On Appliances and Toys

I grew up playing with computers. Our first computer was a Packard Bell 286, and I fondly remember getting a book on BASIC and trying to make a game with it. Later, we got a Gateway 2000 486, and on at least two occasions, I broke it by editing autoexec.bat and config.sys. A few years later, we got a Gateway (at this time, they had rebranded) Pentium III 550 MHz, which was an absolutely screamer for its time....

2023-10-07 · 7 min · Stephan Garland

Blameless Responsibility

I suspect that most people with jobs involving any kind of production (widgets, software, energy…) are familiar with the idea of a post-mortem. You may know it by another name; the Nuclear Navy calls it a critique. A friendlier term is retrospective, with the idea that it emphasizes that it’s important to note what went well in addition to discussing areas for improvement. If you’re in tech, this is extremely familiar....

2023-08-13 · 10 min · Stephan Garland

ADHD? In my brain? It's more likely than you think.

WARNING: This has absolutely nothing to do with tech, short of a mention of GitHub. First, I need to give credit to something I never in a million years thought I would be crediting: Twitter. Specifically pre-Musk Twitter, but anyway. Second, and more importantly, a person: Jaana Dogan. I’m linking to her GitHub profile because a. she’s a Distinguished Engineer there b. it’s less weird. Not like she’s ever going to read this blog anyway, but it still seems more polite....

2023-07-17 · 3 min · Stephan Garland

A Return From A Lengthy Hiatus

It’s been awhile Specifically, it’s been 484 days since I last posted. Things have changed a bit. In short: The site is hosted on GitHub Pages instead of an EC2 The site uses Hugo instead of WordPress The site is fronted with bunny.net instead of Cloudflare I’m now a Database Reliability Engineer I was diagnosed with ADHD What happened? Yak-shaving, mostly. I’ll have ChatGPT turn it into a run-on sentence for fun:...

2023-07-15 · 3 min · Stephan Garland

K8s Misadventures, Pt. 2 – Ceph is easy, and other lies people tell themselves

Ceph is a distributed storage system. That severely understates its complexity and capabilities. Here is its documentation, and if you’re intending on trying Ceph out, I strongly recommend you spend some time thoroughly reading it. All of it. I spent about two weeks on and off studying it, along with Red Hat’s docs (which are much the same, but different enough that it’s worthwhile), various Reddit posts, random Medium blogs, etc....

2022-03-19 · 5 min · Stephan Garland