The Shining Path of Least Resistance


Archive for the ‘geekery’ Category

Potential OpenStack Compute Demo Box

Posted by mattray on November 17, 2010

I was fortunate enough to be at the OpenStack Design Summit last week in San Antonio, TX and one of the ideas that came up that I found really intriguing was the concept of a single-box easy install for OpenStack Compute (maybe Object Storage could fit on the same machine, not sure yet). To help facilitate this, we started up an OpenStack-Chef mailing list where we’ll be discussing automating installation of OpenStack Compute as well as deploying to a running Compute instance.

Hopefully we’ll free up some time to work on it soon, but while I was there I started putting together some rough specs for a machine we could use for testing and eventually using with Chef training to replace using EC2. We figured we needed enough horsepower to run 20 or so instances on the server, and shoot for around $1000 on the price. Here’s what I found on NewEgg.

So really it comes down to about $730 plus whatever storage option you go with. SSD is still expensive but might be worthwhile, but $165 for 1.1TB RAID5 isn’t too shabby and might make running Object Storage a potential option. Prices keep dropping of course, so this is probably close to being out of date already.

Posted in chef, geekery, openstack | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Crowdsourcing Gone Awry

Posted by mattray on May 23, 2009

I figured I needed to capture this before it gets removed, but the IMDB Parental Guide to Mary Poppins is a classic.

A few of my favorite bits:

an extremely violent movie involving a witch sent from hell and many grizzely murders

A little boy is chased around a room then a wagon rolling by itself flies at him and he is swept from his feet and brought into the closet. Mary Poppins is waiting in the closet then molests him numeros times (clearly seen on camera) then slowly slices his head open and eats his brain.

A little girl is chased down hall sucked up a fireplace then beheaded Mary Popins puts her head in a bag then flies off with her umbrella

Several elderly women are sucked into hell and fly into the air and smash into things while flying so fast. The scene is very bloody and violent.

A man is sucked up a fireplace then droped down the chimeny while the fire is still on below (you can clearly see his skin pealing and bleeding as he burns to death)

Another man is split in half by dark magic (guts and gore are visible during the scene)

A woman gets her hair violently pulled out then mary poppins takes her eyes out and eats them. The women is thrown off a building later after much suffering and torchure.

Mary Poppins cheats in a horse race by killing off the competitors.

Mary Poppins uses a kite to strangle then hang a young boy near the end of the movie.

It ends as a decapitated bird head starts talking to mary and she moves on to the next town.

Posted in geekery, humor | Leave a Comment »


Posted by mattray on April 17, 2009

Today’s frustration is brought to you by iCal and Zimbra. My work Zimbra account subscribes to several company-wide calendars which I have ‘view’ privileges, but not ‘write’ privileges. Attempting to write to them throws a cryptic error that can usually be undone. But somewhere along the line I had selected “Delete Events 120 Days After They Have Passed” in iCal. The company-wide calendars recently started having events older than that, and I was getting a cryptic error about ‘CalDAVDeleteEntityQueueableOperation’ in iCal. Google was of little use, neither was Apple’s support or Zimbra’s support. I stumbled into the solution by deleting away all my preferences and calendars for iCal. Moral of the story, never touch anything.

Posted in geekery, osx | 1 Comment »

Making my Whack IT Predictions for 2009

Posted by mattray on December 17, 2008


I got a chance to be on the IT Management Podcast yesterday with Michael Cote’, John Willis and Dave Rosenberg.  Had a good time making my whack predictions for 2009:

  • Microsoft buying RIM (and shutting down Windows Mobile)
  • Apple making a cloud move
  • Sun getting diced up in a hostile takeover
  • Amazon selling Android apps
  • Amazon buying up some of the cloud providers
  • The Big 4 not buy any open source competitors
  • and more!

Missed out on my chance to call 2009 the Year of the Linux Desktop, but it could happen, I’ve got a good feeling this time.

Posted in geekery, interviews | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Making iPhone Ringtones from MP3s

Posted by mattray on August 24, 2008

I recently made the transition from minimalist, pay-as-you-go phone user to a new iPhone. Between making lots of extra calls on my phone for work and my geek-lust for GPS in a phone it was a no-brainer. I was actually fairly happy with my old phone, a Motorola v195 that I chose specifically because it was unlocked, had bluetooth file transfers and syncing with iCal and the Mac address book. Of course the iPhone has all that, but I wasn’t able to transfer all my custom mp3 ringtones that I’d made to it. Mr. Chippy pointed me to making them in Garage Band, but this was slow and tedious. I had them already as MP3s, I just needed to batch convert them all to the proper format. Enter Max, a handy OSX audio file converter (and great CD-ripper). I configured it to output “3GP Audio (AAC)” and batch-converted my mp3 ringtones to .3gp files. Apparently if you rename these with the .m4r and drop them into iTunes, they magically become ringtones for uploading. Here’s a screenshot of the Automator bulk rename, it’s a handy trick (I’m getting lazy on the Bash scripting).

If you’re interested, here’s a tarball containing the ringtones (Autechre, Mr. Lif, Stetsasonic, Aerosmith, Slick Rick, The Price is Right, Strauss, Raising Arizona).

Posted in geekery, osx | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »


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