Hindsight and automation

redeving profile image Kelvin Thompson ・2 min read

This was originally published on my blog https://www.redeving.dev/2020/05/hindsight-and-automation.html?m=1

The old adage of "hindsight is 20/20" is a wisdom so many of us forget until ... after. More flippantly, "sometimes we see better out our butts!"

Case in point. Our Wifi, or rather our Rogers-black-box-of-magic, decided to die. The LAN ports anyways. Both flashing orange (one to the cable box -- I think my wife is now coming around to the cable cutting 🤞as this is the 3rd time in a month or so -- and one to my network.) So, nothing but cellular (I really should make an offering of an old cell phone to the cellular gods...)

Luckily my wife's iPad could use my Pixel 2 XL hotspot! But my laptop can't for some reason. Damn! But that brings me to my point. Hindsight.

I was so caught up in getting the laptop ready with a Docker image for development (see my post https://www.redeving.dev/2020/05/can-hat-save-me-part-2.html?m=1 ) that I not only forgot to re-download a Docker image of Go, but I also forgot to install a local version of VSCode! Doh!

So instead of waiting for the delivery of the new (or whatever) Rogers modem and continuing my Go adventure, I'm doing some basic html\css stuff to put a basic drop-down menu on my blog with my text editor. All well and good (anyone remember using notepad for webdev?) but really? I am a dumbass!

Which brings us to the final point of automation. Ansible has been on my back burner for awhile now, but it has come to the top of the pile now. Then I can do bare metal deploys without all the manual stuff that, even with lists, can get stupid. Case in point!

Also, it's unexpectedly raining and thunderstorming so my outside Reno stuff is off (siding replacement around the new and smaller window -- one piece to cut, plus edging), inside Reno stuff (basement bathroom window and laundry room walls) is off since the weather gives my wife migraines, so no noise. Usually this would be great, more time to code!

But I limited myself, unnecessarily. If I had taken the time then, I wouldn't be in this pickle now.

Brain mantra ... ".. between noon and 2pm .. between noon and 2pm .. between noon and 2pm .. " The birds seem to be fascinated by me spinning around in the backyard trying to kick my own butt....

Posted on May 23 by:

redeving profile

Kelvin Thompson


Retired military Dev (and past Certified Engineering Technologist). From COBOL on an IBM370, to Pascal with in-line Assembler and Python, my focus is Go and Blockchain Development.


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Yep. After you/ve been in this line of work a decade or four, "anticipating hindsight" is a regularly-scheduled activity, and "network access" translates into "that which is most likely to fail at the most inconvenient time with the least inherently-plausible workarounds".

Cloud is lovely, but I'm old-fashioned. I keep two cycles of (verified, thank you) backups on local media, one set of media rotated off-site, plus the cloud backups for convenience. Guess which I have the most trouble with. The second local backup set (with two sets of necessary cables) is always tucked into my "đi đi mau bag" by my bedroom door, ready to grab if it becomes necessary for me to be immediately elsewhere for an extended time. (All three occasions where unplanned recovery from backups has been necessary, were successful.)

Yes,. for a half-dozen systems, this takes up a good three days a month (or ~15% of my time). But, for three decades, I haven't worried about whether I can trust my backups (spanning four media types over the pereiod), and that makes it worth it to me. But the voice of experience tends to remind me that

The file you didn't verify was backed up will be the file you need in an unplanned recovery exercise.

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. And please, for the love of $DEITY, test what you plan.


Hah, very good! Who would've thought back when that part of a bug-out bag would include DVDs and portable drives as part of your survival kit! Mind you I keep a magnesium fire striker, knife and a thumb drive in different pockets at all times ... Murphy insists, cuz you know you will need it if you don't have it! And I have!