John Bowdre

Verified
  • @johndotbowdre
  • Wrangler of imaginary computers
  • He/him
  • Huntsville, AL
By day, I manage a large virtualized server environment, with a focus on learning to leverage cloud a...  
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Positions

Enterprise Architect

  • Teledyne Technologies
  • Dec 2018 - Present

Systems Administrator

  • Alutiiq
  • Oct 2013 - Dec 2018

IT Manager

  • The Atlantic Group
  • Jul 2011 - Oct 2013

Field Engineer

  • AAR Integrated Technologies
  • Jul 2008 - Jul 2011

Satellite Wideband and Telemetry Systems Journeyman

  • Alabama Air National Guard
  • Oct 2003 - Oct 2009
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John's Adventures

🪄 VMware vRA

12 Highlights

🔧'74 VW Ghia

12 Highlights

🏎 Autocross

5 Highlights

2021

Dec 04, 2021
Dec 04, 2021
Competed in an autocross event
Saturday was our last event of the 2021 autocross season. Coming into this event, I held 33 championship points against the leader's 40. That driver wouldn't be at this event so I knew that if I could win against the other competitors in the class, those 9 points would secure me the D Street championship.

I had spent much of the year getting stomped by a Civic Type R (with +100hp and +150tq over my BRZ) and beaten by a Veloster N (+75hp, +125tq), so for this event I was able to borrow a friend's Type R to help my chances a bit.

It was a soggy slippery Saturday, and it took me several runs to remember how to drive a front wheel drive car aggressively (I had to learn repeatedly to push the throttle further to correct for an oversteer slide). By the afternoon, though, I was feeling pretty good - and managed to slip into first place by almost half a second on my final run! I watched nervously as the Veloster N driver completed his last run.... and breathed a huge sigh of relief when he wasn't able to improve his time. It was an intense day of racing for sure.

And I won the championship by two points! That's my first championship win in the 7 years I've been racing, and a great way to wrap up my Street-class career. 

I'll be installing Eibach springs and sway bars, Koni adjustable dampers, and SPC adjustable alignment kit this weekend to get ready for competiting in the Solo Spec Coupe class next year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tf1Zwo1dGUE
Dec 03, 2021
Dec 03, 2021
Finished reading a book
I've finished reading The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield, which tells the (fictional) story of Apollo 18. Unlike previous lunar missions, this one carries a military crew with military objectives - and things don't go according to plan. 

It's a murder mystery spy novel told by someone with intimate knowledge of the equipment used, processes followed, and challenges faced by astronauts. I loved it!
Nov 25, 2021
Nov 25, 2021
Finished reading a book
I just finished reading Project Hail Mary, by Andy Weir. 

It's a first-contact story and a story of fighting for survival not of individual characters but of entire worlds. 

Weir has a great knack for weaving event-driven crisis and humor in with hard sci-fi to make a very gripping story that I really struggled to put down. It's been great to watch his skill as a writer develop with his previous novels and I think this may be his best work yet. I know it sucks for the characters, but I loved being able to trace a current crisis back to decisions made and actions taken to address a previous crisis. 
Nov 23, 2021
Nov 23, 2021
Participated in User Research
I had a great time chatting with Matt about what brought me to Polywork, how I use the platform as a curated timeline of stuff I've done, and what I'd like to see added in the future. I'll never pass up the opportunity to dialog about a product I love using!

Plus now I can post my first collaborative highlight! 🎉
Nov 20, 2021
Nov 20, 2021
Competed in an autocross event

I won my autocross class!


You might think that my car looks a bit different than usual, and you'd be right - this isn't my car. For this event, I had the unexpected pleasure of co-driving a friend's Scion FR-S which had been prepared for the Solo Spec Coupe (SSC) class. In order for a car to be eligible for this class, it has to be equipped with strictly-prescribed set of modifications, including shocks, springs, and anti-roll bars. As a result you get to compete directly with other FR-Ses and BRZees sporting the same equipment, largely removing vehicle differences from the equation and just focusing on driver skill.

My BRZ and I have been getting whooped pretty good this year by the much-faster Civic Type-R's and Veloster N's in the D Street (DS) class so I had been casually toying with the idea of tossing the SSC hardware onto my car and running in that class next year. So this opportunity to drive an SSC car was very timely!

I had an absolute blast in this car. The suspension was much stiffer than in my car so of course it cornered more aggressively, but I was surprised that it also felt like it had more power - probably because the stiffer setup prevented it from rocking backwards when I punched the throttle. There's no hesitation anymore; I give an input and it immediately (and eagerly!) complies.

And I must have been doing something right since I was able to win the class against two other drivers. It felt very good to finally bring home a trophy this year!

Of course, now I will have to get the SSC kit for my car! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvLu-UWb4Us
Nov 17, 2021
Nov 17, 2021
Deployed a server to Google Cloud
Used Docker-Compose

Deployed Snikket XMPP messaging server to Google Cloud (Free Tier)


I came across the Snikket project the other day, which strives to make decentralized-but-federated end-to-end-encrypted messaging built on the open XMPP protocol more accessible to non-techies. They provide a hosted option but also make it extremely easy to self host; I'm a sucker for self-hosting things so I thought I'd give it a try.

The Snikket Quick Start Guide made it incredibly simple to get up and running. It honestly took me longer to finalize the registration of a new domain (vpot8.ooo - a shorter alt for virtuallypotato.com) than it did to create a new Ubuntu e2-micro instance on Google Cloud's free tier, configure DNS records and firewall rules, deploy the Snikket server components in a docker container, and create a user account through the Snikket Android app.

And now I've got a private chat server I can use for communicating with my closest friends - like any of my Polywork connections who might want to check it out: https://chat.vpot8.ooo/invite/dddhJz4wdn5DgosE/

I'm pretty impressed with the project so far, and I'm excited about Snikket's future possibilities. It's much less nerd-centric than my Matrix + Element setup is. The client and server both work very well, and the process of onboarding as a new user couldn't be simpler.

To put that to the test, I've also deployed another instance that I'm going to try to use as a replacement for my family's many group text threads! Wish me luck!
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