I am a few months into working with the official Terraform provider for OCI and my opinion is that Oracle still has a lot of work ahead of them. I honestly don’t understand how some things are as bad as they are. That might sound a bit scathing but let’s remember that Oracle has no native IaC language for OCI… Rather, they claim Terraform as their first-party, fully supported, IaC language of choice. Hence, the following complaint is particularly egregious… simply put, the documentation is terrible. While the bulk of my experience has been with Microsoft’s Azure provider, I have seen and used 3rd party providers from single developers that significantly better documentation than what Oracle has thrown together. I had no idea how good I had it (with Microsoft) until I started having to reference the OCI documentation. I will go ahead and spend time discussing one obvious positive… it exists (congrats). Okay, moving on. Let’s dive in and do a bit of detailed damning…

I have been playing around with ChatGPT for the last week or so (along with everyone else in the world) and it’s pretty amazing. I have managed to stump it a few times and get some odd answers back but for the most part, no matter the topic, it comes back with interesting, typically well written, and almost always helpful answers. I have given it fairly complex prompts to write Terraform code for Azure – then asked it to modify and expand that code with additional enhancements. It pulled it all off without a hitch. It’s still “basic” code (not dynamic/modular/yada-yada) to be sure but it’s solid and helpful. Ditto with Bash. But the truly impressive thing (to me) was when I asked it to accomplish the same Terraform build but do so with Bash and CURL calls to the Azure API… and then convert that to Python. ChatGPT did all of this without missing a beat -> “mind somewhat blown”.

I also enjoy reading/studying the Bible and theology – turns out it is a decent companion tool for that endeavor as well. It can summarize passages, answer historical questions, even “speculate” a bit and give opposing viewpoints when asked. I must admit this series of interactions had me experiencing the “uncanny valley” phenomenon a bit.

Anyhow, I thought it all so interesting that I just wanted to write about it. But then I realized, what better way to write about ChatGPT then to give it a few prompts about my impressions and have it write a short blog post by itself… in the style of William Shakespeare… because, why not?

I recently purchased an Asus Zephyrus G15 (2021) laptop with a Ryzen 9 5900HS processor and RTX 3070 GPU. I really enjoy the light weight, relatively diminutive size and curiously long battery life of this machine which also packs a performance punch when needed. However, one thing I was not prepared for was Asus and their lackluster firmware/drivers/etc. for basic things like the keyboard. I don’t want to turn this into a long post because if you show up on this page you are probably just looking for the fix. So to keep it short… (more…)

Working with Terraform to build VM’s in Azure for proof-of-concept work, I often opt to use Ubuntu for my Linux systems. Up until 18.04 everything worked fine but when I tried to go to 20.04 or later my Terraform deployment would error out with:

Failure sending request: StatusCode=404 -- Original Error: Code="PlatformImageNotFound" Message="The platform image 'Canonical:UbuntuServer:20.04-lts:latest' is not available. Verify that all fields in the storage profile are correct.

Did Microsoft suddenly fall behind the curve with available OS images for one of the world’s most popular operating systems?

Thankfully, no. The answer is actually pretty simple… they just started breaking out different versions of the popular operating systems under different ‘offer’ families and your Terraform code needs to reflect as much.