Self-Publishing a Book (on Ansible)

I've published the first portion of a book I've been writing, Ansible for DevOps. This is my first-ever book, and I've written a little about the process of writing on Server's blog: Self-publishing my first technical book on LeanPub.

Ansible for DevOps cover image

I'm excited about the early feedback I've already received—and I haven't even finished writing half the book! I'm hoping to finish the first complete draft of the book (and continue publishing it in stages on LeanPub) by summer 2014.

Review: iPhone 5

Jeff's Rating: 5/5

tl;dr: Apple's steady, incremental improvements keep crushing any hope of a competing product with as much polish and panache.

The iPhone 5 is another hit in Apple's line of incrementally-improved iPhones. The iPhone 5 is noticably faster, lighter, and more seductive than the 4S that preceded it. It's aluminum (or 'aluminium' if you're from the UK) case is much more resilient and sleek than the 4/4S's glass back, and it looks much sleeker than the old plastic back on the iPhone 3G/3Gs.

Looks to Kill

iPhone 5 Back

Tech Talk Interview on

Sarah Reinhard is starting a new column, Tech Talks, on, where she interviews Catholics in tech (like myself). I was excited to be asked to participate in the first interview: Catholic Techie Jeff Geerling.

Speaking of tech-related things, this weekend I worked almost a full day on porting the Catholic Diocese App over to Android, and I'm getting pretty close. I have most of the functionality working, but there are quite a few rough edges. More to come!

Life, Liberty, and Social Media

Found: An interesting article from Gladden J. Pappin on Liberty, Technology, and the Advent of Social Networking. It's a bit tl;dr, but I've read through once, and hope to sit with it a little longer sometime.

The article (and many like it) makes me think a bit about the theme of personhood on the Internet, and how our use and overuse of social media, blogging, etc. in building our own self-image is something about which we must always be cautious.

I recently watched the Star Trek TNG Episodes 'Booby Trap' and 'Galaxy's Child', and while I'm no supporter of the strange philosophies that guide Star Trek morality/ethics, I wonder if we are becoming like Geordi LaForge, who fell in love with a projected image of a person on the holodeck.

Gadgets & Gizmos - Sanctifying Mobile Technology

This page contains information and resources pertaining to my 2011 presentation at the Catholic New Media Celebration entitled "Gadgets & Gizmos: Sanctifying Mobile Technology".

Download this Presentation

You can download a PDF file with all the slides from the presentation here: Sanctifying Mobile Technology [3.1 MB PDF].

Guiding Principles: Worship and Devotions

More information will be posted here after the presentation.

Technology and Faith

CUatMass - Faith and Technology Illustration by Lisa JohnstonThe St. Louis Review published a 'Living Our Faith' section on Technology and Faith in their most recent newspaper (Feb. 25th issue), and it highlights the fine line between faith and technology.

Two issues I have been thinking about more than others lately are technology as a distraction, and the distance between the Church and mainstream culture in implementing new tech/media initiatives.

To the first, the article reminds the reader, through the words of seminarian Gregory Carl, "Media and technology have a way ofgrabbing up a lot of your time and drawing attention to itself. In a certain sense, our object is to use this means of communication so that in due time, we can set those things aside and be in communion with Christ. There's almost a kind of dichotomy there."

The Year's Craziest Christmas Light Displays

Every year, it seems there are more and more extravagant displays of programmed Christmas lights. This year is the most impressive so far—so impressive, the tech side of me wants to do something along these lines, while the religious side of me balks at how much time/money was spent on these displays (even if they use LEDs... that's a lot of power, and a lot of cost/material for the bulbs and cords!).

Anyways, for your enjoyment, here are two of my favorite displays:

Little Drummer Boy

This neighborhood synchronized lights to different songs among 13 different houses. Lots of wireless controllers, I presume:

Click through to see more...

Live-Blogging to Drive Up Interest in an Event/Organization

Check out my post, Live-Blogging to Drive Traffic, Interest to Organizational Events, on Open Source Catholic. From the post:

The Steubenville St. Louis Mid-America conference is attended by over 6,000 teens every year, and there are many parents, friends, and other teens who wish they could participate as well. We have always posted information after the conference, but in St. Louis, for the past two years, we've started live-blogging and posting to social networks frequently throughout the conference, driving up traffic to our OYM websites.

We had triple the number of visitors this year than we had last year, and the residual traffic for this event is pretty strong, and keeps up interest for the event throughout the year.