Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

It’s the Christmas season with snow, holiday decorations, lights, carols, and layoffs,

The end of the year isn’t all fun and Christmas games, but so what. Even if you don’t celebrate the Christmas spirit, you have to admit it’s definitely a mixed bag of extreme highs, and extreme lows. Some are happy, some are angry, some are just waiting to go home and get out of the rat race for a little while – either by choice or due to some unfortunate circumstances. The latest round of layoffs usually add a dash of misery to the holiday season, What a great time to roll these spirit crushing announcements out. It’s been a common trend year after year no matter what the current state of politics happens to be on any given year. If you’re just starting your career – get used to it. It happens to be a fact of work life for many.

So what do you do? If everything is going great in your world then enjoy it. If you just got walked out the door – have a christmas cookie. It’s the holiday season, who can get upset with all these festive lights and Christmas music? Even old Ebenezer Scrooge didn’t layoff Bob Cratchit just before Christmas. All Bob really had to do was bring his own bucket of coal into work if he wanted to turn the heat up. That sounds reasonable enough by today’s standards.

Well, well, well, old Ebeneezer doesn’t sound so bad nowadays, and Jacob Marley, well he sounds like he had way too much free time.

As every door shuts behind you another opens – or something to that effect. Maybe you’re tired of going in one door and out the other. Think of Christmas as a time to be thankful for what you do have going for you, and maybe start thinking about what’s really important in life. No matter how bad things are – there’s always someone who has it worse. That’s kind of depressing, but I do think about that now and then. Maybe you’ve got everything you need right in front of you and you don’t even realize it. If you didn’t lose your job this festive season, but you secretly kind of wish you had – you’re not alone. Lots of people think about changing their current job situation every day. This could be an indication that you might be looking for something a bit more exciting and fulfilling to do with your talent, your skill. Everyone has talent, everyone has skill – not everyone has discovered theirs yet, but it’s there. If you’re breathing, you’ve got potential. If you think you’re too old, then what do you consider the upper limit in age?

I’m thinking there might not be one.

This Christmas season remember you somehow made it this far, you must be doing something right. Be kind and helpful to others – if you can. Kindness is a rare commodity, being civil to others is a good start. Some of the best advice can be found in stop animation Christmas Classics – As Kris Kringle sings in “Santa Claus is coming to town” “Put one foot in front of the other” and soon you are walking out the door! Don’t take that too literal. Just remember that if you decide to start a new career, start your own business, update or add new skills – you have to start one step at a time. I relate everything in life to hockey, so if you expect to skate, expect to fall a few times….but get back up as quickly as you can.

Christmas isn’t about getting presents, or shopping, or office parties. It’s about hope. Hope is great, but I prefer “Trying” You can hope all you want for a better future, but if you don’t try, you wont get there. Trying is hard,

but who said you can’t have fun while you’re at it?

Sometimes a hot cup of cocoa and a Christmas cookie can be a great motivator.

Merry Christmas

PowerShell on LINUX?

I know it’s not Christmas yet, but I did get a nice early gift.
My main laptop has been very reliable over the last few years.
My old Lenovo ThinkPad (11e) has been great, but lately I’ve been thinking I’d like to upgrade. I’ve been looking for something to replace the 11e, and finally (after much consideration and spec comparison) settled on a newer 11e with twice the memory and a i3. It looks and feels as rugged as the old machine, but it’s a little faster. The unit came with Windows 10 pro which I replaced with Ubuntu 18.10.
I did play with it for a while with Windows, but after waiting for updates I decided I should stop fooling around and set it up the way I want.

I did test a few other Linux LTS Distros, but Ubuntu 18.10 works great on the new 11e – actually better than it did on the old ThinkPad. I think that was more related to the old Bios and driver/hardware limitations.
The one thing that I do like about Windows 10 has been PowerShell. Now that PowerShell is available for Ubuntu I might not need a Windows machine. I was never too excited about running Ubuntu under Windows, as a virtual box, or duel-boot.
I’ll probably load Win10 on the old 11e just to have on hand for special projects, but I’d like to keep the new laptop as a Linux only machine.

