Archive for the ‘Educational’ Category

Check weather forecast from console (terminal) on GNU / Linux and FreeBSD howto

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

how to get weather forecast prognosis from command line text terminal / console on Linux and FreeBSD

Doing everything in Linux console / terminal is a question perhaps every Linux / BSD hacker wants to do as Graphical user interface and using web search or using Graphical Environment plugins is an unneded complexity + googling or duckduckgoing for weather to check your next vacation destination city has been more and more of a terrible experience (for me) as I'm not a big fan of using the OS in a GUI.
In that manner of thoughts, as a Linux console geek and hard core ASCII art fan. I was recently happy to find that  possible to check weather forecast in tty console or Linux terminal in a beautiful ascii art way easily through a Web wttr.in service – a web application weather forecast service that supports displaying the current and few days in future, weather forecast either in browser as a plain text or from the command line by simply accessing it with your favourite web access / transfer tool such as;
wget / curl or any of your favourite text browser elinks / lynx / w3m or if on *BSDs use fetch command.

 

Install Curl data transfer tool if it is not already


Wget is installed by default across most Linux distributions and fetch is present by default on BSDs, displaying it in text browser would perhaps be never used but if you decide to give it a try maybe try with elinks (to get colorful output), w3m and lynx will display a black and white results.

In case if you miss curl, install it:

On Debian distro

 

aptitude install -y curl


or Fedora

yum install -y curl


Of course to use wttr.in as it is Internet based Weather Forecast service the minimum you need to have is to have Internet connection to your Linux / BSD desktop computer.

Text based Weather Forecast Web App currently supports:

display the current weather as well as a 3-day weather forecast, split into morning, noon, evening and night

  • Temperature is displayed for morning, noon, evening and night (includes temperature range, wind speed and direction, viewing distance, precipitation amount and probability)
  • Provide results for Weather based on City / town / village location
  • Supports display of Moon Phases Forecast in calendar days
  • Supports multilingual names (Bulgarian Phonetic cyrillic / Russian and other exotic UTF-8 encodings such as Chineese and Japanese),  50+ languages are currently supported
  • Has ability for prognosis for hostname (domain) location based on an its IP GeoIP location on the Globe
  • Geographical locations / landmarks such as Lakes / Mountains etc. can be easily queried
  • Query results metrics could be configured, e.g. USCS units or EU and rest of world accepted ones (SI) metric
  • Displayed result could be either in ANSI (if from terminal / console / HTML if queried from browser or in PNG – if needed)

 

Where wttr.in could be useful ?

The best applications use, I can think of are for server (shell) / perl scripting automation purposes, it could be useful especially in TOO HOT, TOO, COLD, TOO WET location in Small and Middle sized Data Centers Green Energy (Sun Panel) Parks / Wind Energy situated Linux monitoring hosts to track possible problems of overheats or overcolding of servers due to abnormal excessive temperatures such as the ones we experienced this summer here All across in Europe or in too Cold DC locations such as heat locations Deserts in African Countries, Saudi Arabia or Chukotka or Siberia in Russia.
Other application is as a backup option to other normal Weather report services by PHP or Python scripts that fetch data, from multiple places.
Of course since this is a third party controlled service, the downtime is due to excessive connection requests, the service could get flooded and stopped working, but I guess for any Commercial use, wttr.in creator Igor Chubin would be happy to sell a specific crafted service for any end user candidates.


Here is few examples of the beautiful returned ASCII art formatted output of wttr.in.
 

1. Getting a three days Weather Forecast prognosis for city / town location

To get what is current weather in my current city of Living, Sofia Bulgaria just pass the city to the URL address

curl http://wttr.in/Sofia

text-console-wttr.in-Weather-forecast-Sofia-for-Linux

 

links http://wttr.in/Dobrich

 

curl-Linux-show--Dobrich-Weather-forecast-in-lynx-text-browser


Default links (Linux) www text browser produces ugly black and white

2. Displaying Weather forecast with wget

 

wget -O- -q http://wttr.in


getting-weather-forecast-on-linux-terminal-console-with-wget-command

If you're lazy you can even omit the http:// as wget will look for HyperText Transmission Protocol by itself

 

wget -O- -q wttr.in

 

3. Getting Forecast results for a Tourist Destination


Lets get the weather forecast for the popular tourist Bulgarian destination of the Seven Rila Lakes (near Rila Monastery), situated in the Rila Mountain BG.

 

curl http://wttr.in/Seven+Rila+Lakes

 

Console-terminal-Weather-forecast-Linux-Seven-Rila-Lakes

 

 

4. Display Forecast for a specific server IP


Displaying information on specific server IP address current situated in GeoIP database, of course could be not really true, as the IP could be just a Load Balancer a router that does NAT to some internal DMZ-ed location server, but anyways it is a cool feature.

Lets get information on what is the weather on Google Global's Public DNS server IP 8.8.8.8 so commonly used to guarantee a Windows and Linux Desktop client machines Internet connectivity.
 

curl wttr.in/@8.8.8.8

 

wttr.in-Linux-text--forecast-service-curl-screenshot Google Public DNS location weather forecast

5. Download PNG image picture from wttr.in service

 


Lets say you want to get a 3 days standard Weather forecast for the popular Black Sea Resort town in Bulgaria Pomorie (a beautiful sea city which has even a functioning 5 Monks Monastery Pomorie Monastery situated near sea coast)

 

curl http://wttr.in/Pomorie.png
 

 

–2019-08-22 20:15:51–  http://wttr.in/Pomorie.png
Resolving wttr.in (wttr.in)… 5.9.243.187
Connecting to wttr.in (wttr.in)|5.9.243.187|:80… connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 200 OK
Length: 42617 (42K) [image/png]
Saving to: ‘Pomorie.png’

Pomorie.png                                     100%[=======================================================================================================>]  41.62K  –.-KB/s    in 0.07s   

2019-08-22 20:15:52 (586 KB/s) – ‘Pomorie.png’ saved [42617/42617]

 

Note: The generated .png is again the ASCII art produced by a direct text fetch bug in pic format

 

6. Displaying Current Moon Phase


If you want to enjoy a text based Moon phase picture through wttr.in 🙂

wget -O- -q wttr.in/Moon


Display-current-Phase-of-Moon-in-terminal-console-Linux-wttr.in-service

You can also get a Moon Phase prognosis for a current future date or get a previous date phase

 

curl wttr.in/moon@2019-09-15

Full-Moon-Weather-forecast-text-console-reporting-via-wttr.in-on-Gnu_Linux


Full Moon Madness !! – Vampires are out beaware and Enjoy the ultra kewl ASCII Colorful Art 🙂
 

7. Getting help for wttr.in terminal Waether Forecast results

 

 

$ curl wttr.in/:help
Usage:

 

    $ curl wttr.in          # current location
    $ curl wttr.in/muc      # weather in the Munich airport

Supported location types:

    /paris                  # city name
    /~Eiffel+tower          # any location
    /Москва                 # Unicode name of any location in any language
    /muc                    # airport code (3 letters)
    /@stackoverflow.com     # domain name
    /94107                  # area codes
    /-78.46,106.79          # GPS coordinates

Special locations:

    /moon                   # Moon phase (add ,+US or ,+France for these cities)
    /moon@2016-10-25        # Moon phase for the date (@2016-10-25)

Units:

    m                       # metric (SI) (used by default everywhere except US)
    u                       # USCS (used by default in US)
    M                       # show wind speed in m/s

View options:

    0                       # only current weather
    1                       # current weather + 1 day
    2                       # current weather + 2 days
    A                       # ignore User-Agent and force ANSI output format (terminal)
    F                       # do not show the "Follow" line
    n                       # narrow version (only day and night)
    q                       # quiet version (no "Weather report" text)
    Q                       # superquiet version (no "Weather report", no city name)
    T                       # switch terminal sequences off (no colors)

PNG options:

    /paris.png              # generate a PNG file
    p                       # add frame around the output
    t                       # transparency 150
    transparency=…        # transparency from 0 to 255 (255 = not transparent)

Options can be combined:

