I’ve had a Microsoft Flow connector in production for a long time. It runs twice daily, reads the weather forecast for my location (Issaquah, WA), and if it’s forecast to be warm, sends an email to remind that plants need watering.
At some point recently, the flow stopped working correctly. It was triggering for Fahrenheit temperatures rather than Celsius. Cue twice daily emails when it’s cold outside.
I pulled apart the flow – and the Inputs for the connector had changed:
Note for myself – remember to switch the UEFI template to Microsoft UEFI Certificate Authority to allow booting from the ISO.
Deep joy working with Azure Function apps, and using timer triggers this last few weeks.
I’ve been working on a set of Azure Functions that fire on a schedule, to read information from across the Azure environment, and write the results to Cosmos DB. Simple enough.
The trigger is set as a Timer:
The timer takes an NCRONTAB format for when it fires.
The various pieces of documentation are pretty clear, and I’ve got a lot of familiarity with CRON running on Linux.
My initial schedule was 0 0 */8 * * * – which should fire every 8 hours.
Instead – some really variable and unreliable results. I found "8-ish" hours between triggers to be best case, often the whole function stopped firing. Restart the function, and "8-ish hours" later it fired.
After a bunch of reading and testing, I changed the schedule to 0 0 0/8 * * * – which fires at 00Z, 08Z, 16Z – so every 8 hours, but locked to midnight, 8.00am and 4.00pm UTC.
So far – so good.
This was a good NCRONTAB expression tester: NCrontab Online Expression Tester Evaluator (swimburger.net)
This blog (and several others) have been Azure hosted, on a monolithic SLES 15 virtual machine for a good few years.
I seem to have done the rounds on various flavours of Azure hosting. App Service with Project Nami, straight IaaS (like today), App Service with WordPress as a Microsoft provided service.
This last weekend I pulled the database out from the various blog VMs and moved that to a PaaS MySQL environment. It’s cheap, burstable, and seems more than performant for what I need. The other cool feature is VNET isolation – so the database engine is only accessible from my infrastructure running in Azure.
COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, is not gone. People around the globe are still getting sick, having long term issues from "long COVID", and dying.
However, after 110 weeks of blogging, the news cycle has moved on.
Over 11 billion vaccines and boosters have been given. The global distribution is not fair or equitable.
Vaccination, masking and empathy are polarising, political, issues. The scars will be felt for decades.
So here we are. Over 6 million deaths, multiple waves of disease. Lockdown, disruption, anger, fear.
I predict these events:
- annual combined "flu and Covid" shot by late 2022
- continued politicisation of vaccination, especially in the US
- continued cases across the globe
- emergence of new variants, several of which will break out
- a winter 2022/2023 wave, with no restrictions or mask mandates
On the positive side:
- Covid vaccine development and technology innovation will lead to breakthrough prevention and treatment regimes for multiple diseases
- an approved vaccine for under 5s
- safe, cheap and effective vaccination supply chains across the globe.
Signing off for the final time on this subject.
I honestly forgot to write two weeks of updates. Locally we attended the Seattle International Film Festival, in-person, masked. I received a notification of brief exposure at the Sunday closing event. New cases are still working through the under fives, their teachers, their carers and families.
Globally the number of cases is down 25% week on week.
The Seattle Times dashboard is now gone. Replaced with a trends graphic.
This time 2021 – "concerns about the one variant that breaks out" was a warning around Omicron, six months early.
This time 2020 – drinking disinfectant became a thing, a precursor to all of the other quack remedies. Negative oil prices. Fake anti-lockdown protests.