Hank Beaver. Web Architect.

About me

As a jack-of-all-trades, I don’t assert to possess all the answers, I enjoy discovering them. While also a creative, musician at heart, I love writing code. I use Open-Source to help startup business ideas come to life, presently with the Ruby programming language and my experience in operations (yes this can be consider a form of DevOps).

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The Beatles: Not Overrated, You Just Don’t Get It.

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I’ve heard it all before. I was one of the detractors. So it’s practically part of my inner dialogue. The Beatles are no better than:

  • The Zombies
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Beach Boys
  • early Led Zeppelin
  • insert a band from 60s

ad naseaum…


The nitty gritty

And if we spoke to a specific set of Beatles albums, I’d completely agree with you. I don’t really enjoy anything before ‘Help!’, and even then I don’t love it. Prior to LSD and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi the Beatles were similar to many bands of that era. But TM, Drugs and a dose of Yoko Ono-style 60’s art catapulted them way beyond yet another British band ripping off American Blues. Somehow, they combined so many forms of music and art into what we take for granted.

The Disagreement

I’m sorry if you don’t see it that way, but purely from a harmonic, musical point of view, they are not just a blues band like their contemporaries.

Folk, blues, operatic, classical, choral and vaudvillian, the Beatles drew from many types of music and were able to become an unparalleled archetype of rock that has yet to be matched. In my opinion it was as close to divine as one can get to allow these individually gifted musicians to become one unit: Providence, in the rock form. Many have tried to emulate, but never will there be an outfit as talented intrumentally or vocally as this quartet for the forseeabable future. The horrid over-production of today won’t allow for the intense variations of individuals, but that’s another mattter.

Proof #1

So in keeping with this elitist belief, I present clear proof your favorite band ripped off the Beatles. If you have the patience to try me.

I won’t digress into discussions about blues, folk or simple rock. There were other bands making great variations of these singular genres at the same time. I give you that.

However, if you want to look at Radiohead, Coldplay, Ben Folds Five, and countless others who seemed to transcend genres during their time, I present a 40 year old look into the past. One that encapsulated everything ‘alternative’ you ever knew. You are required to sit back, put on headphones and truly be objective. If you can’t, stop now.

“A Day in the Life” by The Beatles

If you can honestly listen to this song and not hear how so much music has copied its’ style and character, then I completely understand why you consider that Fred Durst autographed Limp Bizkit t-shirt to be your prized possession. Or if you think that hating well-crafted melodic music is the apex of musica intelligentsia.

Point is, I’m not going to argue. Comment all you want, but I’m really,really trying to provide an example where I consider The Beatles at their finest.

P.S. If you think Ringo is a bad drummer, you don’t play drums.

P.S.S. I feel our current stage of recording and production hinders the possibility of the next Beatles coming into existence, but that’s another matter I’ve already alluded to.

What Ops Folk Need to Learn to Become DevOps

- - posted in devops, ops

This is simply a list. It relates to web applications. And it’s for me to think about and you to judge. I ended up with 15 and I did cut a few. They are loosely in order as far as the technical is concerned.

There are many skills Ops pros already have that compliment this list, like DNS, Unix, etc. I’m not going to go over every possible skill a good web ops person likely knows.

  1. Learn how to program, Ruby is a great start (you’ll need it for Chef/Puppet anyway, more on that later).

  2. Embrace source control. Put all your scripts and tools in source control. http://git-scm.com/

  3. You should be using public cloud services. Amazon Web Services S3 is a great start. Host a static website or put your cat gifs there.

  4. You need to know how to program against an API. Write some files to S3 with Ruby and Fog: http://fog.io/storage/

MongoDB GridFS Sanity Checks

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I want to verify that the data is what I expect across two systems for binaries. Here’s some sanity check examples:

1) Verify fs.files object count:

mongofiles -d cms list | wc -l

Example output:

connected to:

(should be > 3000)

2) Verify Meta data: