Blog / Howto

Setting up additional entropy for your Ubuntu VPS with haveged

June 28, 2020

We've recently ran into an issue with one of our staging servers where a scheduled cron job would occassionally hang for a few minutes before executing.  The issue turned out to be due to a low entopy (i.e. randomness) value in /proc/sys/kernel/random/entropy_avail.

Randomness in Linux is generated from hardware interrupts such as the keyboard, mouse, and disk/network IO.  This goes into a pool which then gets consumed by applications that require randomness for security, such as …

Renewing a US passport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

November 11, 2019

Renewing a US Passport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

I've recently renewed my US passport while traveling in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I actually still had about 10 months left before expiration but I decided to renew it earlier as some countries require at least 6 months validity before they let you in. I didn't want to wait until the last minute.

Since Malaysia allows for up to a 90-day stay for tourists from the US, I figured this would be a good place to …

How to disable the Tab Hover Cards in Chrome

October 28, 2019

My Chrome recently got updated and a new feature that was introduced which I found very distracting and annoying is "Tab Hover Cards", where it displays a pop-up box whenever you place your mouse cursor on a tab.

To disable this function, type this in the URL:


Then search for "tab hover" and set the settings to "Disabled":

Disable Tab Hover Cards in Chrome and Brave Browsers

If you use the Brave browser, the steps above will also work.

Easily convert XML data to a Python dict with xmltodict

September 1, 2019

I hate working with XML mainly because I find it difficult to read.

There's a popular Python package for parsing XML called lxml which is very flexible, but I found xmltodict much better suited and easier to use for what I needed to do.

We have a inventory management app for Shopify, EZ Inventory, and one of the features we've added recently is XML support. We have a few customers whose suppliers can only …

How to reset the primary key sequence in PostgreSQL with Django

March 19, 2019

I was working on some fairly big features involving new Django models for one of our apps and when I pushed to our staging environment, I got this error during deployment at the database migration step:

duplicate key value violates unique constraint "auth_permission_pkey" DETAIL: Key (id)=(55) already exists

It looks like new records were getting added to the auth_permission table. I was puzzled as I didn't make any changes related to the Django auth app. …