A Nomad Primer

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to create a Nomad cluster and develop tooling around it.1 What follows is a short list of some Nomad CLI commands I’ve found useful in administrating a cluster. (The job name “nginx” is used as an example.) nomad status nginx Display basic information about a job. Helpfully displays allocation IDs and deployment status. When in doubt, run this command.

Optimizing Dockerized Rails

Rails isn’t exactly known for its speed or small size. This translates to Docker as well. The default Go Docker image is 200MB smaller than the default Ruby image, and 300MB smaller than the default Rails image. Since Uncommon uses Rails and has lots of assets, the total image size for the app container alone came in at 1.39 GB, and when you add in Postgres (233 MB) and Redis (111 MB), you end up with a nearly 1.

Docker Metrics with Telegraf

With the release of InfluxDB v0.9, I was eager to start using Google’s cAdvisor to begin collecting metrics from Docker containers. Unfortunately, the new InfluxDB version comes with a new breaking API that cAdvisor still isn’t compatible with. Not only does cAdvisor not support the new API, it’s currently impossible to successfully run go get github.com/google/cadvisor because of this issue. After struggling with cAdvisor for a month, I learned that InfluxDB recently rolled out their own metrics collector, Telegraf, which is pretty much guaranteed to have the best InfluxDB integration possible.

Filtering Fun

Last year my high school implemented a draconian network filter. The school district had always erred on the side of caution when it came to network filtering, putting faith in blacklists over students’ willpower. It was interesting to watch the filter develop over the years; in eighth grade you could bypass the filter just by using https, in tenth grade a VPN was more than sufficient. Last year, however, the district implemented UltraSurf.

I wish I'd written you a letter

I spent the afternoon lost in Ned Vizzini’s Teen Angst? Naah…, a collection of short essays about his experiences as a teenager. It’s candid, thoughtful, and entertaining. Ned Vizzini also wrote It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, a book based on his week-long stay in a mental hospital that changed his life. The book itself went on to change so many other lives. He killed himself last winter. I don’t know why.

Stop Making Sense

I’ll always remember the first time I heard David Byrne say “Hi. I’ve got a tape I want to play.” As soon as he walks out onto the stage and pops a tape in his boom box, you know you’re in for a treat. Byrne launches in to an energetic and captivating acoustic performance of “Psycho Killer”, one of Talking Heads’ most well-known songs, reeling around the stage with a trademark paranoid look in his eyes.

My First Foray Into Game Making

This past weekend I went to Dallas to visit a friend. We’d always shared an interest in games, but over the last six months, my friend had actually started to code his own games from scratch. Quite frankly, I was impressed. While I’ve delved into many different coding projects over the last few months, I’d actually forgotten about one of my original goals; to develop a game. While my friend’s games were not masterpieces, he had made several fun clones of games like Mario Kart, and a maze game with Pokemon sprites.