Exit status 125 when upgrading Amazon SSM Agent snap
5 Nov 2020
This week I ran into an issue upgrading Amazon SSM Agent that was a bit of a head-scratcher.
SSM Agent is something that you can run on your EC2 instances, and on-premise systems in some scenarios, that lets AWS Systems Manager do a bunch of handy things.
While it is supported and packaged as both a .deb and a snap on Ubuntu 16.04, for whatever unfortunate reason they switched fully to snaps for Ubuntu 18.
Sous vide containers
27 Jun 2020
I have an Anova Precision Cooker (the old, bulky, pre-WiFi, pre-Nano edition that launched in 110V in 2014 and eventually appeared in 220V years later) which I don’t use too often. Let’s talk about water containers, since after circulators and plastic bags, that’s probably the next item people have to sort out.
There are always some specialised items that will appear in the market – Anova will try to sell you accessories in the form of the S$208 insulated 20L container with lid, or the S$110 16L container with HemiFlow™ curved corners, while other specialised brands like Lipavi and many other Amazon Marketplace-only brands have also sprouted up to sell similar accessories.
Remote meetings take more time
26 Apr 2020
Recent posts haven’t been the usual posts to help people googling for how to do or fix certain things. I don’t know if this is to vent, practice writing, or practice thinking (writing to think!) but hey let’s just run with it.
Today’s musing: remote meetings are longer.
What? My online meetings feel like they take up more time than in-person meetings, no matter whether video is on or off. My gut feels says it’s maybe 30% more time, when not timeboxed to the same duration.
Working from Home, week 5
25 Apr 2020
Some quick notes on the past four weeks, including three under the mandatory circuit breaker controls.
WFH environment Water bottle at the desk ended up helping with hydration, since it’s much lower activation energy to drinking from it, than having to go and wash my coffee mug and get fresh tap water. I vaguely miss the office cold water dispenser, but I’ll live…
I brought my work monitor home, and that helped with the stupid PRISM+ monitor input switching problems by removing all the input switching and HDMI cable shuffling!
29 Mar 2020
I’ve heard too much talk about active noise-cancelling headphones. The Wirecutter currently says you probably want the Bose 700, I think you should look at the Bose QC35 II, Sony WH-1000XM3, or Sony WH-H900N… but let’s talk about earmuffs in a non-occupational safety and health (OS&H) context instead.
Well, I really just mean earmuffs for survival in the stereotypical evil open-plan office.
These are interesting for various reasons – potentially cheaper than active noise-cancelling (ANC) headphones, ineffectiveness of ANC on ambient speech, avoiding potential discomfort in the sense of the “ear suck” effect from using noise-cancelling headphones, avoiding potential discomfort/damage from active noise-cancelling…
Working from Home, week 1
29 Mar 2020
These are strange times we live in. Maybe someday we will find it useful to look back at what we were thinking back in early 2020!
I’ll count the past week as the first week that I’ve spent mostly working from home, since I only spent about 1.5 work-days in the office.
Productivity expectations This week feels rather different from the usual “oh I’m feeling under the weather or actually sick and I’ll just wfh today”, because when you’re sick-and-wfh anything non-zero is a win, but I don’t feel like this widespread wfh comes with that commonly understood expectation of lowered productivity (yet).
MSO and the CPF Annual Limit
31 Dec 2019
The short answer: The 2% additional MSO contribution to your Medisave counts towards your CPF Annual Limit, as it’s a mandatory contribution for public sector employees. You must factor it in when deciding how much in voluntary contributions you can make to your CPF acounts for the calendar year.
The long answer: well…
MSO The Medisave-cum-Subsidised Outpatient (MSO) scheme is one of the medical benefits schemes in the Singapore public sector, and is part of the current benefits package for many public sector employees.
Troubleshooting corrupt apt downloads through apt-cacher-ng
23 Nov 2019
This was an interesting problem that isn’t too environment-specific, so I thought it might be interesting to write up.
tl;dr – if you are using apt-cacher-ng and getting corrupt Release/Packages files that contain a mix of stale and fresh data, check if the upstream server fully supports HTTP/1.1 range requests, and if it doesn’t, set VfileUseRangeOps:0 on apt-cacher-ng.
Context Within internal network environments, apt-get on hosts can be set to use an apt-cacher-ng instance as a caching proxy, via the Acquire::http::proxy directive.
The Golang.org URL redirector
20 Oct 2019
I always thought it was interesting that the Go project always uses “vanity” URL redirectors to link to things like GitHub issues and GitHub wiki pages and CLs, which I thought would be pretty static things. Can we figure out what these redirectors do, and what they’re meant to do? Is there something more to it than vanity?
Within commit messages, issues and PRs, you’ll see humans and bots make references to GitHub issues through https://golang.
Stashaway's August 2019 Re-optimisation
16 Aug 2019
StashAway has always talked up their proprietary ERAA asset allocation framework/investment strategy which is supposed to respond to macroeconomic indicators and valuation of asset classes, but we’re seeing this first major “re-optimisation” now after over 2 years into their existence, and slightly over 1.5 years since I started dollar cost averaging into an account there.
In the upcoming re-optimisation, ERAA® is deploying asset allocations that maintain portfolios under a “disinflationary growth” regime for US-based assets and shifting to our “All-Weather” strategy for non-US assets.