Security, Passwords and Password Managers

In this post, I want to talk about staying secure online. This is a less technical post that those I often write. It's aimed at my family and non-technical friends, who perhaps don't appreciate why security online is so important; why choosing unique, strong passwords is important; and why password managers are for everyone, and not just socially-awkward sysadmin code monkeys like me. If you think "…nobody's going to be trying to hack my Gmail account…" then read on!

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2015 - A Year In Review

With 2015 behind me, and 2016 ahead, it's that time of the year where I reflect on the past year. This is really a retrospective, and in the same way that my team conducts agile retrospectives as part of our workflow, I thought I'd approach the past year in that stop/start/continue fashion.

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CloudFormation Gotcha With RDS Read Replicas

I've spent more time than I'd like this week being perplexed by spurious behaviour in creating a replicated MySQL environment in RDS, with CloudFormation. RDS supports creating up to five MySQL read-replicas to slave off of a running MySQL master. Configuring this using the web console involves selecting a master RDS instance and selecting the option to create a read-replica. Before the read-replica is created, a configuration page allows various parameters to be reviewed and updated. By default, key parameters such as the size and storage class of the attached EBS volumes are inherited from the master.

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Getting More Out Of SSH

If you've been working with Linux servers for any length of time then you've used SSH to connect to a server. Though the way you use SSH and the features you use may vary, SSH is incredibly powerful and has a lot of features the average user may not be aware of, or use. I don't want to say this is a post about power user features, or a list of hidden tips and tricks; the more you use something, the more you understand it, and more efficiently use it. This post is just a collection of features I use that others I've seen don't, and may prove useful to others.

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My Mac Tools & Config

This is necessarily quite a long article with many sections. The goal of this post is to share the tools I use on a daily basis to get the job done, and where appropriate, give some insight into how I use them. It may prove useful to others who have asked about the tools I use in the past, or it may prove an interesting retrospective on how things have changed in years to come. I've split this article into three main sections, covering the main desktop apps, web apps, and console tools I use. While some of these apps and tools may be available for other Operating Systems, I'm primarily a Mac / OSX user.

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