Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Oracle Code One: Continuous Delivery to Kubernetes with Jenkins and Helm

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Last week I was out in San Francisco at Oracle Code One (previously known as JavaOne). I had to wait until Thursday morning to give my session on “Continuous Delivery to Kubernetes with Jenkins and Helm”. This was the same title I presented in almost exactly the same spot back in February at IBM’s Index Conference but there were some significant differences in the content.

Continuous Delivery to Kubernetes with Jenkins and Helm from David Currie

The first half was much the same. As you can see from the material on SlideShare and GitHub, it covers deploying Jenkins on Kubernetes via Helm and then setting up a pipeline with the Kubernetes plugin to build and deploy an application, again, using Helm. This time, I’d built a custom Jenkins image with the default set of plugins used by the Helm chart pre-installed which improved start-up times in the demo.

I had previously mounted in the Docker socket to perform the build but removed that and used kaniko instead. This highlighted one annoyance with the current approach used by the Kubernetes plugin: it uses exec on long-running containers to execute a shell script with the commands defined in the pipeline. The default kaniko image is a scratch image containing just the executor binary – nothing there to keep it alive, nor a shell to execute the script. In his example, Carlos uses the kaniko:debug image which adds a busybox shell but that requires other hoops to be jumped through because the shell is not in the normal location. Instead, I built a kaniko image based on alpine.

The biggest difference from earlier in the year was, perhaps not unsurprisingly, the inclusion of Jenkins X. I hadn’t really left myself enough time to do it justice. Given the normal terrible conference wifi and the GitHub outage earlier in the week, I had recorded a demo showing initial project creation, promotion, and update. I’ve added a voiceover so you can watch it for yourself below (although you probably want to go full-screen unless you have very good eyesight!).

Double Celebration Weekend

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

This weekend we were signed up for a double-header of orienteering. On Saturday it was the British Sprint Champs at Bath University. We were there early as Christine’s parents were running the local parkrun and returning the children to us beforehand. The first-class sports facilities at the University made an excellent assembly area for the event. We had mixed fortunes in the heats. Christine and I made it through to the A finals but both the children were disqualified for wrong controls (it was a tricky area to plan easy courses on). Christine was fourth in her final and Duncan managed a first in his B final. I faired less well making one bad route choice through the multi-level section and losing my head completely on a later leg.

We spent the night in Glastonbury and had a nice dinner out at Tamburino’s in Street. On Sunday it was the Middle Distance Champs at Stock Hill near Wells. Despite a panic whilst we tried to find where Duncan’s SI card had ended up (down the back of his car seat!) we arrived in plenty of time for Christine’s start. Duncan had a good run on M10, finishing 7th. Emma was 8th on W12 although in a smaller field. She made a 10 minute error on one control though on what looked like a tricky orange course. I also managed 8th place despite making several blunders – not surprising given that I wasn’t really reading any of the contour detail on the map!

Christine had the start performance: a place on the podium and a silver medal. And the double celebration? It was also our wedding anniversary!

(Sprint photos courtesy of Gerry Ashton.)

Back to Blighty

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Despite our elongated stay in the Alps, we still had one more night in France, allowing us to break up the drive back. I’d randomly picked some place off Booking.com for its proximity to the A6. The quoted distance must have been as the crow flies though because it was quite some trek along scenic rural lanes before we arrived in L’Isle sur Serein. I’m not convinced that the hotel had seen our booking before we tried to check-in but we were shown to a very nice two-floor apartment across the road. The restaurant was not serving so, rather than go in search of civilization, we utilized the pizza van parked in the town square, watched by the proprietors of the hotel, sat outside drinking with their friends. All a bit surreal but there was a nice breakfast provided the next morning.

The final leg of the journey we broke with a stop in Versaille. Christine and I had been before but many years ago. I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed by the palace grounds. Only three of the fountains were in operation leaving not much but some tall hedges and dubious sculptures. Perhaps this was due to the dry summer but no explanation was offered. As it was a Friday, we had to pay an extra €7 each for the privilege of the ‘musical gardens’. This appeared to consist solely of classical music being piped out of speakers hidden in the occasional bush.

The ticket price does cover a lot more though and, in the end, it was a bit of a race back to Le Havre (followed by a long queue at passport control). The return overnight channel crossing was equally uneventful and we arrived back in Blighty tired but in plenty of time for Emma to make her Saturday morning swimming lesson!

A week in the Alps

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

We arrived at our final destination, Camping des Dômes de Miage on the outskirts of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, just in time to put up the tent before the rain arrived. Conveniently, we were very close to where Christine’s cousin and her family had their campervan (perhaps not a complete coincidence as we appeared to be in something of a British aisle).

