Back from Snow Camp, DevOps Ramblings and a Bad Cold

We talk about basic DevOps on AWS, post Snow Camp and I've got a bad cold.

mileposts - episode 9 - Back from Snow Camp, DevOps Ramblings and a Bad Cold

Loren Winzeler: [00:00:00] Hey, this is Loren Winzeler with another episode of the  mileposts podcast, and we've been away. I've been away rather for, it's been a couple of weeks, almost two and a half weeks since I've recorded anything and not feeling too hot today. You might notice that there's a bit of a sniffle going around.

[00:00:22] Oh wait, no, that's a flu virus. Sorry.

[00:00:31] I almost didn't want to record this simply because of how I sound.  so I think this is just a common cold, maybe a little bit of a flu cold.  my family, we always get  the,  flu vaccine and we did that, I think back in October, but I think this must have not been on that list of, of items anyway.

[00:00:55] So the last time I recorded a podcast for mileposts was right before snow camp,  so I'm still kind of practicing the podcasting approach.  And that last episode has not been posted anywhere or edited anywhere. but I just need to get back into the, the stage of recording.

[00:01:16] So doing it,  you know, computer free on the zoom device, just recording on the Mevo and we'll see how this goes.  I've been busy trying to recapture some momentum. I think one of the things when you do a go away, and this is maybe why I don't like going on vacations very much, what I'm getting a lot of work done business wise is when you.

[00:01:42] Go away for a long weekend, and it was great to go unplug. And we were, you know, camping in the snow,  up in the Sierras, bear Valley area, Alpine Lake, Lake, Alpine. It's the,  Ebbets pass. If you look on a map in California, in the Sierras. So we're at 7,200 feet,  at a Lake and a frozen Lake. Probably about five or six feet of snow on the ground.

[00:02:10] So it was actually light snow year compared to years past.  so we snow shoe in brought sleds, brought  our gear on sleds, backpacked in for about two and a half miles up and down to the camp. Yeah, so two nights, I think it only got down to about 20 degrees, 25 degrees, and it was this high as mid fifties as high as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

[00:02:35] I'm not sure about Celsius on those, but it was not nearly, he was below freezing tonight, but not super cold. But a long weekend. Like that long drive kind of takes you out of things. And.  has you the unplug? Uh, for me, I tend to lose momentum if I'm getting a lot of work done over the preceding week.  you literally gotta come back and say, okay, what am I working on?

[00:03:01] And that Tuesday, after the long weekend, I was so tired. I mean, I just.  I was tired. My son,  came down sick the week after snow camp. So I started a joke of the,  before snow camp and after snow camp, my wife had asked me things,  did you do this? I'm like, I don't remember, cause that was before snow camp.

[00:03:24] So that jokes worked for a couple of times. 

[00:03:26] So I kind of lost momentum on the recording of the podcast and doing videos, but recaptured some momentum on some other projects. So I'm still trying to focus on the goals. It's,  March 4th as I record this, the goals for the 90 days were 60 pieces of content, 12 sales, webinars, and for clients, and I have come to.

[00:03:54] a good conclusion on  or a good interim strategy, if you will, on pricing for down payment.gift and I will dedicate a whole episode to that cause I've got some good. Things written down about it. And so I've got some good progress,  but not super tangible as far as the goals go, because we kind of went off the rails on content production.

[00:04:22] so I've got very, you know, couple of weeks, three solid weeks left of March to do 60 pieces of content, and I've got,  let's see. It's, it would be,  yeah, three weeks. We're talking like four webinars a week.  assuming I can get out of this funk,  this cold that I've got going right now. And then,  client wise,  the changing of the pricing strategy should make that easier.

[00:04:52] But,  the last three weeks have been a little bit lost, but some progress in other, other realms.  but it's certainly. Brings up the whole issue of like losing momentum. I think one of the things that. On a startup when you've got no partner involved and you're just kind of plodding away. I've got a development partner, but  no accountability on the sales side is that it's easy to get distracted and lose focus.

[00:05:20] And in the last week,  I've fallen sick. My daughter got sick, my wife got sick, and then I got sick finally. So,  I would say. Probably the rest of today is going to be lost to try to rest up and get over this, this cold with a little bit of  flu type symptoms. But,  the market's kinda dealing with this Corona virus stuff, so it's always frustrating to be sick, but it's especially frustrating to be sick a midst.

[00:05:56] All of this hysteria.  but. I don't think I have a Corona virus, so at least I hope not. 

[00:06:05] I have been spending a little bit of time doing sys admin dev ops work for a lot of my other projects and it's good. Practice. Good.  to check in on things.  I've got a number of products that are hosted on AWS and AWS has been for five or six months emailing, saying, you need to change the certificate authority on your Postgres  databases, and check the connections and the client's software to those databases and make sure that.