I know ToughBooks have been the benchmark for rugged laptops for fieldwork, but I’ve had great luck with the 11e (Education series) I paired solid hardware (ThinkPad) with a great Operating System (Ubuntu/Linux).
PowerShell is working – although not exactly the same as it would on Windows, but it does seem very promising.

PS /home/eph> Test-Connection LocalHost > Test_Connection.txt
Reply from bytes=0 time=0ms TTL= Reply from bytes=0 time=0ms TTL= Reply from bytes=0 time=0ms TTL= Reply from bytes=0 time=0ms TTL= Ping complete. 

Source Destination Replies

X LocalHost {System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingReply, System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingReply, System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingRep…

PS /home/eph> cat Test_Connection.txt

Source Destination Replies

X LocalHost {System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingReply, System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingReply, System.Net.NetworkInformation.PingRep…

PS /home/eph> ping localhost -c 6 > Ping_test.txt
PS /home/eph> Get-Content Ping_test.txt
PING localhost ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.017 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.072 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.072 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.072 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.071 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=0.074 ms

— localhost ping statistics —
6 packets transmitted, 6 received, 0% packet loss, time 127ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.017/0.063/0.074/0.020 ms
PS /home/eph> cat Ping_test.txt
PING localhost ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.017 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.072 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.072 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=0.072 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=5 ttl=64 time=0.071 ms
64 bytes from localhost ( icmp_seq=6 ttl=64 time=0.074 ms

— localhost ping statistics —
6 packets transmitted, 6 received, 0% packet loss, time 127ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.017/0.063/0.074/0.020 ms

One nice attribute you have avaiable when using Powershell in Linux is the availability of standard Linux commands in the same terminal.

If PowerShell is the only thing keeping you tied to Windows, you might want to take a look at the Linux version.

Please No More Serverless

“Serverless”, The new Buzzword

Is this the apocalypse for servers?

Photo by Brock DuPont on Unsplash

Now you can be serverless too! 

Why waste time and resources running your own servers when a company will gladly take over with their new “serverless” plan.

Wait… Don’t we already have and use the cloud?

“Well yes,  but this is completely different! It’s serverless!

What actually is it?

Serverless is actually a subset of cloud infrastructure. The only real difference is serverless is the cloud as FaaS (Function as a Service). Which means you only pay for your actual usage and that depends on the resources you used and the time they were used for. The cloud you typically pay a subscription that gives you a set amount of time and compute power.

Serverless is like using a GUI on an operating system while using the cloud is using a terminal. A terminal is going to have much more control and options but for people who want to “Point & Click”, this is better for them.

I think serverless is a great idea that will help out a lot of businesses looking to adopt new technology. The problem I have is the name “Serverless”, your still going to be using servers but you won’t control them. 

Chocolatey Goodness

One of the reasons I prefer Linux over Windows is the ease of package management.
Apt, Yum, and Pacman depending on your distribution (Debian:Ubuntu, RedHat/Fedora or Arch) just seem much more logical than the Microsoft App Store or even Apple’s software store.

I don’t use the GUI interfaces available on any system if I can carry out the same goal from a terminal. I realize all these systems have a “terminal/Command line” available, but a lot of users have grown accustomed to a graphical point and click method. I haven’t, nor do I enjoy navigating around the screens pointing and clicking – it seems like a waste of time.

This is the section that was cutoff

PowerShell on the Windows System is an exception. I’ve gotten used to using the Windows command prompt and netshell when possible, but always felt that neither lived up to the power of BASH. PowerShell has grown and developed into a useful tool that many Linux users would find worthwhile for system administration and troubleshooting functionality.
When you add in the Chocolatey package management tool/repository you start to see potential for a more Linux-like work flow.

I see that there is also a GUI available for Chocolatey for any who prefer, but installing packages via PowerShell is fairly simple – as is searching and listing available packages.

I doubt i’ll abandon my Linux machine just to run PowerShell, but I think it’s beneficial to know how different Operating systems function and carry out similar tasks you might deal with in Linux.

