Tag Archives: hacking

Coding, WTF Twitter, Twitch FTW, Getting Shit Done, Twitch Hacks, Tips, Tricks, and One Excellent Jazz Influenced Tune

WTF Twitter

I’ve been doing a lot more coding, thanks largely to the discipline that Twitch has brought to my day. It seems almost surprising to me at this point because Twitch started similarly to the way Twitter did for me. You see, I thought at first Twitter was the dumbest thing that had happened in ages. Arguably, it’s come full circle and I kind of feel the same thing about Twitter now, but during the middle decade in between that (yes, Twitter is over 10 years old!) Twitter has brought me connection, opportunities, and so much more. I couldn’t have imagined a lot of what I’ve been able to pull together because of Twitter. It’s still useful in many ways for this, albeit I like all of us are at risk of suffering the idiocy of today’s politics and political cronies, and the dog piling trash pile that follows them onto Twitter.

I’m not leaving Twitter any time soon but I’ve definitely put in on a very short leash, and limited what impact it does or doesn’t have in my day to day flow.

Twitch FTW

Amazingly however a new social and productive tool, not that it intended both, has come into being. Coding on Twitch. Don’t get me wrong I game, I just don’t game socially or on Twitch, what I do is code on Twitch. With a fair dose of hacking, breaking things, and then figuring out how to make them work. All at the same time I along with others have created a pretty excellent developers community there on Twitch. It seems to be growing all the time too. Twitch, at this point has become a focal point that has the benefits without all the annoying garbage that Twitter does these days, while adding the vast and hugely important fact that I can do things, be productive, chit chat, and generally get shit done all while I’m Twitch streaming.

VidStreamHacking

@ https://github.com/Adron/VidStreamHacking

With that, let’s talk about some of the recent notes and information I’ve been working on putting together to make Twitch even more useful. My first motive with this was to keep track of all the things I was doing, hardware I was putting together, and related things, but then another purpose grew out of all this note taking. It became obvious that this repository of information could be useful for other people. Here’s a survey of the things that I’ve added so far, hope they’re helpful to those of you digging into streaming out there!

I added some badges to identify various elements of information about the repo in the README.md.

badges

Is it maintained, yup, contributors, so far just me, zero issues filed but please feel free to add an issue or two, markdown yup, and there is indeed a Trello Board! The Trello Board is a key to insight, inspection, and what I’ve got going on in a number of my repositories. It’s where I’m keeping track of all the projects, what’s next, and what’s up in queue for the blog (this one right here). At least, in the context of the big code heavy or video reviews of sessions with code, extra commentary, and related content. If you want to get involved in any of the repos just let me know and I’m happy to walk through whatever and even get you added to the Trello board so we can work together on code.

Streaming Gear

https://github.com/Adron/VidStreamHacking/blob/master/hardware.md

My main machine is now a Dell XPS 15, which I fought through to get Linux running on it, and now that I have it’s been an absolutely stellar machine. I’ve also added additional monitor & port replicator/docking station gear to get it even more usable. The actual page I’ve got the details listed on are in the repo on the Dell XPS 15 item on the hardware page.

Along with the XPS 15 I wrote up coverage of the unboxing via video and blog entry. After a few weeks I also wrote up the conflict I had getting Linux running and removing Windows 10. In addition to the XPS 15 though I do use a MacBook from 2015 as my primary Mac machine, with an iMac from 2013 available as backup. Both machines are still resoundingly solid and performant enough to get the job done. Rounding out my fleet of machines is a Dell XPS 13 (covered here and here with the re-review).

For screens I have one at my office and one at home. They’re almost the same thing, ultra-widescreen monitors, curved displays, running 3880-1440 resolution from LG. These make keeping an eye on chat, OBS, and all sorts of other monitoring while coding, gaming, or whatever a breeze!

shotone.png

Ex 1: Just viewing a giant OBS view to get everything sorted out before starting a stream.

shottwo

Ex 2: OBS w/ VM running w/ Twitch chat, dashboard etc to the right. This way I can work, see the stream, and see chat and such all at the same time.

The docking stations and/or port replicators, whatever one calls these things these days also bring all of this tech together for me. There’s a couple I have tried and retired already (unfortunately, cuz dammit that cost some money!) and others that I use in some scenarios and others I use in others.

