Re-partitioning and reinstalling a newer version of Fedora on my laptop

Fedora 26 Installer - Installing software progress bar

I wanted to document this process on my blog, since it's the second time I've had to do it, and it always takes me way longer to figure it out than it should... basically, here's how you can take a laptop with a hard disk that's running an older version of Fedora (in my case, Fedora 23), use the Fedora install media to re-partition the drive, then install a newer version of Fedora (in my case, Fedora 26):

Updating drupal/core with Composer - but Drupal core doesn't update

For the past two minor release Drupal core upgrades, I've had major problems trying to get some of my Composer-based Drupal codebases upgraded. For both 8.3.x to 8.4.0, and now 8.4.x to 8.5.0, I've had the following issue:

  1. I have the version constraint for drupal/core set to ~8.0 or ~8.4 in my composer.json.
  2. I run composer update drupal/core --with-dependencies (as recommended in Drupal.org's Composer documentation).
  3. Composer does its thing.
  4. A few things get updated... but not drupal/core. It remains stubbornly on the previous minor release.

Looking around the web, it seems this is a very common problem, and a lot of people soon go for the nuclear (or thermonuclear1) option:

Updating all your servers with Ansible

From time to time, there's a security patch or other update that's critical to apply ASAP to all your servers. If you use Ansible to automate infrastructure work, then updates are painless—even across dozens, hundreds, or thousands of instances! I've written about this a little bit in the past, in relation to protecting against the shellshock vulnerability, but that was specific to one package.

I have an inventory script that pulls together all the servers I manage for personal projects (including the server running this website), and organizes them by OS, so I can run commands like ansible [os] command. Then that enables me to run commands like:

Ansible playbook to upgrade all Ubuntu 12.04 LTS hosts to 14.04 (or 16.04)

Generally speaking, I'm against performing major OS upgrades on my Linux servers; there are often little things that get broken, or configurations gone awry, when you attempt an upgrade... and part of the point of automation (or striving towards a 12-factor app) is that you don't 'upgrade'—you destroy and rebuild with a newer version.

But, there are still cases where you have legacy servers running one little task that you haven't yet automated entirely, or that have data on them that is not yet stored in a way where you can tear down the server and build a new replacement. In these cases, assuming you've already done a canary upgrade on a similar but disposable server (to make sure there are no major gotchas), it may be the lesser of two evils to use something like Ubuntu's do-release-upgrade.

I made the switch from Aperture to Photos

Aperture to Photos macOS Sierra upgrade and migrate library using iCloud

tl;dr: ~600 GB photo library, took ~3 weeks to migrate, some things are awesome (access to all my photos everywhere, on any device), some things less so (faces don't get synced, no loupe, no five-star rating system, no pro-level editing/batch workflows). All-in-all, I wish Apple didn't ditch Aperture... but it's not the end of the world moving to Photos.

There are many, many photographers who were disappointed Apple decided to discontinue Aperture development. Aperture was by far my favorite tool for both organizing and manipulating RAW photos taken with my DSLRs. It was fast, it had tons of great organizational features, and was highly adaptable.

Upgrade an Apache Solr Search index from 1.4 to 3.6 (and later versions)

Recently I had to upgrade someone's Apache Solr installation from 1.4 to 5.x (the current latest version), and for the most part, a Solr upgrade is straightforward, especially if you're doing it for a Drupal site that uses the Search API or Solr Search modules, as the solr configuration files are already upgraded for you (you just need to switch them out when you do the upgrade, making any necessary customizations).

However, I ran into the following error when I tried loading the core running Apache Solr 4.x or 5.x:

org.apache.solr.common.SolrException:org.apache.solr.common.SolrException: org.apache.lucene.index.IndexFormatTooOldException: Format version is not supported (resource: MMapIndexInput(path="/var/solr/cores/[corename]/data/spellchecker2/_1m.cfx") [slice=_1m.fdx]): 1 (needs to be between 2 and 3). This version of Lucene only supports indexes created with release 3.0 and later.

To fix this, you need to upgrade your index using Solr 3.5.0 or later, then you can upgrade to 4.x, then 5.x (using each version of Solr to upgrade from the previous major version):

I'm (almost) Drupal 7... and so should you!

I've now created three different Drupal 7 sites, and I can heartily state that I'm pleased with where the community has come in the past couple of years—especially from a UX perspective (the admin overlay has actually turned out to work VERY well across all the browsers I use). I will be posting more impressions of Drupal 7 from a themer's perspective in the coming weeks (check out an older post on D7 theming here).

I'm going to attempt an upgrade of this website to Drupal 7, then walk through creating a new D7 theme (hopefully to be contributed back) for this site.

Now that D7 has hit release candidate, a full release (1.0) can't be too far off, and nothing helps improve Drupal more than to start moving smaller production websites on shared hosting servers from 6.x to 7.x! The more people that do this, the more people can help fix the lingering bugs that are keeping Drupal 7 from more widespread adoption by those already using Drupal 6. You see... everyone benefits!

Upgrade to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Initial Impressions

This morning, before heading into work, I ran by the Apple Store to pick up a few copies of Snow Leopard. For most of the morning, I alternated Macs while upgrading one of them, and this post will provide some initial reactions / thoughts on running Snow Leopard.

The upgrade went smoothly—took about 1 hour on my new Macbook Pro 13.3", and about 1.5 hours on an older Core Duo Macbook Pro. No real hiccups, but I have to say I was disappointed that Apple didn't make a new 'Welcome' video. It's the same one as they had for 10.5 :-(

On the first startup, the Setup Assistant displayed the welcome video, then simply said "Thanks for installing 10.6" (I did the upgrade install instead of a Clean install, FYI), and I went about my normal routine. The screen gamma was changed to OSX's new default, 2.2, which is a bit more contrasty... but I simply recalibrated with my Spyder color calibrator and colors were back to my preference.

Exchange Support

Apple's built-in support for Microsoft Exchange is the main reason I went as soon as possible to pick up my copy of Snow Leopard. Immediately after installing, I started playing around with the settings. The biggest question I had was how to set up multiple personal calendars (through MobileMe) concurrently with multiple Exchange calendars (a task impossible to accomplish on the iPhone).

Mail Exchange Server 2007 Setup Options Pane

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