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Ansible 101 by Jeff Geerling - YouTube streaming series

After the incredible response I got from making my Ansible books free for the rest of March to help people learn new automation skills, I tried to think of some other things I could do to help developers who may be experiencing hardship during the coronavirus pandemic and market upheaval.

So I asked on Twitter:

And immediately got a lot of positive feedback.

So, on Wednesday, March 25, I kicked off a weekly 1-hour live-streaming series, "Ansible 101 with Jeff Geerling."

How to livestream Masses or other liturgies on YouTube

I've been working on video streaming on a tight budget for years, and have scrambled to get live-streaming going for some liturgies on short notice, so I figured I'd put together a video showing a few options from 'cheap using what you already have' to 'a little more expensive but within a reasonable budget'. Note that if you plan on having regular video streams for the long term, it's better to invest in a proper streaming system with remote-controlled PTZ cameras and hard-wired connections.

All of the options in this post will require at least a smartphone or computer (laptop preferred) with a good WiFi connection. Ideally, you can also plug your phone or laptop into power so the battery doesn't run out in the middle of the stream

Make your Ansible playbooks flexible, maintainable, and scalable - AnsibleFest Austin 2018 Presentation

Last year, at AnsibleFest Austin 2018, I presented Make your Ansible playbooks flexible, maintainable, and scalable. All the sessions at AnsibleFest were recorded, and I thought I'd be doubly safe since I presented my session on both days of AnsibleFest! Alas, due to some technical glitch, all the session recordings were lost, and so the only recordings available online today are those which were re-recorded by presenters.

As life happened... re-recording the session was put on the back burner. And after many months, I started to forget the structure of the presentation (I haven't given it since AnsibleFest), so I figured I might never get around to re-recording it at home.

Luckily, though, when I was running through Final Cut Pro to archive the previous years' completed projects, I found a practice recording of the session from the week before AnsibleFest. It was thankfully pretty good, and only needed a few slight edits:

Convert Protected M4V videos from iTunes to MP4s with TunesKit

So, I have amassed a pretty massive media library over the years—my goal has always been to maintain every single bit of digital media I own locally via iTunes (and/or other libraries which can be shared with devices in my home), and be able to play any of my DVDs, Blu-rays, digital purchases, etc. on any of my devices (mostly in the Apple kingdom, but there are a few Raspberry Pis and other devices floating about).

I also like the convenience of purchasing media on the iTunes Store, so I have also amassed a decent collection of movies and TV shows there. One problem: none of those files can be played outside the Apple ecosystem! In the past, I outlined how I put Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and DVD media onto my Mac. In this post, I'll run through my process for stripping the DRM from protected M4V videos I purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Store.

Aside: It's ironic that the International Day against DRM was a couple days ago—it has no bearing on my writing this post, it's just coincidental.

Setting up Faceted Apache Solr search in Drupal 8

Note: Extra special thanks to Doug Vann for providing motivation to finally post this blog post!

Early in 2016, when the Search API and Solr-related modules for Drupal 8 were in early alpha status, I wrote the blog post Set up a faceted Apache Solr search page on Drupal 8 with Search API Solr and Facets.

MetaZ - Alternative to MetaX and iDentify 2 for tagging video content in iTunes

For many years, I've ripped all my DVDs, Blu-Rays, and HD-DVDs into my computer, and it's great to be able to watch any of my digital content on any of my devices whenever and wherever I want, without having to have a huge stack of discs laying somewhere accessible (I store them all in a box in my basement).

For almost as long, I've used iDentify for this purpose, but it looks like the developer behind the app gave up on the iTunes/macOS ecosystem entirely in the past year or so, and the app stopped working on macOS Sierra 10.12.

I looked around for alternatives, and found mentions of iFlicks (didn't seem as fully featured), Vidalin (no longer developed), MetaX (no longer developed?), and Subler. I tried a couple of these and didn't find them as pleasant as iDentify, but then I also found MetaZ, tagged as "Two letters better than MetaX".

AnsibleFest 2016 Review and Ansible Roles for Fun and Profit video online!

It's been a few weeks since AnsibleFest San Francisco, and Ansible just posted the video recordings of all the sessions from AnsibleFest SF 2016! I was honored to be able to speak about Ansible Roles at this year's west coast AnsibleFest, and I also arrived a little early so I could participate in the Ansible Contributor Conference on July 27.

Ansible Roles - Jeff Geerling presenting at AnsibleFest SF 2016
Picture from my session courtesy of The Appnel Group.

Mobius Mini Action Cam Pro - Dashcam setup and review

tl;dr: Watch the example/demo video below to see how the Mobius performs in a variety of driving conditions:

For the past few years, I've seen countless 'fail' videos, linked videos on reddit, etc. which show both the utility and entertainment value that comes from a dashcam—a camera that records everything that happens in front of your car while you're driving.

When looking around at the options for dashcams, and knowing my preference for reliability and ease of use, I came up with the following criteria:

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