SOHO Gluster for Great Reliability

I was inspired by attending Angus Lees’ garage Kubernetes at 2018; not in the direct way of setting up Kube at home (although that’s on my to-do list); rather, to solve what Angus mentioned in passing as the biggest pain point for lab/SOHO environments: storage. Storage is still a SPOF1 for most SOHO-type environments.

There’s a good reason for that: distributed systems are hard. Distributed storage is the hardest part of that problem. But it’s also the most worthwhile problem to solve; if you can have reliable distributed storage, you’ll never wake up to find a note from your 5 year old bemoaning that she can’t watch TV again.

Read more

NZIFF Tranche 1

Another fine start to the Alliance Français French Film Festival. Last year I binged on perhaps two dozen movies and, really, it was far too many. This year I’ve paired back a bit, which will no doubt mean I miss some good ones, but equally will mean I’m not too overloaded to even think about them properly.

The only sour note is that, as last year, the change in director in 2017 seems to have largely trashed the children’s film selection. Historically a bit of a highlight, it’s become desperately mediocre.

Read more

Le bâtiment

Anouk a gagné. Elle a gagné beaucoup d’argent, mais ell n’a rien dit à personne. Pourqoui? C’est difficile à expliquer. Toute sa vie, sa famille a été pauvre. Sa vie a été gâché par la pauvrité: ses écoles étaient les écoles pauvres, sa nourriture, ses passions, ses vêtemenets, etc. La pauvrité a tout façonné. Mais elle a plus de chance que les autres de sa banlieue: elle a un boulot solide.

Read more

LCA 2018 Day 5

Another hot, sticky day in Sydney. The climate is my least favourite thing about the place.

Surprising amounts of the city apparently close for “the public holiday”, as the organisers are referring to it, in an effort to maintain neutrality on the local arguments around whether the current form of celebrating the European colonisation of Australia is the right one.

As an aside, mentioning I’m staying in Redfern elicits the odd interesting response from people who think this is basically equivalent to checking into a hotel in a war zone; I was told there would be riots here on Friday, which doesn’t in fact seem to be the case. While the locals are not exactly Abbot voters, the only dire predictions of danger that appear to be accurate are Sydneysiders warning of aggressive gentrification.

Read more

LCA 2018 Day 4

Sydney may have a lot of things going for it, but the climate is definitely amongst of them. Still, in spite of the hot, sticky weather, I’m enjoying wending my way through the streets of Redfern every morning; with it’s tiny old row houses and narrow alleys it would seem to be more what you’d find in the heart of an old European city like York; then I exit onto some of the stunningly designed newer buildings provides a sharp and delightful contrast.

I have no idea how anyone affords to live here, though.

Read more

LCA 2018 Day 1

This year LCA comes to Sydney, marking the first time I’ve been here since I was maybe 8 or 9. The locals are shocked; apparently the idea one has not come to Sydney is inconceivable. So far I’ve been enjoying the well-integrated public transport with fast, quiet high-speed trains (20 minutes from the airport to Redfern), been freaked out by the cost of rent (Redfern, a location where there are signs asking people not to shoot up in front of children, has apartments renting north of $1200 a week), and oppressed by the weather. Sydney is vast, full of Things and Stuff, and I doubt I’ll see more than the tiniest fraction of it this week.

This year I’m offering many thanks to OSS for sponsoring my ticket.

Read more

B-Sides Wellington Day 2

Another sunny day in Wellington for B-Sides. Not that this is anything exceptional about this, the weather is alwys like this why do you ask? Someone won the badge challenge already! Influencing Meat Puppets through Memes Simon “bogan” Howard There are some Kiwicon traditions that have been carried across to B-Sides, and splendid headwear is one of those things: Simon prowls the stage is a blinged out admirals hat whose magnificence cannot be described with mere words.

Read more

B-Sides Wellington Day 1

At the end of Kiwicon 10 the Crue decided they needed a break from organising the beast - a multimedia extravanganza that catered to a couple of thousand people. In light of that much-deserved rest, some public-spirited folks stepped up to organise B-Sides Wellington to give us a security conference in Wellington. (Things they, and hence I, learned: apparently it’s easy to get permission to fly a drone aroud parliament.

Read more

The Witches

The Salem witch trials are a modern touchstone for US culture and, by extension, anywhere influenced by it. The stuff of notable allegories it is as easy to reach for as 1984 or Animal Farm when seeking to sum up something one does not like; one of the main things that I learned from Schiff’s excellent book, though, is how little I know about what actually went on.

Read more

The King in the North

The King in the North is an opportunistic title, riffing on a certain popular TV series to sell the subhead: The life and times of Oswald of Northumbria. The northern king at the centre of the book is presented as a pivot in the history of Dark Age Britain, as it moved from a post-Roman, largely post-Christian1 place of small, warring factions, with limited continuity of leadership, to one where standard, Catholic Christianity became the norm, the monastic institutions took root, and the idea of governance beyond the whims and lives of individual kings could take hold.

Read more