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SysAdvent 2010 now online!

Today starts the 3rd year of the SysAdvent calendar! How time flies!

What is SysAdvent? It's a 24-day event where I publish one excellent sysadmin article each day, starting December 1st. The articles are written by fellow sysadmins around the world.

Planning for this year has been quite a success. Many folks have contributed finished articles or drafts already and more have committed to writing about a topic. This is a huge step for the SysAdvent project.

SysAdvent is for sysadmins, so please share sysadvent with your coworkers, reddit, digg, twitter, and any other places with sysadmin communities.

The first article for this year is about Linux Containers (LXC). Go, read! Add sysadvent to your rss reader, too :)

Also, there are still 50ish articles from the past two years, all quite good. Have a look at the 2008 and 2009 years, too!

Sysadvent 2009 now online.

Sysadvent 2009 is upon us. First article is online as of now.

This year's been much more pleasant to plan. There are many more people helping out this year, so I get to relax more and work at a much more sane pace.

Special thanks to Matt for being a driving force in wrangling up new volunteers, and certainly to all the folks helping out this year.

Sysadvent 2008 finishes

Sysadvent 2008 came to a close tonight as I clicked the publish button.

I honestly thought I was going to burn out after 4 or 5 days of writing. Somehow I maintained sanity and was able to write 23 of the 25 articles. Ben Rockwood and Matt Simmons tossed an article each my way, which was a great help in letting me relax. Much thanks to them. I also had help from a few friends who suggested ideas or gave pointers when I had researcher's block - when I couldn't decide what to research and write about.

My wife reminded me every night around 8PM that I should start writing. Without her helping me remember my goal (an article a day), I probably would've burnt out or slacked off playing games or coding, so the successful completion of the first sysadvent is due greatly to her caring for my own projects. <3

Each article took a varying amount of time. Some took longer to research, some took longer to write, and some took longer to rewrite. On average, each article probably took on the range of 2 to 6 hours to complete (research, write, rewrite). Some probably took longer, but after a few hours I lost track of time. When I got stuck hard, I would play TF2 and Left 4 Dead for a bit to distract and help me refocus. I learned that taking breaks is critical for breaking through walls of unproductivity.

The whole research-and-fiddle-with-a-tool experience was pretty sweet, except for the stress of a self-imposed deadline meaning I had to stop researching and start writing.

For those that read it, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have comments, please email me ([email protected]).

Sysadmin Advent Calendar is alive

I've been procrastinating like a champion while avoiding writing advent articles. We've pulled a decent set of ideas together on the mailing list. As if to prove to myself that procrastination is awesome, I've written at the last minute the first day for the sysadmin advent calendar - I hope it doesn't disappoint:

As you can see, I also slacked on making a proper advent calendar interface. Volunteer writers (or designers, if you're willing to hack up something on short notice) are totally welcome. Shoot me an email ([email protected])