A new e-book reader

I’m not the eager reader of the world, but I read quite a few books a year, books about computing, networking, and programming. New updated versions of these books are continuously released so I prefer to read them electronically. I have three sources of e-books: downloaded epub (especially from PacktPub), Amazon Kindle, and Safari Book On-Line (my company is paying for this valuable subscription). Two years ago I bought an iPad to read books from all these sources and I ended up loading all sort of things on the iPad so I was continuously distracted from reading. Some weeks ago I was looking for a better device to accomplish this and a colleague of mine pointed me to inkBook, we ordered two of their devices and now I’m using one to read.
inkBook is a sort of Android-based tablet with a nice e-ink display, it’s easy to gain root access to the device and so you can install Android apps using adb.

Thanks Dell

I bought a Dell XPS with Ubuntu (XPS 13 9360) last year and I found a problem with my thunderbolt to HDMI adapter. I was unable to upgrade the flash from Linux, I was not sure which of the payloads available on DELL repository on Github to use, I was worried to brick my adapter. I was going to find a way to boot my laptop using Windows (I was even about to buy a license) while I checked back the DELL repository and I found out that it was possible to use fwupdate to flash the DA200. I succeeded to update both the BIOS and the Thunderbolt NVM in one pass.

Thanks DELL, now I can go to speak at free software conferences with a laptop running free software.

How this blog is running, right now

After a long time this blog moved again, I was not that active this year, I know and this blog was for long periods not working at all.

Lots of things happened in my life and I was really busy, too busy to share that is not good, know.

The virtual server I used to run this blog was too small to host all automatic backup so docker, yes this blog runs on docker, stopped working many time. I moved to a new VPS (BTW Hetzner has a fantastic migration process) but in the meanwhile my server was cracked by a super nice guy who decided to use it a relay for spam, I tried to figure out how to stop her/him/they and then I decided to reinstall from scratch. I changed Linux from Debian to CentOS and I reinstall everything.

Now I have a docker container running nginx rever proxy, another one managing the Let’s encrypt using EFF certification certification bot, a container runnig mysql, another one running wordpress and finally one running the backup.

It was not easy, for a docker beginner, to setup all this things but it was really funny and I understood lots of things.

Blog up again

This blog is up again. Some features are currently not working (permalink is an example). In the next few day I’ll correct everything and post how I set it up, now.

Back to SUSE ops to openSUSE

Today I started migrating my workstation from Ubuntu to openSUSE. Every friend of mine knows that I’m not a great fan of Ubuntu, I’m sorry guys but I don’t like the idea that the only way to not having a full desktop environment is to install the server edition.
On openSUSE I’m missing some bits and pieces but I already have 2 accounts on build.opensuse.org (one with my private email and the other with my company one) so I can build the missing packages, I just need to refresh out OBS works. I remember a quite intuitive CLI application.

Next step is to understand if I can remove Ubuntu from my Dell XPS 13 9360.

My big PC at home is going to continue to be a Debian, my first true Linux love.

Having a break

I’m on holidays!!! It took me almost 3 days to fully realise that I’m off from work. Wow!
I was a little bit stressed, I must admit.

I wiped out all the work-related worries and I’m starting feeling refreshed and less tired, I did not sleep as much as I planned but I think my tiredness was more due to stress then really fatigue.

Now I’m feeling energetic and I’m starting to plan for the future. Stay tuned I have lots of ideas running through my mind.

OpenStack Summit at Boston

During these days I’m in Boston to attend the OpenStack Summit, actually I’m not just attending but I’m one of the speakers.
With the valuable help of Domhnall, I just finished a talk about how to extend Monasca to interact with the external systems.
For the braver of you there is a registration on OpenStack Summit youtube channel, otherwise you can download all the slides.

I’m happy

Lateky I’m expecting all sort of difficulties, my life is not easy but I’m  happy, yes I’m. 

I learnt that you need to get joy from every single small thing that happens in you life and that you cannot stop hoping for the best. 

Living in Ireland I learnt that if the sun is shining out there you need to change your plans, leave whatever you are doing and go out of your house, enjoy your garden, go to walk on the Prom, sit on your doorstep and speak with your neighbours. This is just and example of enjoying every single moment of your life.

This week I was at a customer, we found some solutions but the system is this not working, the plane was late (on both ways), I got lost (sort of, provided I had a GPS) on the way to the hotel and I drove for a mile behind two horses, I was forced to call AA for an false problem with tyre pressure but I’m happy, yes I’m.

New life to this blog

This small site hidden in a dark corner of the Internet is back online and I’m taking care of it again.

I’ll switch language from Italian to English for most of my new posts as one of the main reason that is driving me to write is to improve my English so what a better way than maintaining a blog?

I’m going to update you on how this blog is now hosted and the ideas I have to improve it in the future, for the more curious of you I’m using docker.

