do you find it hard to breath when listening to music with earphones?

I was in the lift the other day when I noticed it for the first time, I had my earbuds on and listening to music on the way back home.

The lift was taking longer than usual, it lift was stopping on every single floor and new people who were back from work coming in, soon there was not much room left in the lift. While most of them were looking at their phones and going out one by one, I felt it hard to breath, as if I was unconsciously holding my breath.

Being breathless was enough to make me anxious and then again that was making me harder to breath. I felt like I am making so much noise as I breath. Like when you struggle to breath in & out with a blocked nose.

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run quick ad-hoc tasks using Ansible

Ansible with no doubt is one of the most popular tools that its name always comes up in every discussion about DevOps Automation. Its no joke that Ansible does its best when it’s used against an inventory of infrastructure containing nodes with designated roles and tasks.

at my work I often find myself in need to provision and configure single nodes, machines that are not a part of any architecture & their only reason to exist is to serve a single purpose.

Ansible has a list of hundreds of useful modules that can always come in handy in these provisioning tasks, but I find it rather difficult to create an inventory or a playbook just for a single use of a module on my target server. What works here is to use Ansible for ad-hock tasks by using the command line options.

All the information that I’m posting here are in Ansibles documentation as well as the help menu, but I was not able to find a cheatsheet or a single page that gives tips on how to use Ansible against single IP nodes.

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a more Production friendly ELK stack with Docker

recently I spend a big chunk of my time in office doing DevOps related tasks. Elasticsearch is one of the technologies that we use a lot for both production and development.

ever since I had to deal with elasticsearch instances in the office I decided to move them to docker containers, that would make my life easier as we have multiple clusters running.

there are many ELK stack docker images out there, but I found elk-docker be the closest to what I’m looking for. The image documentation is pretty good to get you started but I decided to create a docker-compose file that makes more sense for a fast more production ready box.

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Upgrade to latest nginx on CentOS 7

The nginx version that is shipped with CentOS epel repository is quite old.

To upgrade your nginx installation you need to create a repository and add nginx servers to it.

to do so create a file called nginx.repo on /etc/yum.repos.d/nginx.repo and place following content in it.

name=nginx stable repo

name=nginx mainline repo

then simply stop nginx service and run the yum update command.

systemctl stop nginx
yum update nginx

this will be using the latest stable package. if you want to use the latest mainline release you need to tell yum to use that one instead by running:

sudo yum-config-manager --enable nginx-mainline

Racism in 21st Century: AXA Malaysia cancels my health insurance

I’ve been living in Malaysia for 10 years now. I’ve came here since I was a teenage, I’ve studied here and I am working here as an expatriate. I had cars here, rented properties and paid a significant amount of Tax during my stay.

2 years ago I found myself not being covered by any health insurance from the organisation that I work for. prior to that I have always been covered by insurance applied from the university that I study on. So I decided to buy myself a personal health insurance, that would be something that could be expected from people like me, after all I am sort of staying here permanently, its true that I am not holding a PR but being under a Employment Pass would suffice.

I called the usual insurance agent whom I’d always go to for renewing my car road-tax & insurance, he found me a plan from AXA Malaysia and I opt in for it.

Yesterday morning I received a phone call from the same guy, he told me that AXA contacted regarding them not being able to renew my health insurance because of sanctions against my country. hearing this was very disappointing to him as well as me, well I know there are sanctions placed against my birth country government by USA but I had no idea that in Malaysia it is going to this extent that they decide to attack an individual’s health plan.

I remember that there were times that I was not given proper financial & banking services here due to the sanctions, like last time when I was applying for a credit cards banks did not do good job about that, but knowing today it went to the next level up to simply denying a right which I willingly pay for it, a health insurance is pure Racism.

There seems to be a memo from BNM (Bank Negara Malaysia) regarding dealing with individuals whom are associated with the departments which are targeted by sanctions in my country, but the fact that banks & insurance companies are using it to attack individuals like me is outrageous.

The insurance agent tried to make some calls to other insurance companies looking for an alternative for me, but unfortunately the result was shockingly bad. he called me starting his sentence with “mahdi, can you change your nationality?”.

Thumbs Down to US, UN & whatever global organisations that are plotting these. I’d love the world to hear my complains loud that whatever these countries and bullies claim on human rights, sanctions not targeting normal people and etc is utter lies. looking at how these sanctions can impact quality of life for me who is thousands of kilometres away from Iran for more than 10 years, you can expect how bad the situation of medical supplies be for the people who are within the country.

Today racism is not about whats the color of your skin, it’s about where you coming from. it’s all about commercial politics. Today’s world is the world of bullying.

PS: I am very disappointed by Malaysian Government & Bank Negara’s shortcomings on handling such situations & not having a plan to stop organisations such as banks denying to give me the service I deserve or insurance companies basically telling me that I must go and Die in an indirect way.