BattlestarGalactica

My current PC is well over 8 years now, and the slow hard disk is reading bits at such a slow rate that it hasn't become fun anymore. So the option was to either replace the drive with some NVME SSD, or lookout for a new PC. At some point I saw a second hand iMac for sale for a sweet price, and decided to grab it: I've become more and more charmed of MacOS as a development platform, and I recently purchased an el cheapo 2013 Macbook Air as well, which runs nicely the latest MacOS versions thanks to OCLP.

The retina display and the small form factor (well, at least compared against a full blown desktop tower) are the strong points of this machine. The i5 Intel performs still nicely (no need for fast CPU cycles) and the Fusion Drive SSD/HDD combo is still an improvement from the hard disk setup of my old PC.

The sheer size of the 27 inch screen made me dub the PC 'Battlestar Galactica'. Starship names for computers (the Macbook Air is hostnamed 'Rocinante'), and (science fiction) planet names for access point SSID names is a sweet combo.

Seestar S50

I always wanted to dive into astrophotography, but couldn't bring myself to do it: taking long exposure pictures required in the past deep pockets: you needed a motor which carefully tracked the scope against the rotation of the earth while keeping your object in the eyepiece. With the introduction of CCD cameras, prices became more democratic, but at that time, I got myself a Dobson scope, eliminating all tracking possibilities.

Until recently, with the availability of small smart telescopes: these are small little robots, equipped with a decent camera, tracking and goto system, controlled by a smartphone app. After reading some reviews of the ZWO Seestar S50, I immediately ordered one, and the results are stunning. The fun part is that the smart scope can keep collecting light, while I remain inside on the sofa, following the results ;) Very impressed with what this little scope is capable off !

Drupal 10

This site has been updated to Drupal 10. I had to spend way too much time on this, including some Docker voodo and fighting with weird Bitnami settings. I still don't get why Drupal 9 was so suddenly announced as EOL. Drupal still feels more and more like a RAM where all I need is a little Honda...

cfntagger

If there's one thIng I like in Azure, then it's Resource Groups. Inventory management in AWS is kinda difficult; if you're meticulous, you probably use CloudFormation or Terraform to deploy your infrastructure. And if you're truly dedicated, you probably use tags to identify projects, owners and/or creators. But if you're working in a team, it must be verified that all members use the same values for tags. I've seen too many times entries for 'Environment' like 'prod', 'Production', or 'PRD'. Which renders your AWS inventory queries either useless or way too complex.

Basically, your CloudFormation templates don't need to be littered with tag definitions: they must be programmatically added in a CI/CD chain before deployment. Programs like that are hard to find. There is Yor by BridgeCrew, but after some testing I found it to have too many quirks. that's why I developed my own CloudFormation tagging tool, called CfnTagger.

Cfntagger is a Python module which takes its configuration from an environment variable in the form of a dict:

$ export CFN_TAGS='{"Creator": "Erlich", "Application": "Aviato"}'

Then, it's just a matter of running the tool on either a full directory or a single file. You can dry-run it to verify which changes are going to be applied before actually modifying anything. Another possibility is the option of having the git repo and file which defines the resource as tags as well, so you can easily identify which resource has been defined where.