Parsing config file with python

Today I was reading python code parsing a configuration file, an easy one with key = value and comment starting with #, I did not like the code so I wrote something just for fun:

config_file = ...
config = {}
with open(config_file, 'r') as f:
    config = dict((k.strip(), v.strip().split('#', 1)[0].strip())
                  for k, v in
                  (l.split('=') for l in
                   (line.strip() for line in
                    f) if (l and not l.startswith('#'))))

This code reads a configuration file into a dictionary so that you can get access configuration values easily in your code.

apt-spy: end of life but…

This is just a short post to let people know that apt-spy is going to be abandoned. I know that in my new year resolution I wrote that I’m going to take care of apt-spy but there are at least to good reasons to change idea:

  1. command lines switches are managed in a way that translates into nightmare to check user input
  2. Debian does not provide any more the mirror list as a text file and adding a new parser for the provided HTML file is too complex

So I’m letting it slowly be removed from the archive.

I started to design and implement a tool to do the same job. Its name is going to be apt-spy-ng (the name can be changed if I receive good suggestions). It’s written in python in the aim to be easy to maintain.

2015 – New year resolution

Everyone at the start of a new year makes a new year resolution, someone, like me, decide to publish it.
During 2015 I would like to:

  1. Start again to manage apt-spy
  2. Start again to help Debian Italian traslators
  3. Start again to test Debian Installer
  4. Apply to become a DM and may be, may be a DD
  5. Improve my English
  6. Contribute somehow to OpenStack
  7. Restart running regularly
  8. Run a 10k or better half a marathon
  9. Help in translating Coursera courses
  10. Limit social networking and get back to old style email

It is going to be an year of restart. Last year ended with a new job in a new country.

Cambiare operatore di cellulare in Irlanda

Qualche settimana fa ho deciso di cambiare operatore telefonico per il mio cellulare perche’ con meta’ dei soldi che spendo in un mese ora potremo avere il cellulare io e mia moglie.

Al mio arrivo in Irlanda avevo deciso (su consiglio di un collega) di prendere una SIM di Meteor. Ricaricando 20 euro al mese ti da dati e telefonate illimitati. Ripeterei questa scelta perche’ quando cercavo casa, non avevo il telefono e Internet a casa e non avevo la famiglia con me la possibilita’ di collegarmi a Internet senza guardare nessun contattore e di telefonare a chiunque senza problemi era fondamentale.

Ora pero’, che ho una connessione a internet a casa, posso collegarmi alla wireless dell’ufficio e mi moglie e’ qui ho trovato una soluzione piu’ economica: Tescomobile.

Come si fa a passare da un operatore all’altro in Irlanda? Semplice: comperi una SIM dell’operatore, ti registri sul loro sito internet, chiedi la portabilita’ dal loro sito e… dopo mezz’ora ti trovi sull’altra rete. Io oggi pomeriggio sono passato a tescomobile con 4 click,

Una vita senza auto

Continua la mia avventura senza auto, non proprio completamente senza, perché due fine settimana ne ho affittata una, però per ora vado avanti in bicicletta. A dire il vero all’inizio della mia avventura a Galway non avevo neanche la bici è ho fatto una grande quantità di chilometri a piedi, poi ho deciso di comprare una bicicletta usata. Da allora ho iniziato ad andare un po’ ovunque principalmente in ufficio e al supermercato. Qui in Irlanda, come nel vicino Regno Unito, esiste un programma per cui se si compra una bici per andare al lavoro si può pagarla a rate, trattenute direttamente dalla stipendio e si ha un piccolo vantaggio fiscale. Ho ovviamente aderito al programma ma la mia ditta lo considera un benefit per il 2015 quindi per la nuova bicicletta dovrò aspettare gennaio. Non vedo l’ora.
La vita senza auto è un poco più complicata e andare a fare la spesa spesso implica fare parecchie volte la strada da casa al supermercato e viceversa però si fa dell’ottimo  esercizio fisico, non si fanno code e soprattutto non si inquina.


La vita in Irlanda continua a scorrere serena tra mille cose da fare e piccoli problemi da risolvere.

Oggi ho fatto la mia prima gita in bicicletta, sono andato a Oranmore a fare visita alla mia padrona di casa.

Oranmore è un villaggio vicino a Galway. Il villaggio in se è abbastanza piccolo: due chiese (quella vecchia e quella nuova), due banche, tre supermercati, un po’ di pub.

La mia padrona di casa non abita in paese ma un po’ fuori. La sua proprietà include, oltre a una casa tanto grande che un tempo era un bed and breakfast, un terreno sufficientemente grande da poter ospitare comodamente una trentina di cervi e un laghetto. Io sono rimasto letteralmente a bocca aperta quando sono entrato nel viale.

Visto che stamattina era bel tempo ne abbiamo approfittato per fare una bella camminata in parco in cui si passa dal prato curato con tavolini, al castello del 1600, ai giochi per bambini, al bosco in cui stanno cercando di riportare solo specie autoctone, alla spiaggia sulla baia e l’oceano.

Dopo pranzo ho fatto le mie commissioni sotto l’acqua (ormai ci sono abituato) e poi ho fatto due conti, in totale ho percorso 18,5km in bici. Ora vado a dormire stanco ma contento per aver passato una piacevole giornata.