My main docking station contraption, shout out to James & others suggestion the Caldigit TS3. I got to this docking station through the Dell TB16 which for Linux, and kind of for Windows, is an unstable mess. Awesome potential if it worked, but it doesn’t so I tried out this USB-C pluggable option (in the tweet) which had HDMI that was unfortunately limited in resolution. Having a wide screen made this – albeit it being super compatible with Linux – unusable too. So I finally upgraded to the Caldigit TS3 and WOW, the Caldigit is super seriously wickedly bad ass. Extra USB-C ports, USB 2/3 ports, power, and more all rolled into one. It even supplies some power to the laptop, however I keep it plugged in since it’s kind of a power hog when the processor start chomping!

After trying out this USB-C pluggable (the tweet) I got the CalDigit into play. It’s really really good, here’s a shot of that from various angles with the extensive cables that I don’t have to plug into my laptop anymore. Out of this also runs a 28 port USB powered hub too, no picture, but just know I’ve got a crazy number of devices I routinely like to use!

That’s my main configuration when using the ultra widescreens and all. Good setup there, very usable, and the 32GB of memory in the laptop really get put to use in this regard. As for storage, that’s another thing. I’ve got 1 TB in my laptop but another 1 TB in a USB-C Thunderbolt Samsung Drive which is practically as fast for most things. So much so I attach it via the TS3 via USB-C and it’s screaming fast and adds that extra storage. So far, primarily I’ve been using it to store all of my virtual machines or use it as video storage while I do edits.

There’s other gear too, check out the list, like the Rode Podcoster and other things. But that gear I’ll elaborate on some other time.

Meetup Streaming Gear

https://github.com/Adron/VidStreamHacking/blob/master/meetup-streaming-kit-gear.md

Another effort I’ve undertaken is recording meetups. To do this one needs to be able to stream things with several screens combined – i.e. picture in picture and all. To do this, one needs a camera that can focus on the speaker, ideally at least 1080p with at least some ability to work in less than ideal light. Then next to that, a splitter and capture card to get the slides! Once all those pieces come together, with a little OBS finesse one can get a pretty solid single pass recording of a meetup. An example of one of my better attempts was the last meetup “Does the Cloud Kill Open Source” with Richard Seroter. If you take a look at past talks in the Meetups Playlist you can see my iterative progress from one meetup to another!

Here’s the specific gear I’m using to get this done. At least, so far, and if and when it becomes financially reasonable I might upgrade some of the gear. It largely depends on what I can get more use out of beyond just streaming meetups.

Cords and Splitter – I picked up a selection of lengths and types so that I’d have wiring options for the particular environments the meetups would be located in. Generally speaking 25ft seems to be a safe maximum for HDMI. I’ve been meaning to check out the actual specifications on it but for now it’s more than enough regardless.81fhh-w-DeL._SX679_

The splitter wasn’t expensive at all ($16.99), and kind of surprised me considering the costs of the cables. Picture to the right, or above, or somewhere depending on mobile layout.

I needed capture cards for this, one for the line out of the splitter that would capture the slides. The first I had picked up based on suggestions focusing around quality and that was the Avermedia Extreme Cap HDMI to USB 3 Capture Card. It’s really solid for higher resolution and related capabilities. For the USB 3.0 HDMI HD Game Video Capture Card I picked it up based on price (it’s almost a 1/3rd of the price) but not particular focused on quality. However, now that I’ve used both they are capable and seem fine, so I might have been able to just buy two of the cheaper options.

The camera, ideally, I’d have a much higher quality one but the Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder has actually worked excellently. A little less feature rich for audio out and related things, but it zooms in good and can record at the same time I’m getting the cam feed into the stream. So it’s always a nice way to have a backup of the talk.

The last, and one of the most important aspects is getting good audio.

Streaming Meetups

https://github.com/Adron/VidStreamHacking/blob/master/meetup.md

At first thought, I made the mistake that just the gear would be enough but holy smokes there were about a million other things I needed to write. I created meetup.md to get the list going.

Jazz Influence Amidst the Heaviness!

As promised. Some music, not actually jazz, but heavily influenced by some jazz, progressive instrumentation, and esoteric, expansive, exquisite playing skills by the band. As always, be prepared. My music referrals aren’t always gentle! Happy code streaming!

New Live Coding Streams and Episodes!

I’ve been working away in Valhalla on the next episodes of Thrashing Code TV and subsequent content for upcoming Thrashing Code Sessions on Twitch (follow) and Youtube (subscribe). The following I’ve broken into the main streams and shows that I’ll be putting together over the next days, weeks, and months and links to sessions and shows already recorded. If you’ve got any ideas, questions, thoughts, just send them my way.

Colligere (Next Session)

Coding has been going a little slow, in light of other priorities and all, but it’ll still be one of the featured projects I’ll be working on. Past episodes are available here, however join in on Friday and I’ll catch everybody up, so you can skip past episodes if you aren’t after specific details and just want to join in on future work and sessions.

