A crazy limitation of Chromebooks has been the inability to access remote file systems (other than Google Drive). While Google Drive is a fine cloud oriented file system, and works great with Google Docs, I need to access files on my Drobo (with SMB/CIFS protocol), or various remote services like Dropbox or an SFTP connection to webservers. My needs may be a little more complex than most because of the web development work I do. Anyone contemplating adopting a Chromebook in a business would have to be nervous about handing company documents or other files over to Google for safekeeping.
Something we geeks need to do all the time is deploy files between machines. Such as, deploying a directory hierarchy over to a server for staging or production use. There's a ton of ways to do this. The old-school way is a shell script with carefully crafted rsync commands. In my case I build websites using AkashaCMS and need to deploy them to the destination webserver.
The last couple weeks I've switched my working environment from a MacBook Pro to a Chromebook that has Ubuntu installed under Crouton. A lot of my work is developing Node.js software, and writing website content, and my habits are to live at the command line typing commands. But it also means accessing the large amount of content I have stashed on the MacBook Pro, and a Drobo 5N. MacOSX can easily mount shares on the Drobo, letting me access those files as if they were on the local machine.
One of my websites has been running very slow for years - every so often I try to figure out why it's slow, and recently it had been suggested to install xhprof to gather some data. The website is a Drupal 6 site that gets 1000+ visits a day, and is an active forum website with lots of people chatting away about electric vehicles. The server is a VPS rented from Dreamhost. The latest iteration of Dreamhost VPS's uses SSD disks, and a customized version of Ubuntu 12.04.
I'm trying to get ready for a Drupal 8 port, and one of the steps is to get Drush set up. Nowadays that means setting up Composer and running some magic commands with Composer that supposedly sets up Drush. The problem then came when I cd'd into the root of my Drupal 6 site, and tried to run "drush pm-list --core" to generate a list of installed modules to prepare a readiness spreadsheet. The error message that came up gave me a big WTF feeling:
When your vows.js based tests for a Node.js application says "Errored » callback not fired" -- well, it can be very confusing. In my case the code clearly handled all paths ensuring the Vows callback would be called. No matter how many tweaks I performed to try and catch some possible error in test or code, I couldn't figure out what caused this problem. But after some yahoogling, the answer was not only difficult to find, but surprisingly simple.
Since August 2014 the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson MO has been in the news, not because it's a nice town (which it is) but because a Ferguson Police Officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. Purportedly the shooting was because the teenager had just committed a "strong arm robbery" by stealing a package of cheap cigars from a convenience store.
Remember why it was so important for "us" to go into Iraq to topple Saddam Hussain's sovereign government? I'm not talking about the real reason - access to Iraq's oil fields - but the reason we were told. Remember warnings of mushroom clouds, and Saddam's chemical and biological weapons research programs? The programs for which zero evidence was found once Western forces entered the country and toppled the government?
The default assumption for distributing a Node.js module is to publish it in the public npm registry. It's a simple declaration in the package.json, and then you tell your customers to simply type "npm install". The public npm registry takes care of the details, and you can even use versioning to make sure your customers use tested module versions. But what if you don't want to publish modules in the public npm registry?
There are plenty of new server side web application development technologies being developed. With the blizzard of choices before us, how do you choose between one or another? Will the newly hot web app technology really take off, or will it fizzle in a few years? For example, Node.js is getting a lot of excitement, but what about Go, or what about the mature platforms like PHP/Symfony or CakePHP?
Here's some ideas of how to choose a platform or technology.