One of the more fun things I did in Seattle back in 2014 was to participate in a StartupWeekend event with another guy from Amazon. I’d never heard of these events and he described it as being like a hackathon. So I was in and joined him on at the start of the event that Friday night at the Google campus in Kirkland. We quickly discovered that this wasn’t anything like a hackathon. We were expected to write a business and marketing plan, do a customer analysis etc. so what we brought to work on wasn’t the right choice. So.. with minimal prep I pitched an idea to a room of about 200 people and managed to convince two others to join our team. One was a web developer and the other a business development person from another big tech company.
I lived in Charlotte for a good long while… so here is a small list of my recommendations for businesses I’d come to know and trust. If you think I’ve forgotten to include you please let me know.
I don’t often write about stocks or the economy.. it’s just too difficult to know anything with any certainty anymore. We’ve been kicking this can down the road far longer than I thought would be possible at this point but a quick look around the world and you are seeing the wheels start to come off. Here are a few scary charts that when combined with the news coming out of Europe and Japan spell trouble.
I spent 2 nights trying to get mysql replication over ssl to work.. and kept hitting this generic error message: connection error 2026. After much searching and trying different things I finally found the solution that worked for me. If you are hitting this error here’s a short list of things to check.
I learned an important tip that I thought I should share with others who are considering Octopress with publishing to S3/Cloudfront. If the S3 deployment line in your Rakefile includes the s3cmd option for “–cf-invalidate” you should be aware that this will drive up your costs quite a bit. (3 guesses how I know this) I had about a years worth of expected CF costs in my first month because I didn’t understand what that was doing.
I’ve run my own hosted server for many years now. Originally it was just to have my own mail server but later I decided to start the blog using Wordpress. It’s great to have the control and flexibility to do whatever you want with a server.. but there are definitely some downsides as well. Wordpress is great.. but there are constant security issues to worry about and people attacking your server trying to hack it with automated tools. Customizing it has also never exactly been easy.. and it’s a huge code base that I don’t really understand.
So this new version of the blog is far enough along that it was time to turn it lose.
After I’d been riding a motorcycle for a while.. and I’d gotten rid of the truck.. I decided that I needed another way to move the bike around. I traded the truck for a TDI VW Golf which isn’t a giant in the realm of towing capacity but it is able to pull a 1000lb load which is plenty for what I needed. So after doing a very thorough survey of what was available in light weight trailers I settled on the aptly named Trailer in a Bag.
I had the chance to take part in the half day introduction to the Ariel Atom this weekend at the Drive an Atom Experience. Now I’ve never driven a race car before or on a real race track so this was an interesting and fun experience that I’d rank up there with learning to dogfight that I did several years ago. These events are held at the Virginia International Raceway near Danville VA which is also where TMI Autotech builds the Atoms for the US market. I got to meet the owner of TMI and learn about the Spec: RaceAtom (SRA) we were driving and the Atom circuit they are in the process of starting up and taking national. It was hot… pushing 100 by the time we wrapped up at 11am but it was still great fun and I’d highly recommend it if you have any interest in motorsports or the Atom specifically.
What do these three things have in common? They were all in my car the other day as I set out to meet with various buyers for all three. If you hadn’t heard I’m going to be leaving Charlotte soon and heading for Seattle. After living in the south east for 25 years and here in Charlotte for about 13 of those it’s a pretty big deal. There are good reasons for doing it though… beyond just a change of scenery. I’ll be joining the Amazon Web Services team once I get moved. At first it will be in an operations role to help keep things running smoothly on their gigantic cloud platform and later.. who knows. They are fairly secretive about their internal goings-on.. and for good reason. You can just about count on one hand the number of companies or groups operating on the scale of Amazon. Most people who aren’t in the biz only associate Amazon with their web store but by current estimations the store (as big as it is) is only responsible for a small fraction of their revenue… much of the rest is coming from AWS which was first launched in 2002. From the standpoint of my career… a self taught, self proclaimed ‘linuxguy’ in Charlotte an opportunity like this doesn’t get much better.