Monitoring My Servers with Telegraf, InfluxDB and Grafana

I was on the lookout for a simple monitoring solution to keep an eye on a few servers that I am managing. There’s no shortage of monitoring solutions to choose from these days. However, I got lost in a sea of complexity. Most of them were meant for the enterprise. Meaning they were slow, complex and expensive. Not surprising, I guess, considering that’s where the money is. The solutions also seemed like they were meant for monitoring 100s(1000s?
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Per-host settings.py for Django projects

When working as part of a team on a Django project, it is often useful to have a per-host settings file. There are many ways to do this but the approach that I liked most is creating a local_settings.py file in each environment. I’m often the only programmer on web projects, but even then I still find it helpful to have a local_settings.py file on my local host. In it I include things such as debug-related settings, test keys for the different API providers, a modified logger configuration and flags that turn off any added security measures.
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Intercepting USSD calls in Android

Dialing a USSD code from a custom activity is straight forward using a DIAL or CALL intent, but listening to the returned result is not due to Android not having proper support for intercepting USSD calls within the platform, but partial though undocumented support exists within the native dialer application. As a start, look at the PhoneUtils class in the Android source code. The link is for 4.0.3 but I believe this partial support has been present since 2.
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Project: TaskIt

The TaskIt application aims to help you in your Getting things Done(GTD) approach and thus provides a task list or a ToDo list. When you organize your thoughts and put them down in your TaskIt list, you will get a much better view of your tasks.

This is a Work In Progress(WIP) and was done on my free time on weekends. I had a need for such an application, and i love Qt and i love Python, so i wanted to see how flexible their daemon spawn(PyQt) is.

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Project: Space Explorer(SpaceX)

I am a big fan of the Galactic Konquest game. It is similar to the risk board game, except it occurs in space and it may have different rules, i am not familiar with risk myself…ahem… It is a part of the kdegames package and thus comes with some strings attached. People who don’t use kde need to get a part of kde to be able to play it, and users of “other” operating systems are just out of luck.
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Project: DisplayShelf Modifications

The DisplayShelf’s original website is at http://www.quietlyscheming.com/blog/components/tutorial-displayshelf-component/ and this is a quote from that website. The sample is broken into two pieces. The first, the TiltingPane component, takes any content and wraps it in a faux ‘3d’ effect, allowing you to tilt it from side to side. The second, the DisplayShelf component, uses the TiltingPane component to render a list of items along a virtual shelf, with the selected item pulled out for display.
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Book Review: Banat Al-Riyad

Warning: This book is in Arabic. This book tells the story of 4 girls, and their struggle in the Saudi society. Lamis, Komra, Michelle, and Sadim are 4 friends each from a different background and with a different personality but they all share a common struggle within the highly conservative Saudi society. The kind of struggle that i am talking about is the simple “live your life as you see fit” experience that people who live in a western culture often take for granted.
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Jack Compiler

There are 10 types of programmers in the world, those who have written a compiler and those who can’t read binary. I’ve never written a compiler. At college, I had to drop the class because of a conflict and have always wanted to write one ever since. Even if just to say that I can. The Elements of Computing Systems has a chapter focusing on building a compiler for the computer that is built throughout the book.
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Book Review: From Program To Product

Two years ago, I learned that you can be a brilliant programmer and write awesome code but if your code doesn’t help solve some problem or doesn’t ease someone’s pain, then you’re not really doing your part. This is exactly the lesson that this book tries to drive home. It goes through the different aspects of creating a product from the programming and support to the licensing and legal side. The book also includes several interviews with people who have already done that.
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Joining SpringerLink pdfs

My workplace has a subscription to SpringerLink. So I’ve been having a blast looking at the different books over there. I found lots of books that are on my Amazon wish list and so i was like a child at a candy store. The problem is that the books are provided via separate pdf files for chapters. I am not sure why they do that, I think to make it tougher to pirate the files?
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