blog

Updating Docker containers safely

For anyone who runs one or more docker applications, a huge challenge is to keep containers running smoothly with updated images. You could force updates with tools like Watchtower, but these may just automatically break your applications. Here are some of the ways I make sure docker applications stay up-to-date while failing as little as possible. This only covers docker run/create and docker-compose (for now). Here’s what I do.

blog

InvoiceNinja and Docker: An unexpected challenge

I’ve been delving into Docker more and more, and recently, the internal bridge networking that docker supports. This generally allows containers to have their own IP address while communicating with other containers internally, the outside network externally. Most docker-related posts and setups don’t delve too deep into this aspect of docker (that’ll be another post), but the process for me has brought on some challenges. Today, I’ll show you one.

blog
COVID-19 3D Illustration

The first thing I’m going to do

For the vast majority of us, the COVID-19 virus has become a daily, integrated part of what we do: Leave the house with a mask on, enter the supermarket with a mask on, go out only to do things that are “essential.” We’re inundated with messages about how serious the virus is, and how we need to protect ourselves. There are, or of course, idiots that keep tempting the government to enforce more while placing us at risk, but they’ll go away when we get this stupid virus under control.

blog

The best books I read in 2020

A year has come to an end, and with it, a year of reading. This year I’ve read more than 120 books published in several generations. Reading old, new, printed paper, electronic, or audiobook, I work hard to make use of a spare moment to dig in. With my reading, I’ve also tried to review books more here and most recently on Instagram at @cwlmedia. Reviews and not-taking, in general, can be challenging on the best of days, but doing it has helped me make better sense of books I read and pass on thoughts to others. So many of the books I choose to read are good, but some really do rise above and are worthy of more attention. So, without further delay, here are the best book I read this year.

blog how-to

Fun with Discourse on Docker

Discourse is a popular forum tool available as a self-hosted open-source tool. It can be installed bare-metal on Linux, but the Docker installation is one that I found most interesting. Unlike most Docker-implemented tools, Discourse has a script that runs outside of the docker containers (on your base machine) to set up the tool. This monolithic script (./discourse-setup) seems to do many of the things that docker-compose does, but obviously worse. I’m no fan of doing things this way; especially when the base alternative is nowhere on their site. My challenge this time was to build a basic docker-compose.yml that would get Discourse running in a test environment. Here’s what I did.

how-to

Bridge networking in docker: Assigning static IPs on creation

Docker has been an amazing tool for deploying applications fast, but as I have come to need containers that interacted with each other, the networking aspects have brought some major challenges. I wasn’t a fan of docker’s documentation either. It doesn’t explain the nuances of this process. Namely, I wanted to know how to bring up a container and right from the start assign an IP address. Let me show you how that’s done.

blog how-to
Unifi Ubiquiti Logo

Resetting a Unifi Controller’s admin password

If you use Unifi gear, you know that it can proliferate quite fast. Couple that with cameras, a second network for cameras, and you have a growing need for more Unifi controllers to manage devices. The best approach is to, uhm, unifi controllers into a cloud-based setup – but you can’t always do that. When controllers get isolated on networks, you may find that you’ve lost the administrator password for one. Here’s how you can reset it so long as you have root shell access to the machine running your controller.

review
Greenlights Book Cover

Greenlights

Let me reflect on this, I thought. That seemed like the most important thing I could do after reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. Both a memoir and a book of advice, McConaughey is clear in his book not to call it ‘self-help.’ The titular greenlights being a metaphor for life’s moments that work. How every red light is bound to turn green eventually. It’s a cool and clever idea. I like it.