BringGo Review: right idea, worst possible implementation

By on June 29, 2015 - Geekery

I’ve been driving an EV car all week. Fun! Now I don’t tend think much of stock car stereos. Often when I bought a new car, replacing the stock radio was something I did on the way home before the car even got to my house. But I was, frankly, blown away with how good the stereo in the Chevy Spark EV was. HD FM radio? Check. Tightly integrated Sirius radio? Check. Bluetooth audio streaming? Check. Best display for interacting with my iPod I’ve ever seen. How, like, I would keep this!

When Chevy told me that the navigation system in the car worked with an app on my phone, I was very excited. “Someone finally got the right idea!” No more horrible built in Navigation. No more multi-hundred dollar map updates. I was so happy, I had such high hopes. I immediately downloaded the BringGo application and… Read More »

Learning Puppet 4 Early Release is now available

By on April 24, 2015 - News Tags:

Learning Puppet 4

Learning Puppet 4: A Guide to Configuration Management and Automation

This book teaches you how to use Puppet 4 for configuration management and automation. If you are an experienced DevOps engineer, this book covers in detail the changes and improvements in Puppet 4 and how to make best use of them.

Write books in the HTMLBook standard using Scrivener

By on October 20, 2014 - Geekery

My favorite writing tool is Scrivener. I wrote the Learning MCollective book for O’Reilly Media entirely in Scrivener, exporting to AsciiDoc. I was afraid this wouldn’t work very well, but it ended up working just great. You can get my export settings and processing scripts from

O’Reilly Media promotes and utilizes a lot of web standards. They have switched over to using HTMLBook for new projects. HTMLBook is an XHTML5-based standard for the authoring and production of both print and digital books.

To support this in my upcoming book, I created a Scrivener compile format which outputs chapter headings in HTMLBook. Then I wrote some scripts to process the output from Scrivener compile to make valid HTMLBook, cut into parts and adjusted for the expectations of O’Reilly Atlas.

I have released my Scrivener compile settings and scripts so that others can use them. They are open source under an Apache license at

Where did that duck come from?

By on October 18, 2014 - Opinion Tags:

I use Android phones and the fastest way for me to enter text is to Swype or Flow the words. This is where you press the first key then swype your finger from one letter to another without picking up your finger. It was incredibly fast way to enter text…until keyboards decided that predicting your words is so important that you can’t turn it off.

It is perhaps understandable that when I swype F-I-X-E-S that it might insert F-O-X-E-S. I’m really not prone to talk about foxes, but I understand that guess.

I completely fail to understand when I swype my fingers through T-U-R-N-S and get F-I-R-M-S. Those letters aren’t close. No, my fingers weren’t inaccurate. Yes, I really meant turns. Worse yet is that turns is a valid English word, is found in the keyboard’s dictionary, but is not in the list of suggestions.

Samsung, Google, Swype, SwiftKey: Trust me. I swyped exactly what I meant. You can suggest something else but please insert the word I swyped. Not what you think I meant. Because I really, truly, never write sentences on my phone containing duck.

Why Net Neutrality matters to you.

By on September 10, 2014 - Opinion

Many people seem to believe that the battle for Net Neutrality is a geek matter that won’t concern them. In reality, the loss of Net Neutrality is an important issue that will cost everyone significant time and money.

If the proposed legislation passed, it explicitly authorizes Internet access companies to charge you more to access sites that haven’t paid them as well. Yes, that’s right, the Internet access company would get paid by both sides for the same bytes. However, the most important part of the legislation is that it allows them to block and slow down sites which haven’t paid them. Let’s discuss what this means to you:
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