In this next session, this Friday the 9th at 3:33pm PST, I’m going to be working on reading in JSON, determining what type of structure the JSON should be unmarshalled into, and how best to make that determination through logic and flow.

Since Go needs something to unmarshall JSON into, a specific structure, I’ll be working on determining a good way to pre-read information in the schema configuration files (detailed in the issue listed below) so that a logic flow can be implemented that will then begin the standard Go JSON unmarshalling of the object. So this will likely end up including some hackery around reading in JSON without the assistance of the Go JSON library. Join in and check out what solution(s) I come up with.

The specific issue I’ll be working on is located on Github here. These sessions I’m going to continue working on, but will be a little vague and will start working on the Colligere CLI primarily on Saturday’s at 10am. So you can put that on your schedule and join me then for hacks. If you’d like to contribute, as always, reach out via here, @Adron, or via the Github Colligere Repository and let’s discuss what you’d like to add.

Getting Started with Go

This set of sessions, which I’ve detailed in “Getting Started with Go“, I’ll be starting on January 12th at 4pm PST. You can get the full outline and further details of what I’ll be covering on my “Getting Started with Gopage and of course the first of these sessions I’ve posted details on the Twitch event page here.

  • Packages & the Go Tool – import paths, package declarations, blank imports, naming, and more.
  • Structure – names, declarations, variables, assignments, scope, etc., etc.
  • Basic Types – integers, floats, complex numbers, booleans, strings, and constants.

Infrastructure as Code with Terraform and Apache Cassandra

I’ll be continuing the Terraform, bash, and related configuration and coding of using infrastructure as code practices to build out, maintain, and operate Apache Cassandra distributed database clusters. At some point I’ll likely add Kubernetes, some additional on the metal cluster systems and start looking at Kubernetes Operators and how one can manage distributed systems on Kubernetes using this on the metal environment. But for now, these sessions will continue real soon as we’ve got some systems to build!

Existing episodes of this series you can check out here.

Getting Started with Multi-model Databases

This set of sessions I’ve detailed in “Getting Started with a Multi-model Database“, and this one I’ll be starting in the new years also. Here’s the short run down of the next several streams. So stay tuned, subscribe or follow my Twitch and Youtube and of course subscribe to the Composite Code blog (should be to the left, or if on mobile click the little vertical ellipses button)

  1. An introduction to a range of databases: Apache Cassandra, Postgresql and SQL Server, Neo4j, and … in memory database. Kind of like 7 Databases in 7 Weeks but a bunch of databases in just a short session!
  2. An Introduction – Apache Cassandra and what it is, how to get a minimal cluster started, options for deploying something quickly to try it out.
  3. Adding to Apache Cassandra with DataStax Enterprise, gaining analytics, graph, and search. In this session I’ll dive into what each of these capabilities within DataStax Enterprise give us and how the architecture all fits together.
  4. Deployment of Apache Cassandra and getting a cluster built. Options around ways to effectively deploy and maintain Apache Cassandra in production.
  5. Moving to DataStax Enterprise (DSE) from Apache Cassandra. Getting a DSE Cluster up and running with OpsCenter, Lifecycle Manager (LCM), and getting some queries tried out with Studio.

Xamarin and I Are Hella Busy Hacking This Week

This week, along with the normal duties of getting everything from SSL working to code slung for account management to intellectual property (what is that exactly 😮 )…  this week is going to get hella busy. Here’s a few of the public events and training that I’ll be attending this week along with the normal bike n’ hacking n’ gettin’ shit done.

Shared Code Projects, PCL and Xamarin on 7/8/14 @

Intel JFCC Auditorium
2111 N.E. 25th Ave
Hillsboro, OR

James Montemagno  from Xamarin is coming to learn us the deets on how to create common core code that can run on any or all common platforms. Find out the differences between shared code project, portable class libraries, and simple file linking to share more code on iOS, Android, and Windows. This should be pretty kick ass to help kick OrchestrateExecutive off the ground. There’s a little more info here for the event: http://www.padnug.org/.

Database Stuff that aint RDBMS on 7/10/14 @

I’ll @adron be presenting on database types, what’s available out there outside of the relational and RDBMS world. How to resolve various problems with alternate data solutions for better results, better performance and ways to leap around the hurdles that are sometimes faced with RDBMS use.  More info here: http://www.meetup.com/ssdevelopers/events/176032122/

Xamarin Hands-on-Lab/Hackathon on 7/12/14 @

Montgomery Park

Kelly White @mckhendry has put together a hands-on-lab and hackathon, just a few days later hosting a hand-on-lab working with Xamarin to build apps. I’m going to hit up this event too (then go ride a 100+ kilometer bike ride, anybody up for the ride, ping me?) and sling some code on OrchestrateExecutive. Also a little more info here for the event: http://www.padnug.org/.

