19 October, 2017

Green / Blue - Blue / Green

:P WAT? Green/Blue?

Blue/Green Deployment in Datacenter

How it Works

In the "blue-green" model, two identical application stacks are maintained (for convenience, I will refer to our application server instances and service instances as a stack, database deployments are done separately . One of the stacks is always live, let us say green is live and blue is stand-by.

When we want to deploy a new build to production, we deploy it on blue stack and do thorough testing. Once new build seems to work fine, the blue stack goes live and green becomes standby. This helps us do a quick rollback if issues are identified during deployment or sanity check.

What are the challenges?

The tricky bit here is to switch between blue and green stacks with almost no downtime.
An overhead here is to maintain two stacks and hence adds to the cost.

My new job requires a lot of automation set in place for us in DevOps to be able to manage the huge workloads we get on a weekly basis. I am currently in the process of automating our setup to a degree where we only have to initiate deployment-processes without having to monitor them as they execute :P


04 October, 2017

Disposable gloves

Finally got a hold of some black nitrile gloves for heavy industrial use.

...not that I screw a lot on engines or other mechanical endeavours, but the standard nitrile gloves I get issued for use in computer-handling almost always tear or just blatantly break apart after a few moments.

I tend to like to take things apart, very little things, with small components. Disposable gloves are a must-have in these cases.

A box of these gloves (100) can cost as much as 150-200 NOK (around $18-25), but if I order them from Denmark, I can get the exact same boxes for as little as 50-80 NOK (around $6-8).

They're even resistant to chemicals, oils and even some acids(!). Considered one of the strongest disposable gloves in industry, and to boot; they're even safe for people with allergies.

Something told me I would need these in the time coming. Sure enough, I did. Looks like I'll be deploying / operating / administrating / troubleshooting / solving and last but not least: tinker with and assemble Linux servers for a company specializing in machine-learning / AI / virtual assistant technology. Most of the application-servers are cloud-VMs, but I was asked to take care of physical servers as well :-P

27 September, 2017

AMiGA fanboy; guilty.

I just got an awaited shipment from the UK:

Amiga "Rainbow Double-Check"-logo T-shirt

Workbench | 'Insert diskette' screen T-shirt

Representin' ;D

After re-playing a heap of my all-time favorite Amiga-games on my RetroPie (RPi3), I thought I'd do a little post honoring the 80s/90s gaming-computer. Mainly, the Amiga 500.

No other computer-system has ever had this big an impact on my life, my preferences and my esthetic sense.

To give a little intro about the Amiga 500: it was launched as a compact, home game-computer in the mid-1980s. The Amiga 500 had everything from motherboard/CPU to add-on-chips and keyboard integrated into one plastic casing.

People mostly hooked it up to their TV with an extra peripheral called the RF-modulator, but was also sold with an Commodore-branded CRT-monitor (see picture below), that even sported integrated stereo speakers(!).

Commodore Amiga 500 - 'System 1'

At the time (late 80s) Amiga was unmatched in animation and sound, mostly due to their use of specialty chain-chips (separate chips co-working in a process-chain), but also thanks to a massive (for the time) homebrew-scene (the demo-scene).

The Amiga 500 demonstrated graphics-powers unmatched by similar 8-/16-bit systems at the time. As the Amiga 500 had over 300.000 units sold by 1990, it had established itself as a massively popular home-computer across Europe. But due to scepticism and poor advertising, not so good in the US.

Amiga set itself apart from other computer systems, just like Apple. For example, the PC-dominating three-finger salute, is performed differently on Amiga-systems: Ctrl + Left Amiga + Right Amiga.

The 90s brought the demo-scene community that grew out of the 80s, eagerly showcasing the Amiga as a competitive computer-system by making byte-sized (68000 assembly-coded), elaborate animated/scored demonstration-applications, coined "demos", thus; the demo-scene.

One of my most memorable demos was this "cracktro" by Unit A:

Another more recent (2010) demo by Razor1911:

The Amiga was also one of the last, true ROM-based computers (the operating system was located on a ROM-chip on-board, much like our Android/iOS-smartphones today, and other micro-computers of the late 80s (Apple), hard-drives cost an arm and a leg in those days, very expensive) that sported accompanying diskette(s) containing the Workbench graphical desktop environment by itself. Original, to say the least.

The Amiga Workbench was a multi-tasking desktop environment. Shown running a background-application (Boing) behind the Workbench-UI.

Commodore Amiga Workbench 1.3 (w/"Boing" running in back)
It also loaded and ran games straight from 3½ inch floppy disks (usually 880 KB format). The game-data was loaded from the floppy into Amiga-memory and consequently executed.

The picture below shows the Amiga-screen that shows if you didn't load Workbench from floppy, indicating you had to load a floppy for something to happen.

Commodore Amiga 'Insert diskette' load-screen
Commodore Amiga Boing Ball, animated gif representation
It was a major feat when made in the 80s. One animation done in bit-plane, one sound-sample run at varying speeds and sample-rates. All-together it made an animated scene with a bouncing ball in a pseudo-3d grid-room.

Commodore Amiga Guru Meditation - the Amiga equivalent of a BSOD on Windows

The only real caveats in these series of computers were the diskette-drive(s) and the power supply unit (PSU).

Commodore Amiga external Power Supply Unit

As a curiosity, here is a rather rare picture from wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_Unix):

Amiga Unix - System V Release 4 Amiga Version 2.0
Boot / Root installation-diskettes & tape

As a treat, here is the best Amiga-videos I've found on YouTube:

Turrican II: The Final Fight

Amiga Story | Part 1 + Part 2

25 September, 2017

Bleeding-edge Android

Yes, I'm slow at adopting new tech nowadays. Finally got updated to Android v7.x/8.x. Got my step-brothers' old Nexus 5X, and yes; I know this particular model has hardware-issues.

This one however has been fixed. Faulty components have been replaced and a new warranty issued.

I didn't really worry about using an outdated phone (Nexus 5), since I had secured it as much as I would "be allowed". Yes, allowed. Our corporate overlords control more than you might think...

29 August, 2017

Happy Birthday Linux!

Happy Birthday Linux! Over a quarter (26yrs) of a century old, still going strong and conquering area after area in various technology-segments 😋😊😃

Yes, I know he didn't announce it on newsgroups this day, he did on August 25th.

But, as he says himself, he considers both dates as birthdays. The first as the announcement-date, and the second (today, August 29th) as the upload-date.

15 June, 2017

Back 2 School

Looks like I'll be a student again this fall 😉 "precourse in maths and physics for engineering" 😏 after that, probably a BSc/MSc in Computer Science.

Yes.., I didn't finish any grade when I was attending private college earlier, it didn't work out, so I started working instead 😎

Now, I'm attending the University of Stavanger (UiS).