    /Paris?0pq
    /Paris?0pq&lang=fr
    /Paris_0pq.png          # in PNG the file mode are specified after _
    /Rome_0pq_lang=it.png   # long options are separated with underscore

Localization:

    $ curl fr.wttr.in/Paris
    $ curl wttr.in/paris?lang=fr
    $ curl -H "Accept-Language: fr" wttr.in/paris

Supported languages:

    af da de el et fr fa hu id it nb nl pl pt-br ro ru tr uk vi (supported)
    az be bg bs ca cy cs eo es fi ga hi hr hy is ja jv ka kk ko ky lt lv mk ml nl fy nn pt pt-br sk sl sr sr-lat sv sw th te uz zh zu he (in progress)

Special URLs:

    /:help                  # show this page
    /:bash.function         # show recommended bash function wttr()
    /:translation           # show the information about the translators

 


 

 

8. Comparing two cities weather from command line

 


One useful use of wttr.in if you plan to travel from Location city A to Location city B is to compare the temperatures with a simple bash one liner script:

 

 

 

diff -Naur <(curl -s http://wttr.in/Sofia ) <(curl -s http://wttr.in/Beograd )

 

 

9. Using ansiweather command to get Weather Temperature / Wind / Humidity in one line beuatiful text

 


If you go and install answeather Linux package

 

apt-get install –yes ansiweather


You will get a shell script wrapper with ANSI colors and Unicode symbols support. Weather data comes from OpenWeatherMap, this is useful if wttr.in is not working due to some URL malfunction (due to service is DoS-ed) etc.

 

ansiweather -l Atina

 

ansiweather-Atina-weather-forecast-result-linux-text-console

Lets use ansiweather to print the weather prognosis for upcoming 5 days for near port of Burgas, BG
 

ansiweather -F -l Burgas

ansiweather-print-weather-forecast-prognosis-for-5-days-in-Linux-text-terminal

 

10. Get all Weather current forecast for each Capital in the world


You can download and use this simple plain text file list of All Country Capitals in the World (country-capitals-all-world.txt) with ansiweather and a bash loop to get displayed each and every current day Weather Forecast in the World, here is how:

 

while read line; do ansiweather -l $line; sleep 3; done < country-capitals-all-world.txt


ansiweather-all-countires-capitals-result

As you can see some of the very exotic third world capitals does not return data so 'ERROR: Cannot fetch weather data' is returned.


You can also substitute ansiweather with curl wttr.in/$line to do get the beautiful ASCII art 3 days weather forecast via wttr.in

 

while read line; do curl http://wttr.in/$line; sleep 3; done < country-capitals-all-world.txt


I'll be happy to know other nice ASCII Art supporting Web service to enjoy from text terminal on Linux (nomatter useful or) just funny joyful prank maniacal pranks such as Watching text ASCII version remake of Star Wars Classic Movie by simply telnetting to towel.blinkenlights.nl (if you haven't so just telnet and enjoy the streamed ASCIIs ! 🙂

 

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

 

watch-star-wars-ascii-art-version-remake-online-with-telnet-on-linux-console-terminal

 

Talking about fun and ASCII, its worthy to mention hollywood Linux package

hipo@jeremiah:~/Desktop$ apt-cache show hollywood|grep -i desc -A 3
Description-en: fill your console with Hollywood melodrama technobabble
 This utility will split your console into a multiple panes of genuine
 technobabble, perfectly suitable for any Hollywood geek melodrama.
 It is particularly suitable on any number of computer consoles in the


Description-md5: 768f44c76220ea2b35f855ea34c8bc35
Homepage: http://launchpad.net/hollywood
Section: games
Priority: optional


Once installed on Debian with:

aptitude install -y hollywood

You can get in a rapid manner plenty of tmux (screen like – virtual console emulator) split screen statistics about your notebook / workstation / server CPU usage, mlocate.db status, info about plugged in machine voltage, Speedometer (statistics about Network bandwidth usage), System load avarage (CPU Count, Memory Utilization) and some other random info coming out of dmesg kernel log and more. The information displayed in splitted windows changes rapidly and (assuming you run it at home Desktop with a soundblaster) and not remotely, a james bond Agent 007 soundtrack is played on the back, that brings up one's adrenaline and makes it look even cooler.

hollywood-melodrama-technobubble-split-console-multiple-panes-for-genuine-technobubble

To give you an idea what to expect, here is shot of /usr/games/hollywood (the program start binary location) on Debian GNU / Linux running, Enjoy! 🙂
 

Helpful Hints For Starting A Small WordPress Website or Ecomerce Business

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

hints-for-starting-wordpress-site

Wordpress is the web application collection of PHP program behind thirty four percent (43%) of the internet’s websites, and fifteen percent (50%) of the top one hundred websites in the world, so if you’re considering it for your website then you’re perhaps thinking in the right direction. Small start-up projects a community website or even a small personal owned blog or mid to even large business presentation site  can benefit greatly from setting up their Web Platrform or Ecommerce shops on a WordPress website platform (that of itself depends just on a small number of technologies such as a Linux server with a Web Server installed on it to serve PHP as well as some kind of Linux host installed Database  backend engine such as MYSQL / PostgreSQL etc. …

But if you really want to create a successful ecommerce website on WordPress, that can seem a little intimidating at first as the general complexity to start up with WordPress looks very scary in the beginning. However in this article I’ll point to fewhelpful hints should get you off on the right foot, and make your entry into the world of Wodpress / WP Ecommerce a little easier and less scary.

This article is to be less technical than expected and in that will contrast slightly with many of the articles on this blog, the target audience is more of Web Marketing Manager or a Start-up Search Engine Optimization person at a small personal project or employed in the big bad corporate world.This is no something new that is going to be outlined in this article but a general rules that are known for the professional SEO Gurus but is most likely to be helpful for the starting persons.

If you happen to be one of these you should know you have to follow a set of well known rules on the website structure text, descriptions, text, orientation, ordering of menus and data etc. in order to have the WordPress based website running at full speed attracting more visitors to your site.
 

Photos
 

 

Importance of Photos on a Webiste
Although the text for your website is very important – more on that later – when a user first opens up your website in their browser, their eyes are going to be caught by the images that you have laid out on your website. Not using images is a big mistake, since it bores users’ eyes and makes your website seem amateur and basic, but using low quality images or irrelevant images can also harm your chances of appearing authentic to a user (yes here on this blog there are some of this low quality pictures but this is due to fact this website is more of information blog and not ecommerce. Thus at best case always make sure that you find the best, high-quality images for your website – make sure that you have the correct rights to use the images as well (as copyright infrignmenets) could cause you even a law suits ending in hundred or thousand dollar fines or even if this doesn't happen any publicity of such would reduce your website indexing rating. The images placed should always be relevant to your website. If you find a breath-taking sunset or tech-gadget picture, that’s great, but maybe not for your healthy food ecommerce store, but for your personal ranting or describing a personal experience.

 

Product Photos


Assuming that sooner or later even if you have a community website you will want to monerize it to bring back to yourself in material form at least part of the many years effort to bring the site to the web rank gained.
Leading on from that point, you’re going to be selling or advertise items – that’s the whole point of ecommerce. But users often find ads / online shopping frustrating due to not being able to properly see and understand what they’re buying before they make their purchase. This can lead to ‘buyer’s remorse’, and, consequently, refunds galore, which is not what you want. Make sure that images of your products are always available and of a high quality – investing in a fairly high quality camera might be a good idea – and consider many pictures for different angles or even rotating images so that the user can decide for themself which angle they want to look at.

 

Engaging Descriptions


“I can guarantee that you can’t remember the last five product descriptions you read – not even word-for-word, but the general ideas and vocabulary used will have been tossed into your short-term memory and forgotten in an instant. This is where your website can shine, and become better than ninety percent of those lingering on the internet,” Matthew Kelly, a project manager at WriteMyX and NextCoursework, suggests, “since putting effort into writing your product descriptions and making them lively and engaging will make your website memorable, and your subscribers will turn helpfully soon loyal customers will be more likely to come back time and time again and become repeat business, as well as mention you to their friends (social mounth to mouth marketing) and that way working as free advertising for you and making your website incredibly effective.”

