Introducing the OERu Tech Blog

The Open Education Resource universitas (OERu) is an open organisation from top to bottom. Our entire technological infrastructure (with a couple exceptions) is built with and on Free and Open Source Software to which I normally refer as "FOSS". This introductory post outlines our technological motivations and some of our key choices. Future blog posts will go into more depth on some of these choices, and provide more insight in to specific implementations.

Hourly versioned MongoDB backup

Because the collaboration of an open community is its real history, I place a high value on backing up the Rocket.Chat servers I'm responsible for, and especially the data they generate, held in MongoDB files (on the host) managed by a MongoDB container.

To do that reliably, I have set up a bash script which does an hourly backup of all MongoDB "databases" and automatically maintains 24 hourly, 7 daily, 4 weekly, 12 monthly, and 7 yearly snapshots of the databases.

Upgrading RocketChat to 1.0.x and MongoDB to 4.0

With the recent release of Rocket.Chat 1.0.x (after a couple years undergoing development at a fairly blistering pace), it's time for many of us to upgrade!

Previously, I showed how to install Rocket.Chat via Docker Compose but that was a much earlier version of Rocket.Chat and version 3.4 of MongoDB, which is now quite old (by FOSS standards at least). And it turns out upgrading everything has a few gotchas, so here's how I managed to do it.

Setting up your own BitWarden password keeper and sync server

One of the key requirements of pursuing Good Digital Hygiene is using strong passwords, and a different strong password for every application. This is relatively easy to do in theory, with the aid of clever software, but it's something desperately few people do well in practice. I'm going to explain how I've addressed this issue of digital hygiene for myself, and how you can do it for yourself, and your entire family, social circle, or community.

Democratising Higher Education with OERs & FOSS

Rather than write a slide-based presentation for the Open Education miniconf at Linux.Conf.AU 2019, I thought I'd try an approach that seemed to work quite well recently: write my presentation as a blog post and make it available for posterity, before and after. You can find this post quickly by going to oer.nz/lca if you want to look at it on your own device.

2018 update on the OERu Technology Stack

As I prepare for the 2018 OERu Partners' Meeting, I'm working how to convey the depth and breadth of the OERu open source technology stack - our infrastructure and applications - to our partners and other attendees.

Over the past year, we've had our first live OERu courses allowing learners to work towards a formal exit qualification (our "1st year of study"), and our infrastructure has worked as intended throughout, so I'm chalking that up as a win.

Insight: what does the Open Source Technologist at the OER Foundation do?

A few weeks ago, I got an unexpected (but very flattering!) request from a friend and colleague's son, Felix. He wanted to interview me about my work (at 11, he thinks he might want to become a software developer, too, when he's older) as material he could present at an up-coming PechaKucha session at his school... Wow, we didn't do PechaKucha when I was a kid :)