Technical Posts

Fixing the Support Problem

The Problem Over the years, one of my biggest frustrations when working with Open Source projects, has been learning how to communicate (get help, suggest features, etc.) in each different community. Every community has a different style of communication. Some simply use GitHub issues for everything. Others have multiple mailing lists, discussion forums, and IRC channels. Quite often, I’ve posted a question and been told I posted it in the wrong location.

Amazon Drive Unlimited plan is going away

Today I found out that Amazon’s unlimited cloud drive storage plan for Prime members is going away. I found out via Hacker News, judging from the comments there, a lot of people were abusing the heck out of the plan. Unfortunately, Amazon has chosen to implement pricyer plans than they really should. I have a relatively small amount of data to back up, but it will still cost me about 3 times as much as it did before.

Giving an AWS IAM User access to a single bucket

This is just my notes on the subject of granting access to a S3 bucket to an AWS IAM User. Figuring it out was much harder than it should have been… Create an IAM user. Create a S3 bucket. Configure aws-cli on your system with a profile for the new user. Edit the bucket policy and paste the following into it. Replacing placeholders as needed. { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "AWS": "arn:aws:iam::NNNNNNNNNNNN:user/NEWUSER" }, "Action": ["s3:*"], "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::NEWBUCKET" }, { "Effect": "Allow", "Principal": { "AWS": "arn:aws:iam::NNNNNNNNNNNN:user/NEWUSER" }, "Action": ["s3:*"], "Resource": "arn:aws:s3:::NEWBUCKET/*" } ] } That should grant your user all S3 permissions only on the bucket you are adding the policy to.

Comcast's Internet Data Limit is terrible

Today, for the first time, I received notice from Comcast that I was nearing my 1024GB data limit. 10 days after the month began. When they first notified me that they would be enforcing that limit, I wasn't too annoyed. 1024GB is a pretty decent amount of data. Certainly it's much better than the unenforced 250GB they had shown on my account before. Unfortunately, they did not make clear, one key piece of information.

Modifying Drupal 7 User Pictures in code

It took me a while to figure out how to modify or add a user picture from inside a custom module. Google was not much help. So here's the answer I found, hope it helps someone. First, you need an actual Drupal file object. Something you could reference a file id from. Like $newbieFile->fid. I referenced modules/user/user.module and includes/file.inc to figure this out. $photo ="the actual image data."; //in my case it was the value of jpegPhoto from an ldap directory.

How to fix Observium when graphs show 'Draw Error'

I've been using Observium at work to collect and graph SNMP logs for a couple years now. A while back the graphs started showing "Draw Error" instead of the actual graph. I poked at it a bit, but never got it fixed. I wasn't too worried since I want to use the ELK Stack for most of what Observium does in the future. Today, though, a coworker came and asked about Observium.

Checking out the Drupal 8 RC

For the past couple weekends I've spent a few hours seeing if I could build a new personal site using Drupal 8. D8 recently released it's first couple release candidates, and set an official launch date. (November 19, 2015) So far I've only created the very basics of a site. Nothing worth making public. Of course, I've also spent very little time on the project. That said, here are my initial thoughts.

Digital Rights Management should be considered actively harmful

Why? As I'm writing this, Guardians of the Galaxy is pre-ordered on Amazon. When it comes out, I'll get the full movie on a physical Blu-Ray disc. When I stick that disc in my computer's Blu-Ray drive, open up my Blu-Ray player program, and hit play... I'm going to get nothing. The app is going to pop up a message saying that I need to pay more money to upgrade the app so it can get past the DRM on my movie.

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality has been something of a major topic in some of the areas of the internet I visit. Unfortunately, I have yet to see anyone truly address the actual cause of the issue. So, first, what is the issue? Big internet service providers, currently, can limit the traffic of various companies. So Comcast could force Netflix's traffic to be slow. The ISP's want to take advantage of this, and charge companies like Netflix lots of money to keep their traffic fast.

Updating LDAP Boolean Attributes with PHP

Changing the value of an attribute in an LDAP directory via php generally uses the ldap_mod_replace function. Something like: $newvals = array('attribute' => 'value); ldap_mod_replace($ldap_connection, $dn, $newvals);The problem I ran into was when the attribute was a boolean type. I kept getting:  ldap_mod_replace(): Modify: Invalid syntax The problem was that I was trying to set it to 'true', 'false', 1, or 0, or the php constants 'true' and 'false' that get read as 1 and 0.