Generate CloudFormation templates using Python

Troposphere is a Python library which makes it easier to write and maintain CloudFormation templates. From the README:

The troposphere library allows for easier creation of the AWS CloudFormation JSON by writing Python code to describe the AWS resources. Troposphere also includes some basic support for OpenStack resources via heat.

To facilitate catching CloudFormation or JSON errors early the library has property and type checking built into the classes.

Online gaming is stressful for me (and it shouldn't be)

It’s not often that I have the time to play a game on my PlayStation 4, PC or Wii U. I cherish those moments. In the meantime some of my friends have all the time in the world. They play their games daily, getting better and better and hoarding the best guns and gear in Destiny faster than I ever could.

How to solve Apt-get waiting for headers

Sometimes you play around with some third-party repositories on your Debian-based Linux box, only to find out apt-get hangs while waiting for headers. Really annoying.

Resize the root volume of an Azure VM

Every Azure virtual machine comes with a certain amount of storage for it’s root volume, plus a few hundred GigaBytes of instance storage which will get deleted if you reboot the VM. For storing data you can either create a new disk and attach it to your VM, or you can resize the root volume with a little trick I learned.

Grant an IAM user access to a specific S3 bucket and folder

In Amazon Web Services there’s a product called IAM (Identity and Access Management) which allows you to create users and groups and attach policies to both. In this how to we look at an IAM policy which allows a specific user to only have access to a specific S3 bucket and folder.

Ghost on Debian with Nginx as a reverse proxy

I finally came around to trying out Ghost and I’m loving it. So much that I switched my old Jekyll website over to Ghost. I used a small Ruby script to convert my Markdown files to a JSON file that Ghost can use to import my posts. Here’s a quick tutorial how to install NodeJS and Ghost and use Nginx as a reverse proxy.

PlayStation 4 enthousiasm

Finally, after a lot of going back and forward, and a few rounds of interrogating my friend Sean, I bought a black PlayStation 4. I was seriously thinking of buying an Xbox One because of the great IP they have; Gears of War, Halo, Quantum Break and Sunset Overdrive. But, in my opinion, the best gaming platform is the one where most of your friends are. I’ve had the PS4 for a few days now and I want to share some thoughts after my initial wave of enthousiasm.

Require MFA for AWS API and Console access

Sometimes you want to require your users to enable MFA (multi-factor authentication) before being able to do anything with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) account you gave them access to. There’s a small conditional you have to add to your IAM policy in order to do so. But you’ll also want to enable all users to add, delete and resync their MFA devices.

Using Docker to run WordPress behind an Nginx reverse proxy

Docker really seems to be taking off as a viable solution for development workflows. If you’re working with WordPress there’s already a lot of good tools besides Docker to bootstrap a new WordPress website. But here’s how to do it with Docker.

Getting A+ on SSLLabs with Nginx and StartSSL

Qualys offers an SSL Test where you can check your SSL setup. They make recommendations on what to tweak to get the highest score possible. I want to share how I achieved A+ using Nginx and StartSSL.