Snipe.Net Geeky, sweary things.

My Week in Tech


This is the first of what I hope will be a recurring feature. Once a week, I will write a blog post that covers things I’ve learned and links I’ve found. Hopefully it doesn’t suck, and hopefully I can keep up with it.

My goal is to remind myself, my colleagues, and younger folks who are just getting into the business that even after 18 years in this industry, I am still learning, every single day. You’re never *done*.

And also to serve as a link-catcher. I post a ton of great links to Twitter, but if you happen to miss them, you have no way of knowing it, so I’ll be trying to capture my favorite links of the week here as well.

This feature may not always be on Friday, and it may not always be exactly one week. Somehow I think you’ll manage.

Until I whip up a few tools to help me manage this more efficiently, this takes a bit of time to assemble, so if you find it useful, please let me know. It’s not for my ego – it’s just so I know whether this is actually helpful to anyone and worth continuing. I know this one is long – the next ones should be shorter, since there’s less to catch up on.

Shit I Learned

Chef: RabbitMQ Not Starting on Amazon Linux
The amazing Sascha Bates helped me track down a bug while installing Chef Server on an x86 AWS Amazon Linux instance. The problem is caused by a missing conditional in /opt/chef-server/embedded/cookbooks/runit/recipes/default.rb that didn’t consider Amazon Linux as a possible platform option. Check out issue CHEF-3838 for more info – the fix is a two-line change, and allegedly will be added to the next release.

See Sascha’s talk on how to fuck up your configuration management, and a great one on Berkshelf by Jamie Windsor from Riot Games. I still have a LOT to learn, but I’m really stoked.

Shit I Linked (This Shit’s the SHIT!)

rickrollrc – Bash script which rickrolls your terminal by playing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” with ANSI 256-color coded UTF-8 characters + audio (if available). Genius. (thx @schrotthaufen)

2013 WhiteHat Security State of Web Security Report – is out. It is long and the PDF is large, but it’s worth a read.

How to Preview Shortened URLs (TinyURL,,, and more) by @theJoshMeister is an excellent breakdown of all the major URL shorteners, and how to preview their url (and sometimes their contents) without clicking through. Important stuff to know in this day of phishing and malware. Or if you just want to mess with your paranoid Infosec friends, there’s always ShadyURL.

This 17-Year-Old Coder Is Saving Twitter From TV Spoilers (Spoiler: She’s a Girl) : I don’t think I need to elaborate on the multitude of things that are badass about this. (thanks, @richdooz)

Mapping hate speech: homophobia and racism on twitter: I’d be curious to see how/whether the population and/or cultural co-opting of target words was factored in at all. And would sure have liked it if negative gender words were mapped – but it’s a good start and has really interesting potential. Related:

fartscroll.js – You want fart noises as you scroll? We’ve got you covered. Open source library by The Onion that makes fart noises as you scroll a web page. Because internet, that’s why.

How Stuff Spreads #1: Gangnam Style vs Harlem Shake – Full Study and Data Visualization: How Stuff Spreads will look at how digital content (videos, articles, websites, and images) travels the social web. This, the first instalment, looks at how two memes spread on Twitter: Gangnam Style vs Harlem Shake.

Commit Logs from Last Night – hilarious and real GitHub commit messages from the previous night. And if you’re ever stuck on coming up with a commit message, there’s

Shatoetry – think refrigerator magnet poetry, read aloud by William Shatner. This iOS app is absolutely worth the $0.99.

Starlogs – Just enter a public GitHub repo url, and watch the awesome unfold.

My Shit

This stuff isn’t from this past week, but I haven’t had a chance to write about it.

ASCII Goatse – in both non-HTML-comment compliant form, and HTML-comment compliant form. Because validation is important. – OMGResponsive!

DeployHQ+AWS – Script to automatically add newly created AWS autoscaled deployment servers to DeployHQ via API. (Sorry, I had to throw something actually useful in there just to mess with you.)

~/.inputrc for nice bash history up-arrows – This allows you to search through your history using the up and down arrows … i.e. type “cd /” and press the up arrow and you’ll search through everything in your history that starts with “cd /”. Create ~/.inputrc and fill it with this. YES I know zsh already does that. I don’t care.

Profane Fizzbuzz – Whipped up for my new friend @daveshackleford.

Oh, and I made that “Test all the pens” thing in the header.

Shit I Thought

I still don’t like development frameworks. They all suck. They each solve some problems and create new ones. Get off my Internet.

I am consistently astonished at how much Outlook for Mac sucks, and how poorly Mac Mail handles large Exchange mailboxes, still. I can’t believe that it’s 2013 and the two things I want most – browsing and email – are still so fucking hard.

I survived blogging about gender in tech unscathed. I still have a vagina and still work in technology, and one hasn’t gotten in the way of the other for another week. I feel like I should get a prize.

Miscellaneous Shit

If you want to get the Save As file menu back in Mountain Lion, open Terminal and run the following:

defaults write -globalDomain NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add 'Save As...' '@$S'

Realunch the app, and boom. Done.

About the author


I'm a tech nerd from NY/CA now living in Lisbon, Portugal. I run Grokability, Inc, and run several open source projects, including Snipe-IT Asset Management. Tweet at me @snipeyhead, skeet me at, or read more...

By snipe
Snipe.Net Geeky, sweary things.

About Me

I'm a tech nerd from NY/CA now living in Lisbon, Portugal. I run Grokability, Inc, and run several open source projects, including Snipe-IT Asset Management. Tweet at me @snipeyhead, skeet me at, or read more...

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