Today I finally finished converting my blog from WordPress to Pelican. I have been meaning to do this for quite some time. I didn't really have any problems with WordPress, I just don't want to deal with a service anymore and static site generators now provide all the functionality I need. In fact, the fact that I can easily write code snippets directly in the posts is something I have long desired with WordPress. There are ways to do it in WP, but the ReStructured Text format is familiar to me and is natural/intuitive.

Comments are not avaiable. I don't know if I will enable them again; there were one or two useful comments out of the hundreds I received. I will most likely use Hacker News/Reddit comments when I post new things going forward.

The theme is tuxlite_tbs from the pelican-themes repo.

The source is available on github: thomasvandoren/ I may move the site to github pages, but for now I'm leaving it on my host behind CloudFlare and its awesome cache.

Better Puppet Module Development through Testing - CasitConf 2013

Sat 06 April 2013 by Thomas Van Doren

I spoke about testing puppet modules at this year's Cascadia IT Conference in Seattle. The conference was great; I met a lot of great people and received a lot of feedback on my presentation.

Download the slides

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Quickly validate puppet manifests in a git repo.

Mon 17 September 2012 by Thomas Van Doren

I have been bitten on more than one occasion with a forgotten curly brace or missing comma in a puppet manifest. So, I wrote a little git post-commit script that will validate all manifests in a repo. I have tested it on a repo with ~60 modules and ~400 manifests …

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My first puppet forge contribution: redis

Tue 15 May 2012 by Thomas Van Doren

Today I contributed my very first puppet module back to the community! thomasvandoren/redis is a puppet module to install, configure, and manage redis. It is by no means finished, but it is working. I didn't see any other redis modules in puppet forge, so I thought I would share …

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Fixing Master Boot Record on Windows 7

Sat 15 October 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I recently removed the linux partition from my desktop. I had a linux partition, but it made sense to just use one windows partition and run linux in a vm.

Removing the partition is not a big deal. I just used the Windows Disk Management tool to remove the linux …

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Monitoring RabbitMQ Queues with Zabbix

Sun 09 October 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

Recently I setup some monitoring on a RabbitMQ server using Zabbix. This process is by no means difficult, but I thought it was worth sharing.

I was looking for a solution that did not require additional plugins or packages, but would perform well. Some useful tools for monitoring include: the …

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Jenkins Windows Slave with Git

Tue 27 September 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

There are some articles out there about setting up Jenkins slaves on Windows. This is one more, with a bunch of information about configuring Git. The documentation for setting up Git to work well with Jenkins is surprisingly sparse and the process is extremely frustrating (in my experience). Hopefully this …

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Five python tips

Thu 22 September 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I have been using python at work for the last year, and had fooled around with it for five years prior to that. I am by no means an encyclopedia of python knowledge, but here are a few pointers that were not obvious to me when I was getting started …

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I have arrived in NYC!

Thu 15 September 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

Six Days in New York City!

Tue 13 September 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I found a cheap mid-week flight to New York City a few weeks ago on Kayak. I have used Kayak fairly often in the last year or two, and I have always been impressed! I am especially excited for the new Hacker Fares feature.

Enough about Kayak, though, I will …

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Eurotrip - Four days in Paris

Sun 10 April 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

Paris was spectacular! The weather was a bit drizzly, but I did get one full day of sunshine as I made my way through a four day whirlwind tour of monuments and museums.

The first museum I visited was the Louvre. It is huge. I cannot believe how big the …

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Eurotrip - Five Days in Barcelona

Sun 03 April 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I had an exciting five days in Barcelona. The weather was nice, the time changed (to DST), I saw some great Gaudi buildings, and ate some amazing food.

My hostel was located on the south side of the Eixample neighborhood, in the middle of huge clothing stores and near La …

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Eurotrip - Four Days in Firenze

Sat 26 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I had an absolutely wonderful time in Florence! It is clearly a city for tourists, but the museums and landmarks are, none-the-less, magnificent. I was completely exhausted every night from walking around the small city and its museums. I probably gained five pounds just from eating the gelato every day …

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Eurotrip - Three days in Zurich

Mon 21 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I arrived in Zurich 21 hours after leaving Seattle. I took the train from the airport which provided some pretty exciting views of Zurich.

I love the feeling in Zurich. The buildings are mostly old. The windows all have shutters. There are lots of cobbled streets and narrow walkways.

I …

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Eurotrip Day 1 - Toronto!?

Thu 17 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

After staying up all night celebrating the end of my academic career, I was whisked to Toronto, Canada via Air Canada.

I had a six hour layover, which lead to an exploration of the Toronto airport. Turns out Coyote Jacks Grill is a pretty good 'fast food' concept. By American …

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Europe - Itinerary

Sat 12 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be traveling through Europe in the latter part of March into early April. I considered going to several places including Germany and Amsterdam, but ultimately I decided to go with my original plan. So, Zurich, Florence, Barcelona, and Paris are the …

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WikiGraph - Visualize Wikipedia Connections

Fri 11 March 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

WikiGraph helps users visualize connections among Wikipedia articles. It uses links within articles to decide how articles relate to each other. It is a Flash application with a PHP data services api, and a MySQL database. The database contains about 8.3 million articles with 800 million links. Seven UW …

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European Trek

Tue 15 February 2011 by Thomas Van Doren

I have booked a trip to Europe at the end of Winter quarter! w00t!

I will be flying in and out of Zurich. I am hoping to travel to two or three other countries during my 18 day adventure. I am considering Florence, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Paris, France. I …

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