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Managing Docker Instances with Puppet

In a previous article, "Provisioning Docker with Puppet", in the December 2016 issue, I covered one of the ways you can install the Docker service onto a new system with Puppet. By contrast, this article focuses on how to manage Docker images and containers with Puppet. more>>

Scissors, Paper or Rock?

In this article, I'm going to tackle a children's game that's extraordinarily complicated, with many variations, and the programming task is going to be quite tricky. Just kidding! Rock Paper Scissors (or RPS, as it's known) is pretty darn easy to simulate because there aren't really many variants or possible outcomes. more>>

Sysadmin 101: Alerting

This is the first in a series of articles on system administrator fundamentals. These days, DevOps has made even the job title "system administrator" seem a bit archaic, much like the "systems analyst" title it replaced. more>>

The Current Phase of the Moon

Ladies and gentlemen, we've left Mars. Well, at least I'm done with the Martian lander from my past few articles. I hope you had chance to experiment with it and find out that it's not too easy to land a craft on any planet! more>>

Mastering ATA over Ethernet

At one point in time, when you wanted to attach an external block storage device to a server, you mapped it as a Logical Unit (LU) across a Storage Area Network (SAN). In the early days, you would do this over the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol. More recently, iSCSI (SCSI over IP) has usurped FC in most data centers. more>>

The Family Dashboard

I've written a little about PHP before, because I think it's a great utility language for writing quick things you need to do. Plus, it allows you to use a web browser as your interface, and everyone has a web browser. That makes it very convenient for my family, because I can make simple web interfaces for the various things I normally have to do from the command line. more>>

Adding IoT Flare to a Hot Springs and Spa Business

As the folks at Bozeman Hot Springs usher their hot springs and spa into the 21st century with new technology and pools, they are thinking about new ways to delight their customers and stay top of mind. One recurring request, no doubt from the avid skiing community, is the ability to read current pool temperatures online, in the same way ski resorts publish current snow conditions. more>>

Orchestration with MCollective

I originally got into systems administration because I loved learning about computers, and I figured that was a career that always would offer me something new to learn. Now many years later that prediction has turned out to be true, and it seems like there are new things to learn all the time. more>>

Graph Any Data with Cacti!

For the past few years, I've been trying to understand how to make graphs using RRDtool (Round-Robin Database tool) after failing miserably to understand MRTG (Multi-Router Traffic Grapher) before that. The thing I like about RRDtool is that it's newer and supports a wider variety of data sources. more>>

Preparing Data for Machine Learning

When I go to Amazon.com, the online store often recommends products I should buy. I know I'm not alone in thinking that these recommendations can be rather spooky—often they're for products I've already bought elsewhere or that I was thinking of buying. How does Amazon do it? more>>

Low Power Wireless: 6LoWPAN, IEEE802.15.4 and the Raspberry Pi

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the new kids on the block. It promises connection of sensors and actuators to the internet, for data to flow both ways, and once on the internet, to become part of new and exciting business systems, reaching up into the realms of big data and artificial intelligence. more>>

Wrapping Up the Mars Lander

In my last few articles ("Let's Go to Mars with Martian Lander" and "Mars Lander, Take II: Crashing onto the Surface"), I've been building a variant on the classic video game Lunar Lander, with a few simplificatio more>>

Simple Server Hardening, Part II

In my last article, I talked about the classic, complicated approach to server hardening you typically will find in many hardening documents and countered it with some specific, simple hardening steps that are much more effective and take a only few minutes. more>>

On-the-Fly Web Server

Most of you have a web server installed on your network somewhere. In fact, most of you probably have several. In a pinch, however, getting to the web directory can be difficult. more>>

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