Online iPython Notebook Viewer

We recently started using the slide function of iPython notebooks. Basically it allows you to partition your notebook onto different slides, slide fragments and subslides. Those can be exported to reveal.js

There is already a great viewer for notebooks on http://nbviewer.ipython.org. To save some steps in exporting, converting and adding reveal.js, I took the idea and added a slide viewer. Anyone can use it to link to their slides on Github, Gist or any other place. We even support Basic Auth. Check it out at:

https://slides.quantego.com

 

Access Docker container attributes in Ansible

Ansible is a great automation solution. I mainly use it to provision servers and launch Docker instances on them. Sometimes I need container attributes, like PID or Port to configure Nginx or monitoring tools.

While the Ansible documentation gives you some hints, I didn’t find it 100% obvious on how to solve this. Basically all your newly-created containers will end up in a list called docker_containers. It has the same structure as docker inspect.

For the PID:

For the host port:

So you could add a PID-file for a container like this:

Also read the full docs here.

Advanced monit: Keep track of daemons, websites, RAIDs and partitons

Introduction

Are you already hosting your own mail- or webserver and do you enjoy the flexibility, control and freedom self-hosting gives you? Besides the many advantages like better privacy and the power to customize it gives you personally, you can also offer your services to other people. Even tough there are a large number of budget hosting companies, many customers are willing to pay for better support or the comfort to have you around for questions. Continue reading

Defragment Mac OSX from Recovery Mode

Despite some notions that SSDs or HFS drives don’t need defragmenting, I have often read and experienced myself that defragmenting your Mac every few years will clearly make it faster.

I had some trouble running iDefrag and would like to share a little trick I learnt. Basically it will refuse to run a full defrag, while your system drive is mounted. Restarting didn’t help. Here is what I did in the end:
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Improved phising filter and DKIM signing

I noticed an increasing number of phising emails from ‘Telekom’ and ‘DHL’ making it into user mailboxes. ClamAV anti-virus together with Sane Security Phising checks does a good job in stopping zero-day phising emails.

On a different account, DKIM Email signing seems to be preferred by Google these days. So time to add that too.

Let me know if you notice any problems with that.

High-performance SSH: Install HPN-SSH on OSX with keychain integration

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I use SSH for pretty much anything from VPN, server administration, database connections or iPython work on remote machines. When working from weird places and with weird internet connections SSH become painfully slow. I already use Mosh, but that also relies on ordinary SSH to initiate the connection.

Pittsburgh University has this OpenSSH-patch to remove some bottlenecks and make it 1000% faster (they claim). Continue reading

Lazy admin’s guide to automated updates (Part 2: Python pip)

Last week we discussed Linux Debian’s apt-get update mechanism and how to fully automate essential updates. This week I’d like to demonstrate how to do the same thing for Python. I admit that keeping Python packages up-to-date is probably not half as essential as keeping internet-facing server infrastructure updated. Nonetheless I like to work with the latest versions of packages, as they might fix problems or add features. Continue reading

Shanghai PM2.5 update

I’m back in Shanghai and faced with the pollution problem once again. Here a quick update on the last months. You can clearly see a reduction in pollution around Chinese New Year, when factories are shutting down. With warmer weather the readings also seem to be lower. I don’t know the reason, but anecdotal evidence gives the same effect for Beijing. An expert from Vienna University of Economics is currently analyzing the data and correlating it with weather observations. I’ll give an update, when some results emerge.

pm25_SHA_Mar2014
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