Main page - Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference. The ultimate Ubuntu book! It's the world's most popular Ubuntu book, with over half a million readers (and rising!). Focuses on core competencies and background knowledge needed to be an expert Ubuntu user; Readable, accessible, and easy to understand—even if you've never used Linux before; 1. Written from the ground- up to cover Ubuntu 8.

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Planet Ubuntu. Interview conducted in writing July- August 2. It is a pleasure to interview you today and to help you introduce your recently launched Alexa skill, “Cloud. Status”. Can you provide a brief overview about what the skill does? Thank you for inviting me. Cloud. Status allows users to check the service availability of any AWS region. On opening the skill, Alexa says which (if any) regions are experiencing service issues or were recently having problems.

Then the user can inquire about the services in specific regions. This skill was made at my dad’s request.

He wanted to quickly see how AWS services were operating, without needing to open his laptop. As well as summarizing service issues for him, my dad thought Cloud. Status would be a good opportunity for me to learn about retrieving and parsing web pages in Python. All the data can be found in more detail at status. But with Cloud. Status, developers can hear AWS statuses with their Amazon Echo. Instead of scrolling through dozens of green checkmarks to find errors, users of Cloud.

Status listen to which services are having problems, as well as how many services are operating satisfactorily. Cloud. Status is intended for anyone who uses Amazon Web Services and wants to know about current (and recent) AWS problems. Eventually it might be expanded to talk about other clouds as well. Ask Alexa to “open Cloud. Status” and she will give you a summary of regions with problems. An example of what she might say on the worst of days is: “3 out of 1.

AWS regions are experiencing service issues: Mumbai (ap- south- 1), Tokyo (ap- northeast- 1), Ireland (eu- west- 1). AWS regions was having problems, but the issues have been resolved: Northern Virginia (us- east- 1). The remaining 7 regions are operating normally. All 7 global services are operating normally. Which Amazon Web Services region would you like to check?”Or on most days: “All 6.

AWS regions are operating normally. All 7 global services are operating normally. Which Amazon Web Services region would you like to check?”Request any AWS region you are interested in, and Alexa will present you with current and recent service issues in that region. Here’s the full recording of an example session. Cloud. Status- Alexa- Skill- sample- 2.

Developers need only pay for their servers when the code is called. AWS Lambda also displays metrics from Amazon Cloud. Watch. Amazon Cloud. Watch gives statistics from the last couple weeks, such as the number of invocations, how long they took, and whether there were any errors. Cloud. Watch Logs is also a very useful service. It allows me to see all the errors and print() output from my code. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to debug my skill!

I used Amazon EC2 to build the Python modules necessary for my program. The modules (Requests and LXML) download and parse the AWS status page, so I can get the data I need. The Python packages and my code files are zipped and uploaded to AWS Lambda. Fun fact: My Lambda function is based in us- east- 1. If AWS Lambda stops working in that region, you can’t use Cloud. Status to check if Northern Virginia AWS Lambda is working!

For that matter, Cloud. Status will be completely dysfunctional. I enjoy making tools so I can be lazy. Let’s rephrase that: Sometimes I’m repeatedly doing a non- programming activity—say, making a long list of equations for math practice. I think of two “random” numbers between one and a hundred (a human can’t actually come up with a random set of numbers) and pick an operation: addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. After doing this several times, the activity begins to tire me.

My brain starts to shut off and wants to do something more interesting. Then I realize that I’m doing the same thing over and over again. Why not make a program? Computers can do so much in so little time. Download Effective C++ Ebook. Unlike humans, they are capable of picking completely random items from a list.

And they aren’t going to make mistakes. You can tell a computer to do the same thing hundreds of times, and it won’t be bored. Finish the program, type in a command, and voila! Look at that page full of math problems. Plus, I can get a new one whenever I want, in just a couple seconds. Laziness in this case drives a person to put time and effort into ever- changing problem- solving, all so they don’t have to put time and effort into a dull, repetitive task. See http: //threevirtues.

But programming isn’t just for tools! I also enjoy making simple games and am learning about websites. One downside to having computers do things for you: You can’t blame a computer for not doing what you told it to. It did do what you told it to; you just didn’t tell it to do what you thought you did. Coding can be challenging (even frustrating) and it can be tempting to give up on a debug issue. But, oh, the thrill that comes after solving a difficult coding problem!

The problem- solving can be exciting even when a program is nowhere near finished.