 

Mobile-Friendly

 

Which device is most used to check email Laptop / PC or Mobile statistics as of year 2019

These days with the bloom of Mobile Devices that are currently overrunning the user of normal Desktop PCs, Laptops and Tablets and this trend is likely to stay and even increase, “If your website isn’t mobile-friendly in this day and age, then you won’t get anywhere with it.” Anne Baker, a marketer at BritStudent and Australia2Write, states. “Most people use their phones when they access websites, especially when they go shopping on the internet.

Statistics on user stay (secs / mins) stay on a website from Desktop PC and Mobile devices

On WordPress, this means finding a more recent theme – an older theme, maybe four-five years old, will probably not support mobile, and you just can’t afford to lose out on the mobile market.” In short, find yourself a mobile-friendly theme or install the right WordPress Pluguin that will enable you to have a Mobile Friendly theme in case if blog is accessed from a Mobile Dev or many of your customers will become frustrated with the badly formatted ‘mobile’ version of your website that they end up using, which might be for instance meant for a much larger screen. It can also ruin the atmosphere (experience) created at the accessed user site and have negative impact on your audience opion of your site or business. This is even more the case  if your website or webapp is targetting to be modern and keeping with the times – or especially if it deals with IT and electronics (where the competition is huge)!

 

Registration

 

Registration Ecommerce website

Registration form (Sign Up) on a website and the overall business cycle idea behind web product or business is of critical importance as this is the point that will guarantee intimidation with the customer, failing to have the person be engaged will quickly make your website rank lower and your producs less wanted. The general rule here is to make your registration be an easy (to orientate for the user) and be present on a very visible place on the site.

Registration steps should be as less as possible as this might piss off the user and repel him out of the site before the registration is completed. Showing oportunity to register with a Pop-Up window (while the user clicks on a place showing interest for the produce might be useful in some cases but generally might also push the user back so if you decide to implement it do it with a lot of care (beware of too much aggressive marketing on our site).

An example


The registration process should be as intimidating as possible to leave joy in the user that might later return and log in to your site or ecommerce platform, e.g. be interested to stay for a longer time. The marketing tactic aiming to make the user stay for a longer time on the website (dragging his attention / interest to stuff)  is nothing new by the way as it is well known marketing rule integrated in every supermarket you buy groceries, where all is made to keep you in the shop for as longer as possible. Research has shown that spending longer time within the supermarket makes the user buy more.

 

Returning customers can be intimidated with membership or a free gift (be it even virtual picture gift – free email whatever) or information store place could be given or if products are sold, registration will be obligatory to make them use their payment method or delivery address on next login to easify the buy out process. But if registration is convoluted and forced (e.g. user is somehow forced to become meber) then many customers will turn away and find another website for their shopping needs. Using a method like Quora’s ‘login to see more’ in that case might be a good idea even though for me this is also a very irritating and irritating – this method however should never be used if you run a ecommerce selling platform, on ecommerce site gatekeeping will only frustrate customers. Login is good to be implmeneted as a popup option (and not taking too much of the screen). Sign up and Login should be simplistic and self-explanatory – always not required but optioned and user should get the understanding of the advantage to be a member of the website if possible before the sign up procedure. Then, customers are more likely to sign up and won’t feel like they’ve been pushed into the decision – or pushed away, as the case may be.

Katrina Hatchett works as a lifestyle blogger at both Academic Brits and Assignment Help, due to a love of literature and writing, which she has had since youth. Throughout her career, she has become involved with many projects, such as writing for the PhD Kingdom blog.

Ansible Quick Start Cheatsheet for Linux admins and DevOps engineers

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

ansible-quick-start-cheetsheet-ansible-logo

Ansible is widely used (Configuration management, deployment, and task execution system) nowadays for mass service depoyments on multiple servers and Clustered environments like, Kubernetes clusters (with multiple pods replicas) virtual swarms running XEN / IPKVM virtualization hosting multiple nodes etc. .

Ansible can be used to configure or deploy GNU / Linux tools and services such as Apache / Squid / Nginx / MySQL / PostgreSQL. etc. It is pretty much like Puppet (server / services lifecycle management) tool , except its less-complecated to start with makes it often a choose as a tool for mass deployment (devops) automation.

Ansible is used for multi-node deployments and remote-task execution on group of servers, the big pro of it it does all its stuff over simple SSH on the remote nodes (servers) and does not require extra services or listening daemons like with Puppet. It combined with Docker containerization is used very much for later deploying later on inside Cloud environments such as Amazon AWS / Google Cloud Platform / SAP HANA / OpenStack etc.

Ansible-Architechture-What-Is-Ansible-Edureka

0. Instaling ansible on Debian / Ubuntu Linux


Ansible is a python script and because of that depends heavily on python so to make it running, you will need to have a working python installed on local and remote servers.

Ansible is as easy to install as running the apt cmd:

 

# apt-get install –yes ansible
 

The following additional packages will be installed:
  ieee-data python-jinja2 python-kerberos python-markupsafe python-netaddr python-paramiko python-selinux python-xmltodict python-yaml
Suggested packages:
  sshpass python-jinja2-doc ipython python-netaddr-docs python-gssapi
Recommended packages:
  python-winrm
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  ansible ieee-data python-jinja2 python-kerberos python-markupsafe python-netaddr python-paramiko python-selinux python-xmltodict python-yaml
0 upgraded, 10 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
Need to get 3,413 kB of archives.
After this operation, 22.8 MB of additional disk space will be used.

apt-get install –yes sshpass

 

Installing Ansible on Fedora Linux is done with:

 

# dnf install ansible –yes sshpass

 

On CentOS to install:
 

# yum install ansible –yes sshpass

sshpass needs to be installed only if you plan to use ssh password prompt authentication with ansible.

Ansible is also installable via python-pip tool, if you need to install a specific version of ansible you have to use it instead, the package is available as an installable package on most linux distros.

Ansible has a lot of pros and cons and there are multiple articles already written on people for and against it in favour of Chef or Puppet As I recently started learning Ansible. The most important thing to know about Ansible is though many of the things can be done directly using a simple command line, the tool is planned for remote installing of server services using a specially prepared .yaml format configuration files. The power of Ansible comes of the use of Ansible Playbooks which are yaml scripts that tells ansible how to do its activities step by step on remote server. In this article, I'm giving a quick cheat sheet to start quickly with it.
 

1. Remote commands execution with Ansible
 

First thing to do to start with it is to add the desired hostnames ansible will operate with it can be done either globally (if you have a number of remote nodes) to deploy stuff periodically by using /etc/ansible/hosts or use a custom host script for each and every ansible custom scripts developed.

a. Ansible main config files

A common ansible /etc/ansible/hosts definition looks something like that:

 

# cat /etc/ansible/hosts
[mysqldb]
10.69.2.185
10.69.2.186
[master]
10.69.2.181
[slave]
10.69.2.187
[db-servers]
10.69.2.181
10.69.2.187
[squid]
10.69.2.184

Host to execute on can be also provided via a shell variable $ANSIBLE_HOSTS
b) is remote hosts reachable / execute commands on all remote host

To test whether hour hosts are properly configure from /etc/ansible/hosts you can ping all defined hosts with:

 

ansible all -m ping


ansible-check-hosts-ping-command-screenshot

This makes ansible try to remote to remote hosts (if you have properly configured SSH public key authorization) the command should return success statuses on every host.

