Speaking in May 2017

It was a big April if you’re in the MySQL ecosystem, so am looking forward to other events that have different focus and a different base, so to speak. See you at:

  • rootconf – May 11-12 2017 – Bangalore, India. My first Rootconf was last year, and it was a great event; I look forward to going there again this year, to talk about capacity planning for your databases. If you register with this link you get a 10% discount.
  • Open Source Data Center Conference – May 16-18 2017 – Berlin, Germany. I’ve enjoyed my trips to OSDC in the last few years, and they’re on their last tickets now – so register if you plan to go!

Speaking in April 2017

Its been a while since I’ve blogged (will have to catch up soon), but here’s a few appearances:

  • How we use MySQL today – April 10 2017 – New York MySQL meetup. I am almost certain this will be very interesting with the diversity of speakers and topics.
  • Percona Live 2017 – April 24-27 2017 – Santa Clara, California. This is going to be huge, as its expanded beyond just MySQL to include MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and other open source databases. Might even be the conference with the largest time series track out there. Use code COLIN30 for the best discount at registration.

I will also be in attendance at the MariaDB Developer’s (Un)Conference, and M|17 that follows.

Upgrade notes on macOS Sierra

I’m notorious for not updating OS X (macOS) too quickly, preferring to wait months on end for Apple to iron out bugs. I just hope that in 2017 they don’t make a major release and something sensible, i.e. that fixes usability and makes the OS much more stable.

However when you buy a new Mac, you’re more or less forced into the new OS. I did pickup a MacBook Pro 15″ with the new TouchBar, and at some stage I’ll talk about my usage (its been about 3 months of daily usage).

One thing that has annoyed me about the new macOS Sierra is that I don’t get to use GPGTools – it will not work on macOS Sierra. There is now however a beta you could try to ensure you’re signing and encrypting email just as well.

Another thing that I hit almost immediately? Some of my SSH hosts just stopped working. I’ve seen various sites talk about how ssh-agent does not automatically load pass phrases to keychain during startup to Upgrading to macOS Sierra will break your SSH keys and lock you out of your own servers.

My ~/.ssh/config now has:

Host *

UseKeychain yes

AddKeysToAgent yes

to fix things.

Everything else more or less works. I did Time Machine restore. I’m not too happy that they removed the Time Remaining from the Battery icon, and I’m not getting the battery life that I expect, but maybe when the new Mac Mini’s come out, I’ll do another Time Machine restore to that, and a clean install to the MacBook Pro.

Compression algorithms, archival

My strategy for photos is to place them in my Dropbox folder, and sync them to one box in particular but they also live on the Dropbox cloud (it also used to be that they end up on Flickr as they sometimes still do; Google Photos does backup in regular resolution stuff from my iPhone). All this gets backed up via various backup services (Backblaze, CrashPlan).

Lately, I’ve been wondering if that makes sense since Dropbox applies compression to my JPGs. I missed the announcement of Dropbox using Lepton image compression, but did read with great interest that Flickr is using it too – A Year Without a Byte.

Lepton “provides lossless, bit-exact storage for any type of photo, whether it be for archival purposes, or for serving live.” It is open source.

I understand it saves Dropbox countless petabytes. I just don’t like the idea that my images are being re-compressed without me knowing about it. It may be that other services do this too. But one thing is for sure – the moment its in my Dropbox folder, they reduce in size, and my backups are also getting said reduction. Sure it’s lossless, bit-exact storage. But I’m thinking about archival forever!

P/S: I’m going to guess this is why Dropbox doesn’t support Live Photos┬áin Camera Uploads yet. They haven’t figured out how to save space…

New Year’s Note 2017

PhotoThis year we are spending New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, Portugal, and I’m glad to report its much warmer than Vienna last year.

TripIt says I did 25 trips, 252 days on the road, 463,491km travelled, 47 cities, and 20 countries in 2016. So less travel in terms of distance than 2015 (528,151km) but more than 2014 (435,271km). As for travelling overall, only 252 days spent overseas (with this current trip not being counted), compared to 281 days in 2015, and 264 days in 2014 (so this overall trend suggests more time at home!). Or it was just a “down year”, since I did spend 223 days on the road in 2013.

Anyway, back to enjoying Lisbon. I say I’ll write here more, but that just doesn’t seem to pan out as well as I’d like it to. I do write a “log” in a Hobonichi Techo, and still very much enjoy long form writing with pen and paper…

Happy New Year, remember Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” and let’s enjoy 2017 (we know it’s going to be interesting from a geopolitical standpoint).

Migrating to new iPhones

When we do upgrades, we have to do them family wide which is four devices at any given time. This time we all settled on the iPhone 7 in varying colours. Naturally, I got the jet black variant. I also realised that I didn’t need the form factor of the Plus sized phones – quite simply, my jeans pockets aren’t that deep, and I end up fraying the earphone 3.5mm connector quite regularly (I’m on my third one now and its almost giving way in a span of about 2 years). Smaller phone might also allow me to spend less time looking at it, and if I wanted to consume, more time on the iPad.

Anyway… one phone migrated in a jiffy. Sure, after an iTunes encrypted backup, it wouldn’t restore automatically since the iOS version of the phones were too old. A bit of a tedious un-Apple like process, but the correct document to read and follow is: Restoring from an iTunes or iCloud backup when a later version of iOS is required.

Another phone had an encrypted iTunes password that just could not be remembered. So the arduous task of turning on iCloud Backup and then doing a restore (so while no fault of Apple, this I’m sure is a common scenario).

My phone had quite a few apps that required me to login again. Google Authenticator did not have all the two-factor logins migrated for some reason, so I had to manually add a bunch back. Maybe this should have been the key to move to a 1Password vault? I’ll leave that for next time.

Most of the social apps I use required some form of verification. WhatsApp had an easy process. WeChat was by far the most complicated. LINE had a password I didn’t know anything about.

Apps you would think would just automatically restore from the iTunes backup? But no, a lot of them end up downloading again. In addition some user hostility from apps like Audible and Overcast – imagine having to re-download all your content!?!

I had to also remember about my Apple Watch, fortunately again, another good guide: Switch your Apple Watch to a new iPhone.

Why isn’t this process more seamless? Android gets this done really well – enter your Google login details, and you’re good to go. Why is this not the case with Apple? Am I forced to then use an iCloud Backup to make magic happen?

Do I care that I’m not having a dual-lens camera with some “software” bokeh effects? No.

Why don’t more apps support 3D Touch? Its been quite sometime and most don’t seem to care to support it, which I find quite odd.

I don’t consider myself an “app-holic”, but spending about two hours of time to switch things over seems rather ridiculous. There has got to be a better way.

(What about the fourth iPhone? I’ll find out tomorrow if it has any surprises for me; here’s hoping things “just work”.)


i