TL;DR I hacked the Falcon sensor installer for MacOS to include the licensing information. After much research and deliberation, I decided to move from Avast to CrowdStrike Falcon for endpoint antivirus protection. The CrowdStrike platform offers increased control, visibility, and protection as well as humans on the back end to make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. I am in the process of deployment, and while it’s relatively easy to install the sensor on Windows workstations using group policies, Macs are not so easy.

In the past, I have avoided New Years resolutions becuase I perfered to have smaller goals throughout the year. Plus, there is plenty of evidence that creating resolutions around the holidays doesn’t work. Not only did I make a list of resolutions/goals last year, but I came up with a system to remember them and follow through. Start with a list I started by brainstorming a list of things that I could improve on.

Routine upgrade It was anything but. I had scheduled some maintenance time for an upgrade to our main HPC, which was still running RHEL 6. Because of the version discrepency, we had to implement work arounds for using, say, the latest version of gcc. It wasn’t ideal to say the least. By this time I had moved all of our user’s home directories to an NFS share, moved almost all applications to environmental modules, and started using Ansible for configuration, meaning that I could finally do a clean install of the new OS with minimal configuration on the other side.

We started using Zoom for video conferencing last year and it has been a huge success. We began with one mobile cart affectionately dubbed the “Zoom Mobile” and now have three Zoom Rooms, each with its own hardware. For those unfamiliar with Zoom, it is a newcomer to the video conference scene, particularly popular among educational and research organizations. Zoom offers a simple and intuitive interface that the big names, including WebEx and GoToMeeting, lack.

I feel fortunate to have grown up with computers. That is, I grew up at the same time as computers were growing up. The first computer that my family owned was a IBM PS/2 with its classic pixelated black and white icons on the desktop. I booted up that computer every few years just to reminisce on how far technology had come. I got my first computer in 2003 for my 13th birthday; I remember as if it were yesterday.

Overview One drawback to static websites is ease of management. After working with static website compilers for the past few years, I have finally settled on a process that makes management a breeze. GitHub file structure I have always used GitHub when developing websites, but mainly for the version control and collaboration features. Now it is the basis of my workflow: I created a GitHub repository to store my pre-compiled website files.

New User Accounts If you manage multiple linux servers, you know that creating users can be quite a process, especially when mounting/unmounting home directories and setting up permissions is involved. I am in the process of automating user creation with Ansible, but there is a road block that has been holding me back. Because we share home directories across systems, the user’s uid and gid need to be the same on all of the servers in our environment (especially our hpc environment).