How-To: Reduce the size of AWS EBS root volume

Amazon only allows increasing the size of their AWS EBS volumes. While unfortunate, we can sympathize with Amazon, they’re doing it for a good reason (let’s leave it at that).

So, if you have let’s say 100GB EBS volume attached to your EC2 and you’re only using 20 GBs, modifying the volume to anything lower than 100 GB will generate an error: The size of a volume can only be increased, not decreased.

This essentially means you’re stuck with a large volume, wasting resources and paying large bills. The following article is a walkthrough of the process of getting around this issue and reducing the size of Amazon EBS root volume.

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HOW-TO: Enable unsupported Disk and Memory usage metrics in CloudWatch (Linux instructions)

It’s critical to monitor the disk and memory usage on AWS EC2 production servers, however, as of writing this article, these metrics are still not supported (out-of-the-box) by AWS CloudWatch.

The following post provides a simple guide on how to install and adjust the CloudWatch agent on an EC2 instance to capture these crucial metrics.

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Converting UTZOO-Wiseman Usenet Tapes to Website with PostgreSQL backend using Python 3.8

Recently, I came across a resource that allowed me to download the entire collection of UTZOO NetNews Archive of the earliest USENET posts. These were essentially the earliest available discussions posted to the Internet by people working at various Universities who were already connected to the Internet. There were approximately 2.1 million posts in these archives created between Feb 1981 and June of 1991. This article describes the journey of converting those tapes into fully searchable PostgreSQL database and later also into the usenetarchives.com website.

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