Monday, June 08, 2009

Death To Cloud Computing, And Why Gmail's IMAP Access Sucks

NOTE: I did not finish this post, I decided to post it as-is two months later.

First of all, let me start this off with a very clear message: FUCK CLOUD COMPUTING.

While, yes, I'll admit I really have no idea what this so-called "cloud computing" is, it sounds like a load of useless shit to me.

A good friend of mine pointed me at a cloud computing project called Eucalyptus (, which is an open-source cloud computing implementation, which supports the Amazon S3 and EC2 APIs. They also have a public-access cloud setup for people to demo the software in action (presumably for users like me that lack the infrastructure to host my own cloud). So I go and setup a new account, download Amazon's EC2 API tools, and the X.509 certificates I need for the cloud.

OK, let do this thing... not so fast!

They give you an automagical shell script to setup your environment variables (aside from EC2_HOME; this is for the EC2 tools themselves, pointing the directory they are installed in, and this is an aesthetic choice, left for the user to decide when she installs). However, (and this is my fault for using Micro$hit WinDOS) the script is only of use to UNIX users, so you have to manually set your environment variables (although having the script on hand will prove useful). Now, I setup all the environment variables, following the UNIX shell script as a guide.

The shell script looks something like this:
EUCA_KEY_DIR=$(dirname $(readlink -f ${BASH_SOURCE}))
export S3_URL=
export EC2_URL=
export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=${EUCA_KEY_DIR}/euca2-segin-xxxxxxxx-pk.pem
export EC2_CERT=${EUCA_KEY_DIR}/euca2-segin-xxxxxxxx-cert.pem
export EUCALYPTUS_CERT=${EUCA_KEY_DIR}/cloud-cert.pem
export EC2_ACCESS_KEY='2UC-AbUnChOfRaNdOmNeSs-A'
export EC2_SECRET_KEY='SoMeMoRe_RaNdOmChArAcTeRs_FoRaCrYpToChAlLeNgE'
alias ec2-bundle-image="ec2-bundle-image --cert ${EC2_CERT} --privatekey ${EC2_P
alias ec2-upload-bundle="ec2-upload-bundle -a ${EC2_ACCESS_KEY} -s ${EC2_SECRET_
KEY} --url ${S3_URL} --ec2cert ${EUCALYPTUS_CERT}"

Roughly translated into NT cmd.exe syntax, you get this (computing the top line by hand)

set EUCA_KEY_DIR=C:\Documents and Settings\Segin\.ec2
set S3_URL=
set EC2_URL=
set EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=%EUCA_KEY_DIR%\euca2-segin-xxxxxxxx-pk.pem
set EUCALYPTUS_CERT=%EUCA_KEY_DIR%\cloud-cert.pem

All right! So you should be set. Notice that in the above blocks, all cryptographic keys and IDs were removed, so if you try to copy and paste from the code abone, it will not work as-is. Fill in your own (real) details.

Now, let it be known that, yes, I did RTFM. I made sure I had both the Amazon and Eucalyptus documentation open in Chrome throughout the experience.

So, I finally get the the magical bit, where they tell me to me

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