Setup a New Mac

A couple years later, and I find myself referring to my own guide

But in a different order of important things.

0. Caps Lock key is a Control key, Preferences->Keyboard, fix that, while I’m there, remove some of the -F keys from being bound, I’m going to need apps to see them.
1. I NEED THE SSH KEY, and copying a private key can be kind of a challenge, cuz… privacy.
2. Finder needs to see hidden files. says – defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE ; killall Finder
3. AppStore has a nice purchases view, so I can easily find apps I have on the old/other Mac – click yes to Evernote.
4. Get iTerm2 – and DO NOT CLICK the big DOWNLOAD button… click the download tab/section at the top and get the Test Releases download, start it, and under profiles->default-> select the keys tab & click the Left option as +Esc selection
5. Copy .bashrc and .bash_profile
6. Copy Music/iTunes folder, maybe?
7. Manually inspect before actually going there and doing the installation via ruby -switches $()… because… SECURITY!… also, I like to sudo mkdir /usr/local ; sudo chown $USER /usr/local ; so that home-brew install doesn’t run anything as root.
8.  System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> All Controls (at the bottom) – so that I can tab to selections in dialog boxes
9.  MacVIM – because I like it
10.  vim things like python-mode, vim-fugitive
11.  firefox aurora and login with my firefox password
12.  brew install go
13.  add GOROOT to .bashrc and GOROOT/misc/vim to vim rtp
14.  … I don’t really know what else.

UGH, how could I forget: download Envy Code R and tell vim to use it:  Add set guifont=Envy\ Code\ R:h13 to .vimrc

Follow the rest of the old post

Leaving a Great Job for a Great Job

Today was my last day as an employee at Arbor Networks.

Leaving  Arbor Networks was a tough decision. There are so many good people and interesting problems at Arbor. When I was approached by folks, I said, “I’m not done working on stuff at Arbor.”

The work, people, culture and environment really are that fun at Arbor. As a result, the last weeks and days of my working at Arbor have been super busy as we came together as a team and decided to get some stuff done. We set some goals and achieved them before I left.

On Monday, I start at Canonical working on Juju. I am super excited to work with a team of people who are behind making the best cloud orchestration tool, and contribute to making it even better.

I’ll be learning more about Go in my new roll. Expect me to write a bit about learning go. I learned a ton about Python at Arbor Networks. I didn’t write about it because I feel like everything I learned is very well documented. Go is a much younger language. Hopefully I can contribute to its documentation and share my learning experience in a meaningful way.

Getting a Windows Password for EC2 Instance

… without pasting your private key to ec2.

EC2 should never see your private key… because.. security!

I launched a Windows Server 2012 R2 instance in EC2 recently and while the AWS console does let you retrieve an Administrator password, it requires you to paste your PRIVATE key to AWS console to do it. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I learned how to use boto to get the encrypted password data and openssl cmdline to decrypt it to get the password.

Its a 2 step process with maybe the zeroth step being writing a .boto file with your aws credentials if you have never used boto.

import boto
import base64
ec2 = boto.connect_ec2()
inst = ec2.get_all_instances()[0].instance
data = ec2.get_password_data(

I’m assuming its the only instance running. If you have lots of others, use a list comprehension with if clause to filter to one on the get_all_instances() call, or just skip that call and paste an id string you see in AWS console for in the get_password_data call.

openssl rsautil -in ec2-admin-password -inkey .ssh/id_rsa -decrypt

You’ll be prompted for your private key password (and you MUST have a password. ssh-agent is easy) and then the Administrator password will be output to stdout.