Recent Blog Posts

Raspberry Pi (or another device) suddenly not getting a DHCP address?

Tonight, after I made a couple changes to my wired in-house Gigabit network (I recently added a few Cat6 runs after moving my main Wireless router—in this case an AirPort Extreme base station), I noticed the Raspberry Pi webserver that was hosting www.pidramble.com wasn't reachable over the network, and Server Check.in started reporting an outage.

I have that particular device set using a DHCP Reservation based on it's MAC address, and it's been working like a champ for over a year. So something was strange, since I hadn't made any networking configuration changes on the Pi itself in a few months, nor had I unplugged it at all in the past month.

Speaking about Ansible Roles at AnsibleFest SF 2016

I'm excited to announce that I'll be speaking at AnsibleFest San Francisco 2016, on July 28th, giving a session titled Ansible Roles - for Fun and Profit!

Image from AnsibleFest London
Image from AnsibleFest London, earlier in the year.

AnsibleFest is the major bi-annual Ansible conference, full of case studies, sessions and announcements. I'm excited to finally be able to attend, as I've been an avid user of Ansible since 2013, even to the point of writing one of the most popular introductory books on Ansible, Ansible for DevOps.

Setup a FOSCAM WiFi camera directly connected to a Mac via Ethernet

I have two FOSCAM WiFi IP cameras set up in my house (in addition to an outdoor Arlo I use for security purposes), and generally all three of these cameras give a reliable connection and work without much intervention.

Recently, however, one of the FOSCAM cameras decided to stop connecting to the wireless network. I needed to get access to the camera via the wired interface, but I didn't want to have to bring the camera all the way to where my wired networking drops were located, because it's in a bit of an inconvenient area of the basement in the midst of some cleanup we're doing.

So I plugged the FOSCAM directly into my Mac's USB 3.0 ethernet adapter, and got blinky lights... but couldn't connect to the camera because it's wired connection is configured to use DHCP by default, and there's no Bonjour/zeroconf configuration.

To get around this and directly connect to the camera, I did the following:

Reintroducing the sanity of CM to container management

Recently, Ansible introduced Ansible Container, a tool that builds and orchestrates Docker containers.

While tools that build and orchestrate Docker containers are a dime a dozen these days (seriously... Kubernetes, Mesos, Rancher, Fleet, Swarm, Deis, Kontena, Flynn, Serf, Clocker, Paz, Docker 1.12+ built-in, not to mention dozens of PaaSes), many are built in the weirdly-isolated world of "I only manage containers, and don't manage other infrastructure tasks."

The cool thing about using Ansible to do your container builds and orchestration is that Ansible can also do your networking configuration. And your infrastructure provisioning. And your legacy infrastructure configuration. And on top of that, Ansible is, IMO, the best-in-class configuration management tool—easy for developers and sysadmins to learn and use effectively, and as efficient/terse as (but much more powerful than) shell scripts.

From Ansible Container's own README:

DrupalCamp St. Louis 2016 - Call for Sessions!

DrupalCamp St. Louis logo - Fleur de Lis

DrupalCamp St. Louis 2016 will be held on September 10-11 in St. Louis, MO, on the campus of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and we're excited to announce that session submissions are open!

We'd love to hear people speak about Drupal business, case studies, coding, community, DevOps, front end, PHP, project management, security, or any other Drupal topic. If you're interested in speaking, please submit a session for consideration, and we'll announce the selected sessions before August 1st.

Deleting a directory in Windows 10 with 'Source path too long' using robocopy

2016-10-04 Update: Microsoft finally allows long paths, provided you are running the latest version of Windows 10; you have to opt-in by editing a group policy for now—maybe by 2050 or so this will be the default, once all the old legacy Windows apps are finally dead!

For some reason, Windows doesn't play well with deep folder hierarchies. Often, when building Drupal projects inside VMs with synced directories, I end up with folders with 10+ levels of hierarchy, and when I try to delete the directory within windows, I get the error "Source path too long" (or "File path too long"). This happens a lot with npm, composer, or other package/dependency managers, and I'm amazed there's no easy workaround... but I figured I'd document what I do here, because I've had to look up the process too many times.

1 - Download robocopy

First, download and install the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools, which includes a CLI utility, robocopy.

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