Ansible script for a database server

For my personal projects, I don’t really run into performance issues with the database. However, it makes sense to me that having separate servers for databases and applications is a good thing. So just for fun, I decided to set up an ansible script for a dedicated database server. It’s mostly pulled from my existing server setup scripts, but with the extra SSL steps and obviously nothing that isn’t required for the database. I put the code and some setup instructions on GitHub.

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Microservices aren’t for everyone.

I recently went to a conference where there were several talks on microservices, an architectural pattern that my team at work has been looking at for a while. These were all generally high-level talks about the pros, cons, and use cases for microservices. I was kind of disappointed in the first one when the speaker said specifically that microservices are not good for small teams. It makes sense, but I would say at two and a half developers, our team is pretty small. So after that talk I took some time to reflect.

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Brand Identity

I’m trying to set up this brand name, cototal, before I try to get more attention on social media. Unfortunately, Twitter is the one place I wasn’t able to lock in the username for. I guess that’s not uncommon. I see a lot of brands with extensions on their brand name or something completely different.

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Project Template

I built a very simple node app so that I can mockup projects quickly using pug templates. It’s public on [GitHub](, though I don’t really have any plans to make it more accessible for the general public to use it. Basically it’s just a static site generator, and there are plenty out there for people that need more features.

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SPA Deployment

I just deployed a MEAN stack app. It went pretty smoothly, but required some manual steps I’ll need to work out how to automate. I also need to add some security and set up HTTPS. That should be pretty simple with Let’s Encrypt, but I have to make sure communication between the frontend and backend apps isn’t interrupted.

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I’m getting some practice with the MEAN stack by building a simple workout management app. It should work nicely as a SPA. It has a pretty small domain, so MongoDB and Express provides a quick solution for the backend.

I’m debating how much time I want to put into a custom design for it. I could easily apply one of the popular frameworks, like bootstrap or materialize. But since I don’t need to worry about browser compatibility, I could get some experience with the CSS grid framework.

Having spent the past couple months with Vue and React, getting back into Angular has been an interesting shift in workflow. Back when Angular 2 was in beta, I took some time to learn more about RxJS. I like the concept of working with “observables,” or streams, but it really requires you to dive in and set up your how environment to handle them efficiently. With Angular, it’s pretty thoroughly baked in.


Yet another Rails prototype for managing my own records. This time, I’ve started doing some car shopping and I want to organize the cars I’m interested in. My primary sources are Autotrader and the IIHS website. But I’m looking around local dealers inventory too. It seems like they end up with some cars that don’t end up on Autotrader.

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I’m working on a new app to help organizing my stock investing. I’m not actually¬†doing any stock investing right now, but once I get this app up and running, it should help me get started. Continue reading “Stocks”