 

ansible all -a "ifconfig -a"


If you don't have SSH keys configured you can also authenticate with an argument (assuming) all hosts are configured with same password with:

 

ansible all –ask-pass -a "ip all show" -u hipo –ask-pass


ansible-show-ips-ip-a-command-screenshot-linux

If you have configured group of hosts via hosts file you can also run certain commands on just a certain host group, like so:

 

ansible <host-group> -a <command>

It is a good idea to always check /etc/ansible/ansible.cfg which is the system global (main red ansible config file).

c) List defined host groups
 

ansible localhost -m debug -a 'var=groups.keys()'
ansible localhost -m debug -a 'var=groups'

d) Searching remote server variables

 

# Search remote server variables
ansible localhost -m setup -a 'filter=*ipv4*'

 

 

ansible localhost -m setup -a 'filter=ansible_domain'

 

 

ansible all -m setup -a 'filter=ansible_domain'

 

 

# uninstall package on RPM based distros
ansible centos -s -m yum -a "name=telnet state=absent"
# uninstall package on APT distro
ansible localhost -s -m apt -a "name=telnet state=absent"

 

 

2. Debugging – Listing information about remote hosts (facts) and state of a host

 

# All facts for one host
ansible -m setup
  # Only ansible fact for one host
ansible
-m setup -a 'filter=ansible_eth*'
# Only facter facts but for all hosts
ansible all -m setup -a 'filter=facter_*'


To Save outputted information per-host in separate files in lets say ~/ansible/host_facts

 

ansible all -m setup –tree ~/ansible/host_facts

 

3. Playing with Playbooks deployment scripts

 

a) Syntax Check of a playbook yaml

 

ansible-playbook –syntax-check


b) Run General Infos about a playbook such as get what a playbook would do on remote hosts (tasks to run) and list-hosts defined for a playbook (like above pinging).

 

ansible-playbook –list-hosts
ansible-playbook
–list-tasks


To get the idea about what an yaml playbook looks like, here is example from official ansible docs, that deploys on remote defined hosts a simple Apache webserver.
 


– hosts: webservers
  vars:
    http_port: 80
    max_clients: 200
  remote_user: root
  tasks:
  – name: ensure apache is at the latest version
    yum:
      name: httpd
      state: latest
  – name: write the apache config file
    template:
      src: /srv/httpd.j2
      dest: /etc/httpd.conf
    notify:
    – restart apache
  – name: ensure apache is running
    service:
      name: httpd
      state: started
  handlers:
    – name: restart apache
      service:
        name: httpd
        state: restarted

To give it a quick try save the file as webserver.yml and give it a run via ansible-playbook command
 

ansible-playbook -s playbooks/webserver.yml

 

The -s option instructs ansible to run play on remote server with super user (root) privileges.

The power of ansible is its modules, which are constantly growing over time a complete set of Ansible supported modules is in its official documenation.

Ansible-running-playbook-Commands-Task-script-Successful-output-1024x536

There is a lot of things to say about playbooks, just to give the brief they have there own language like a  templates, tasks, handlers, a playbook could have one or multiple plays inside (for instance instructions for deployment of one or more services).

The downsides of playbooks are they're so hard to write from scratch and edit, because yaml syntaxing is much more stricter than a normal oldschool sysadmin configuration file.
I've stucked with problems with modifying and writting .yaml files and I should say the community in #ansible in irc.freenode.net was very helpful to help me debug the obscure errors.

yamllint (The YAML Linter tool) comes handy at times, when facing yaml syntax errors, to use it install via apt:
 

# apt-get install –yes yamllint


a) Running ansible in "dry mode" just show what ansible might do but not change anything
 

ansible-playbook playbooks/PLAYBOOK_NAME.yml –check


b) Running playbook with different users and separate SSH keys

 

ansible-playbook playbooks/your_playbook.yml –user ansible-user
 
ansible -m ping hosts –private-key=~/.ssh/keys/custom_id_rsa -u centos

 

c) Running ansible playbook only for certain hostnames part of a bigger host group

 

ansible-playbook playbooks/PLAYBOOK_NAME.yml –limit "host1,host2,host3"


d) Run Ansible on remote hosts in parallel

To run in raw of 10 hosts in parallel
 

# Run 10 hosts parallel
ansible-playbook <File.yaml> -f 10            


e) Passing variables to .yaml scripts using commandline

Ansible has ability to pre-define variables from .yml playbooks. This variables later can be passed from shell cli, here is an example:

# Example of variable substitution pass from command line the var in varsubsts.yaml if present is defined / replaced ansible-playbook playbooks/varsubst.yaml –extra-vars "myhosts=localhost gather=yes pkg=telnet"

 

4. Ansible Galaxy (A Docker Hub) like large repository with playbook (script) files

 

Ansible Galaxy has about 10000 active users which are contributing ansible automation playbooks in fields such as Development / Networking / Cloud / Monitoring / Database / Web / Security etc.

To install from ansible galaxy use ansible-galaxy

# install from galaxy the geerlingguy mysql playbook
ansible-galaxy install geerlingguy.mysql


The available packages you can use as a template for your purpose are not so much as with Puppet as Ansible is younger and not corporate supported like Puppet, anyhow they are a lot and does cover most basic sysadmin needs for mass deployments, besides there are plenty of other unofficial yaml ansible scripts in various github repos.

Install Slack and Mattermost clients for Start Up Business communication on Linux

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

install-slack-and-mattermost-clients-for-start-up-business-communication-on-Linux
Many businesses nowadays are lookig for alternatives to the Microsoft dominated market of communication – Skype / Skype for Business Chat Audio and Video desktop client.
The two are the defacto standard for most of Corporate Businesses and is heavily used across most largest Corporations (companies) such as IBM / Xeror / DXC / CSC / Oracle / SAP / Microsoft / Amazon / Adobe … the list goes on and on.

However even though Skype is so easy to use across Microsoft Domain connected Computers the many start-up companies of today often try to avoid its use. The reason, well Skype is totally Proprietary non-transparent and by using it you probably get spied by Microsoft the CIA and God knows how many other Country Agencies. Besides that Skype has a bad history often had problems with Audio (Linux microphone and Video settings) in Free Software (Linux, FreeBSD etc.) realm and even though nowdays situation is improving and Skype Video / Audio runs fine on GNU / Linuxes its Skype for Business has no working release by Microsoft and has left-up Free Software users and Staring Business companies platform of the size of 20 to 1000 people  that choose Linux as a main Desktop / Work had to look for other ways to communicate internally within company and with clients.

Jabber XMPP communication protocol has been one alternative for a long time and historically many compainies that were running out of Skype use for their work often were using Small internally company hosted jabber servers, however as Jabber's  communication clients such as Gajim development is lagging behind seriously over the last 7 years and it prooved so buggy many businesses were looking for ways to avoid it.

Slack_Technologies_-corporate-communication-alternative-to-skype-Logo.png


Slack is multi platform just like Skype and has versions for Linux / Windows for macOS but its power comes mostly because most of its users use it via Skype Web Client (while Skype is a Desktop app and heavily used in Web Browser.

slack-web-communication-client-in-webbrowser-screenshot

Slack reminds in a what of things to the good old IRC chats and has channels in a similar fashion, it support Audio conversations but unfortunately at the moment didn't support Video.

The emergency of New Age of Computing and the quick adoption of Clouds as an aim to cut business costs put Jabber totally out of the game and in the niche and in August 2013 on the scene raised Slack (Team Messaging) which is an acronymi of (Searchable Log of All Conversations and Knowledge) – a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools and services, founded by Stewart Butterfield for the purpose of online Game (now defunct) called Glitch.

asana-for-slack-integration-2018-2-linux
The problem with Slack is that it is a freemium product, whose main paid features are the ability to search more than 10,000 archived messages (the ordinary free version allows the user to make up to 10000 searches in chat history), the paid Slack versions adds also unlimited apps and integrations and theoretically unlimited number of users (though this is seriously doubtful).

slack-10000-messages-per-user-limitation-shot

One very handy feature of Slack is its integration with "The World's Leading Software Development Platform" – GitHub .

To solve the problem with the little amount of Slack Chat history in Users conversations many Start-Up Business Companies do use Slack as a communication media with Clients and does often use as a communication Media another very popular Cloud messaging Open Source Software called Mattermost deploys to Cloud infrastruture but is at IT control of your company or your hired support and not third party vendor supports, making it a great communication tool for small and mid-sized companies who want to save money of purchasing a special server and hiring an admin or paying for one to support it all the time but instead directly use their Cloud account and deploy it there.

Mattermost is capable to Reach anyone, anywhere on any device. From the airport to data center, safely connect teams with EMM apps, hybrid cloud deployment and enterprise-grade flexibility to meet the unique needs of enterprise.

