Sam Doran

My little corner of the Internet

Cut the Cord Calculator →

I have never in my adult life (meaning paying my own bills) had a cable subscription longer than three months1. There have only been a handful of times in the past nine years that I actually missed having a cable subscription—events like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. That’s it2.

Respectable Permalinks →

After reading Matt Gemmell’s thoughts on permalinks, I couldn’t help but be convinced that having the date in the URL is a bit, well dated. I do appreciate knowing when an article was published, but I put the publication date in the post itself — putting the date in the permalinks is ugly and redundant.

Changing the permalink structure on the site was a one line change to the _config.yml since this site is generated using Octopress. The fun part was creating a redirect in the nginx.conf so old links to my site won’t be broken. It was much simpler than I thought it would be:

rewrite ^/201[0-9]/\d\d/\d\d/(.*)/ /$1/ permanent;

I’ve only been writing on this site since 2013, so you may need to adjust the rewrite to match earlier years if you have posts from earlier than 2010.


I was first introduced to Ansible a little over a year ago and it’s changed my sysadmin life. It is hands down the best way to manage and deploy servers, but its flexibility lends it to being used for an almost infinite number of tasks. It even does Windows.

Red Hat 7

I have used Red Hat professionally since my first job as a System Administrator back in 20101. I started out on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, which was a solid OS but a huge pain for development since its packages were outdated. Building and using modern tools on RHEL 5 was not fun.

Organizing Movies with Hazel

I have a rather mature system for organizing my photos because I have been photographing much longer than I’ve been shooting video. I never really had a desire to film before I had super cute kids running around. Combine cute kids with an amazing 1080p video camera in my pocket disguised as a phone, and all of a sudden I have a mountain of priceless videos that need organizing1.

Getting the right UPS

A UPS is a rather mundane device that you’ll be very thankful for one or two times a year. A properly sized UPS will keep your devices running through a minor power blip or cleanly shutdown your computer if your power is out for too long. It can also serve as a giant power reserve for charging mobile devices during an extended power outage.