CategoryTechnology

Technology! These articles are about technology in a broad sense. For technical topics, it includes technical how-to articles or coverage of an exciting new project I discovered. Some non-technical topics include tech culture, issues in tech, or the intersections of technology and humanity.

TeleIRC v1.3.1 released with quality-of-life improvements

On April 20th, 2019, the TeleIRC development team released TeleIRC v1.3.1, the latest version after the final development sprint for the university semester. This release introduces minor improvements in order to accommodate heavier work-balance loads on our volunteer contributors. However, it gave us an opportunity to reduce technical debt. This blog post explains what’s new in TeleIRC v1.3.1 and also offers a retrospective into how this last sprint went.

Special thanks and appreciation goes to Tim Zabel and Nic Hartley for their contributions this release cycle.

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Roadmap for TeleIRC v1.4

The RITlug TeleIRC developer team celebrated the v1.3 release on March 3rd, 2019. Looking ahead, the team is mapping out next steps for quality-of-life improvements in v1.4.

What’s coming in TeleIRC v1.4

TeleIRC v1.4 is the next feature release of TeleIRC. The targeted release date for v1.4 is by the end of April 2019 (i.e. the end of the academic semester for students involved with the project). Following v1.4, the project will likely enter brief hibernation until Fall 2019 when the RIT academic semester begins again.

At the developer meeting on March 23rd, we discussed the scope of this sprint and what we felt is realistic for project maintainers to work on:

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Why did Fedora Modularity fail in 2017? A brief reflection

For the ISTE-430 Information Requirements Modelling course at the Rochester Institute of Technology, students are asked to analyze an example of a failed software project and write a short summary on why it failed. For the assignment, I evaluated the December 2017 announcement on Fedora Modularity. I thought it was an interesting example of a project that experienced initial difficulty but re-calibrated and succeeded in the end. And it is a project I am biased towards, as a Fedora user and sysadmin.

I thought sharing it on my blog might be interesting for others. Don’t read into this too much – it was a quick analysis from a single primary source and a few secondary references.

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Sphinx docs authors: Meet an opinionated quickstart

Do you write documentation with the Sphinx tool chain? Do you want to encourage more people to write Sphinx documentation in a distributed organization, but worry about maintaining compatible workflows? Introducing sphinx-docs-opinionated-quickstart, a template repository with an opinionated configuration of ReStructuredText documentation with Travis CI testing and readthedocs.org publishing.

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How to fix missing Python for Ansible in Fedora Vagrant

Recently, I started to use Vagrant to test Ansible playbooks on Fedora machines. I’m using the Fedora 28 cloud base image. However, when I tried to provision my Vagrant box, I was warned the Python binary is missing.

$ vagrant provision
==> default: Running provisioner: ansible...
    default: Running ansible-playbook...

PLAY [all] *********************************************************************

TASK [Gathering Facts] *********************************************************
fatal: [default]: FAILED! => {"changed": false, "module_stderr": "Shared connection to 192.168.121.3 closed.\r\n", "module_stdout": "\r\n/bin/sh: /usr/bin/python: No such file or directory\r\n", "msg": "MODULE FAILURE", "rc": 127}
	to retry, use: --limit @playbook.retry
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Keep your open source project organized with GitHub project boards

This article was originally published on Opensource.com.


Managing an open source project is challenging work. The challenge grows as a project grows. Eventually, a project may need to meet different requirements and span across multiple repositories. These problems aren’t technical, but are important to solve to scale a technical project. Business process management methodologies such as agile and kanban bring a method to the madness. Developers and managers can make realistic decisions for estimating deadlines and team bandwidth with organized development focus.

At the UNICEF Office of Innovation, we use GitHub projects boards to organize development on the MagicBox project. MagicBox is a full-stack application to serve and visualize data for decision-making in humanitarian crises and emergencies. The project spans multiple GitHub repositories and works with multiple developers. With GitHub project boards, we organized our work across multiple repositories to better understand development focus and team bandwidth.

Here’s three tips from the UNICEF Office of Innovation on how to organize your open source GitHub projects with the built-in project boards on GitHub.

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Six months later: 3 things I learned from deleting Facebook

Six months ago, I deleted my Facebook and Instagram accounts. Beyond data privacy concerns, social media became a virtual band-aid applied to moments of weakness and sadness for me. I became more aware of the effects of social media on my mood and general outlook on the world, as I explained in my decision to delete my accounts. Six months now passed since I deleted my accounts. Along the way, I learned a few lessons on creating a healthy diet of media and pop culture consumption in a world of constant connectivity and endless memes.

This article explains changes I made to how I use social media and my smart phone since deleting my accounts. Hopefully you find these tips useful too.

The picture is dramatic, but when you spend more time thinking about how you use your phone, you realize how the world uses our phones and the Internet. Photo from SparkXL.
The picture is dramatic, but when you spend more time thinking about how you use your phone, you realize how the world uses our phones and the Internet. Image credit: SparkXL.
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How to automatically scale Kubernetes with Horizontal Pod Autoscaling

Scale is a critical part of how we develop applications in today’s world of infrastructure. Now, containers and container orchestration like Docker and Kubernetes make it easier to think about scale. One of the “magical” things about The potential of Kubernetes is fully realized when you have a sudden increase in load, your infrastructure scales up and grows to accommodate. How does this work? With Horizontal Pod Autoscaling, Kubernetes adds more pods when you have more load and drops them once things return to normal.

This article covers Horizontal Pod Autoscaling, what it is, and how to try it out with the Kubernetes guestbook example. By the end of this article, you will…

  • Understand what Horizontal Pod Autoscaling (HPA) is
  • Be able to create an HPA in Kubernetes
  • Create an HPA for the Guestbook and watch it work with Siege

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2017 – My Year in Review

I can’t remember how writing an annual reflection became a tradition, but after writing them for the last two years, it is now a habit. Every time I look back on all that the last year brought into my life, it is surreal. Many things that happened, I could never have expected one or two years ago. And perhaps now, I see that life is defined by the unexpected moments: the things that surprise us, warm our hearts, sadden us, and remind us of our humanity. Thus, I present my year in review of 2017.

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Raspberry Pis and open source at Rochester Mini Maker Faire

This article was originally published on Opensource.com.


The Rochester Mini Maker Faire is an annual event at the Joseph A. Floreano Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, NY. Each year, makers, creators, artists, and more from all over upstate New York and beyond show their crafts and creations to the community. Open source software and hardware are popular items at the Rochester Mini Maker Faire, with countless Raspberry Pis, Arduino boards, and open source projects powering many electronic projects.

On November 18th, the Free and Open Source Software initiative at the RIT MAGIC Center and the RIT Linux Users Group presented projects and their communities at the Faire. Students from both communities demonstrated projects made with Raspberry Pis or larger undertakings on other open source projects.

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