It is capable to Integrate with existing applications and build new workflows and empower your teams especially operations and DevOps – to perform faster and effectively. Mattermost


To install Slack on Linux:

Go and Download slack from Slack Linux download (the DEB / RPM 64 bit package)

As of time of writting this article latest Slack Desktop packages are: slack-desktop-3.3.1-amd64.deb and slack-3.3.1-0.1.fc21.x86_64.rpm

Depending on the type of Linux distribution install it with dpkg or rpm

1. Installing Slack Desktop client on Debian / Ubuntu Linux

On Debian / Ubuntu / Mint install Slack with:

 

root@ubuntu:~# dpkg -i slack-desktop-*.deb


For Ubuntu users there is also unofficial third-party Slack app ScoudCloud

it integrates well with Ubuntu Unity desktop (which I personally dislike 🙂 ) and gives you some extra goodies such as showing in an Unity manner unread message count, notification, bubbles, unity quicklists for fast-switching between Slack channels etc.

2. Installing Slack Desktop client on Redhat / Fedora / CentOS Linux

On Redhat / Fedora / CentOS install it with:

 

[root@fedora ~]:# rpm -ivh slack-*.rpm

 


3. Installing Mattermost Desktop client on Linux

mattermost-open-source-communication-in-the-cloud

Download Mattermost Linux package from download URL here

As of time of writting the DEB versions are mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-amd64.deb mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-i386.deb and there is no official RPM package for Fedora / CentOS users however I guess the .deb package can easily be converted to .rpm with alien tool.

To install Mattermost on Debian (in moment of writting September 2018):

 

root@debian:~# wget https://releases.mattermost.com/desktop/4.1.2/mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-amd64.deb

 

root@debian:~# dpkg -i mattermost-desktop-4.1.2-linux-amd64.deb


mattermost-linux-client-2-screenshot

Mattermost supports file attachment (send) / Video previews (you can play sent Web videos directly within the Mattermost client) and on experimental level even supports Video and Audio Calls.

mattermost-linux-client-screenshot-1

mattermost-markdown-help-linux-screenshot

One nice feature of Mattermost for those who love coding is using tags to format messages

There is plenty of features of Mattermost among the best ones are integrations Private Cloud open source integrations (Jira, Jenkins, Bots, clients), supports Webhooks, Restful APIS, CLI and Public Cloud connections via Zapier – a connect and uatomate workflows e.g. gives you ability to move info between web apps automatically.

Recovering from Herniated Cervical disc (neck) and spine disease – keeping in good shape your Back and Neck in easy 4 steps Exercises

Friday, August 31st, 2018

recovering-from-herniated-cervical-disc-and-spine-disease-keep-your-back-in-good-shape

If you are a long term computer geek, IT specliast, system administrator a hacker or any type of office worker that spends as a maximum 8 hours / 5 days a week and you do not do some kind of Sports (Running Heavy Lifting, Back or neck Exercises, do Fitness) etc. sooner or later you will start noticing a change in your normal back posture and heavy pain either in back or neck of your body.

The posture you have is in risc and your muscles will slowly start atrophying. It is very likely with years that you will start developing a body muscle strain in the area of neck or back and you will feel tensed / anxious most of the time without a clear reason on what is causing the constant stress you experience.

A heavy and constant anxiety you might develop with the months and years of chair sitting, sedentary lifestyle and staring into the computer screen or spending many hours driving might lead you into sleeping problems a bad blood flow to the brain (if you have neck problems) and other not nice health issues such as ringing in your year / head (tinnitus) and as an impact of all the degeneration of body a change in bone tissues and even brain might happen.
If you're suffering a back spine or neck disease the pain it is about to create daily for you will also impact the level of depression you experience and often it alone could be a cause for depression, because of the violated bodily organs blood flow (especially the brain) …

That's heavy health issues and if you are young you might thing that all this is just an imaginations and it will never happen to you but unfortunately in today's digital age where people tend to spend 10 to 14 hours daily in front of PC notebook / monitor and smartphone or in few hours conversations on the phone, all this with years contributes and sooner or later you will face the terrible reality of suffering from some of the many existing types of Herniated Cervical Disc disease.

So what is Herniated Cervical Disc Disease (shortly explained) ?

Spinal disc herniation, also known as a slipped disc, is a medical condition affecting the spine in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings.

The reason to get a herniated cervical disc is usually due to aging a genetical predsposition, constant straining of back due to many hours without physical activity sitting or in bed, traumas, injuries attained during heavy lifing or sports etc.

* What are the symptomps of Herniated Cervical disc ?

The symptoms vary depending of the location of a herniated disc and depends on the soft tissue between the bones that gets involved. Common symptoms however is severe and unrelented neck pain, low back pain, pain in knees or feet, undefined pains in thight etc. … it really depends by the affected region served by affected nerve roots that are irritated or impinged by the herniated material.

Some people suffering from spinal disc herniation is symptoms of numbness, tingling of limbs, overall muscular weakness, paralysis and effection of reflexes, double vision, noise in the head / ears, insomnia and more …

If the herniated disc is in the lumbar region, you will experience scietica (a pain going down the leg from the lower back).

The things becomes even worser and the risk even higher if you're not using a comfortable computer chair at work or home, but you are into the habit to use a laptop or as the girls / women like to do lay on the bed and do stuff on the computer or tablet such as chatting all day long in a social networks such as Facebook or watching movies after a heavy office day.

Just take a look at young people's necks around leaning up and their crooked back posture on the street in bus or metro if you don't believe me and thing and you will be amazed how terrible deformations so many youngsters (teenagers) and even mid age person suffer some early or advanced stage of kyphosis disease (a deformation of the spine / neck) without even realizing it.

Herniated-Lumbar-Disc-pinched-nerve

Suffering Kyphosis (and the usual surrounding Herniated Disc illness) is a terrible thing to experience and this is a silent killer that is plaguing people worse than any other disease, because the disease is developing relatively slow in time it is few that really catch it in early stage and it usually is tracked once you already suffer with some kind of constant pain in neck / back and a Spinal disc herniation or  you had a pinched nerve somewhere in the body because of some kind of constant compression in between spine bones etc.


cervical-herniated-disc-cervical-disease

The majority of spinal disc herniation cases occur in the lumbar region (95% in L4-L5 or L5-S1 – this is a doctors naming for regions where it occurs). The second most common site is the cervical region (C5-C6, C6-C7). The thoracic region accounts for only 0.15% to 4.0% of cases.

For IT specialists Gamers and mostly and people whose profession includes spending their days sitting in front of the computer screen C5-C6 / C6-C7 regions are very common (something that could contribute additionally for the disease is if you suffer some kind of astigmatism eye disease and because of that you keep your neck constantly even more forward to see better what's on the PC screen)

aging-and-body-back-deformation-in-grown-and-aging-people

With age spine and bones are decaying (wearing out) and as a result the spinal cord gets deformated and this is a normal process, we can't change but we can delay it with some daily exerices and work on our bodies so at old age we experience a little better health ..

Well dying is ineveitable anyways 🙂 .. but why not make your quality of life and overall experience in the body a little bit better and do some exercises that will boost your mood to happiness, improve overall blood flow and either help you recover or protect you against a possible herniated disc problems?

I was to a doctor today for a Manual Therapy session, because I happen to suffer from Herniated Cervical Disc ( neck on C6 and C7) which bringing me a lot of unfortable nervous pressure and messing up with my quality of life.
To deal with my problem I went to see one of the best doctors in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Bulgaria and perhaps in the World Assen Aleksiev M. D. Phd in Aleksandrovska University Hospital.

Mr Assen Aleksiev is living legend and one of the bright persons as of time of writting this article he is:

1. Physician – specialist and expert in:

• Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (with emphasize on orthopaedic and neurological disorders),

• Manual Medicine (Osteopathy, Chiropractics)

• Clinical Electro-diagnostics, Electromyography and Electro-stimulation.

2. Lecturer., 3. Scientist/researcher., 4. Reviewer of medical literature., 5. Author and co-author of medical literature., 6. Manager., 7. National consultant for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014.
 

