minikube, macOS and virtualbox

October 11th, 2019

minikube is an awesome tool to play around with Kubernetes and it’s easy to install on macOS if you already have brew installed (not much harder if you just follow the instructions on though)

But sometimes, just sometimes…. spinning up a Kubernetes cluster with minikube does not work… it gets stuck somewhere. You can crank up the debug level which will fill your screen your message and you can searchengine whatever error message it spits out and try to fix it. I’ve tried it but it takes and usually does not bear frut. In the end doing the following always fixed the issues:

shutdown any minikube clusters that are running (on purpose or not)
make sure virtualbox is turned off (when in doubt, check with ps aux | grep -i virtualb )
rm -rf .minikube
rm -rf .kube
brew cask reinstall virtualbox
if you’re feeling adventerous, you can upgrade minikube and kubectl at the same time.
then spin up minikube again: minikube start -p <yourclusternamehere> (I like not using the default cluster)

An awesome series continues…. CISSP exam passed

September 13th, 2019

On 20190912, I took and passed the CISSP exam after several months of preparation. Yay for me!

What about that series I mentioned? It’s becoming scary but I haven’t failed any IT exam / certification so far… MCP, LPIC, federal tests, CompTIA and now the CISSP exam. Of course I’m glad about this, but it’s getting spooky.

What was the test experience like? The checks until the actual exam starts is the most annoying part… identification, NDA, vene scan, everything twice. To some degree I can understand that, but the vene scan in top of passport checks? Hm…

One thing on the actual exam I was quite worried about is that you cannot go back to previous questions… click Next, no way to go back. So many times I did not feel particularly confident about the selected reply… but you can’t go back, so worrying about it is useless.

The other thing I was not prepared for was the questions that asked for best something / most appropriate something… practice questions were more fact-based and if anything they asked “what is the first thing to do when…” or “the last thing to do when…” – which is a different dimension from “what is the best thing to do when…” as that implies the listed possibilites could all be correct but one is ‘more’ correct and the deciding factor is not necessarily a technical factor.

Anyway, I felt quite burned out after 80 questions and was hoping that I would not have go higher than a 100 questions. Which is exactly what happened… the result is not even shown on the screen, only on the printout. I did not feel confident regarding the result so imagine my surprise.

Here’s what I used for preparation:
Linux Academy CISSP preparation course
Official CISSP Guide 3rd edition 2016
Some lectures on and many practice questions on (linked to pluralsight)
Some lectures provided by
An app called CISSP Professional with practice questions

Find your wifi adapter mac address without ifconfig

June 11th, 2019

In the latest version of Ubuntu (19.04), ifconfig is not installed by default anymore.

If you need to find your wifi mac address while you have no network connection, you cannot install ifconfig so you need a different way to find your wifi mac address:

Do `cat /sys/class/net/<network_connection_name>/address` to display the wifi’s mac address.

On a default installation, <network_connection_name> is most likely wlo1. If it’s not, use tab completion, in all likeliness there are only three files in the net folder: the wired network adapter, the wifi adapter and the loopback address.

Books I’m reading at the moment (May and June 2019)

June 1st, 2019

After a long time, I finally finished Fatal Revenant of the series “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant”. That was actually in May.

Needless to say, I started with the next book in that series called Against All Things Ending. That’s the June part.

Apart from that, I’m also almost done with a exam preparation book for the exam called Certified Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP), an exam by CompTIA.

I will need to re-read it and take notes. Realistically I should be ready for the test in a couple of weeks…. keeping fingers crossed.

A new monthly record-high memrise score

June 1st, 2019

In May 2019 I accumulated a cool two million points on memrise. A screenshot will follow later. This is the first time I crossed that particular threshold, usually I end a month between 1.5m and 1.8m points.

According to the stats (I’m a premium member for the time being), I spent 31h in May learning – which is probably correct but this is the “learning” stat. A big chunk of those points come from repetitions which are not included in that stat. So the overall time spent on memrise in May was between two and three times that much (31 days multiplied by on average 1.8h).

Actually, the same goes for the streak stat – the streak only counts learning events – but only on the website. If one day you do only repetitions (even if you do 10’000 of them), your streak is gone.
The app on the other hand adds to your streak if you reach your daily goal.

For this reason, my streak on the website if around 270 now but in the app it’s around 1210.

Update 20190611: I promised you a screenshot, here it is:

a cool two million points in one month ^_^

Mosquito Stats 2019

May 24th, 2019

The bloodsucker* season started in late May. This year’s stats so far but they’re getting convoluted. I didn’t take notes for a couple of days so accuracy’s pretty much gone now.

