I tend to be an obsessive person. I’ll get really excited about a technology, automation tool, open source library, or data related “thing”, and just be consumed for weeks, or months on end. It happens with some games I play as well. My wife, back when we were dating, even told me that she was fearful for a time that she was just another one of my obsessions that would fade. (Don’t worry – we’re happily married!)
Lately I’ve been in between obsessions, and seem to be fishing around for some cool things to do.
Random aside – the words “I’m bored” you will NEVER hear me say. Life is too short to stop learning, and the amount of things I do NOT know terrifies me.
Anyway, I completed a server build last Christmas, and I’ve been digging into some areas of network security that have been weak points for me. Specifically a course on Pluralsight on Wireless Security. Sure, taking care of the router at home is a trivial task for even the most average of IT people, but it was great learning about encryption IV’s stamped into the firmware of routers for the WPS feature. I always disabled it because it “felt” insecure. I’m a web developer, it’s not hard to imagine the myriad of techniques hackers use to compromise our precious data-driven websites.
My brother in law has been engrossed in Linux administration recently, and it’s got me thinking about my weak PowerShell and windows command prompt skills. I’ve always been such a strongly typed .Net thinker that command line apps are giant “magic strings” for me – they almost feel dirty. I won’t tag this post under code smell, but I’d love to go over magic strings in a later post, as I find them all the time and constantly have to refactor them. I digress.
I feel like my brain has more control over me than I do over it. (How’s that for meta-humor?)
So here’s my list of possible undertakings:
- Buy a Raspberry Pi
- Learn to Administer said Raspberry Pi via command line
- Dig into system admin tasks for my Windows Server 2012 box so I can better understand the infrastructure side of IT
- Hack my home WiFi with old, useless laptops, in the name of improving home security
- Start shopping for new server components – do I want to build a new one the size of a shoebox?
- VM a Linux box and just have fun learning that
- Educate myself on Active Directory so I don’t appear like such a dolt to other IT admins
- Continue my research into .Net based web scrapers, and see if I can spool up anything with .Net Core
The Pi’s have me really excited – I’m dying to set up a network of them so they can all talk to each other via RESTful HTTP calls. Have I mentioned how much I love REST? Using HTTP as it was originally intended – really helps to model out solution spaces for complex data services and Web API’s. I’ll go into that in another post, with concrete samples of how I’ve approached this in my own ASP.Net code. I can imagine exploring the wonders of message queues and callback URI schedulers to coordinate automated tasks between the Pi’s – sending me texts throughout the day when one of them has finished scraping customer reviews for a product I’m researching. I’d love to host a MongoDB node on one if it’s feasible!
I’m sure I’m missing a few from that list. And I’ll watch a few movies and TV shows until something grabs a hold of my brain again. Let’s just hope it’s not internet spaceships this time.
Today’s song is titled with this post. It was wildly popular on the radio for awhile – I would still consider it more or less radio rock. Generally people are pretty polarized on Cage the Elephant.