After seeing my case and having a number of cases, just like mine and did some Manual therapy fixing my neck back,  limbs etc.

I will share with you the 4 steps, he said I and anyone has to follow in order to prevent himself from Herniated cervical disc degenerative disease to progress  and in worst case to turn me into a mildly disabled.

Even though this exercises were prescribed as a cure and support mechanism for a herniated disc patient that I turned to be, the good doc. shared with me that this set of 4 steps if followed could prevent not only your spine and waist from experiencing the painful discomfort of herniated disc diasese but could generally strengthen the body functioning and protect you from dying from a future strokes (heart attacks) and a number of other cardiological diseases.

So here are the 4 Golden Exercises (STEPS) that, if practiced regularly  will keep you from spinal curvature, will keep your neck and back in a good motion and help you recover from herniated disc diseases.


1. ALWAYS TIGHTEN YOUR STOMACH WHEN YOU SIT DOWN OR STAND UP !!!

– Make the habit to always tighten your stomach when you sit and stand up, this moves the weight of the body on the muscles instead on the bones. If you sit down or stand up without tightened stomach (because of the gravitation the body weight you have increases doubles if you're 70 kilos the body / bones have to bear a weight of 140 kg or so …). Once, again  tightening the stomach makes the weight be received by your muscles and this saves your bones

2. CHANGE THE POSITION OF THE BODY EVERY 15 MINUTES (FOR EXAMPLE YOU'RE SITTING FOR 15 MINUTES ON A CHAIR STAND UP MOVE YOUR SHOULDER FOR 2 / 3 AND SIT BACK) !!!

– Stand up from your chair or whenever you sit and move around your shoulders

3. ON EVERY HOUR PRACTICE SCHOOL (GYMNASTICS) EXERCISES !!!

– 5 Table push ups (if you're in an office for example in a Focus Corner Room) or outside the office building on a bench or something) – compulsory is to make it with a tightened stomach

table-push-ups-Counter-Push-ups-1

Table Push ups (the table angle inclination degree should be at best case about 45 to 60 degree but if it is different angle it is okay as well)
wall-push-up-exercise
if you are in a place where you can't do a table push-up you can do a wall push up

Waist Rotation (Exercise) Put your arms on the waist (in a trinagle form), your legs should be a little bit far from each other in a small triangle like form too and turn your whole body left and then right do it 3 to 5 times each side.

waist-rotation-exercise

Spinal Stretch Exercise (Place fingers at the base of the spine bend forward and backward then left side and right side slowly! do it each direction at least 3 to 5 times (e.g. 5 backwards / forward, 5 left and 5 times right)

spinal-stretch-exercise-forward-and-back

The 8 tact exercise is a complex of 4 exercises each on repeated 2 by the (count number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

1, 2, 3, 4 – Put your heads on the level of the chest (bent them so the elbows point right and left then move  them both right and left to the maximum back and stretch cross shaped your both hands

5, 6 – Standing still move Right hand up and move it backwards as much as you can left hand down and move it backwards as much as possible

7,8 – Reverse the hands, Left hand up and move it backwards to maximum and right hand down and move it backwards to maximum

6,8

4. 3 TIMES A DAY (MORNING, MID DAY AND 1 HOUR BEFORE GO TO BED DO A SET OF 15 MINUTES ACTIVE CARDIO TRAINING EXERCISES) !!!

– This could be 15 minutes of running , jumping, push ups, heavy lifting, biking whatever you like to do but let the heart (pulse) rate be heavy loaded …

cardio-Exercises_Guide-you-can-do-at-home


5. Hanging on a lever (recommended not by the good doctor but by Dr. Georgiev e.g. hip0 myself) 🙂

Just find a lever and hang for about 60 seconds every day

Hanging-a-lever-helps-Spine-decompression-relieves-symptoms-of-herniated-disc
Image Source BackIntelligence.com (Image Copyrighted by Leon Turetsky)

Following this routine of exercises: will not cost you too much of a time daily

a. It is (3×15 minutes cardio) is 45 minutes of exercise (and maybe another 5 to 15 minutes to go to where you practice it) = 60 minutes (1 hour)

b. Each hour 1 minute of exercises (approximately 14 hours is 14 minutes or at worst case if it takes you two minutes to do the complex of exercises 2×14 = 28 minutes.

c. tightening the stomach once learned is 0 seconds and 0 minutes.

d. hanging (if you choose to do this as well) is 60 seconds (1 minute) – going to the lever is another 3 to 5 minutes at worst case (lets say an overall of 6 minutes)

f. change position of the body every 15 minutes (costs you just up to 5 secs) or (14 hours x (4 x 15) = 60 secs) – that means another 14 minutes.

So the overall time for keeping your spine and neck in a good shape is (28 + 14 + 6 + 0 + 60 minutes) = 108 minutes, that is less than 1 hours and 48 minutes at worst scenario a day.

One helpful program in oder to remind you to not forget your exercises schedule if you choose to give it a try is Workrave see here my previous article on how it can help you Preserve health  from computer Caused Strain Injury (RSI).

But the advantages of following this exercise routine would be your:

1. bettered overall health,
2. less noise in head,

3. better digestion,

4. less strain and pain in neck and back,

5. feeling less anxiety and stress,

6. feeling happier (more Serotonin and Dopamine and other liquids that are boosting mood and helping brian work are pumped up more regularly into the brian),

7. a better concentration / focus on things (something most computer specialists and computer related jobs people miss seriously,

8. a better memory and a better sleep + following the standard school gymnastics exercises is much more safe when compared to Fitness,

9. Less Body Mental Fatigue (as most people with Herniated cervical disc suffer from a body fatigue that often affects the mind and creates a mental fatigue)

10. You don't risk to receive a body or muscle trauma that will last for a life time 🙂

Well, I hope that article helps someone with a herniated disc out or at least serve as a BIG WARNING and push people involved in IT, Digital Marketing, Programming, Logistics and mostly all professionals who require a long hours of hovering in front of the PC to realize the great dangers all this keeps for their health and get more physical activity daily to protect timely from ending up with a spinal digenerative disease and suffer 'till the end of life.

I will be mostly glad to hear if anyone had a personal experience with herniated disc and any spinal / neck degenerative disease and give me more hints on useful things that help in living a life with a herniated disc disease?

Thanks for reading  !

Baby boomers and Generation X, Y, Z – Generational Marketing and 4 Common personality stereotype traits of people born over the last 60 years

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

baby-bommers-and-x-y-z-generations

Those who are employed in the realm of Social or Internet Marketing definitely have to know the existence of at least 4 different conditional stereotypes, these are Baby Boomers and Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z (Millenials).

According to Socielogist Karl Mannheim (who is among the founding fathers of classical socielogy) – "All members of a generation share a similar collective experience" or in other words people are categorized in generations depending on when they were born.

As stereotypes they're generalization of people born in different periods of time and sharing same or similar traits.
Because of the age and the conditions they grew up and as they share those general spirit of time and age, they tend to be more or less behaving in a similar ways in how they think save / spend money or share some common approach to life choices and attitude towards life and worldview.

But before proceeding to the 4 main cohert provisional stereotypes, its worthy to mention how these four common trait generations came to existence with a little bit of pre-history.

The pre WW I and WW II world situation and the First and Second World War played a pivotal role in forming the social conditions necessery for the development of the baby boomers.

* The depression Era people

Born in period: 1912 – 1921 who came at full maturity around 1930-1939 right in the beginning of WW I (all of whom are already deceased) as of 2018 as a cause of the war uncertainty and the havoc and the war conditions were very conservative, compulsive savers, tried their best to maintain a low debt. They had the mindset (responsibility) to leave some kind of legacy to their children. They were very patriotic, oriented towards work before pleasure, had a great respect for authority and had a strong sense of moral obligation. For all this character traits of this people undoubtfully a key role played the strong belief in God mostly all people had at the time.

The next in line conditional stereotype of people that came to earth are the:

* The World War II Generation
 

Born in year period: 1922 to 1927 who came to a mature age exactly at the terrible years of Second World War.