There’s more, but these are the top few meets I’ll be attending over the next two weeks. Happy hacking!

Coder’s Vacation : Preparation “RICON 2012, HTML 5 Developers Conference and Loading Up”

This next week I’m off to San Francisco for a coder’s vacation. I don’t exactly know what a coder’s vacation is but that’s what I’m aiming to define! I’ll put together a description of my idea of a coder’s vacation below. There are going to be several components about this vacation that really make it a coder’s vacation, such as:

  1. My trip is to San Francisco – This makes it an ideal place to be, as a coder, to hone one’s skills and meet the top people in startups, software and other areas. There is literally coding happening all over the city. Plus it is a fairly nice city to frequent to begin with.
  2. I’m Traveling via the Coast Starlight – This will give me significant time to study up on some of the things I’m learning right now. A little node.js, javascript, go and maybe even some other things while I relax in luxury and enjoy first class accommodations in the sleeper. I’ll also be blogging a bit about this and what it is like to disconnect for a while when you’re in transit between two points. There is some serious time to get out of the rat race and figure out we’re your headed personally, with technology, coding and more (and yes, that is one of my pictures of the Coast Starlight from a few years ago, it is a beast of a train at 15 cars!).
  3. I’ll be attending RICON 2012 – If you’re going to be there, let me know. We should meetup during the conference. Maybe pair up on some code, discuss data architectures, dilemmas and related things or just grab a drink. Since the trip is coinciding with the conference, there was no way I wasn’t going to go hang out with the Basho Crew and their inaugeral conference on #phatdata (see twitter for more context).
  4. I’ll be speaking at HTML 5 Developer’s Conference – This isn’t during the “vacation” part of the trip, but it is in San Francisco.
  5. Pairing up, conversations & coding with others – Because San Francisco is one of the best places in the world for this. I’ll be meeting up with some other coders and working on some ideas around #phatdata, architecture with various frameworks and solutions like Node.js, JavaScript and prospectively some others.
  6. I’ll be tweeting, documenting, blogging, video recording and photographing – Nuff’ said.  🙂

Definition:

Coder’s Vacation – [kohd]-er’s [vey-keyshuhn, vuh-] – A form of vacation, except that the individual taking the vacation is a coder and participates in coder activities. Such as hackathons, pair coding, maker development, physical computing, learning or reading about new software development technologies or otherwise spends their time on the vacation.

Phat Data (see also #phatdata) – [fat] [dey-tuh, dat-uh, dah-tuh] – I’ve replaced the use of the big data term with that of phat data. It just seems more fun, just as poor a characterization of the topic, so why not. If you can define big data then you can define phat data! So basically, help me define this, I’ll be tweeting about it a lot at RICON 2012.

For more definitions of things I often use in phrases on the blog, check out my dictionary. With this laid out, let the coder vacation begin.

Cheers!

The Adron Code Tour, Let’s Hack, Bike and Talk Hard Core Technology

I’m aiming to do over the first couple of months of 2013, to come to various towns throughout the United States and prospectively parts of Europe & England to code, bike, code some more, bike and generally hang out with the coders that are making waves and getting work done in the particular cities that I’m visiting. That’s where my question comes into play.

What towns should I visit, and who’s interested in hacking some code, talking shop, biking around town, showing me the places to be and generally hanging out? A few of the cities that are on my list of places to visit already include the following.

United States Stops

  • Spokane, Washington
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Portland, Oregon (this doesn’t really count, since I live here)
  • Oakland, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Orange County, California
  • San Diego, California
  • Austin, Texas
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • New York, New York
  • Boca Raton, Florida
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • New Orleans, Louisiana,
  • Charlotte, North Carolina

England & Europe Stops

  • London, England
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Copenhagen, Denmark

So that’s the list so far. I’ve got a lot of logistics to figure out. But it still leaves the question, who else is up for a visit? Is there a user group in your town that I should stop at? Anything related to PaaS, Cloud Computing, or Coding & Software Craftsmanship you’d like me to come speak about?

The things I’ll be aiming to hack on and blog, code, discuss and find out what each local community is focusing on and trying to make progress on includes these things:

Key Discussion Topics : I’d love to talk with as many people as possible about these.

