Adventures In Deep Space

A blog about turning our "crazy" big idea to transform deep space exploration into a real company (click on header above to view this blog's home page)

Good Sysadmins Are Lazy

August 20, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I got tired of manually typing out commands to create and edit posts on this blog, so I went ahead and created a series of bash functions (see below) to simplify the process. My background is in sysadmin and automating systems management. Back in the Ur days of the World Wide Web, in May of 1994, I co-founded the world's first self-service web hosting company, Web Communications, LLC, aka WebCom. My partner and I built our system to scale indefinitely without requiring additional technical operations staff, and we were so successful , after being acquired, the system eventually operated for years with just two very, very, very part-time sysadmins, and one technical support staffer supporting thousands of clients. Good sysadmins automate the heck out of routine labor, thus "lazy" as a virtue, rather than a cardinal sin.

sbpost() {
    # start a new blog post
    /path/to/ post

sbedit() {
    # edit a blog post
    /path/to/ edit "$1"

sbrb() {
    # rebuild the blog after a macro level change
    /path/to/ rebuild

sbrm() {
    # delete post, rebuild blog
    /path/to/ delete "$1"

sbls() {
    # list all posts
    /path/to/ list

sblstags() {
    # list all tags in alphabetical order, use '-n' to sort list by number of posts
    /path/to/ tags "$1"

Tags: geekstuff, techstuff, sysadmin, bashblog

I'm a Geek, This Blog Reflects That

August 18, 2021 — Thomas Leavitt

I've spent my career in IT. I was playing with computers and programming in Jr. High School; in high school, I spent a lot of time visting swap meets and buying and refurbishing used computer equipment. When I arrived at Occidental College in 1990, the first thing I did was get on the Internet (aka Usenet, at the time) and discover "", and proceeded to spend the next two years buying and selling computer equipment online... in the process, discovering that I wanted to pursue a career in computers, rather than academics, and dropping out after two years to attend a local junior college in the area where I wound up living. In the process of doing that, I wound up starting one of the first commercial Internet companies, Web Communications, LLC, in May of 1994. We were the world's first (and for a couple of years, the only) self-service web hosting company out there. Before us, if you wanted to put a site on the Internet, you had two options: (a) set up your own server, (b) pay a web designer to create your site, and host it on their server.

We, of course, deployed our systems on Unix (and later, Linux), and I learned the command line (aka shell, in this case, ksh) backwards and forwards (dealing with X-Windows over a 14.4k dialup line is PAINFUL, to say the least). I also learned how to code, in Perl, and did so quite extensively. So, when I went to look for a blogging platform, settling for WordPress, with all the overhead, maintenance and security hassles involved, was not an option. I dug around, and found this elegant little shell script, which I'm using to post the content of this blog: bashblog which has the nice benefit, among others, of letting me use my favorite Unix/Linux grognard text editor, vi. No muss, no fuss.

Tags: bashblog, blogging, techstuff, unix, linux, geekstuff