George V. Reilly

Creating a New PostgreSQL Database at RDS

Many of us are guilty of saying “database” when we mean a database server or a DBMS. A database is a collection of tables storing related data, schemas, stored procs, and per­mis­sions. Most database servers are capable of managing many databases si­mul­ta­ne­ous­ly.

I needed to create a new PostgreSQL database at Amazon’s RDS last week. I already had an RDS instance; I needed a new database on that instance. My Google searches turned up various recipes for creating a new RDS instance.

The following worked for me:

Review: The Prisoner of Zenda

Title: The Prisoner of Zenda
Author: Anthony Hope
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Copyright: 1894
Pages: 156
Keywords: adventure
Reading period: 23–24 June, 2016

Having read Royal Flash, I also read its in­spi­ra­tion, The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope’s classic adventure novel. Rudolf Rassendyll, a young British aristocrat, decides to visit Ruritania, where his distant cousin and dop­pel­gänger, the dissipated Rudolf Elphberg, is about to be crowned king. The future king has a half brother, “Black” Michael, who begrudges him the throne and also covets his fiancée, Princess Flavia. Michael kidnaps the king and the king’s friends, in a desperate attempt to preserve political peace, persuade Rassendyll to im­per­son­ate the king. The imposture is successful and a stalemate continue.

Review: Royal Flash

Title: Royal Flash
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1970
Pages: 256
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 19–22 June, 2016
Flashman Papers II: 1842–43, 1847–48

Having made an enemy of Otto von Bismarck a few years earlier, Flashman now finds himself compelled by Bismarck to im­per­son­ate a Danish prince in a German duchy, taking his place in a marriage to the duchess. Flashman is a dop­pel­gänger for Carl Gustaf and with his talent for languages, he’s able to pull it off. At first he believes that Carl Gustaf is re­cu­per­at­ing from an em­bar­rass­ing case of the pox, and he settles into enjoying his role. Then he learns that continue.


When histories of 21st-century Britain are written, the Brexit referendum will un­doubt­ed­bly be prominent. A small majority of Britons voted to do the un­think­able, to secede from the European Union. Xenophobes and racists in coalition with the mar­gin­al­ized and dis­af­fect­ed have delivered a big fuck you to London and to Brussels. Some had cast a protest vote, not believing that Leave would actually win. Remorse im­me­di­ate­ly set in, as the pound has dropped to a thirty-year low, billions in EU funding is set to dry up, and prime minister Cameron has resigned. Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted Remain and now both are making noises about their own in­de­pen­dence from the United Kingdom. Even continue.

Review: Independence Day: Resurgence

Title: In­de­pen­dence Day: Resurgence
Director: Roland Emmerich
Rating: ★ ★
Released: 2016
Keywords: sf
Watched: 24 June, 2016

As I watched In­de­pen­dence Day 2, I disliked it more and more, to the point where I was seething with anger at the stupidity of the plot and the characters.

The original 1996 In­de­pen­dence Day was at least a watchable B-movie. The sequel is leaden and plodding and makes no sense. The characters are per­func­to­ry and un­in­ter­est­ing, while the comic reliefs are teeth-grindingly irritating. You might assume that the young pilot who is the son of Will Smith’s character would be the lead in this film, but he’s sidelined here by Liam Hemsworth as the Top Gun jock.

My anger is continue.

Bad Speakers at Meetups

Perhaps I’ve been spoilt, but most of the speakers at the technical meetups and con­fer­ences that I go to have something to say and say it well. I’ve also been to hundreds of Toast­mas­ters meetings and I’ve heard many speakers at all levels.

I went to a tech meetup tonight and I sat through two bad hour-long pre­sen­ta­tions. The first speaker should have eliminated the first 20 minutes of his talk, a self-indulgent ramble about various other projects that he had attempted, which shed no light on his main topic. He could easily have eliminated another 15 minutes from the rest of his talk and it would have been the better continue.

Review: Flashman

Title: Flashman
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Plume
Copyright: 1969
Pages: 256
Keywords: historical fiction, humor
Reading period: 13–18 June, 2016
Flashman Papers I: 1839–42

Brigadier-General Sir Harry Flashman, celebrated Victorian soldier, winner of the Victoria Cross, survivor of the charge of the Light Brigade, the battle of Little Big Horn, and the raid on Harper’s Ferry, reveals himself in this frank memoir published long after his death to be “a scoundrel, a liar, a cheat, a thief, a coward—and, oh yes, a toady.”

The central conceit of the fictional Flashman Papers is that Flashy, writing frankly in his old age about his remarkable set of adventures, is perfectly willing to put himself continue.

DockerCon 2016

I wrote a MetaBrite DevBlog post about attending DockerCon 2016 over the last two days.

Deploying Docker Containers on AWS, part 3

I complained yesterday about my dif­fi­cul­ties in deploying Docker containers on AWS. I have since succeeded in getting my app to deploy on Elas­ticBeanstalk, though I have not quite ironed out all the problems.

I found several problems:

Deploying Docker Containers on AWS, part 2

I complained a few weeks ago about how hard it was to deploy Docker containers on AWS.

This week has been nothing but container-related frus­tra­tion. We have two apps running in Kubernetes clusters on top of AWS. This is not a well-supported scenario and we have a fragile script that spends a lot of time sitting in polling loops, waiting for various things to happen like DNS updates taking effect, the new cluster being available, and so on. One of the apps has decided to stop deploying. I do not know why.

I’ve been trying to get a new app deployed on ECS, the EC2 Container Service. The way to deploy an continue.

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