The personal blog of Sam McLeod

Beginner Harmonica Practice Exercises

Beginner Harmonica Practice ExercisesWay back in around 2008 I wrote up a doc with a list of beginner harp exercises and practice riffs, at the time it was uploaded to a few forums and a shared Google doc - both have since disappeared. To this day I still get regular emails asking for a copy of it so I thought I’d copy it to a post here. Note: I haven’t updated these since around 2011. Practice Exercises (skip forward for the riffs) ScalesThe Blues Scale 2 3' 4+ 4' 4 5 6+ Practice jumps 4B 4D 4B 5B 4B 5D 4B 6B 4B 6D 4B 7D 4B 7B -2 6 -2 -5 -2 5 -2 -4 -2 4 -2 -3 -2 Hans Scale

Firefox Addons for 2022

Firefox Addons - 2022 EditionMy list of must-have Firefox addons - 2022 edition Updated: 2022-11-07 Privacy and SecurityFirstly - you should have Firefox’s Enhanced Tracking Protection enabled. Don’t Track Me Google LocalCDN UTM Tracking Token Stripper Note: You can accomplish some of what this does by setting up the removeparam uBlock origin rules I’ve listed below. Multi-Account Containers Useful for setting sites such as Amazon, eBay, Twitter, LinkedIn, Banking etc… each to always open in their own isolated container. The official addon for whatever Password Manager you use. Firefox Translations uBlock OriginProbably the single most important addon. uBlock Origin Enable and update all built-int filter lists except for ‘Regions’ and ‘Languages’.

Goodbye Evernote, Hello Bear

Until recently I used Evernote for my notes, web clippings and document drafts, I was a subscriber going on 14 years and had over 3000 notes. However in recent years Evernote has gone downhill to the point it could be considered hostile to it’s users. The native macOS app was replaced with an Electron Javascript webframe and like almost all Electron apps I’ve tried it was plagued by poor performance, memory leaks and aggressive idle CPU utilisation and above all else it now lacks the low latency feeling the native application had. With the release of the updated client, Evernote has removed offline note functionality - tough luck if you’re travelling or don’t have reliable internet access.

Rancilio Silvia Upgrade

Weekend upgrades to my Ranchilio Silvia v4 espresso machine. Added a digital PID kit for improved temperature control Replaced the boiler element Thermal insulation Basic “smart” power control with Siri integration Upgrade the standard Ranchilio basket to a VST 18g Ridged Rebuild PhotosNote the damage to the boiler elements terminals, this was shorting and causing the houses RCD to trip Wiring the PID controller Replacing the boiler thermostat with one connected to the PID controller Adding insulation to the boiler Before After

DevOps Team Charter

A template team charter for software and platform engineering teams. Research1 shows there is great value in people embracing a shared vision and ideas that are bigger than themselves. When it comes to a team charter, it’s important to remember that it’s not a static document. It’s a living document that should be updated as the team evolves and grows. Keep in mind that One size doesn’t fit all. Consider your (teams) mission, cultural background and values. While not exhaustive - this is on the longer side, you may wish to distill as is practical, but I implore you not to only pick the easier items - that’s missing the point.

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

Last weekend I had a chance encounter with a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the owner kindly let me jump in and take a few photos. Specs 6.3L v12 544 KW (740 Horsepower) 690 Nm at 6000RPM 1525 kg 0-100 in 3.1s 0-200 in 8.5s Maximum speed: ‘over 340 km/h’ Was ‘The fastest road car Ferrari ever built’ Photos

The Best Of - 2020 Edition

Near the end of every year I note down a summary of the best apps, hardware & podcasts I’ve enjoyed throughout the year (and often for some time before). Info This post has been superseded. You can find the latest version of this post here. Software and Services Plex Things Pixelmator Pro Reeder NextMeeting Bumpr Fastmail 1Password Calibre Backblaze iTerm Gitlab PFsense Stay Onyx Evernote Handbrake Amphetamine Firefox Software - Mobile Plex Things Reeder Overcast Evernote MiniHack Alien Blue Singal Prompt Browser Addons uBlock Origin Dencentraleyes Hardware LG C9 OLED TV Das Ultimate 4 Logitech MX Master 3 16’’ Macbook Pro iPhone 12 Pro AppleTV 4K Audioquest DragonFly Red USB DAC Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones Kindle Paperwhite All Day Socks Bellroy Wallets Podcasts The Skeptics Guide To The Universion (SGU) You Are Not So Smart Risky.

Camels Dressed As Unicorns

Stop trying to hire with titles like ‘DevOps Engineer’ or ‘Cloud Engineer’“DevOps is … not a job title” “It’s more of a cultural practice, like innovation, and it makes just as little sense hiring “innovation engineers” and expecting your organisation to be innovative, without also creating the culture to foster innovation.” (Joel Shea when responding to this posted on LinkedIn) In most cases it’s clear the organisation doesn’t truly know what they want or need and likely don’t understand the nuances of the aspects of engineering. The problem is - they’re going to end up with a β€˜Camel Dressed As A Unicorn’ rather than someone with deep or natural engineering understanding in the areas they most need to help see, discuss, solve problems and deliver effective and lasting solutions.

Looking For New Opportunities

As stated in my announcement post - after 7~ years, I resigned from Infoxchange several months ago. I planned on taking a holiday, relaxing, decompressing, dipping my toes in some off-the-shelf tech I haven’t spent a lot of time with and performing some personal growth through reading a number of books that have been sitting on my ’to read’ shelf. This is exactly what I’ve done. I’m now open to new opportunitiesI’d rather find a workplace that I can add great value too and be happy to work with than rush into a new role quickly, obviously if something great turns up right away - I’ll pursue it.

Leaving Infoxchange

After 7~ years, I have resigned from Infoxchange. In 2012 I was hired to work with Infoxchange to “shake things up” (in the Systems Operations team) and stabilise the hosting environment. As Team Lead of Systems Operations I was tasked with melding the team and then for us to work to provide a stable, robust, modern and scalable platform for Infoxchange developed application hosting and product delivery and in a short time, with a small budget - we did just that. This 7~ year journey was exciting, rewarding and of course at times very stressful. I have learnt a lot and made so many very dear friends so resigning was far from easy, however it is time to move forward to new potential challenges.

Goodbye XenSever - Hello XCP-ng

In 2018 I set out to replace our XenSever 7.2 based virtualisation after Citrix essentially screwed over free / open source users. This project was to directly replace XenServer 7.2 with something supported and manageable for our traditional virtualisation needs. High Level Selection ConsiderationsI evaluated a number of options, with the primary candidates below. Key criteria (at a high level) I was evaluating: Ease of moving from our existing XenServer 7.2 based hypervisor clusters. Security (architecture, hardening, monitoring, logging). Cost (both licensing if any and self-support / management costs). VM Performance (Storage IOPs and throughput, Network latency and throughput, Processing latency, steal from over-provisioned workloads).