The forecast wasn’t great for our first day. We set off up the hillside behind the campsite all the same but retreated after having lunch sheltered under a pine tree from the rain watched by a bull! After a night of heavy rain, things were looking up the next day and we all took the cable car up to Mont d’Arbois. From there, we ascended Mont Joly (2525m). The cloud even parted briefly at the summit so that we could catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc across the valley. It was a long trudge back down the hill to the campsite and we vowed to buy a return next time!

The next day we headed to La Gruvaz on the other side of the valley and walked up to Refuge de Miage. The refuge itself was packed inside and out with people enjoying their Saturday lunchtime. Christine went for a walk further up what is a lovely Alpine valley while I watched the children fail to divert the course of the river! Duncan and Christine took a detour on the return leg to take in Mont Truc (1811m). We had a dip in the swimming lake at Les Contamines before returning to the tent.

We attacked the plateau from the other side on Sunday by driving round to Les Houches and getting the cable car up to Le Prarion from where it was a short walk to the summit (1969m). This offered a stunning 360° panorama of the Mont Blanc Massif (which I singularly failed to capture on camera despite multiple attempts).

We took a slightly circuitous route down to Col de Voza where the Tramway du Mont Blanc passes through as does the Tour du Mont Blanc.  The latter was of particular interest as it is only a couple of weeks until the UTMB kicks off. The valley was full of advertising and there were even a few fit looking types starting to appear on the campsite. As promised earlier in the week, this time we took the cable car back down from Bellevue.

The rain had returned on Monday and we just hung around the valley. Christine took the children to St Gervais’ shiny new swimming pool whilst I went for a long run. It was meant to be wet again the following day but actually turned out fine. We drove up to Notre Dame de la Gorge and then went for a short walk to see some of the falls.

That evening’s entertainment was provided by me locking the keys in the car whilst trying to improvise a washing line at the campsite. Thankfully their retrieval was covered by our European breakdown cover and we only had to wait an hour or so for someone to come out. The key was sat on the parcel shelf so, having air-bagged the door ajar, he set about fishing for it with a long piece of wire – no mean feat given the key didn’t even have a ring on it. Have successfully retrieved it, that just left the rather brutal task of bending the car door back into shape!

We made a last-minute decision to extend our stay by one more night. We took the cable car again, this time from La Gorge and on up to Signal. From there it is a short walk to Col du Joly. Whatever sense of remoteness you may have still been left with after leaving all the ski/MTB paraphernalia behind was entirely wiped away by the car park at the top (there is a tarmac road up from the other side of the ridge). The children got a chance to spend some money in the tat shops on our way back through Les Contamines and it meant we could put off packing up the tent for one more day…

Paris and Parc Astérix

Monday, August 20th, 2018

Our main holiday for the summer was to be camping in the French Alps but we had to get there first! We decided to take the overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre (very convenient for us and highly recommended for avoiding the tedium of a day wasted sat on a ferry) and then stage our journey down through France.

First stop after leaving the ferry was Paris. I didn’t fancy driving into the city centre so we parked out at La Défense (it was a Sunday) and took the metro in which seemed to work well. The aim was largely for the children to see the sights and we achieved that even if, with the temperature in the high 30s, we spent much of the time seeking out the shade.

Our overnight accommodation was conveniently placed just 10 minutes from our next day’s entertainment: Parc Astérix. After going in search of food supplies in the morning, we were still late to the party and joined long queues waiting to park. We were slightly put out by having to pay an extra €12 for the parking but there wasn’t much choice at this point. It’s still a LOT cheaper than Disneyland. That wasn’t our main reason for choosing it though: given an Astérix book, Duncan is lost to the world for hours as he reads and re-reads it.

We started with a wooden rollercoaster which turned out to be a good move as the rattling ride was enough to tame Emma’s desire to hit some of the more adventurous attractions. As you’d expect, absolutely everything has an Astérix theme although, as you’d also expect, sometimes it was a bit tenuous. It was very hot again and we were glad that, even when we did have to queue half an hour for a ride, there was generally a fair amount of shade to be found.

There was also a reasonable amount to do beyond just the rides. The dolphin and sea lion show was both entertaining and educational and “Main basse sur la Joconde” was quite a theatrical spectacle that had the children in stitches. Having failed to buy food to take in, we ate both lunch and dinner in the park and, to be honest, the prices were not unreasonable. We didn’t quite stay until the park closed but it wasn’t far off. In total we spent over ten hours there and there was plenty that we didn’t see and do.

The next day we set off south again, stopping at the walled town of Semur-en-Auxois largely because it’s about half-way down the country. We took a walk around the town and Emma was visibly wilting in the heat. Our hotel had big thick walls which meant the room was cool on arrival but sadly, without air conditioning, it didn’t take long for the four of us to warm it up! The children were therefore happy to get in to the car the following morning to complete the journey down to the Alps.

