Deep Dreams with Fish and Docker

DeepDream is a research project originally from Google that gives you a look into how neural networks see the world. They’re fascinating, bizarre, and a lot of fun to play with. A bit of work getting them to work on your own machine though.

Luckily, GitHub user saturnism has put together a lovely Docker-based tool that will do just that for us: deepdream-cli-docker. Unfortunately, the commands are still a bit long. Let’s clean it up a bit and add the ability to dream about non-JPGs (animated GIFs especially!).

Generating zone files from Route53

Recently I found myself wanting to do some analysis on all of our DNS entires stored in AWS’s Route53 for security reasons (specifically to prevent subdomain takeover attacks, I’ll probably write that up soon). In doing so, I realized that while Route53 has the ability to import a zone file, it’s not possible to export one.

To some extent, this makes sense. Since Route53 supports ALIAS records (which can automatically determine their values based on other AWS products, such as an ELB changing its public IP) and those aren’t actually ‘real’ DNS entries, things will get confused. But I don’t currently intend to re-import these zone files, just use them. So let’s see what we can do.

Automatic self-signed HTTPS for local development

From time to time when doing web development, you need to test something related to HTTPS. In some cases, the application you’re writing already supports HTTPS natively and that’s no problem. But more often (and probably better, in my opinion) is the case when you have another service (be it an AWS ELB or an nginx layer) that will terminate the HTTPS connection for you so your application doesn’t have to know how to speak HTTPS.

In those cases, how can you test functionality that specifically interacts with HTTPS?

Today I will show you autohttps, a thin nginx proxy using Docker and a self signed certificate to automatically create an HTTPS proxy in front of your application.

Making Fish Shell Smile

When working in a shell, from time to time, I need to know if a command succeeded or failed. Sometimes, it’s easy:

$ make noise

make: *** No rule to make target `noise'.  Stop.

Sometimes, less so:

$ grep frog podcasts.json > podcasts-about-frogs.txt

Since, alas, I don’t have any podcasts about frogs, that command would fail silently. But that’s fixable!

$ grep frog podcasts.json > podcasts-about-frogs.txt

$ # Bash/Zsh
$ echo $?

$ # Fish
$ echo $status

Advent of Code 2017

As I did with last year / yesterday, I’ve written up a series of posts for the Advent of Code 2017 problems. Again, I didn’t manage to write them up as I did them, but this time around I least I finished mostly on time.

Advent of Code 2016

As I did last year, I’m going to solve the Advent of Code problems again this year.

Or that was the plan. It turns out that instead I put down my blog for almost a year and a half and never quite got around to doing these problems. So I’m actually backdating these posts from the early days of 2018 to where they would have been had I solved them on time. They’re still interesting problems, so give them a read.

AoC 2017 Day 25: Turing

Source: The Halting Problem

Part 1: Implement a Turing machine defined as such:

Begin in state A.
Perform a diagnostic checksum after 6 steps.

In state A:
  If the current value is 0:
    - Write the value 1.
    - Move one slot to the right.
    - Continue with state B.
  If the current value is 1:
    - Write the value 0.
    - Move one slot to the left.
    - Continue with state B.


What is the final number of 1s on the tape?

AoC 2017 Day 24: Maker Of Bridges

Source: Electromagnetic Moat

Part 1: Given a series of reversible components of the form 3/4 (can connect a 3 on one end to a 4 on the other), form a bridge of components. The bridge’s strength is equal to the sum of component values. So 0/3, 3/7, and 7/4 has a strength of 0+3 + 3+7 + 7+4 = 24.

What is the strongest possible bridge?

AoC 2017 Day 23: Duetvmc

Source: Coprocessor Conflagration

Part 1: Create a variation of the previous DuetVM with only the following four instructions:

  • set X Y sets register X to Y
  • sub X Y set register X to X - Y
  • mul X Y sets register X to X * Y
  • jnz X Y jumps with an offset of the value of Y, iff X is not equal to zero

If you run the given program, how many times is mul invoked?

AoC 2017 Day 22: Langton's Ant

Source: Sporifica Virus

Part 1: Implement a cellular automaton on an infinite grid of . and # pixels such that:

  1. Start at (0, 0), facing Up
  2. Repeat:
    • If the cursor is on . swap it to # and turn Left
    • If the cursor is on # swap it to . and turn Right
    • Either way, after turning, move forward once

After 10,000 iterations, how many pixels were turned from . to #?