Conda for Python environment management on macOS

As mentioned in a previous post, I recently finished writing the second edition of Learn Ansible. This had me using Python a lot, and my one key takeaway is that managing Python has become a massive chore. Now, with the book complete, I thought I would strip back on my machine, start from scratch - or as close to clean as I could get - and develop a cleaner, more streamlined way of managing Python on my local machine....

April 6, 2024 路 9 min 路 Russ McKendrick

Updating my dotfiles

I decided to spring clean my Dotfiles repo external link , as it had been a while. Then I noticed that the last time I mentioned them on the blog was nearly ten years ago, so I wanted to give a quick update. The most significant change is that I have moved to using Zsh external link and Oh My Zsh external link since Zsh became the default Shell in macOS....

April 2, 2024 路 3 min 路 Russ McKendrick

Saving money with Azure Logic Apps

During the day job, I have to get a little creative with controlling costs for Azure resources; there are some everyday tasks and scenarios where Azure Logic Apps can help you save money 馃挵. The first is quite a typical scenario: stopping and starting Azure Virtual Machines. There was a time when I would have just used an Azure Automation Account and the Microsoft-supplied workflow. Still, Automation Accounts are a little (well, a lot) too reliant on PowerShell for my macOS using / Linux administrating tastes....

April 1, 2024 路 22 min 路 Russ McKendrick

Running LLMs locally with Ollama

As I am coming to the end of writing the second edition of Lean Ansible (more news on that coming soon), I thought now would be a great time to have a look at what exciting developments have been happening in the six months now that I have a little more free time. One of the things I have been keeping an eye on is the state of Large Language Models (LLM for short), especially since the introduction of open-source models such as Llama from Meta external link and Mistral 7B external link , which you can run locally....

March 29, 2024 路 15 min 路 Russ McKendrick

My Top 10 of 2023

2023 has been an extraordinary year for music, showcasing an eclectic mix of genres, styles, and artistic visions. This list of 17 albums represents the year鈥檚 rich musical landscape, each offering a unique perspective and sound. From the psychedelic choral pop of The Polyphonic Spree鈥檚 鈥淪alvage Enterprise鈥 to the introspective and nuanced melodies of Jenny Lewis in 鈥淛oy鈥橝ll,鈥 these albums traverse a spectrum of emotional and sonic experiences. The list includes revered artists like Peter Gabriel with his album 鈥淚/O鈥 and new interpretations of classics like 鈥淭he Endless Coloured Ways (The Songs Of Nick Drake)鈥 by Various artists....

December 23, 2023 路 25 min 路 Russ McKendrick

Playing with Aider Chat

I had some time, so I thought I would take a look at Aider Chat external link , Aidir Chat is described by its authors as; aider is a command-line chat tool that allows you to write and edit code with OpenAI鈥檚 GPT models. You can ask GPT to help you start a new project, or modify code in your existing git repo. Aider makes it easy to git commit, diff & undo changes proposed by GPT without copy/pasting....

July 15, 2023 路 9 min 路 Russ McKendrick

Revisting Podman

Although it鈥檚 been some time since I鈥檝e worked with containers on my local machine, I recently found myself intrigued to discover what鈥檚 new with Podman. Setting Up Podman To kick things off, we鈥檒l need to get Podman installed. As my development environment is running on a Mac M2, I鈥檓 going to employ Homebrew for this purpose: Install Podman $ brew install podman podman-compose podman-desktop In addition to Podman itself, I鈥檝e also chosen to install Podman Compose and Podman Desktop....

June 14, 2023 路 6 min 路 Russ McKendrick

Infrastructure as Code for Beginners is out now

I am pleased to announce that my latest book, 鈥淚nfrastructure as Code for Beginners,鈥 is now available for purchase. Over the last six months, I have fully dedicated myself to this project, channeling my experience and knowledge into providing a resource that simplifies the complexities of Infrastructure as Code (IaC). The importance of IaC cannot be overstated in today鈥檚 rapidly evolving technological landscape. IaC ensures consistent and repeatable deployment of cloud-based services, thereby saving time while delivering robust results....

June 4, 2023 路 2 min 路 Russ McKendrick