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Author: matt

Finally sorted the http redirection and port 80 problems

Finally sorted the http redirection and port 80 problems

Right, after finally getting around to it, I’ve sorted out my httpd conf so that it’s working as expected, moved some common parameters into a separate common configuration file, set up an additional VirtualHost entry and turned on listening through port 80 again.

Also taken another image of that so that when the spot instance invariably fails, I’ve got a new golden image to go.

I should probably add in some backup scripts and config backing off to s3. Maybe even just move the static parts of the site to s3 and serve from there. Hmm.

Yorkshire Pudding recipe

Yorkshire Pudding recipe

The below makes 12 – but if you only fill the tins halfway up rather than most of the way up you’ll end up with crispier puddings rather than big floppy ones.

You will need:

250ml of milk (I’ve used whole, semi and skimmed – it works well with all)

163g of plain flour

5 large eggs

(you can also use the measuring jug method – break your eggs into the jug, say they make up to 400ml, pour them into your bowl, add 400ml of milk, pour that into your bowl and then pour flour in up to 400ml line then pour that into the bowl- what’s important here is equal measurements of the ingredients)

some lard/or beef dripping

a muffin tray

hand whisk/beater/electric beater – I have this one and it works a charm –


Break the eggs into a bowl.  Whisk until its well mixed.

Add salt and pepper to season

Add the milk

Whisk some more

Add the flour

Whisk a lot

You want bubbles all over, lots of nice airy bubbles

Stick the mix in the fridge to rest – for an hour, for the day, whatever time you’ve got works well.

Ideally do that a few hours before you need them.

To prep your tray:

Add about a teaspoon of lard to each section of the tray.

Put it in the oven between 210-230 degrees (you’ll have to experiment with your oven over a few batches)

Leave it in there for a good 5-10 mins

Take out your mix from the fridge

Evenly distribute mixture between them

Stick it back in the oven  

Leave for at least 20 mins

Under no circumstances open that oven door.  Not even to check, or turn something else, or anything.


Somewhere between 20-25 mins, they will be done.  Again, this depends on your oven and it’ll take some experimenting to get it right.  You don’t want to take them out too soon as they’ll deflate and you’re stuck with smaller puddings than you deserve, but you don’t want them to catch and burn either.

AWS Summit in London

AWS Summit in London

The AWS summit was absolutely fantastic. Met up with a few colleagues I haven’t seen for years, learned a few new bits and pieces, saw some really energetic and charasmatic people present ideas, solutions, challenges and ideas and mingled with around 12,000 people who were all interested in AWS.

It was mind blowing to think that there were people all around me, brilliant people, trailblazers, thinkers, do-ers.

I can’t wait to go back next year, and all it did was whet the appetite to get out to AWS Re:Invent in Vegas. That still remains a pipe dream unless I can get good at machine learning and DeepRacer and have a sub 9 second model in place by this time next year.

Had a few lightbulb moments, it cleared a few foggy patches and it reaffirmed where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.

I need to look to the future, and I need to make sure that I capitalise on my time by doing whatever I need to further that knowledge and that journey.



This one has been brewing in my head for a few weeks now. It’s strange.

Do you ever feel like your life is a little bit like playing The Sims? Trying to juggle work, home, friends, other responsibilities and maintain all of those different relationships?

You used to have to give them a phone and have a chat with them to maintain that level of friendship. Absolute nightmare to manage, it still gives me palpitations now. Ha.

Sometimes, with the way that shifts are working out, its hard enough to maintain the relationships between the people I live in the same house with – let alone people that I just don’t get to see as often anymore.

There are loads of people I used to work with that I considered as really close friends, once you remove that daily 9-5 exposure, the relationships start to drop off, and even though I think fondly of them often, there’s just not enough time in the day to maintain these relationships and they start to break down into acquaintances .

I don’t think there’s anything that anyone can do to stave this off – people I used to work with from 3-4 jobs ago I still have on Facebook, they still pop up on my memories and they still make me smile – but remove that thing you have in common, the daily grind and you just don’t have enough time anymore.

Throw in a few kids, family, shopping, constantly growing feet and bodies, Open University degrees and that 24 hours you have in a day seems to be an ever shrinking pool of nothingness.

I was talking to my dad about why he never speaks to or sees a friend that lives in the village that he used to work with and he just didn’t know – he says it just happens. I remember we used to visit this guy fairly often as we had a shared interest in Atari and Commodore computing. But as we move away from those common platforms, relationships degrade.

