Oracle Cloud + GitHub Actions


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While there is a deserved amount of publicity around the introduction of ARM compute onto OCI with the ARM Ampere CPU offering, and the amazing level of always free compute being provided (24GB of memory and 4 cores which can be used in any combination of servers). There have been some interesting announcements that perhaps haven’t drawn as much attention that they deserve. This includes OCI support for GitHub Actions, plus several new DevOps services and an Artifact Registry. We’ll comeback to the new services in another post. Today, let’s look at GitHub Actions.

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Crazy streaming music service idea?

I don’t often write about music, but this demented idea came to mind largely because Mrs Monster is more of a visual person whereas I prefer to have music on. The obvious intersection is music videos, so why can’t Spotify keep the metadata for videos on you tube. If you play a song on Spotify with a video, then YouTube is told to stream it to you if you have a session active.

The hardest bit for this would be linking the media together with the metadata but I’m sure artists and fans a like would crowd source that metadata quickly enough. Should You Tube actually pay artists for streams then it helps bolster the musician’s streaming income.

It would be interesting to see what it did to the music video interest if such as an idea took off as there would be incentive to get videos for every track. Perhaps with a little luck it would encourage artists to support grass roots film makers.

Some might say why not just stream video playlists, well how many people’s TV speakers get anywhere near the fidelity of a good hifi? Audio streams within many You Tube videos are often inferior because the key element is the visual not the audio.

The other thing is music on You Tube is entire album or just the tracks with videos recorded. But artists often have incredible b-sides or remixes – they currently don’t get loaded onto You Tube.

Brain dump over.

The Air Gap a Security Fallacy?


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Securing systems through an air gap is an idea goes back decades, and through the 50s to as recently as the 2000s the idea that you could safely and successfully run and maintain systems by simply not connecting to a network protects them from vulnerabilities may have been true. But in the last ten or more years, I would argue it is a fallacy, that can lull people into a false sense of security and therefore more likely to take more risks (or at least not be as careful as we should be). This idea is a well established piece of psychology with modern cars (here for example). This is known as Risk Compensation (also more here) or an aspect of behaviour adaptation.

Whilst this is rather theoretical, perhaps we should illustrate in practical terms why it is both a fallacy, and in the modern day simply impractical.

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New and coming to a screen near you soon


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Last night saw the final chapter of Logging in Action with Fluentd go back to my editor. The next step is that Chapter (and others I hope) will go to MEAP, so early readers not only get the final chapter, but also the raft of improvements we’ve made. Along with that, the manuscript goes for a full peers review. Once that’s back, its time for a round of edits as I address the feedback then into copy editing and Manning sign off review.

As you might have guessed, we’ve kept busy with an article in the 25th edition of OraWorld. This follows Part 1 talking about GraphQL with a look at considerations for API Security.

In addition to that we’re working on a piece around automation of OCI management activities such as setting up developers, allowing them a level of freedom to experiment without accidentally burning through all your credits by spinning up Exadata servers or 500 node Kubernetes clusters.

We might even have some time to write more about APIs and integration.

Restriction on custom logging for OCI always free


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OCI Always Free compute node has a restriction that isn’t clearly documented or obvious when you go to a instantiate such compute resources. That restriction is the absence of OCI Custom logging. This is a little surprising given that this capability is based on Fluentd and the compute footprint needed by Fluentd is so small. In the following screen shot, as you can see when configuring the compute, there is no reason to believe you can’t use OCI Logging for custom logs.

Configuration for a logging agent on the Always Free VM

But when you go to configure the custom logging on your running compute, you can see that the feature is disabled with the message about the restriction. It would have been nice, to have the warning on the creation phase, as if I’d manually setup the VM then went to switch on OCI Logging knowing where I’d deployed my applications, I’d have wasted time in the setup.

Custom Logging Limitation

Solution, use one of the AMD Flex or Previous Generation to minimize the footprint to your needs.

UPDATE 09th June 2021

We’ve been told that the this constraint has been addressed. In addition Oracle also introduced the new Ampere offering which allows for nodes with a form factor of upto 4 OCPU and 24GB of RAM using the new ARM chips. You can also use variations on this such as 4x 1 OCPU 6GB RAM

Creating screenshots of application shells – easing the writing process


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If you hadn’t noticed, I have been involved with writing several books as well as various blogs and journal contributions. One of the challenges when it comes to books particularly is when wanting to share a screenshot of a shell/console Window, be that a Linux shell (bash, ZSH, korn etc) Windows cmd or PowerShell.

All the different shells configured, note Git and Ubuntu in the list and integration to support Azure as well.
All the different shells configured, note Git and Ubuntu in the list and integration to support Azure as well.
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Blog Post on and more


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We recently received an invite to write a guest blog post for Oracle. We’re please to say it has gone live, and can be found at A little different to my typical posts. Hope you find it interesting.

Opening of the blog post on
my Author Profile on

World Festival Conference

We’ve also scored another success, this time we’ve been invited to speak at WorldFestival in August, this is an online conference organized by the same team behind DeveloperWeek. This is the first time outside of an Oracle linked event where I’ve been amongst the first few named speakers, so proud of that. The conference looks really interesting as it looks beyond just core developer themes with conference tracks on Space & Transportation, Smart Cities, Robotics, Digital Health to name a few of the 12 streams. Worth checking out.

WorldFestival Conference
World Festival Conference Themes

DeveloperWeek Europe 2021 – APIs more than just a Payload definition


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So this week the big Developer Week Europe conference is running online at the moment. I got to present today. It was a relatively short session, with an unfortunate brief interruption of a smoke alarm. My presentations is here …

OraWorld Magazine – Latest Edition


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The latest edition of OraWorld has become available to today. With its blend of insight into the Oracle community, and Oracle technologies from database to modern apps. I have to own up and say, I mention the magazine not only because of the beautifully crafted independent insights, but also it includes an article from myself. Taking a look at GraphQL what it is and how recent new Oracle product features could make a big difference to the GraphQL adoption opportunities.

The next edition should include a follow up article to this focussing on API security considerations.