Andrew Latham

While called many things I like to call my process Zero Inbox. I attempt at all times to have no unread emails and it is a real challenge some days as I subscribe to a large number of mailing lists. My daily average is ~200 emails but some times it gets out of hand.

On Gmail I use:

as my go to screen. There was a time when you could save filters and other things via some lab tools but they kept on getting retired so I just us the is:unread filter to organize things.

This is not perfect. Checking the spam box for emails for false positives interrupts the flow and I have to go back to the filter. On good days I can stay in the filter all day.

Andrew Latham

If there is ever a need to check spelling on the command line aka CLI then try aspell

aspell check

or to have fun by recursively checking all Python files in the directory.

find . -name "*.py" -exec aspell check {} \;
Andrew Latham

I was working on and playing with pylint for linting. One common issue I see is the naming conflicts. PEP8 has good guidance on naming and when dealing with abbreviations. So when using DNS for Domain Name System it is proper to use the uppercase abbreviation. Elsewhere in the guidelines the recommendation that abbreviations not be used when possible and to be very descriptive. So when a linter says that a variable name is not valid like self.DNS_port it is sort of frustrating to know that the results will be skewed. I understand that self.domain_name_system_port is descriptive and that inferring the class name is the defined way to go. My concern is with legacy code that might exist with acceptable usage of naming conventions but linters fail the developers attempting to improve their code. Lets not lower the standards of linters but instead offer a legacy switch to enable developers to benefit first from the serious issues before getting into the fine details.

Andrew Latham

I have a series of PCEngines APU2 systems I use for my lab and I am re-thinking how to manage them as far as PXE booting. I want to work on some IPv6 booting options and need to isolate the environment like normal. Of course I can use VLAN isolation and configure the mapping per port on the managed switch. The real problem is that there are too many options.

Andrew Latham

Some quotes that are interesting.

Too much change is called war. Too little change is also called war. -- Andrew Latham 2008
Always run a honeypot on VLAN1 -- Andrew Latham 2004
Opinions can't be right or wrong as they are not assertions. -- Andrew Latham 2012

Being an Autodidact

I am an Autodidact

Andrew Latham

I am an Autodidact. I have worked in technology for most of my life. In the large technical community I see that my processing of information and situations is different. Being different is not a bad thing and has opened up some doors in understanding how the world works. "Self Taught" is mostly untrustworthy in my areas of work so I will often omit education from my CV or Resume all together. There is much to learn about how the world accepts different and how people and organizations build walls. I worked in a country where an approved degree from an approved school was the criteria for practicing business. Imagine not being able to legally do an odd job and get paid without an advanced degree of approved education. This was my introduction to the Class System.

Frustration is a problem in my life and I truly need to learn to deal with it better. I learned about what are called "vampire help"[1] questions recently. In a given problem-solution process I incorrectly assume that others will research the issues to bring solutions to the table. After some work in the large businesses I have found that most people use solutions and don't create them. I don't paint, or play musical instruments but I do create solutions or more correctly I see the root cause of the problem. Some times doing nothing is a solution, sometimes no is the answer, sometimes stopping a project is best for the shareholders.

Don't punish people who think differently, instead see them for fantastic sources of critical thinking that they are. An Autodidact is always taking in information and can be mostly correct because they simply have the information at hand. Don't be offended by an Autodidact they can have the same level of confusion about you as you do them.

Andrew Latham

On KDE 5.X with Google Chrome the systray icon attempts to load via a newer version than the package calls for of a library called libappindicator. To fix do this on Debian.

apt-get install libappindicator3-1

For other distro's ymmv

Andrew Latham

Like building construction and design there are Architects in technology. The architecture of an application suite or a datacenter is a complex stack of components that need to work for the project. I self identify as an Architect which means that I think about the big picture in every way. Having skills in software design, systems engineering and physical plant is rare. One issue that see as an ongoing issue over time is the assignment or hiring of Architects for software development and systems engineering in companies of various sizes. I see this role filled via promotion only and only via internal candidates. An internal candidate can be a great architect but the process of promotion is very often into a management role before an architecture role. The issue comes from the history with the organization and politics that develop. Architecture is about building safe solutions that are efficient or use resources minimally.

I continue to talk to and see issues where the product hand off or on-boarding is impossible when the development, systems, security, auditing or any number of organization silos have altered the project in impactful ways. Always be prepared to stop and review the architecture if there is a change.