Copyright 2017-2018 Jason Ross, All Rights Reserved

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Picture the scene: you’re in charge of a development team at a start-up, and you’re using AWS to provide your infrastructure so that you can expand your capacity as your company grows. Everything is going well until the CFO wanders over and asks you what’s going on with the AWS bill. You assume the CFO is overreacting, so just to keep the them happy you check over the bill, and discover it’s gone pretty quickly from “reasonable” to “tragic”. How did that happen? And how can you fix it, before people start looking at you as a handy cost saving?

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What Is Docker?

Docker is a system that allows processes to run in self-contained environments called “containers”. These containers are similar to Virtual Machines (VMs), in that you can run a different operating system in them to the one running on the host machine. They differ from VMs because they’re much more “lightweight” than a full VM; instead of installing a complete operating system they use the same Linux kernel as the host server, but with the specific packages for the guest OS in each container.

HTML5 Logo
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In the never-ending process of improving my web site, or what my wife calls "fiddling about with it", I've been working on another of the "opportunities" Google has presented me with. It seems that declaring CSS stylesheets as, well, CSS stylesheets, is a bad thing as far as Google is concerned, because that makes them "render-blocking resources". So, let's take a look and see what we can do about this, and see whether we can asynchronously load CSS stylesheets.

Python 3.9
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Python 3.9’s scheduled release date is 5th October 2020, and it seems lots of people are getting very excited about this. With the new yearly release schedule for new versions of Python, is it really worthy of all the excitement, or is Python 3.9 just a small incremental improvement over Python 3.8?

Python
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If you're running Ubuntu 16.04 or later, the first time you try to create a virtual environment with Python 3.6, Python 3.7, Python 3.8 or Python 3.9, you'll get the following error:

python3 -m venv ./venv
The virtual environment was not created successfully because ensurepip is not
available.  On Debian/Ubuntu systems, you need to install the python3-venv
package using the following command.

    apt-get install python3-venv

You may need to use sudo with that command.  After installing the python3-venv
package, recreate your virtual environment.

Failing command: ['/home/mystuff/Development/venv/bin/python3', '-Im', 'ensurepip', '--upgrade', '--default-pip']

Lambda, A Greek Letter
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In my last article on AWS Lambdas - Creating An AWS Lambda With Dependencies Using Python - I described how to create an AWS Lambda using Python, where the Python code has dependencies on other packages such as requests, and you're seeing errors like:

Unable to import module 'lambda_function': No module named 'requests'

That method works well for many packages, but there are limits.