Category Archives: Uncategorized

Compound conditionals in CFEngine

I have been working with CFEngine for about half a year no in my new role. CFEngine is known to have a steep learning curve. I can’t disagree with that sentiment, I can however say that it is intuitive.

This tip though covers compound conditionals and classes. CFEngine uses classes to define a desired end state.

In cfengine this can difficult because the syntax is very restrictive.

LOPSA Recognized Professional Program

ONce4itI was recently recognized by the LOPSA Professional Program (LPR). This is the inaugural class. You can read up on it here but the TL;DR of it is: the LPR aims to benefit both IT Professionals and Employers by creating a way to recognize those who strive to make Systems Administration a Profession and not just a $job.


What it takes:

  1. Worked as a SysAdmin
  2. Abide by the Systems Administrators’ Code of Ethics 
  3. Be a member of the League of Professional Administrators (LOPSA)
  4. Met the educational requirements.

For #4, last year I attend training at LOPSA-East, took An Introduction to Operations Management MOOC on Coursera, and read books focusing on Systems Administration.

Why did I apply? I love my profession. I didn’t know what I was looking for when I was applying for jobs my senior year at the Fu Foundation School for Engineering and Applied Sciences. With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science I could have been a developer, I could have gone on to graduate work, but when I discovered that people pay you to do what I had been doing for free, I knew systems administration was my calling.

Since then I have learned everything I could. I have been mentored by some smart and great people. I have branched out and tried out new forms of learning (MOOCs, certifications, study groups). I started a LOPSA Local Chapter and eventually was elected as a Director of LOPSA.

Nostalgia for childhood’s movies

I am a product of the 80s and early 90s. This includes movies of that great period. It has been a long time since I have seen some of them but I remember them all with at least a little bit of fondness. I recently stumbled across Good Bad Flicks, the sitename speaks for itself. Here are a list and links to a few of movies the site helped me rediscover. Note bene: not all of these are from my childhood, but I haven’t seen them in a long time.

WARNING: Each review, while also filled with trivia and info, includes a full plot recap filled with spoilers.

While I didn’t discover this film until early college, it has become a early Halloween staple and led me to all things Lovecraft, something for which I am indebted.

Suburban Commando
I loved all things Hulk Hogan growing up. I remember watching this movie, too bad it didn’t stand the test of time. The Rock is a much better cross-over than Hulk ever was.

Super Mario Bros
I remember thinking this movie was both awesome and incredibly cheesy, turns out this one has a storied production.

I took my 12th brithday party to see Hackers and I loved it. I’ve rewatched it at least 10 times, and while the hacking and computer bits don’t stand up, I still love the gestalt.

I remember picking this one off the shelf at our local Blockbuster, before there was netflix and recommendation engines. It was before I discovered Philip K Dick. Another movie that introduced me to a great author.

Another birthday party staple, I have seen all 4 of these multiple times. We used to stay up all night and watch movies and then pass out the second the sun broke the horizon. Fun times which included gory furball filled horror.

Chopping Mall
I didn’t discover this film until just last year, but it is a also a product of the 80s.

Other More Recent Movies:

Deep Blue Sea

The Happening

Robot Jox : “The Iliad with Communists and Robots”

Burgh’ers, BRGRs, and more burgers.

Due to some alignment of heavenly bodies, I have found myself enjoying the culinary delights of a few various purveyors of the hamburger. A singular invention, it is served at five star restaurants, practically every diner in the US, and at backyard barbecues. I wanted to collect my thoughts on the three restaurants that I found myself eating at in the not so distant past. I do this so in the future when I can’t remember whose burger was better, I have a record.

Continue reading Burgh’ers, BRGRs, and more burgers.

Privacy VS. Exposure

I recently locked myself out of my own blog. I could not for the life of me remember my password. It took numerous tries to get in. After the gawker password fiasco, I went around changing my password on every account I could remember. Unfortunately it seems that I have a predilection for signing up for everything on the internet. I have accounts I signed up for, used once, and promptly forgot. Another revelation is that many many websites do not have an automated way to cancel or delete accounts. requires you post in a forum thread to have your account removed. And even gawker, the reason behind all of this, doesn’t have a mechanism for deleting your account. Ridiculous.

Recently I have begun to google myself on a regular basis. Not because I want to gauge my popularity, but to find out what information about myself is publically available. I found out that it was too easy to find out quite a bit about Martin Gehrke by just searching for my name. Add a location and it ruled out my foreign brethren, riding the results of my German name-twins.

I want the right people to be able to learn about me through my web presence: friends, colleagues, future potential employers. At the same time I want as much privacy as I can have.

A note of frequency

I have had blogs in the past where I updated quiet frequently, this is not going to be one of them. I did not start this blog to attract a large audience or pander to family or friends. It is basically here for me. If you find it helpful, good.