People of that time were either fighters for or against the Axis Powers or the Central Powers with the common shared goal to fight against the enemy (of course there are multiple of people who were just trying to survive and not taking a side in this meaningless war).

The current amount of people living are estimated to few million of deathbed elders  worldwide.

As above conditional generations types mentioned are of importance for historical reasons and most of the people belonging to those depression pre WWI and WW II era are dead or just a few millions an overall in un less-consuming age (excluding the medicine consumption which is higher compared to youngsters).

I'll further proceed further with the Baby Boomers, GEN X, Y, Zs who are de-facto the still active members participating to society and economy more or less.

baby-boomers-generation-x-y-z-chart-table-by-year-of-birth

So what are these 4 Stereotypes of Generations that and why are so important for the modern marketers or business manager?

 

1. BABY BOOMERS also called for a short (Boomers)
 

we-are-who-are-baby-boomers

These are people who have been defined by a birth year range (period) from early to mid 1940s  until 1960 and 1964.

 In Europe and North America, boomers are widely identified with privilege, as many grew up in a time of widespread government subsidies in post-war housing and education, and increasing affluence.

As a group, baby boomers were considered the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; they could therefore reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even "midlife crisis" products. The increased consumerism for this generation has been regularly criticized as excessive (and that's for a good reason).

One feature of the boomers was that they have tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before or that has come afterward. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the changes they were bringing about. This rhetoric had an important impact in the self perceptions of the boomers, as well as their tendency to define the world in terms of generations, which was a relatively new phenomenon. The baby boom has been described variously as a "shockwave" and with a methapors such as as "the pig in the python".

 

2. Generation X / GEN X

generation-x-who-are-they-gen-x-explained-picture

Generation X is considered the people born in the following birth year period 1960 forward in time until 1980s. A specific feature in the 60s-80s period was the shifting societal values, perhaps the spring of this generation was also connected to the increasing role and spread of communism in the world.
Sometimes this generation was referred as the "latchkey generation".
The term generation X itself was popularized largely by Douglas Coupland in his novel 1991 novel Generation X Tales for an Accelerated Culture

A very common trait for Generation X was the reduced adult supervision over kids when compared to previous generations a result of increasing divorce rates and the increased role of one parent children upbringing (in most cases that was the mother) which had to be actively involved as a workforce and lacked physically the time to spend enough time with its children and the increased use of childcare options in one parent families.

They were dubbed the "MTV" (Music Television) generation – that was a hit and most popular music TV in the early 1990s.
The kids representing generation X were described as slackers, cynical and disaffected.

The cultural influences dominating the tastes and feelings of the teen masses of that generation was musical genres such as punk music, heavy metal music, grunge and hip-hop and indie films (independent films)  produced outside of the major film studio system.

According to many researches in midtime those generation are described as active, happy and achieving a work-life balance kind of lifestyle.

People belonging to Generation X are described as people with Enterpreneural tendencies.

Just to name a few of the celebrities and successful people who belong to this generation, that's Google's founder Sergey Brinn & Larry Page (born in 1973), Richard Stallman (founder of Free Software movement) as well movie and film producer celebrities such as Georgi Clooney, Lenny Kravitz, Quantin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, David Fincher etc.

According to United Kingdom survey study of 2500+ workers conducted by Workfront, GEN X are found to be among the hardest working employees in today's workforce. They are also ranked high by fellow workers for having a strong work ethics (about 59.5%), being helpful (55.4%) and very skilled (54.5%) of respondents as well marked as the best troubleshooters / problem solvers (41.6%) claimed so.
According to research conducted by Viacom, gen x they have a high desire for flexibility and fulfillment at work.

3. Generation Y (Millenials) – GEN Y
 

who-are-generation-y-millenials-explained

Following Generation X came on earth Genreation Y the birth period dated for this kids were years are stretchy year period that this generation is described are years 1980s – 1990s to yearly 2000s where birth period range of those ppl ends.
This kids are descendants of the GEN X and second wave Baby Boomers.
In the public this generation is referred as "echo boomers".

The Millenials characteristics are different based on the region of birth, they're famous for the increased familiarity with communication, media and digital technologies.

millenials-focus-on-technology-innovation-and-their-technological-preferences

There upbringing was marked by increase in liberal approach to politics.
The Great recession crisis of the 2000s played a major impact on this generation because it has caused historical high levels of un-employment among youngsters and led to a possible long term economic and social damage to this generation.

millennials-are-heavily-influenced-by-their-peers
Gen Y according are less brand loyal and the speed of the Internet has led the cohort to be similarly flexible and changing in its fashion, style consciousness and where
and how it is communicated with.

As I am born in 1983 me and my generation belongs to Generation Y and even though Bulgaria before 1991 was a Communist regime country, I should agree that I and many of my friends share a very similar behavior and way of thinking to the GEN Y stereotype described, but as I was born in a times of transition and Bulgaria as a Soviet Union Satellite at the time has been lacking behind in fashion and international culture due to the communist regime, me and my generation seem to be sharing a lot of common stereotype characteristics with Generation X such as the punk-rock, metal, hip-hop culture MTV culture and partly because of the GEN X like overall view on life.

Among most famous representative successful people of the Millenials generation are Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder), Prince William (the second in line to the British throne), Kim Jong Un (the leader dictator of North Korea) etc.
 

 

4. Generation Z ( GEN Z) / iGeneration / Generation Sensible (Post Millenials)
 

who-are-generation-y-millenials-explained

Following Millenials generation is GEN Z, demographers and researchers typically set as a starting birth date period of those generation 1990s and mid 2000s. As of time of writting there is still no clear consensus regarding ending birth years.

This is the so called Internet Generation because this generation used the internet and Smart Mobile Phone technology since a very young age, they are very confortable with technology (kinda of wired) and addicted to social media such as Facebook / Twitter / Instagram etc. Because of the level of digital communication, many people of this generation are more introvert oriented and often have problems expressing themselves freely in groups. Also they tend to lack the physical communication and more digitally community oriented, even though this depends much also on the specific personality and in some cases it is exactly the opposite.

 

 * Summary
 

As a Marketer, Human Resources hiring personal specialist, a CEO or some kind of project / business manager it is a good idea to be aware of these 4 common stereotypes. However as this are stereotypes (and a theory) as everything theoritized the data is slighly biased and untrue. The marketer practice shows that whoever conducts a marketing and bases his sales on this theoritizing should consider this to be just one aspect of the marketing campaign those who are trying to sell, stuff ideas or ideology to any of those generation should be careful not to count 100% on the common traits found among the above 4 major groups and consider the individuality of person everyone has and just experiment a little bit to see what works and what doesn't.

Also it should be mentioned these diversification of stereotypes are mostly valid for the US citizens and Westerners but doesn't fully fit to ex-communist countries or countries of the Soviet union, those countries have a slightly different personality traits of person born in any of the year periods defined, same is more or less true for the poor parts of Africa and India, Vietnam, China and mostly all of the coomunist countries ex and current. It should be said that countries who belonged to the Soviet Union many of which are current Russian Federation Republics have a personality traits that are often mixture of the 4 stereotypes and even have a lot of the traits that were typical for the WW I and WW II generations, which makes dealing with this people a very weird experience.

Nomatter the standard error that should always considered when basing a marketing research hypothesis on Generational Marketing (using generational segmentation in marketing best potential customer targets), having a general insight and taking in consideration those stereotypes could seriously help in both marketing as well as HR specific fields like Change Management.

generation-x-y-z-characteristics

If you're a marketer, I recommend you take a quick look also on following very educative article Generational Makarketing and how to target each of the GEN X, Y, Z and Baby Boomers and what works best for each of them.

Nomatter what just like all Theories, the theory of Boomers and the Generation segmantation is not completely true, but it gives a good soil for reasoning as well definitely helps for people involved in sociology and business.

Comments and feedback on the article are mostly welcome as the topic is very broad and there is much more to be said …

Hope the article was interesting to you ….

What was your Generation like?

