Speaking at Chcon 2019

A few months ago, I saw the CFP for Chcon open up, and I thought back to how much I enjoyed Chcon last year, so I thought why not submit a talk this year.

I wrote up a submission, sent if off and a few weeks later I was delighted to hear that my talk was accepted! Since then I have been writing, editing and practising once a day for a fortnight, and I was happy with how things turned out.

On Thursday, I gave my talk The Story of the “Uncrackable” Lockbox, and Why Hackers Need to Work Alongside Developers, which is about the series of challenges u/cryptocomicon put forward for testing the security of his TimeLock software.

The talk has been uploaded to Youtube, which you can find below:

You can find a copy of the slides here.

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Getting Started With Juju to Deploy and Scale Software Effortlessly

The next piece of cloud software which has caught my attention is Juju, a tool which allows you to effortlessly deploy software to any cloud, and scale it with the touch of a button.

Juju deploys software in the form of Charms, a collection of scripts and deployment instructions that implements industry best practices and knowledge about that particular software package.


Today we are going to take a deep dive into Juju, and explore how it works, how to set it up and how to deploy and scale some common software.

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Resolving Large NVMe Performance Degradation in the Ubuntu 4.4 Kernel

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a Sustaining Engineer at Canonical looks like?

Well today, we are going to have a look into a particularly interesting case I worked from start to completion, as it demanded that I dive into the world of Linux performance analysis tools to track down and solve the problem.

The problem is that there is a large performance degradation when reading files from a mounted read-only LVM snapshot on the Ubuntu 4.4 kernel, when compared to reading from a standard LVM volume. Reads can take anywhere from 14-25x the amount of time, which is a serious problem.


Lets get to the bottom of this, and get this fixed.

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I Recently Became a Sustaining Engineer at Canonical!

A few months ago I made one of the largest decisions in my life - to leave my PhD position at the University of Canterbury and go out into the world and get a job.

I am wonderfully excited to announce that I am now a Sustaining Engineer at Canonical, the company which sponsors Ubuntu Linux.


I started on the 11th of March 2019, and the last four months I have settled into my role nicely.

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Deploying a Ceph Cluster in Ubuntu 19.04

One of the major advancements in recent technology is the rise of cloud computing, and to be perfectly honest with you, I really don’t understand how the whole cloud thing works.

So, I’m going to start a series of blog posts where I will deploy some cloud services, and learn how they work.

Today we will learn how to deploy a Ceph cluster on Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo, so get ready, fire up some VMs with me and follow along.


We will cover what Ceph is, how to deploy it, and what it’s primary use cases are.

Let’s get started.

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