Extracting secrets from AWS-Vault

Recently I was in the situation in which I needed to do some automation involving AWS-Vault, which is a tool for securely managing AWS access keys on developer workstations. Until now I had been using the file backend, which relies on encrypted-at-rest files to store the secrets. Since there is obviously no caching involved here, every time I wanted to use a secret I would need to type in the passphrase to unlock it, with no cached copy of the passphrase involved.

Hackerbeach Day 0

It’s been hell, doing a 4 flight stint for the better part of a day with no off-plane sleep. I read recently that airplane humidity is typically around 20%, which is drier than the Sahara desert. Lesson learned: always bring and fill your water bottle. When you’re dehydrated, the mucus membranes have trouble keeping a layer of mucus, and can let more dangerous external matter through. That results in a sensation, that, when you swallow, can be unpleasant.

Working WWAN on the X1 Carbon Gen 6

When I initially received my new X1 Carbon I was very excited at the new hardware. More pixels, more lumens, more cores. After I got over my initial euphoria, I noticed that some things didn’t work, and confirmed such by a very helpful Archwiki page. Some of the things that didn’t work include ACPI suspend-to-RAM sleep (since corrected in a BIOS update), the the fingerprint sensor (still outstanding), and the WWAN LTE Cat9 card that Lenovo seems so proud about.

IndieWebCamp 2018

I’m looking forward to attending the 2018 IndieWebCamp. It’s a small 2-day event happening in Portland and is exploring the topics of independent web hosting and technologies to knit them together. If you’re in Portland, you should attend too! https://2018.indieweb.org/

Installing RemixOS to an internal drive

After initially running RemixOS, the new Android build for PCs, I decided that I would rather play with booting it natively from my SSD instead of from a USB device. Performance should be better, it would free my USB thumb drive up for other duties, and it would make booting more convenient. This turned out to be a relatively simple operation. What follows is my methodology for doing that. Please note that these instructions assume you are running Linux.

My Gear Post

Whenever I encounter people as I travel, they are often curious about my luggage. It seems to be invisible. They’ll often ask where my bag is, assuming that it must have gotten lost in transit. Their eyes go wide and confusion sets in when I tell them that the bag on my back is the only one. It is my estimation that at least some people would be curious about what gear I travel with.

Working around flaky internet connections

Unfortunately not all WiFi connections work perfectly all the time. They’re fraught with unexpected problems including dropping out entirely, abruptly killing connections, and running into connection limits. Thankfully with a little knowledge it is possible to regain productivity that would otherwise be lost to a flaky internet connection. These techniques are applicable to coffee shops, hotels, and other places with semi-public WiFi. Always have a backup connection Depending on a WiFi connections as your sole source of connectivity is a losing proposition.