Byte-sized adventures in tech

LoRaWAN 101 with Arduino MKRWAN 1300 and Helium – Part 1

What if you could collect data about the physical world, from almost anywhere in the world, for really short money? There’s a relatively new networking technology that enables you to do just that, called LoRaWAN. This specification defines a low power, wide area networking protocol engineered to connect wireless, battery-powered IoT devices to the internet […]

Bootstrapping VM’s Using VMWare PowerCLI

Lately I’ve been spinning up more Linux VM’s (mostly Debian/Ubuntu) in my VMWare ESXI home lab. While it’s simple enough to launch a new VM, I found it tedious to configure certain settings after launch. Most of these were the same for each VM – update/install packages, configure SSH, create directories, open firewall ports, etc. […]

Log Visibility with Elasticsearch + Windows Event Forwarding

After months of wanting to do this, I’ve finally had the chance to tackle log collection in our organization. While the initial goal was simply offloading security logs from company servers to a centralized collector, I’ve been able to configure a basic implementation of Elasticsearch and Kibana on top of Windows Event Forwarding for visualization. […]

Version Control with Azure DevOps (On-Prem) 101

My fellow Systems Administrator and I are writing more and more automation in PowerShell recently and have finally gotten around to implementing a git repository to store our code. We wanted to keep our code on premise rather than using a cloud-hosted service like GitHub, so we decided to setup an Azure DevOps server locally. […]

Temperature Alert Using CloudWatch and Lambda

The Problem The apartment I live in is more or less detached from the main house, and the hot and cold water pipes run from the basement, beneath the hallway, and then up along the side of the garage into the bathroom which is directly above the garage. In the winter, these pipes can freeze […]

Working with the VMWare Workspace One API in PowerShell

If you’re reading this, you probably know what you’re looking to do with the API. Specifically, this post references the Workspace One UEM API which you can use to query information about devices in your Workspace One (cloud hosted) environment, as well as programmatically manage those devices. At the moment, I’m using this to create […]

(Semi) High-Availability WordPress Website on AWS

I’ve spun up dozens of WordPress installations over the years for everything from production e-commerce websites to simple test rigs. So far, they’ve all been simple single-server, single-disk installations. I’ve never needed to do any kind of distributed or high-availability configuration previously. While I don’t do a lot of work with web servers at the […]

AWS Load-Balanced WordPress… The Storage Dilemma

In a preview of another blog post coming very soon, I’ve decided to do a short post on an architecture dilemma I encountered while configuring a load-balanced WordPress website in AWS – specifically regarding storage. My plan is to have two public EC2 web servers handling incoming web traffic via a load balancer. The database […]

Querying DynamoDB using Lambda (Python)

Let me start by saying that I don’t really use Alexa or Echo devices. I do think they’re cool, I just don’t see many practical applications for voice-assistants. One case where I do think a voice assistant could be helpful though is for searching or modifying data in a database using a conversational input. One […]