How to launch an AWS instance via cron.

I'm not a big python developer, but I'm able to read documentations. There are several expensive services on the worl wide web, that allows you to start AWS instances using a specific schedule. Some free services do not allow to bring up instances of expensive types like "c3.xlarge".

For me, that is all too much, because I want to start a prepared AWS-instance once in a week. I created a solution, that uses an available Python library called boto and a common cron on a running linux machine (or a tiny RaspberryPi).
Note: This script does not create an Instance out of AMI-images, but you are able to achieve that as well.

How to setup it?

from boto.ec2 import EC2Connection
from boto import ec2

conn = ec2.connect_to_region("region-abc",
    aws_access_key_id="access-key",
    aws_secret_access_key="secret" ) 

conn.start_instances( [ "i-4711" ] )
  • Exchange region-abc to region you instances are located. access-key and secret should be replaced with the API credentials you generated above and the i-4711 you see in your overview on the EC2 list.
  • Put the script to the crontab like:

1 3 * * 1 python ~/bin/start_aws_instance.py

I use this as a tiny, cheap solution to quickly fire and forget one instance. The script doesn't fail, if the instance is already up and running. If you use this way to start the instance, you should add a shutdown option in your running AWS-instance. I use a build script fired up right after instance is finished with booting. After the complete script is processed, a norma shutdown -h now is initiated.

I don't recommend to use this in a large scale or buisiness critical solution, but sometimes you need a "quick win".

New webpage!

Starting today we are running a new webpage, which will I try to keep up to date with interesting things. I discarded the old one and I hope you enjoy our new blog.

best regards
Matthias

Some updates on IBM MQ

Last month was Capitalware initiated MQ Technical Conference. There were alot of IBM technicians talking about new features in IBM MQ 8.0 (formerly known as IBM Websphere MQ) or how to use it efficiently.

You can find a complete list of the talks including the slide on the Capitalware MQ Technical Conference page.

Have fun with your studies!

PirateBox 2014 - Lille

Hackerspace picture

This year I was able to sponsor with hardware and attend the PirateBoxCamp 2014 like last year, beside the important fact that the camp took place in Lille(FR) - LaCoroutine. LaCoroutine is a Co-Working space and offered us the location and some sort of catering.

Instead of having a bunch of talks we stripped down the agend to only a few overview and update talks. The team and the audience was happy to have several workgroups already on the first day hacking, testing and developing ideas around the PirateBox.

other nice picture

At the end of sunday, we had around 25 visitors sitting together and discuss about social implications of projects like PirateBox.

Special thanks to all organisators and LaCorouting to be our host.

Pictures are licenced under CC-3.0 share alike, taken from piratebox.cc

KnightFoundation is funding LibraryBox

Knight Foundation picture

This year the Knight Foundation decided to grant projects around the topic "Libraries & Technology" and one of the picked is LibraryBox. Beside the LibraryBox project, another project, called Dewey, is funded that uses PirateBox/LibraryBox in the background.

In my opinion it is amazing how the LibraryBox-project develops, which is mostly the result of a very consequent and persistent work of Jason Griffey.

With this grant the LibraryBox project targets the release version 2.1 including the following new features:

  • Multi-language support of the GUI
  • Clean and easier upgrade path
  • More responsive design at the directory listing
  • RaspberryPi support

I'm glad to support Jason with some development work to get the version 2.1 ready to run.

The logo aboves' copyright © 2000-20011, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.