Spin a AWS server from a disk image

I was able to successfully create an AMI (Amazon Mirror Image) of the Laravel server that I just created. I launched it and it worked perfectly. Creating an image from a running instance is quite easy. Just go the EC2 Dashboard. Select Instances and choose the Instance you want to clone. Go to Actions and select Create Image. It takes several minutes to create an image. Once the AMI is created, you can launch another instance using the AMI that you just created. It took close to 3-5 minutes before the server was able to serve Laravel page that was recently installed. In the future, if I want to launch a clean Laravel install, I can just launch an instance based on the AMI I just created.

Install LAMP using TaskSel

An alternative way to install a LAMP server in Ubuntu is to use the Tasksel utility. Make sure Tasksel is installed by installing it first via apt-get. Once tasksel is installed, you can then install the lamp-server.

# install tasksel
sudo apt-get -y install tasksel
# install lamp server
sudo tasksel install lamp-server

iPad Mini 3

Will you get the latest iPad mini 3? A few experts are saying to not bother! The argument is basically, it’s the same device as last year’s iPad mini 2, with just one notable exception. It has additional hardware for Apple Pay. Other than that, it’s the same hardware as last year, the same design, the same screen and the same cameras. It’s not any thinner or any lighter. It has the same graphic and processor chips. However, it’s available in gold! If gold fancies you, then spend the extra $100. Last year’s iPad mini 2 is now selling starting at $299. The iPad mini 3 retails starting at $399.

Google Reinvents the Inbox

Email has been around for a long time. It predates the Internet. Google is tweaking how email is displayed to users by adding features which makes it easier to get to the important data. Several months ago, Google added tabs to differentiate social updates and promotions from regular email. With Inbox, Google is adding Bundles, a feature that will group together similar messages, like bank statements and receipts for example. Another feature is called Highlights, which places important emails to the front and center. Inbox also has Reminders, Assists and Snooze. Reminders are pretty much self explanatory. Assists work with reminders to bring out relevant information. Snooze dismisses information in the background. Google Inbox is not available yet to all. You can ask for an invite by sending an email to inbox@gmail.com.

HP Splitting in Two Companies

HP plans to split its PC and printer businesses into two separate companies. Splitting up a company is nothing new to Silicon Valley. Recently, eBay spun off Paypal. A few years ago, IBM spun off Lenovo, and 3Com spun off Palm. Even HP itself, is a by-product of the HP and Agilent split years ago. Will we see Oracle and possibly Microsoft splitting up its core businesses? It’s difficult to imagine that such a thing can happen, but nothing is guaranteed in the tech industry. Companies have to compete and survive, and they will do anything necessary to generate profits. The bottom line is, companies still need to make a quality product or service that people want. Splitting companies is just an adjustment or strategy to that end.

How I Became a Mac OS user

Years ago, I got tired of Windows for numerous reasons which I don’t have the time to elaborate in this post. Eventually, I switched to Linux. It was new, exciting, and the opportunity to learn something entirely different was fascinating to me. When Ubuntu Dapper Drake came along, I went all in. That was my desktop of choice for a very long time.

After each Ubuntu release, I worked hard to get everything working from the flash player, media, and just about every tool that I needed, just to get the desktop to function the way I wanted to. After several years of Ubuntu updates and fixing the desktop, I got tired of it. It was an exercise I really didn’t want to do every six months.

I switched to the Mac OS because it it’s based on BSD, a Unix variant, which is familiar to me. In some ways, I can get still get down and dirty using the Terminal if I wanted to. The Mac OS for the most part, is a very stable environment. And everything worked at get-go. I’ve been a Mac OS user ever since.

Goodbye to Lotus 1-2-3

I can’t believe Lotus 1-2-3 has been around for 30 years. Support has ended September 30. I learned how to use spreadsheets using Lotus 1-2-3. Using floppy drives, too. Good times. Think of all the formulas and macros you’ve created. Clearly, Lotus 1-2-3’s time has come and gone. It’s a remarkable success story. This has to be one of the most successful software ever written. In the first year, Lotus expected to sell about $1 million. It sold $54 million.

Windows 10

Microsoft is distancing itself from Windows 8 as much as possible, that they even skipped a version just to provide some cushion. Everyone was anticipating that the new version will be called Windows 9, but Microsoft just announced it will be releasing Windows 10 instead. Why no love for the number 9? Does this mean the Start menu is getting another makeover? By the way, it’s scheduled to release next spring.