Having started a new job 2 months ago (I can’t believe how quickly its flown) I’m paying more attention to how these relationships are degrading. People that I talked to every day, I’m speaking to once a week or so. Some people I’m not speaking to at all. It’s sad, but things move on and it seems to be the circle of life. You can certainly see how people as they get older and move away from work that they can lose those circles and connections.

Stay at home mums and things too – it must feel so isolating.

I’m in a very good position, I have a job I love, a family that I love and I don’t want for anything. It’s still a shame that we have this 9-5 thing going on 5 days a week and the kids have school and it just stops us from being able to enjoy some of the finer things in life I guess.

There’s always retirement, if you make it that far – and that’s where you’re meant to be able to enjoy those things that you’ve worked your whole life for. I just hope I get there and I get to enjoy it. Everything crossed. 🙂

Social media is bad mmmkay?

Social media is bad mmmkay?

Came across this YouTube video earlier.

If one of the guys involved in putting together facebook (who has since left) is telling you to stay away and not use it, you should probably do that.

Bamboo fixed

Bamboo fixed

Turns out Bamboo wasn’t working properly – I think I’d started to create a test job, and that had broken the DB patch/reboot job. Just re-ran it through and all seems good now.

Need to stop it from emailing me every night and having me just ignore the emails. I might tie it into SNS or something. It’s good to have something to play with.

Tetris 99

Tetris 99

Last week I was on holiday from work, looking after the kids on half term. I found that a new game has hit the Nintendo Switch E-Store – Tetris 99. It’s Tetris meets Fortnite and it’s amazing.

A fast and frantic battle royale with 99 players all playing tetris at the same time, with a slightly updated version of the Tetris theme that we all know and love and with completed lines being sent to opponents that you can target in order to scupper their plans.

It’s very fast, very fun and very pick up and playable. I really should start bringing the switch to work so that I can play on my lunch breaks. Maybe if and when Harry gets his own switch and I don’t feel so bad about taking it away whilst I’m out of the office. We’ll see.

Sounds like it might be a limited free download for Nintendo switch online – you obviously need membership to the online service for this.

$40 a month on EC2 instances

$40 a month on EC2 instances

Looks like my main web server instance is costing less than $2 a month on a T3 Micro. That’s a spot instance with a fairly high bidding price set so that it’s very unlikely to ever be outbid and is still the cheapest way to provision EC2 capacity.

By the same token, my database server is also a T3 micro instance and that’s looking to cost just under $7 a month on demand – same uptime as the web server so you can see there’s a $5 saving.

The bamboo server is having to run on a medium server and that’s used around $27 this month. Don’t you just love java?

Still got $300 of credit in my account so there’s no massive rush to move off the on demand instances right now. Maybe I should think about it though.

Workmail is $4 per user per month plus tax. Route53 is $0.50 per domain per month, there’s no getting around that. If I can keep my monthly bills less than $30 a month that would certainly keep my wallet happy.

Need to do a fair bit more work with bamboo to see if I can get it running on something a little less powerful or spot instance it. We’ll see.

Stability is a wonderful thing

Stability is a wonderful thing

Not a single server outage in the last three weeks. Which is great, it means that I’ve gotten everything set up properly as far as server updates, security groups and maintenance are concerned.

Bamboo seems to be doing what it’s meant to do and is rebooting the servers nightly. Everything seems to be working properly with regards to database backups and everything. I need to double check what the monthly cost is looking like when I start to run out of promotional credit at the end of this year. Could be quite costly.

New job!

New job!

Today I start my new job. I’m really excited.

Even though its just over the road from where I used to work, and the commute is pretty much exactly the same as what I have done for the last 7 years, I still drove over there yesterday to check out the car park in a bit more detail, find the visitors spots I’m supposed to park in and just make sure that nothing has changed in the last three months since my interview.

I can’t remember being this excited about going into work for a long time, I’m looking forward to meeting the people I’m going to be working with, I’m looking forward to the technologies I’m going to be working with and I’m really looking forward to a fresh start with a whole raft of new adventures.

Oh, I’m looking forward to ordering my first ever company car too. The kids are telling me it has to be red (it was going to be red anyway to be fair, but don’t tell them). I’ve been driving around in a Hyundai i30 all weekend – its a beautiful car to drive and it reinforces my decision to order a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid. The hire car has to go back in the next few days and I’m going to be using a Skoda Octavia pool car. Hope it has heated seats! I didn’t half miss them this weekend in the cold.

It’s been a long three months. I’m feeling full of positivity and hope for the future.

Long may it last 🙂