Cloud 101, for free: Microsoft Learn

Want to learn some Azure? Head on over to and you can pick up some fundamentals, create a cloud-hosted web site, learn about some containers. And its Free (as in beer).

Some text, some videos, some simple hands-on lessons. Its for everyone. Hop on the cloud train.

Cloudflare DNS and purge item

So when you are developing things that use 'ingress' on the cloud, you often end up cycling through new IP addresses to the same domain name.

Sometimes I put the name in /etc/hosts, then I can edit it. Sometimes I put it in, and use a low TTL. But I've found since switching to cloudflare ( that the time to propagate can be long. There has to be a better way.

Well, there is. Check out the purge-cache service. Type the domain name, select the record type, boom, its gone.

Sarcasm as an education tool: how to micro-service

Socrates invented this method of teaching. The Socratic method (also known as maieutics? no way wikipedia, not buying it). In it, the teacher asks questions. You might more commonly know it as Jeopardy! and subsitute Alex Trebeck for Socrates. (Side note: he is probably the most famous person from Sudbury, and, set your calendar, he is going to stop hosting Jeopardy! on May 2, 2020).

Lesser known as a strategy for teaching is sarcasm. Sure those zippy one-liners taught you a bit about things in high school (nice shirt!), but, well, perhaps you didn't get a degree via this tool.

Well, lightly switching gears and then coming back, we find that many people are talking about micro-services these days. Instagram famously built their company, got sold, without doing so. But more startups today have googled 'how to code' and have a littany of CI, CD, Micro-service, service-mesh, service-discovery, ..., and are beavering away on the platform and framework first. So much work, so little progress.

And, many mature companies are taking their 'big hairy ball' of code and trying to extract it. So much re-understanding going on of the 'why' in things.

Coming back to sarcasm and joining it to micro-services. Watch this great youtube video. This guy *is* sarcasm. He's evidence that there exists a sense of humour in germans, somewhere. He uses sarcasm as a method to show all the ways you can prevent micro-services from being successful. And in it, you will find all the lessons of what not to do. Its really great, worth the watch.

How a computer predicted an election, and was ignored

The 1952 US election. The pundits expected Adlai Stevenson to walk away with it. History remembers this election better as the one that brought in Eisenhower, the inter-state highway system, painting, and balanced the budget 3 times (by not cutting taxes and not increasing defense spending.... hmmm...).


As a trial of new technology, CBS decided to use a Univac I  to watch the results, compare vs the last 3 elections, and predict a winner early. Very early on it predicted the result correctly (within 1%), but it was so astounding to the CBS folks that they staged some theatre that the machine was not responding and moved on with the show. (Fake News, in an election in the US? Shocking!). Later when the results were all in and counted they fessed up to their crime, and Eisenhower did not go on to belittle them daily.

Here @ ~19:30 is where they try and explain away why the machine is predicting an Eisenhower win.

When an electric bike isn’t. Some sort of re-settable fuse?

So it was a nice (but cool) day today. After biking last nights high wind, I had put the bike on the charger. So it was all fresh and full and ready to go, and I decided to head out. After about 30km, I turn around to head back. I'm going along about 18km/hr in 'assist level 1', which means that effectively the battery/motor is doing nothing other than helping you get started. All of a sudden, boom, the LCD turns off. Huh. Hit the on button, nothing. Stop, take a look. When I hit the button the LCD flicks briefly, but nothing else. The battery - level button directly on the battery pack showed no LED's. Hmm, we can't be dead, the range is more like 50-60km, even without pedalling, and I've been doing most of the work.

Sigh. OK, bike home. Where you notice it on this behemoth is the intersections, more inclined to do an 'idaho stop' than to full stop and start. And that big security chain doesn't help hauling it around. Get home, pull the battery, it shows no charge. Plug it in for 1second, and boom, its back, full charge, ready to go. Is it some sort of re-settable fuse?

So this got me to thinking. Nearly everyone in Canada has jumper cables in their car. Its the first thing you bought at Canadian Tire after getting that first 'winter beater'. If this is truly a 'thing', I was sitting there needing a boost. Battery is 48V @ 16AH, so the charger is 52V. A few good samaritan's stopped as I was fidgeting w/ the battery on the trail, for sure if battery cables for bikes becomes a thing they would have had them and offered me a jump. Is this going to become a thing?

Also, to the little kid today who stared in bug-eyed wonder @ my big tires thundering towards him and said "Oh my gosh that's a big bike", tell your dad you want a fatty for christmas, he'll know what to do.