container Engine Documentation  |  Google Cloud Platform – a good intro to using GCP
  3. How to classify workloads for cloud migration and decide on a deployment model – Cloud computing news – great insights for any IT Architects
  4. IP Address Locator – Where is this IP Address? – a handy tool, especially if you are browsing firewall logs
  5. Find a Google Glass and kick it from the networkDetect and disconnect WiFi cameras in that AirBnB you’re staying in– Good examples of how to catch spying devices
  6. The sad graph of software death – a great study on technical deby
  7. OpenTechSchool – Websites with Python Flask – get started building simple web sites using Python
  8. Build Your Own “Smart Mirror” with a Two-Way Mirror and an Android Device – this was something I wanted to do at some point
  9. Agile for Everybody: Why, How, Prototype, Iterate – On Human-Centric Systems – Medium – Helpful for those new or confused by Agile
  10. iOS App Development with Swift | Coursera – For Swift newbies
  11. Why A Cloud Guru Runs Serverless on AWS | ProgrammableWeb – If you are interested in serverless, this is helpful
  12. Moving tech forward with Gomix, Express, and Google Spreadsheets | MattStauffer.com – using spreadsheets as a database. Good for some
  13. A Docker Tutorial for Beginners – More Docker 101.
  14. What is DevOps? Think, Code, Deploy, Run, Manage, Learn – IBM Cloud Blog – DevOps 101
  15. Learning Machine Learning | Tutorials and resources for machine learning and data analysis enthusiasts – Lots of good ML links
  16. Importing Data into Maps  |  Google Maps JavaScript API  |  Google Developers – A fine introduction into doing this
  17. Machine learning online course: I just coded my first AI algorithm, and oh boy, it felt good — Quartz – More ML
  18. New Wireless Tech Will Free Us From the Tyranny of Carriers | WIRED – This is typical Wired hype, but interesting
  19. How a DIY Network Plans to Subvert Time Warner Cable’s NYC Internet Monopoly – Motherboard – related to the link above
  20. Building MirrorMirror – more on IT mirrors
  21. Minecraft and Bluemix, Part 1: Running Minecraft servers within Docker – fun!
  22. The 5 Most Infamous Software Bugs in History – OpenMind – also fun!
  23. The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule — Quartz – more fun stuff. Don’t submit pull requests 🙂
  24. The 10 Algorithms Machine Learning Engineers Need to Know – More helpful ML articles
  25. User Authentication with the MEAN Stack — SitePoint – if you need authentication, read this…
  26. Easy Node Authentication: Setup and Local ― Scotch – .. or this
  27. 3 Small Tweaks to make Apache fly | Jeff Geerling – Apache users, take note
  28. A Small Collection of NodeMCU Lua Scripts – Limpkin’s blog – Good for ESP users
  29. Facebook OCP project caused Apple networking team to quit – Business Insider – Interesting, though I doubt Cisco is worried
  30. Hacked Cameras, DVRs Powered Today’s Massive Internet Outage — Krebs on Security – more on how IoT is bad
  31. Learn to Code and Help Nonprofits | freeCodeCamp – I want to do this
  32. A Simple and Cheap Dark-Detecting LED Circuit | Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories – a fun hack
  33. Hackers compromised free CCleaner software, Avast’s Piriform says | Article [AMP] | Reuters – this is sad, since CCleaner is a great tool
  34. Is AI Riding a One-Trick Pony? – MIT Technology Review – I believe it is and if AI proponents are not smart they will run into another AI winter.
  35. I built a serverless Telegram bot over the weekend. Here’s what I learned. – Bot developers might like this.
  36. Google’s compelling smartphone pitch – Pixel 2 first impressions | IT World Canada News – The Pixel 2 looks good. If you are interested, check this out
  37. Neural networks and deep learning – more ML
  38. These 60 dumb passwords can hijack over 500,000 IoT devices into the Mirai botnet – more bad IoT
  39. If AWS is serious about Kubernetes, here’s what it must do | InfoWorld – good read
  40. 5 Ways to Troll Your Neural Network | Math with Bad Drawings – interesting
  41. IBM, Docker grow partnership to drive container adoption across public cloud – TechRepublic – makes sense
  42.  Modern JavaScript Explained For Dinosaurs – fun

Some good IT links on cloud, software development, github, python, IoT and more

As I go through my day, I often find IT links that are of interest to work I am doing. This is my latest set of links. As you can see, I am keen on cloud, software development, github, python, and IoT, to say the least.

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ifttt 101. Yes, you need to take this course. It will change your life.


Of all the things on the Internet, ifttt is one of my favorites. It could be yours too. Simply, it is a way to take two of your favorite things on the Internet and combine them into something even better.

First, to learn more about it, go here: How to Supercharge All Your Favorite Webapps with ifttt.

Second, once you read that, go to the site and browse the recipes. Or try and create your own: it isn’t hard.

I especially encourage it for anyone trying to update several forms of social media at the same time. You can link Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, Tumblr, Google, Blogger…you name it. With some practice, you will find recipes that help you keep all your social media in sync and working automatically.

I also encourage people who are interested in the Internet of Things. Or people who want to supercharge their phone. Or…well, just browse the recipes and you’ll likely see one that makes things easier for you.

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.