[00:06:41] They will continue to function after March 5th, which is tomorrow. So I finally rolled up my sleeves yesterday and went through and updated four of them, and then two of them today.  On the client side, it's actually not that difficult. It's really just a matter of reviewing, testing, making sure that it's working as expected, because you have to go out of your way to use SSL, TSL and verify the certificate authority when you're creating it.

[00:07:16] An SSL connection, sort of inside an environment like that. So all of our SQL databases in AWS would, would not be open to the internet, so they're not offering connections or remotely,  so. You know, in the cases of the PHP and other apps, they just opened the database and they just use,  SSL, TSL, , TLS rather transport, transport layer security.

[00:07:46] They just use it straight off the API, off the libraries, and they do not verify specific keys from a certificate authority.  I think if you were,  connecting across the internet, you would want to make sure that your connections are being routed to the correct place, and you'd want to verify that you're connecting to the correct database.

[00:08:09] So there's certainly,  some cases where reviewing this on the client side would make more sense. But in any case,  doing any kind of dev ops work in AWS has always a, face melter, it's always, I'm trying to think of it makes your eyes bleed a little bit to, to poke around in there and get things working and it makes you want to work on other things.

[00:08:32] I did accomplish one feat yesterday.  I've got a project that I took over that's running on .NET and C#, and it's written in a model view controller.  Architecture on .NET and it is hosted on AWS, but it's hosted on a windows server with a MySQL backend. So scratch your head on that. And any case,  I determined, in the process of trying to make this,

[00:09:03] update to the My SQL server, verify things that had, I did not have credentials to the administrator password,  on windows for that windows server and hadn't needed them at this stage cause I haven't done anything to the app.  so I figured out how to spin down that VM, clone the drive. Spin up a new VM,  with the correct image and assign new,  new keys to the VM.

[00:09:43] Spin up a new Linux system. Mount the new. Old image, the new image of the NT,  device,  windows NT. So NTFS,  on Linux, and then go in and edit a obscure  ec2 service to allow it to reset passwords based on,  providing the new key.  so basically it was able to spin down the server. This took some time because the instructions on AWS, have you tried to do a.

[00:10:20] the new windows server to make those edits. And I had a frustrating time trying to spin up a new windows server based on their instructions, because they want you to use a prior version of windows and the most current current version,  when you Mount it because of their instructions, drive signature errors, which just.

[00:10:42] Caused me,  an immense headache. So Linux to the rescue was able to spin up an Amazon Linux instance, log in via SSH, find the right file amount,  download the drivers to allow you to Mount an NTFS server,  drive, rather Mount the correct drive,  go in and edit in VI, save it. , unmount it. Reattach it to the other.

[00:11:09] VM , reboot and wallah was able to reset the admin password and now I can log in to this remote desktop,  which I had not been able to do since I took over this project. So I'm excited to dig into visual studio at .NET.  not immediately, but sometime the spring.  Spent some time using .NET Early.

[00:11:31] in It's,   existence back in like 2003. So. And I did a fair amount of asp.net stuff,  in the prior four or five years. So it's been some number of years since I've done anything in that environment, but it's exciting to, to poke around on,  an app. It seems pretty simple. When I got in there and started looking at the code base.

[00:11:56] So I'll tell you more about this. It's basically an applicant tracking system. I'll tell you more about it in future podcasts when I'm actually got something to say about it. But,  spending time today and yesterday, so I did two more apps and updated their certificate authority, and I think I'm done now.

[00:12:16] So I thought I'm going to go talk to the mic.  but you know. Well, most of the other production stuff is hosted on linode or on digitalocean. So those things,  are. Not requiring as much adjustment there the certificate authority is not expiring. So , but,  they have their own problems. I've got one app written in rails that requires probably weekly reboots to keep it from crashing, and I need to spend some time to figure out why that's happening.

[00:12:51] took over an old AppSumo deal for several years ago. Last spring. That's several hundred customers. And,  we had been using it for tracking user feedback and,  it just kind of went away. So I reached out to the old founder and said, Hey, can we take it over since you're just abandoning the app? And,  so we got a spun up on digital ocean and, and,  in hindsight, it might've been good to .

[00:13:22] Put it on Heroku or something like that where it's a little easier to manage. But,  the app is I'll say, memory inefficient. It seems to max out memory pretty easily. So that's another project for later. this spring is to get that working again. Figure out what to do with it. So in any case, I want to wrap up this episode.

[00:13:43] I guess the theme for today is losing momentum and recapturing momentum.  so if you lose momentum on something,  just get going again and restart. Just,  I certainly lost them a little bit momentum on recording the podcast,  over the last two weeks. And,  you have to assume that,  people don't care what you look like, what you sound like, and they're just going to listen to hear what your story is.

[00:14:11] So I'm hoping that's the case. So, anyway, thanks for tuning in. Take care. Bye. Bye.

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