Update: The score below unfortunately is completely outdated… the last couple of weeks I smashed and ground probably hundreds of potential generations of mosquitos… so the general score would probably be something like “me: so many more than them”

Total score: me: 38 – them: 6 or so by July 22nd

Timeline kept until early July:

July 8th: me: 3 – them: 0
July 7th: me: 1 – them: 1
July 6th: me: 6 – them: 0
July 3rd: me: 1 – them: 0
June 30th: me: 1 – them: 0
June 28th: me: 1 – them: 0
June 27th: me: 1 – them: 0
June 26th: me: 5 – them: 0
June 25th: me: 2 – them: 0
June 24th: me: 1 – them: 0
June 22nd: me: 1 – them: 1 (I don’t seem to have any bites but the splat went red so I guess it got me during the night)
June 19th: me: 1 – them: 0
June 18th: me: 3 – them: 0 (they seem to be kind of stupid)
June 12th: me: 2 – them: 0
June 5th: me: 1 – them: 0
May 31st: me: 1 – them: 0
May 24th: me: 3 – them: 1

*the worst sort, too… 🙁

Decline of the heroine

May 6th, 2019

Last week, I went to the movies to watch “Birthday wonderland” (in Japanese called バースデー・ワンダーランド).

The movie is visually appealing and well done, just as you would expect it to be. For comical effect or something, the obligatory “cute” characters are also included.

However, the story line is rather bland and feels kind of chewed on and spit out. It’s a mix between Spirited Away, Laputa Castle in the Sky, The Cat Returns (“猫の恩返し”) but with a not very inspiring female main character.

The above listed films also feature heroines as main characters, as you probably know. However, in their adventures, they have to prove their worth, they face overhwelming odds but still they persists and come out on top.

The heroine in Birthday Wonderland is called Akane (I even had to look up her name because I forgot). No spoilers here so I will not recap the story, but apart from grabbing someone by his leg and later pushing the same person down a well (I said no spoilers, please watch the movie to make sense of this), she does not really do anything except complain. It’s not very inspiring at all… Possibly this is just her character but it’s hard to feel sympathetic towards her because for whatever reasons she also gets to get away with whatever lazyness or dishonesty she’s pulling off.

The film last almost two hours. If you don’t care much about depth and if you don’t mind lined-up anime clichés, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

For those who expect some depth and bravery, save your money and wait for something else to see.

Another memrise threshold crossed… (two, actually)

May 6th, 2019

Last week I passed the incredible landmark of 50’000’000 points on memrise, my most often used app for learning languages and vocabulary.

I think I started using memrise five or six year ago so I must have made on average between 8’000’000 and 10’000’000 points per year. Go me!

During the same years I’ve gone though all the redesigns that memrise has taken, not all of them for the better (honestly, none of them were really for the better). The last re-design (“let’s do away with the rockets and remove most of the colours too”) is kind of an eye-bleacher. Most of the buttons or icons unfortunately now follow the “flat” design which does not work pretty much anywhere (iOS, Windows 10, LibreOffice) but because Apple started this crap, everyone seems to be eager to follow suit.

Together with crossing the line of 50’000’000 points, I’ve also surpassed a mempal I’ve been following for a long time: Donnerwoelkchen. When I first followed her (doing a HSK level 6 course), she was roughly 25’000’000+ points ahead so I promised myself to catch up to her in points before she reaches the 50*10^6 – I made it work but it was close… she really pushed the envelope in the last two months so I had to make a bigger-than-usual effort.
Also, I’ve unfollowed her since 😉

Although it is unclear if I will stick around memrise to do another 50’000’000 points, I’ll forge ahead for the time being…

Keep on learnin’!

Books I’m reading at the moment (April 2019)

April 25th, 2019

Things have slowed down a bit with reading… I’m studying more vocabulary than before on memrise and I also put in some time in the evening to prepare for security-related IT certifications.

Desperation by Stephen King

限りなく透明に近いブルー ( Making progress… good thing it’s not too long a book.

Also part 9 of the Thomas Covenant series…

Once I finish the covenant series, I’m very much looking forward to read some books by Christopher Moore, who, as far as I can tell writes “comical fiction” in the same spirit as Terry Pratchett.

Books I’m reading at the moment (March 2019)

March 27th, 2019

星空を願った狼の by Shiina Takasato (
Still 30 more pages to go….

Desperation by Stephen King
( – Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson is such a good read, I put this on the backburner…

红豚 by a friend of a co-worker but it has a low priority at the moment

限りなく透明に近いブルー ( Making progress… good thing it’s not too long a book.

I also read and already finished “A Blink of the Screen” by the late and great Terry Pratchett.