Freelance Rancher

After a brief stint at a small consultancy in Cologne I decided to go back to working as a freelance IT architect and consultant, with my favorite open source cloud projects, Rancher and Kubernetes, and everything else cloud native. I have also submitted a couple of papers to regional conferences.

From August onwards I’ll then have two more years at University, and during that time I’ll need to figure out whether I should be starting my own business, continue going solo, or try to find full-time employment again. Main goal: Get my kids through college. And enjoy my work.

On that note: I’ve passed all exams so far and am happy with the results!

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Android Pie Backup Now grayed out

This week I migrated my phone from a Nokia 8 to a Nokia 9 PureView, for the impressive built-in camera.

After completing the migration I found that I was unable to perform a backup – the Backup Now button was grayed out and all items were in “Waiting to backup” (except for Contacts and Photos, which operate independently).  Google to the rescue!

I found many good posts, some recommending to temporarily disable Screen Lock. That worked – I then had a valid backup in Google Drive.

After I re-enabled the screen lock, though, the button became grayed out again – back to Google.

Several people recommended setting up Smart Lock, so that the phone unlocks itself, for example when you’re at home.

Enabled Smart Lock, no change, button still grayed out. Bummer.

This time though I decided to give it a couple of days – a good idea, since there seems to be a timer involved, too.

Issue is now solved, the phone performs automatic backups, if

  • it’s at home and automatically unlocked, and
  • the last backup is more than a day old

Good enough for me. But I will regularly check in Drive from now on …

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Server housekeeping

From time to time it does make sense to clean your computer systems, literally speaking.

Especially if you run them in a domestic or office setting, any system with a fan will collect dust. A lot of dust.

Nothing a can of pressurized air, a hoover and a set of baby wipes can’t fix though .

Did anyone say weekend?

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Spiderman: Far From Home

What a ride – first, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, probably the best animated movie this year with a lot of fresh ideas, then, Avengers: Endgame where Peter took the mantle from Tony Stark. And now, Spiderman: Far from Home

Far from Home is a great reboot of the Spiderman universe, portraying a cool super hero fit for the 21st century; at the same time it also showed a lot of continuity and references to past Marvel movies for fans, old and new alike

Highly recommended – go watch it, but stay until after the credits!

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(Movie poster outside of Metropolis)

Paintball

There’s always a first time for things – for us it was the first time for playing paintball this Friday.

We went to Paintball Revolution in Ennepetal, as they offer markers for 14- to 18-year-olds.

The staff on site was great, plenty of playing fields and game ideas, we played for hours – highly recommended!

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(Paintball Revolution)

Red Hood Fan Series

Until recently I did not know that there were such things as fan series – boy, did I miss out!

I would like to highlight one in particular, the Red Hood Fan Series which is set in DC’s Batman Universe, following the adventures of the three Robins – Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne – in their quest to take back Gotham from the Court of Owls

With professional camera, high quality editing and great actors such as Cameron Judd (as Damian Wayne), Ian Lang (as Jason Todd),  Nadav Jackson (as Colin Todd), and Madden Zook (as 7B05), the series is a must to watch

Season 2 was financed by a Kickstarter, which I missed, but I’ll definitely be in for season 3!

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(Instagram @redhoodfanseries)

FreeBSD

Being a long-time Linux user and ardent fan of Debian GNU/Linux, I find myself more and more in a situation where I favor a BSD-style Unix over Linux.

My first real contact with FreeBSD was through the now sadly defunct Debian GNU/kfreebsd distribution, the next logical step was to set up a FreeBSD workstation (with KDE) and now there’s no turning back. One of the main benefits of using Linux over Windows was always  to have fine granular control of all the processes and steps – systemd is way too much Windows-like for my taste. Nothing against Windows – I do all my daily office work on Microsoft Windows and Office, but on my servers and workstations I want a shell prompt and full control.

I still run Debian on my GCP cloud servers, for my next server at home I’ve settled on FreeBSD though.

I did have a look at the possibility to replace systemd with SysV-init on Debian, I also looked at Devuan, but in the end the simplicity and elegance of FreeBSD won me over.

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(https://www.freebsd.org/art.html)

Low carb, high fat

If you’re trying to loose weight, like I am, there’s one hard truth: You’ll only loose weight if your daily calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure.

There are no miracle hormones, or fat burning exercises, it all comes down to calorie intake.

To reduce your calorie intake, there are basically three types of diet:

  • Overall reduction
  • Low fat
  • Low carb (high fat)

If you’re going for an overall reduction, the danger is that you trigger a survival mechanism – your body will believe that you’re going through bad times and reduce its overall consumption, to make its own stores last as long as possible. While this might definitely lead to short-term weight loss, chances are that as soon as you’re off the diet, your body will start to replenish and prepare for the next period of hunger. Bummer.

A low fat diet might certainly be sustainable, I just don’t like the bland taste of low-fat food.

That leaves a low carb / high fat diet – together with my GP and a dietician I settled on a diet somewhere between Atkins and Keto, with good, steady results so far. The definite benefit of a LCHF diet is that the food tastes really good and you’re almost never hungry (you stay sated for longer) – I went down to two meals per day, sometimes one, without any cravings.

From personal experience, if you need / want to loose weight, I’d highly recommend trying a LHCF diet, but: Never without ongoing medical supervision!

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