Will Warren

The blog of an engineer from Canada who specializes in SaaS, HA, Cloud and Product Development. I work in the Internet.


Roll your own dynamic DNS service using Amazon Route53


I used the free Dynamic DNS (DDNS) service from Dyn since about 2006 and never had a single issue with it. That all changed when they phased out their free accounts. I was forced to find an alternative, so I went with No-IP.com which was easy to set up and provided a great service.

Recently, No-IP has been having some legal troubles that seem to be revolving around Microsoft’s crusade to rid the world of spammers/scammers/malware/botnets. My hostname was one of the ones that was nixed by Microsoft’s overly broad court order. I’m sure MSFT could have just worked with No-IPs abuse team and taken down only the offending domains - but I’m not going to get into rant about that.

So, I did what any self-respecting hacker does in this situation and decided to roll my own. I was already familiar with Amazon’s Route53 service so I figured why not? They have a nice REST API with granular access controls, as well as a command-line client that makes interacting with said API a breeze.

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Tags: aws projects code bash

Creating a public API with Apache Thrift


I recently came across a new client-server technology that really fascinated me. Through my meddlings with CirrusNote, I know that 49% of the effort of writing a good API is coming up with standards (XML formats, rules, schemas etc.), 49% is writing boilerplate code (XML parsing, schema validation etc. etc.) and the other 2% is spent actually writing interesting code like database interaction and cool client-side stuff.

What is Apache Thrift?

Thrift is a software framework for scalable cross-language services development. It combines a software stack with a code generation engine to build services that work efficiently and seamlessly between C++, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Erlang, Perl, Haskell, C#, Cocoa, JavaScript, Node.js, Smalltalk, and OCaml. - From the Apache Thrift website.

That sounds great. Reading the documentation (if you can find it) and browsing through the tutorials made me even more excited about Thrift. Some of the testimonials were also pretty inspiring (Evernote, Last.fm, Facebook (who actually invented Thrift) to name a few).

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Tags: coding projects php python

Asynchronous Programming in .NET - The quick and easy way


When working on a program that has a GUI, it’s very important to make sure that the UI is fast and responsive. If your program is performing a lot of long-running actions (writing to a database, making network calls etc.) you should always make sure that the code that is performing those actions is not being executed by the same thread that the GUI is on.

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Tags: dotnet coding projects

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