I switched from Cacti to Munin

This week, I switched our systems-level monitoring from Cacti to Munin. I was dissatisfied with Cacti's interactive-only configuration and limited OOTB charts, and its reluctance to correctly display the processor %U of my multicore servers. I tried the oft-cited suggestion of cloning the existing %U graph into a new template and bumping the maximum to … Continue reading I switched from Cacti to Munin

Replacing Redis with a Python Mock

tl;dr When writing tests, mock out a subsystem if and only if it's prohibitive to test against the real thing. !tl;dr Our product uses Redis. It's an awesome technology. We've avoided needing Redis in our unit tests. But when I added a product feature that made deep use of Redis, I wrote its unit tests … Continue reading Replacing Redis with a Python Mock

My Wacom Bamboo Stylus

My new Bamboo Stylus arrived today! It's just long enough so that the upper inch or so rests in the space between my index finger and thumb, and hefty enough so that I feel it there. I don't have the specifications handy, but I'd say it weighs slightly more than a typical rollerball pen, but … Continue reading My Wacom Bamboo Stylus

iPad diagramming II

I'm playing more with Noteshelf and thinking about how I use a whiteboard. And I'm noticing aspects of my sketching for the first time... My drawings mutate a lot as I create them: I'll start out leaving space for objects (e.g., server boxes, database symbols), and then decide the objects need more space. (For practical … Continue reading iPad diagramming II

iPad diagramming

I often need to diagram things at work. It's usually something like a system block diagram, a gnarly code problem, or client-server interactions. Sometimes it's just a list of things I'm comparing. Whatever the diagram is, I need to the keep it around for a while. And refer to it, scribble on it, and update … Continue reading iPad diagramming

Approving new Twitter followers from an iPhone

I protected my tweets on Twitter. When you protect your tweets, you have to approve any new follower request. This is easy if you use a desktop or laptop browser. But if you use a Twitter client application, or a mobile browser on Android or iPhone, you can't approve new followers. In fact, you won't … Continue reading Approving new Twitter followers from an iPhone

Python Testing Cookbook: A review

I bought "Python Testing Cookbook" by Greg L. Turnquist, published by Packt. The good. I liked the cookbook recipe approach. Each recipe has the same headers: Its name, "How to do it," "How it works," and "There's more." This may not sound fancy, and it isn't, but it works. The writing's good (albeit sometimes elementary — … Continue reading Python Testing Cookbook: A review

Bitbucket is ill

I recently questioned whether Bitbucket was suffering from neglect. My conclusion was, "yes"... Jesper Noehr, a (the?) Bitbucket developer, replied to the post. He said Bitbucket's development was "quite active." But... Bitbucket's newsfeed has been "temporarily" disabled for over a week: Then there's their customer support. I pay for my Bitbucket account, so I'd like … Continue reading Bitbucket is ill

Judging the health of BitBucket, GitHub, etc.

At my new job, we're selecting a hosted "revision control + wiki + issue tracker + document repository" service. My first recommendation was Bitbucket. I've used it for a while, and have always been satisfied. (I even have a paying account plan!) But after a day of use, we bumped into odd problems. Like, Windows … Continue reading Judging the health of BitBucket, GitHub, etc.

I learn about news events mostly from Twitter

I had a revelation this morning: I learn about news events mostly from Twitter. This seems obvious, and almost natural, in hindsight. But even three months ago I didn't expect this. I grew up on newspapers, like everyone else in my ahem age bracket. By 2002, I was getting more news from web sites, and … Continue reading I learn about news events mostly from Twitter