Best Technical Podcasts

Podcast Equipment Photo

Every so often I like to publish my current podcast subscriptions (last update from late 2013: Top 7 Technical Podcasts). Since joining DataStax a year ago my commute time is significantly shorter, so I’ve slimmed down my playlist as well.

Here is my current subscription list:

Hanselminutes [rss]

One of my favorites. Scott Hanselman is a great interviewer and runs through a broad variety of guests.

Giant Robots Smashing into other Giant Robots Podcast [rss]

One of my other favories. Ben Orenstein from Thoughtbot hosts. Plus, the title is cool.

.NET Rocks! [rss]

I’ve been listening to these guys for over 10 years now, and they’ve recently hit episode 1132. That’s a lot of podcasts! In March 2014 they merged in The Tablet Show (which had 130 episodes on its own). These days it’s not only about .Net, but covers a lot of different technologies and platforms. The Geek Out espisodes are especially good, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

RunAs Radio [rss]

Hosted by Richard Campbell (also of .Net Rocks!), this podcast is more IT-focused, giving a slightly different perspective.

The Changelog [rss]

I kind of dropped out of this one for a while, but recently have been catching most episodes. They cover a nice cross-section of different open-source projects.

Startups For the Rest of Us [rss]

Rob Walling and Mike Tabor covering all aspects of bootstrapping and running your own SaaS business. It makes me wish I was actually doing that, but in the meantime I enjoy hearing about it.

Zen Founder: Startups. Family. Life. [rss]

From Rob Walling (of Startups for the Rest of Us) and his wife. I’ve only recently starting listening, but it seems promising.

Product People [rss]

I really enjoyed the interview style and variety of guests on this show by Justin Jackson. It’s no longer regularly produced (last episode was December 2014), but I’m still subscribed to scoop up any new ones.

Kalzumeus Software Podcast [rss]

It’s not published very often, but still worth hearing the latest ideas from Patrick McKenzie and his experiences running SaaS businesses.

Colophon:

I’m still using and can highly recommend the Downcast iPhone app. It has a handy export feature for your podcast subscription list in OPML format. I have a simple Python script (podcast.py) which converts it to Markdown text, then I just added my review comments to create this point.

Photo credit:

My Podcast Set I by Patrick Breitenbach (Flickr)

Traffic Resuming After WordPress Hack

Early in March this site was hit with a WordPress hack that was present for about 10 days until I discovered and fixed it. After the fix I was frequently checking Google Webmaster Tools to make sure search results returned. After about one week, my traffic (from Google at least) had pretty much recovered to the pre-hack levels:

Google search traffic screenshot
Google search traffic recovering after WordPress hack removed

And here is the corresponding timeline from Google Analytics, showing traffic slowly returning to normal:

Google Analytics traffic screenshot
Google Analytics numbers recovering after WordPress hack removed

Recovering from a WordPress Hack

Last night I had the unpleasant discovery that this site’s WordPress had been “hacked”, with every post redirecting to an uploaded “this site has been hacked” variety of HTML file. I looked back and realized it happened on March 1st and mad at myself for not noticing sooner.

Fortunately it was pretty easy to clean up by zapping the database and restoring from a good backup (thankfully I have daily backups running).

The harder part is going to be recovering in Google’s view. Search queries as shown in Google Webmaster Tools dropped like crazy right away:

Search queries chart from Google Webmaster Tools
Search queries chart from Google Webmaster Tools

And here’s the corresponding crawl errors view:

Crawl Errors Chart from Google Webmaster Tools
Crawl Errors Chart from Google Webmaster Tools

Hopefully after a little time the Google crawler will see all those pages returned, but I’m guessing whatever page rank I had will be very slow to recover (if it ever does). In the meantime I’ve improved my WordPress security a bit more, updated to the latest of everything, and removed a few unused plugins. Next will be to set something up to notify me more quickly if this happens again.

DataStax Installer with Vagrant

I’ve continued to make improvements to my “Cassandra on Vagrant” project (Using Vagrant for Local Cassandra Development) which shows how to install open-source Cassandra or DataStax Enterprise in a variety of different ways. Using Vagrant is very helpful for local development and testing. Virtual images can be created very quickly and can be erased when done, keeping your primary development system clean.

Recently I added an example which uses the DataStax Enterprise (DSE) standalone installer which first appeared in DSE 4.5. The standalone installer normally runs in a graphical UI mode, but can also be run in an unattended mode which I’m using here.

To play with the examples, grab a copy of the Vagrant projects from GitHub: bcantoni/vagrant-cassandra. Once you have Vagrant and VirtualBox set up, check out example 5. DSE Installer and go through the setup.

On my Mac laptop, creating a 3-node DSE cluster takes less than 5 minutes. (The speed is greatly improved because we only need to download the installer once.) The installer has several options for running in unattended mode, so the installation can be customized as needed.

See the code and more details at bcantoni/vagrant-cassandra.

Tech Advent Calendars – 2014

It’s that time of the year again – Advent calendars for many tech communities. As in past years (2011, 2012, 2013), I’ve gathered a few here that should be interesting:

I have a combined RSS feed (created with Yahoo! Pipes) that picks up all of these advent calendars: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TechAdventCalendars. (Yahoo Pipe source).