Rant on technology and legacy institutional processes

The commercial web has been about since 1995.

  1. Why has it taken 23 years for my accounting software to finally connect to my bank to withdraw statements?

‘cos of damn institutions like the law.

2. Why do I have to click Accept Cookies on every website I go to?

‘cos of damn institutions like the law.


On point 2, stuff was fine until about 5 years ago when some Judge or the Queen realised that cookies existed.



Given the incredible speed of modern computers and networks I shouldn’t have to spend half my time waiting for various computer tasks to complete.

E.g. I’m simultaneously waiting on 3 separate devices for things to load.

  1. MacBook Pro Number 1
    1. for my bank web pages to load AND
    2. for this blog post dashboard to load so I can write this rant about slow computers
  2. Another MacBook Pro: for Terraform to complete
  3. My phone for Spotify to load

Then, waiting for my external Bluetooth speaker and phone to connect.

What EC2 instances available in London?

Seems like a simple question, right?

However, it starts getting a little more intricate when you look a the details. Let’s say I want an m3.medium. Here’s my goto info page:


Cool – these are available.


But lets say I need them for Elasticache.

OK, looking at: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonElastiCache/latest/mem-ug/CacheNodes.SupportedTypes.html

I can see a cache.m3.medium. But then, reading further on – i.e. the Supported Node Types by AWS Region section – as of the time of posting this blog post, m3 is not supported in EU (London). Nor in EU (Paris).

m4is supported in EU (London). But not in EU (Paris)!

Fortunately, we’re only looking for London.

So, the obvious choice would be an m4.medium. However, scanning back up to the top of the Supported Node Types page the smallest available is a cache.m4.large.

It’s all in the details!


redis – testing connectivity for a server

brew install redis

redis-cli <hostname>




Note, a quick way of testing without installing redis is to use nc. i.e.

You can also do this with curl.



ECS Container Instances

An ECS container instance is an EC2 instance that’s:

  • running Amazon’s ECS container agent and
  • has been registered into a cluster


  • the container agent is automatically installed if you’re using an Amazon ECS-optimized AMI
  • the agent will make API calls to Amazon ECS so the instances will need an IAM role


For more on this see:


Note, however, if you’re using Fargate this does not apply (see docs).