Mike's Notes

Mike Mol's blog. Discussing why's, how's and random technical musings.

View My GitHub Profile

On GitHub Actions Security Controls

As I write this, GitHub Actions are still in beta, which is probably a good thing. To understand where I’m coming from, understand that much of my day job is currently figuring out how to engineer automated CI and CD pipelines. I must presume an auditor will inspect my process and automation, and insist I anticipate significant lapses in judgment–or even active malice–in my processes’ inputs.

(Read more)

VDI and Containers

The more I dig into containers, the more I’m convinced they should be used to implement VDI. An easy start would be to use a single container for the entire login session, accessed using a thin client running X or RDP.

(Read more)

Dot Language Basics Pt 2: Layout Engines, Clusters and Complicated Undirected Graphs

So, we covered simple, undirected graphs. Let’s look at a couple more complicated cases, one with clustering and one without, so we can explore layout engines.

(Read more)

Dot Language Basics Pt 1: Nodes, Edges and Simple Undirected Graphs

I was asked to do a piece on the basics of Graphviz. I’m going to assume you can find a way to access the software; anything I say here will be out of date soon enough. So I’m going to talk about the Dot language itself, and how a handful of simple graphs behave in different layout engines.

(Read more)

Link Rollup 2018-02-15

So, the first (probably)-weekly link rollup. Rather than say “oh, cool, look at this!” for everything I spot that I think is useful or interesting, I’ll just drop the link in a queue and flush the queue as a single post later.

(Read more)

Asset regeneration script

So, in the interest of trying to be lazy (really!), I wrote a script to automate the generation of graphic assets from the dot source files. It does a few things for me:

(Read more)

A Color-Safe Palette

So, while I’ve been using this colorblind palette by Masataka Okabe and Kei Ito, the palette is presented only as a screenshot; I can’t copy/paste values. Worse, it doesn’t come with hex values, which are what I’m most likely to need. So here’s that same palette presented as a pair of tables, one with decimal values for channel percentages, and one with with decimal (0-255 range), hex and combined-hex values.

(Read more)

Touchpad troubles

So, my Lenovo Yoga 13 has always had trouble with its touchpad. Previously, on a cold boot, the touchpad wouldn’t work. Simply suspending and resuming the laptop would be enough to make it work, so it wasn’t a huge concern.

(Read more)

Sh-Zsh-Bash Chart Refactor

So, on the Grand Rapids Slack team, T.J. Zimmerman shared an interesting chart (originally by Peter Ward, from his blog post here) which showed the behaviors of sh, zsh and bash as they built (and tore down) their environments in each of (non-)remote, (non-)login and (non-)interactice sessions. It was interesting in that it conveyed a huge amount of very useful information, but I was, well, offended that it didn’t seem to do so well.

(Read more)

Nodes as Labels

So, let’s revisit my last post, and look at one of the charts I built for it. It uses a technique I’ve found works around Dot’s limited support for handling edge labels well.

(Read more)

Blog Workflow

So, I was asked what my “platform” was, and I wasn’t exactly sure what was meant. I can, however, discuss the tools and workflow involved, and take advantage of that discussion to actually refine it a bit. I might even create a dedicated page to it at some point.

(Read more)

Graphviz content in Jekyll via Javascript

So, most of what I want to write about (if you dig around GitHub, you can find my backlog as a bunch of empty draft posts) involves Dot and GraphViz. But as nice as Jekyll and Markdown are for blog posts, the simplest workflow has me separately building Graphviz assets into PNG or SVG and embedding them, and then due to GitHub limitations, ditching the SVG version, generating the PNG version at a silly size and scaling it down:

(Read more)

IFTTT Integration Test f1edfb94-570f-48c3-98a7-8baf826205c4

So, when this post goes live, it should get picked up by IFTTT and shared out to my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit (profile page) places.

(Read more)

Blank Renders

Somewhat annoyed. If I try to use any theme but minima, I get just a couple blank lines emitted to me by GitHub Pages. Research suggests that means a suppressed error message, but that…doesn’t help me in the slightest. The usability isn’t great, honestly.

(Read more)

Here I Go Again with a Blog

Maybe this one will stick, since GitHub seems to be a place that doesn’t want to go away. (Waves to Slashdot Journals, LiveJournal, Multiply…)

(Read more)