  • PaaS – Platform as a Service Technologies. What are you using? AppHarbor, AppFog, Tier 3, AWS, Azure or something else?
  • Cloud Computing – What do you see as the greatest benefits, but more importantly what are the greatest issues to resolve and make progress around in your country, community and in your day to day job?
  • What’s the stack, framework and languages that you deal with on a daily basis? What’s your polyglot soup and what trends are you seeing?

Polyglot Soup : Are you hitting the Node.js, .NET, Java, Ruby on Rails, Sinatra or is the focus elsewhere?

  • What’s the feel for Ruby on Rails, Sinatra and the ruby community in general in your area?
  • How’s the Java vs. .NET peacetime activities (cuz ya know the war is over). How are each holding up under Oracle and Microsoft respectively? Are you still using them anywhere?
  • What’s the Node.js community like in your area? Are you doing full JavaScript stack development yet?
  • Hitting any of the outlier languages that have big impacts like; Go, Scala, F#, Erlang or any of the others? Powerful languages with an extremely small development community. I’m always curious about the activities here.

Feel free to send me an e-mail, call me, txt me, message me, skype me, or please comment below! I’m open to all ideas and thoughts. If you have a couch I can crash on, have a suggestion about a cool hotel, an awesome place to visit in one of these cities, please let me know. Over the next few months I’ll be trying to figure out this tour of mine and will be finalizing the locations soon, which I’ll announce and blog heavily on what we’ll hack, etc. I’ll also alude to the biking adventures I’ll partake upon.

Biking wild and coding crazy, cheers!

OSCON: Energy + Awesome + Space Exploration + Hacking

I wanted to post these two keynotes from OSCON 2011. They really bring out the spirit of exploration, adventure, care, and doing things bigger than oneself, doing things that go beyond the cat picture of the day. These presentations, well, I’ll let them speak for themselves. Absolutely great!

…and her intervew…

…and if you heard about Steve quitting Google or getting fired from Hacker News, read his glorious post on the matter.

OS Bridge Day #1

Keynote: Hacking for Freedom

(Description of Hacking for Freedom)

Day #1 has kicked off with a bang. A keynote that really pulled at the heart strings for the love of freedom and liberty! The notion of technology being involved directly to those pushing for their freedom. Below I’ve snagged a part of the description:

Description

A first-hand talk about the politics, technology and ethics of hacktivism. I’ll give an overview of some of the active groups, including Anonymous and Telecomix and discuss some of the projects I’ve worked on in the past few months. See this blog post and video of lightning talk from Pycon.

  • organizing protests in support of WikiLeaks and freedom information. Over one hundred cities in two weeks.
  • supporting communications in the Middle East: working 20 hours / day for a week for Egypt without dying
  • When the Net is up: proxies, mirrors, VPNs, encryption, retweeting
  • When the Net is down: dialup modem pools, fax blasts, ham radio
  • Works in Progress: two-way radio HOWTOs, Intranet LiveCDs

This keynote really made me realize I’ve gotten disconnected from a lot of things that pulled me into technology. The connected aspirations of people to change the world for the better is massive. The efforts that are going on around the world were described well by Peter Fein. Putting emphasis on the importance of having cell phones that can take video and get the word out when a regime is getting out of control. Having this immediate communication to call out the evil in the world has grown exponentially.

Peter Fein

Peter Fein

To learn more about what Peter Fein (@petewearspants) is up to and learn more about hacking for freedom check out Anonymous and Telecomix.  Also be sure to check out his blog at http://i.wearpants.org/.

Cloud Scaling: High Performance Even in Virtualized Environments

(Description of Cloud Scaling: High Performance Even in Virtualized Environments)

After the keynote I attended the Cloud Scaling Session by Gavin McQuillan (@gmcquillan) who works at Urban Airship and blogs at Omnifarious.

Gavin spoke about how to design an architecture, primarily using Amazon Web Services, to build for scalability and uptime. Some of the main take home points I tweeted:

Adron HallThe ongoing problem with the cloud is high volume/throughput/iops w/ storage. < Is there a pending solution? #osb11 #aws
Adron Hall#osb11 Only get ~10G of true local storage? <- me: why are you depending heavily on this? Use S3, SimpleDB, or other?
to which I received a follow up…
Vanessa Alvarez@adronbh interested in the answer to that, if anyone dares
Vanessa Alvarez@adronbh yes, would agree on #EMC #Isilon, still kind of hard and expensive;-)
…to which I ponder also, who is working on a legitimate price conscious, reasonable, high volume and high throughput storage medium that can be utilized via cloud computing?
All that and tons more, before lunch. :) Stay tuned for more coverage of the OS Bridge Conference.  Cheers!