What Every Body is Saying – one of Best books on Body Language ever written

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

how-to-learn-to-read-people-and-become-a-better-communicator-What-every-body-is-saying-book-cover

Those interested in People Reading or holding a Management position position job inside some Small or Mid sized corporation could benefit greatly of a Book called
What Every Body is Saying

What Every Body is Saing is written by an ex-FBI Agent (JOE NAVANNO), probablythere are no actually ex-FBI agents, but that's a topic for another post.

The book is quick to read, especially if you follow the pictures of Body postures shown with their little description below.
Many of the Body Languages so commonly adopted by multitudes of people, thanks to the American of the Culture world-wide are being practiced
in some degree in mostly all people you might know (mostly unconsciously) …


What Every Body is Saying could be of a great help to people who want to make through in life and for Start-up company CEOs, Human Resource Managers, or anyone who want to better learn to communicate and Influence People.

Even in a normal family relations, being able to properly identify the Body Language of your Wife or kids would seriously benefit you and if you keep attention (focus) would reveal there short term-plans.

what-sitting-posture-is-sayingbook-what-every-body-is-saying

Adopting some of the suggested body languages in the book would definitely help you improve how people perceive you and practising some so called "Confident postures" could even boost your Confidence levels dramatically both when you're alone or when you are in a group of people or A Company Team Meeting.

Reading the Person Body language is of a great help also to understand the approximate Emotional / Spiritual state the person in front of you is and even if applied proparly could help you make the person or group of people be positively influenced to change from a negative to positive mindset
or when working on a project, could help you dramatically to make the people work more efficiently and boost their motivation / mood about the things, they have to someday do anyways.

The reader has to know of course that most of the mentioned body language cues are generalizations and in order to find out the exact messages being sent on non-verbal communication level depends on a multiple factors and many of the Body languages talked might be in a modified form and even some could be totally different from any of the described of the book.

However the observation practice (at least mine) shows that at least 60-70% of the described Body Language postures are adopted and used by mostly anyone out there.
To check the validity of the things described in the books just sit somewhere in a park or in a bar / caffeteria and watch carefully how people interact, you will be surprised how many things are being communicated non-verbally and how often the lack of one of the two, or two have severe communication issues, just because they couldn't synchronize their body language or lack the ability to read the other interlocutor's processed and communicated intentions.

The book when red at least for me was a wide eyes opener and even though as a Christian, I've always been doubting that any-generalization model trying to frame up people is very untrue and trying to influence people with your Body Language is bad sinful (kinda of satanic) practice, realizing that even Christians does communicate and do use body language (because they're conditioned by the society they lived in), that means that improving your Body Language to be more convincing in mostly anti-christian society we live can do you good favour to be adequate in society, or at least you can be aware of the existence of the Body Language and its meaning.

By the way, many of the models and gestures as translated described as a behaviour body interpretations are perhaps highly used nowadays by Agents across all the major Secret Services agencies such as CIA, MI6, KGB, Mussad etc.

book-what-every-body-is-saying_or-how-to-improve-your-daily-relations-by-reading-people

This kind of things are learned in most business universities nowadays, but the way the Body Reading / Influencing knowledge is communicated in Business universities is a disaster, because it is usually compiled by Professors who alone are not expert or haven't been advanced enough in body language.
Thus even like that if you read the book, I'm sure you will benefit and perhaps reread it at least a couple of times in the coming years …

A summary of the book goes like this:

1. It starts with a short story on how the author get acquainted to the knowledge of body language and his personal life events

The author Joe Navarro was an emigrant from Cuba to US as the age of 8, because the author inability to speak English at all, his best way to understand what the other was saying or communicating in the first few years in US was to observe closely what the person in front was communicating non-verbally and makes guesses, what that could be.
His family and grandmother also played a key role to help him learn the craft of Body Language reaading.

Growing up and graduating college in the age of Baby Boomers, Joe Navarro was hired in FBI where he spend the following years as an agent specializing in Counter Intelligence
and behavior assessment.

2. It continues as the knowledge on Body interprations is being served in a very stuffed manner

 

what-everybody-is-saying-back-book-cover

The 3 key things to remember out of the book goes like that:

    A. At least 60% of what you say is not coming out of your mouth.
    B. There’s one more option next to fight or flight responce our brain does automatically
    C. To become a master at reading body language, you have to develop situational awareness.

The book claims that people tend to be stuck into 3 main states (as a result of the evolutionary development of species (Creationists and Christian fundamentalists could argue seriously here 🙂 ) , whenever facing a difficult situation these are:

  • Freeze
  • Fight
  • Flight

To sum up if you're looking for new ways to improve your current relationships with people and build a new ones, the book would definitely help you tremendously.
I've found the book in a PDF format with few simple searches online so those who can't afford it could also download it from the internet (at least as of time of writting this article).
A lot of the exampled Body confidence / influence postures described in the book you will find on mostly any Kids Cartoon and Internet top shows and in mostly everybody from TED Talks show and mostly all Youtube educational videos and podcasterers.

That's all Folks, Enjoy reading!

 

 

A lightweight Email Client Graphical client for old computers with Linux (Claws)

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

claws-email-logo-best-email-leightweight-client-for-older-computer-configurations-with-linux.

If you happen to be system administrating an old computers with some 512 Megabytes of RAM or 1 Gigabyte of Memory with preinstalled some archaic version of GNU / Linux distro such as Slackware, Calderra Linux,  Debian / Ubuntu / Fedora etc. and there is suddenly need to use this PCs with a decent graphical email client for its existing GUI environment LXDE / XFCE / WindowMaker / Mate etc. then Mozilla Thunderbird

Definitely won't be the client of choice especially if you have to add 5 or 10 email accounts (with a few hundred of emails laying on the remote mail server) to be periodically fetched via POP3 or IMAP protocol.

Of course there is always the option to just use a simple Text Email clients such as Fetchmail, PINE or MUTT and unload the PCs memory and CPU with the simplistic text interface however as most people are totally unacquainted with Linux console or terminal, for most that won't be the option of choice.
 

  • So what is the best solution for a lightweight Graphical Email Client for Linux for Old Computers ?


!!! Say Hello to Sylpheed CLAWS EMail Desktop client !!!

Best-Email-client-for-old-computers-with-Linux-Sylpheed-Claws_1-screenshot-on-Window-Maker

 

 

linux:~# apt-cache show claws-mail|grep -i descrip -A 3 -B 1
Breaks: claws-mail-extra-plugins (<< 3.9.1-1)
Description-en: Fast, lightweight and user-friendly GTK+2 based email client
 Claws Mail is a powerful and full-featured mail client formerly called
 Sylpheed-Claws. It is also extensible using loadable plugins, which can
 provide support for additional features, like other storage formats,
 feed reader, calendar management, mail filtering, etc.

Description-md5: f9d9f85803d938ab3d5fbc85f90e263a
Multi-Arch: foreign
Homepage: http://www.claws-mail.org
Section: mail

 

A. Installing Claws Email on Debian Linux distribution
 

Assuming you need to install claws on Debian based Linux distributions;

 

debian:~# apt-get install –yes claws-mail

 


B. Installing Claws on Fedora Linux distribution

For older Fedora Linux:
 

[root@fedora ~:]# yum install claws-mail

 

On a newer Fedora Linux installations (for those who are already used to Claws and migrate to a newer computer with a fresh Fedora install)
 

[root@fedora ~:]# dhf install claws-mail

 

Note that newer versions of Fedora Linux the default yum package manager has been substituted for the newer and (said to be more) advanced dhf
 

C. Installing Claws email on Slackware Linux

Claws Mail is also available as a (Tar XZ – That's a slackware highly compressed .tar.gz equivallent which saves a lot of space for its packages), to install on slack get the package from the CD / DVD or download from internet and:

 

darkstar:~# installpkg claws-mail*.txz

 


By the way Claws mail might be also the email client of choice (for those who don't have to be bound by the slavery of Office 365 / Microsoft Office and transporters and Active Domain Controller Directory with Outlook Express.

windows_claws-email-lightweight-email-client-screenshot

Even on old Computers with Microsoft Windows Claws email (which has also a Windows 32 Bit Port) might be among the best options for those who value their computer resources and interface simplicity and hence want to save memory and CPU load.

That is it,  try and enjoy Sylpheed Claws !