“list, search, info, and install” are the commands I use the most when using Chocolatey.  The “info” command is extremely useful in providing information on the application you may consider installing.

choco -h 

  • list – lists remote or local packages
  • search – searches remote or local packages (alias for list)
  • info – retrieves package information. Shorthand for choco search pkgname –exact –verbose
  • install – installs packages from various sources
  • pin – suppress upgrades for a package
  • outdated – retrieves packages that are outdated. Similar to upgrade all –noop
  • upgrade – upgrades packages from various sources
  • uninstall – uninstalls a package
  • pack – packages up a nuspec to a compiled nupkg
  • push – pushes a compiled nupkg
  • new – generates files necessary for a chocolatey package from a template
  • sources – view and configure default sources (alias for source)
  • source – view and configure default sources
  • config – Retrieve and configure config file settings
  • features – view and configure choco features (alias for feature)
  • feature – view and configure choco features
  • setapikey – retrieves or saves an apikey for a particular source (alias for apikey)
  • apikey – retrieves or saves an apikey for a particular source
  • unpackself – have chocolatey set itself up
  • version – [DEPRECATED] will be removed in v1 – use choco outdated or cup <pkg|all> -whatif instead
  • update – [DEPRECATED] RESERVED for future use (you are looking for upgrade, these are not the droids you are looking for)
Installing Putty with Choco first removed an incomplete install attempt before adding -y

Check out chocolatey.org for more information including more details on security and the community package repository

Installing TCPview – a package from “Windows Sysinternals”


For those who would rather not use the Powershell command line, there is a GUI:

choco install chocolateygui –f -y

Oh, the calamity

Oh, the calamity of it all!
IBM taking over Red Hat, Apple increasing product costs, and Windows 10 version 18.09 “October pause” stressing you out as we approach the Holiday? Does the thought of installing Debian just in case Ubuntu announces some even more “fantastic” shift given you a slight feeling of nausea?Never fear, everything will be alright. Wait long enough and the sea will settle down eventually. The one announcement I had hoped to hear (an updated iPad mini 5) hasn’t materialized, or maybe I missed it in the fine print.So if all seems a little chaotic lately it’s probably amplified somewhat by the approach of the Holidays followed by the end of the year just around the corner.
It may seem like it’s been a strange year for Windows 10 updates, and a tad boring year for Linux desktops , but sometimes boring is appreciated. Too much excitement might persuade me to invest in a new computer even though I seem to remember something about Intel and AMD cpu specs. I’m sure it was something important, maybe having something to do with their architecture? Whatever it was, I’m sure it will come back to me.
We still see somewhat expensive laptops on the market with older hard drive technology (no SSD) and lower than stellar cpu speeds. I would have expected older builds like those at much lower prices, but apparently somebody is willing to purchase these machines.
I think I’ve squeezed as much use out of my old laptop as I possibly can. Do I pick up a mediocre consumer grade pc to get me through a few more years, keep waiting for the perfect price/power ratio deal, or bite the bullet and invest in a top of the line laptop currently available this shopping season?
If I only used OSX it would be an easy decision. The new MacBook Pro would be a logical upgrade from my 5+ yr old MacBook Pro. I don’t use it that much because the bulk of my time is spent working with Linux and Windows, so something like the Carbon X1 would be a more logical choice.
My experiment using a Chromebook actually has me rethinking which Laptop I take on the road. I found that a basic IdeaPad running Mint with the Chrome browser gives me the ability to still run Linux tools and have a similar experience as the Chromebook provides. This is not a bad trade off most of the time, but once in a while it would be nice to have a little more horsepower.
The Chromebook does startup much faster, and does seam more focused for writing – if that is what you’re mostly interested in. It would be great if it could run some of my favorite Linux tools, but I’m not seeing that yet. The Linux beta abilities that might be available for some Chromebooks in the future could open up some possibilities that might make my upgrade decision even more difficult.
I must admit that the Samsung Chromebook has a better keyboard feel than the minimalist Lenovo Ideapad, so I do think I could lean more towards the Chromebook if I find the need for Linux tools decreases in the future. On the other hand the I’ve had good luck with the Ideapad, and the keyboard isn’t too much of a distraction yet. If you’re doing a lot of writing neither one might be your preferred tool of choice.