 

Over to Osborne

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Christine had Wednesday off and, there being some debate as to whether Duncan had ever been, we decided to take the ferry over to the Isle of Wight. We took the train down to Southampton from Chandler’s Ford and managed to race across town in time to make the next Red Funnel ferry. The car ferry is a slower crossing but, as we were planning to walk up to Osborne House, its destination of West Cowes would take us closer.

In contrast to our last visit (over ten years ago when Christine was pregnant with Emma), a grey start turned in to a glorious day. Unlike last time, there was no guided tour of the house and, instead, we traipsed around after a massive long queue of people. For future reference, apparently Wednesday mornings are particularly bad for tour parties. At least there were no stuffed animals to be found!

Next stop was the beach. Christine and the children went for a paddle in the sea and then watched the Osborne themed Punch and Judy show. (The puppeteer also gave a very good history of Punch and Judy beforehand.) We then headed back up past the Swiss Chalet, made a quick visit to the walled garden and, most importantly, a visit to the café before we departed.

Although it meant paying for the chain ferry across to East Cowes, we decided to take the Red Jet back to Southampton (it seems that a family ticket it valid on either). At the end of the day, we now also have a year’s English Heritage membership so I can foresee another trip over to the island to take in the donkeys at Carisbrooke Castle!

Tudor House and Garden

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Back at home, it fell to me to keep the children amused (more on that later). On Monday, I had planned to combine a shopping trip to Southampton with a visit to the Tudor House and Garden (having never been there before) but, on looking at their website, I discovered that they were having a special day where they were rolling back the prices to 6p the next day so we delayed our trip slightly.

There’s actually loads more to the attraction than just the black and white Tudor frontage that you see from the road. Given the name there is obviously the garden (and what, on a sunny day, looked to be a very nice café overlooking it) but there is also the remains of King John’s Palace and Westgate Hall on the same site.

There has obviously been lots of Lottery money spent on the buildings and exhibits but somehow it missed the mark with me when telling the story of the site. It probably wasn’t helped by the fact that the children were given one of these trails where all they had to do was spot some (toy) mice in each room. Such trails seem to have become the fashion over the last few years (we’d had to look for squirrels at Compton Castle) but they mean you get to the exit without actually having noticed anything other than some stuffed animals.

As a consequence, we spent much less time there than I had expected but for 18p I really can’t complain! If you are thinking of going, I’d get the joint ticket with the SeaCity Museum (and don’t forget you can get 10% off with a National Trust or English Heritage card).

Down in Devon

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

More often than not we simply drive through Devon on our way down to Cornwall so, for our first holiday of the summer, we thought we’d head there for a week of camping. We were staying at Leadstone Camping, midway between Dawlish and Dawlish Warren. It’s a pleasant enough site, certainly in comparison to the massive caravan parks that surround it and, for most of the week, we had excellent weather for camping. It was a shame we hadn’t packed the bikes as there was a good cycle route along the estuary to Exeter.

On our first full day, we were picked up by my Uncle (whose proximity was our main reason for choosing the location) and we drove to Brixham to take him up on a long-standing offer of a day out on his boat. Everyone enjoyed themselves as we sailed across the bay and back, although both Emma and Duncan were sick over the side. They decided that next time they’d skip lunch on the boat! They certainly made up for the lost calories with a very nice meal out at The Anchor Inn in the evening.

The next day we met up with friends from back at home at Compton Castle where, as my Uncle had warned us, there really wasn’t a huge amount to do. Keeping with the National Trust theme, we moved on to Parke for a nice walk. As is obligatory when in Devon, we enjoyed a very nice cream tea at Home Farm Cafe.

For our third day, we stayed local, walking down into Dawlish to see the black swans for which is famed and for a game of crazy golf. Dawlish is everything you’d expect from a British seaside town which I’m not sure is a good thing! After sheltering from the midday sun, we then walked in the other direction to Dawlish Warren. Once you get past the shops, bars, and arcades, it’s a pleasant enough spot with a good stretch of sandy beach backing on to the spit that is the nature reserve. We all had a dip in the sea and failed, yet again, to stop the tide overrunning our sandcastle!

We’d been joined by Christine’s parents at this point and, on our last full day, we all walked along the coast path to Teignmouth. We only had to shelter once from a passing shower. The children would recommend the waffles in Finley Brown’s cafe (although to be fair, I got to eat a fair amount of their massive portions). That whole section of seafront being dominated by the railway line, it seemed only fitting that we take the train back to Dawlish. Christine wouldn’t tell me how much it cost but I suspect we were paying more per person than the number of minutes we spent on the train!

All-in-all, it was a great start to the holidays although next time I think we’d stay closer to Dartmoor or further west where there are more options for things to do.